The school has a central role in the children’s social and moral development just as it does in their academic development. In seeking to define acceptable standards of behaviour it is acknowledged that these are goals to be worked towards rather than expectations that are either fulfilled or not.
The children bring to school a wide variety of behaviour. As a community environment, in school we must work towards standards of behaviour based on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility. It follows that acceptable standards of behaviour are those that reflect these principles.
Children need limits set for them in order to feel secure and develop the skills for co-operation. Therefore any rules will be age appropriate, with clear agreed consequences.
Parents can co-operate with the school by encouraging their children to understand the need for school rules, by visiting the school and by talking to the members of staff.
A code of behaviour is established to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption free environment.
Aims of the Code
- To create a positive learning environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour.
- To promote self-esteem and positive relationships.
- To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour.
- To foster a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils and to support good behaviour patterns based on consideration and respect for the rights of others.
- To facilitate the education and development of every child.
- To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment.
- To enable teachers to teach without disruption.
- To ensure that the school’s expectations and strategies are widely known and understood through the parent’s handbook, availability of policies and an ethos of open communication.
- To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy.
Our Core Values
A Core Value is a central belief clearly understood and shared by every member of our school community.
In St Audoen’s we encourage:
- Respect for self and others
- Respect for other’s property
- Respect other students and their learning
- Kindness and willingness to help others
- Follow instructions from staff immediately
- Walk quietly in the school building
- Courtesy and good manners
- Readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict
- Ask permission to leave the classroom
- Do your best in class
- Take responsibility for your own work
At the beginning of each academic year, the class teacher will draft a list of class guidelines with the children. These reflect and support the school expectations and are presented in a way that is accessible to the children. Our school and class expectations are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community.
Part of the vision of St Audoens NS is to help children achieve their personal best – academically, intellectually and socially. We recognise that there are many different forms of intelligence and that similarly children use a variety of approaches to solve problems. Reward systems which are based on academic merit or particular extrinsic goals continuously apply to only a limited number of children and undermine the individuality of children. Children will be encouraged, praised and listened to at all times by adults in the school. Praise is earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy personal achievements.
The following are some samples of how praise might be given;
- A quiet word or gesture to show approval
- A comment in a pupil’s exercise book
- A visit to another member of Staff or to the Principal for commendation
- A word of praise in front of a group or class
- A system of merit marks or stickers
- Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
- A mention to parent, written or verbal communication.
Three levels of misbehaviour are recognised: Minor, Serious and Gross.
All everyday instances of a minor nature are dealt with by the class teacher.
In cases of repeated serious misbehaviour or single instances of gross misbehaviour, parents will be involved at an early stage and invited to meet the teacher and/or the Principal to discuss their child’s behaviour.
Examples of serious misbehaviour:
- Behaviour that is hurtful (including bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation)
- Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning
- Threats or physical hurt to another person
- Damage to property
Examples of gross misbehaviour:
- Assault/ Physical Harm to a teacher or pupil
- Serious theft
- Serious damage to property
The following steps will be taken when the children behave inappropriately. They are listed in order of severity with one being for a minor misbehaviour and ten being for serious or gross misbehaviour. The list is by no means exhaustive. Teachers may put in place alternative measures bearing in mind the features by which sanctions should be characterised. The aim of any sanction is to prevent the behaviour occurring again and if necessary to help the pupils devise strategies for this;
- Reasoning with pupil
- Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve
- Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class
- Prescribing extra work/ writing out the story of what happened
- Loss of privileges
- Detention during break
- Communication with parents
- Referral to Principal
- Communication with parents
- Exclusion (Suspension or Expulsion) from school (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular and Education Welfare Act 2000)
Detention at break time does not require prior notice to parents; detention at break time it is a natural consequence, is an acceptable method of sanction.
Suspension and Expulsion
In case of serious sanctions such as suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances. For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour suspension may be considered. Parents concerned may be invited to come to the school to discuss the situation. Aggressive, threatening, violent or harmful behaviour towards a staff member or pupil will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.
Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, parents will be requested to meet the school principal and/or the in schoolmanagement team. Parents will be expected to give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future. Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.
In the case of gross misbehaviour, where it is necessary to ensure that order and discipline are maintained and to secure the safety of the pupils and/or staff, an immediate suspension may be authorised, for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.
Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rule for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall notify the Local Welfare Education Officer in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act.
Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)
Following or during a period of suspension, parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code of behaviour and the Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class.
Children with Special Needs
All children are required to comply with the Code of Behaviour. However the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain expectations. Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the Special Education Department, the class teacher, learning support/ resource teachers and/or Principal will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given. Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times.
In conjunction with the School Code of Behaviour; in the case of gross misbehaviour, where it is necessary to ensure that order and discipline are maintained and to secure the safety of the pupils and/or staff, an immediate suspension may be authorised, for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.
The children in the class or school may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with special needs adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support. This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.
Methods of Communicating with Parents
Communicating with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers should develop a joint strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy which can be implemented at home and in school.
A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff, pupils and parents have been established and are being reviewed regularly.
Parents should be encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child’s life, in the past or present, which may affect the child’s behaviour.
The following methods are to be used at all levels within the school:
- Informal parent/teacher meetings and Formal parent/teacher meetings
- Through children’s homework journal (infants do not have a homework journal)
- Letters/notes from school to home and from home to school
- School notice board
- Monthly newsletter
Code of Conduct for Parents
In order to maintain our high standards; parents are expected to:
- Ensure their children attend school and are punctual
- Ensure their children present in full uniform.
- Equip pupils with appropriate school materials
- Respect school property and encourage their children to do the same.
- Label pupils coats and other personal property.
We expect Parents to:
- Be courteous and respectful towards pupils and staff at all times
- Make an appointment to meet with a teacher/the principal through reception.
Any incident of escalated aggression, threatening behaviour and/or intimidation on school premises or towards a member of staff will not be tolerated. Unacceptable behaviour against staff may be noted when frustrations escalate into potential episodes of verbal and physical aggression, at this point the relevant authorities will be notified and sanctions put in place immediately.
As the Board of Management is responsible for the Health & Safety of all staff and students, parents are requested not to approach or reprimand another person’s child on the school premises.
(This is an abbreviated version for the purpose of our school website, full policy available form the school)
This policy will be reviewed in 2018.