This Code of Behaviour has been devised by the staff of Glencovitt National School in consultation with the members of the Board of Management and the Parents Association.
The Code of Behaviour is based on and is compliant with the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) 2008 Document Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools. In Section 23(2) of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000), the Board of Management is obliged to prepare and make available a Code of Behaviour for its students. Matters which must be included in a Code of Behaviour are:
The standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each student attending the school;
The measures that may be taken when a student fails or refuses to observe those standards;
The procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled from the school;
The grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a student; and
The procedures to be followed relating to notification of a child’s absence from school.
Glencovitt N.S. is a Roman Catholic school under the patronage of Bishop McKeown, Derry. The school seeks to enable each student to experience a full curriculum in a Catholic environment. The school climate and atmosphere are created by the actions and behaviour of everyone in the school. The behaviour of adults in a child’s life will affect the child’s own behaviour. The code will work best when parents/guardians, teachers, and the Board of Management have an input into and an understanding of the code. A clear understanding among all the partners of the standards of behaviour required and the procedures to be adopted when there are breaches of the code will ensure all parties have clarity.
There are some basic principles that underpin an effective Code of Behaviour. When the Code takes account of and is in keeping with these principles, it is likely to be successful. these aims are:
- Creating a climate that encourages and reinforces good behaviour
- Creating a positive and safe environment for teaching and learning
- Encouraging students to take personal responsibility for their learning and their behaviour
- Helping young people to mature into responsible participating citizens
- Building positive relationships of mutual respect and mutual support among students, staff and parents
- Ensuring that the school’s high expectations for the behaviour of all members of the school community are widely known and understood.
Under the provisions of the Education Act 1998, each school has a Patron who carries out certain functions specified in the Act.
The Board of Management manages the school on behalf of the Patron and for the benefit of the students and their parents. The Board must:
Uphold the characteristic spirit of the school and be accountable to thePatron in this respect.
Consult with and keep the Patron informed of decisions and proposals.
Publish its policies on admissions, participation, suspension and expulsion in a manner that has been agreed with the Patron (section 15(d), Education Act 1998).
In order to comply with these provisions, the Board of Management should submit the Code of Behaviour to the Patron for approval.
The Board should make sure that all the members of the school community have the opportunity to be involved in work on the Code of Behaviour. The Board of Management should formally record the adoption of the Code of Behaviour, the commencement date and decisions about when the code will be reviewed.
Leading the audit and review of the Code of Behaviour, and ensuring that it is implemented in the school, are important leadership tasks. It is the responsibility of the Principal, under the direction of the Board, to lead the work on the Code of Behaviour.
Teachers and other staff members can play important roles inthe work in the review and updating of the code. They bring to this work their professional expertise in understanding the links between behaviour and learning; their experience of what works to help students to behave well and their knowledge of the school and of the school community.
The Code of Behaviour will be more likely to work well where parents have meaningful ways of contributing to the development or review of the code. Their involvement will draw on their expectations, insights and experience. It will help to underline their responsibilities for their children’s behaviour. Joint work between parents and staff in the development of the Code of Behaviour can:
Give parents insight into what teachers need in order to be able to teach effectively.
Equip parents to reinforce at home the messages about learning and behaviour that are conducive to a happy school.
Help parent to have a strong sense of pride in the school and ownership of its work.
Help to ensure that parents give consistent messages to students about how to treat others.
Students are more likely to support a Code of Behaviour when they have helped to develop it. Relationships of trust between teachers and students can grow stronger through the process. Through their involvement, students can:
Hear directly from teachers about what is needed for teaching and learning
Experience being part of a collective effort to make sure the school is a good place to teach and learn
Learn about taking personal responsibility for their behaviour and for each other’s wellbeing and the wellbeing of the teachers
Learn essential skills of listening, negotiating and managing differences
Have their experience, insights and expectiations recognised and used.
Rights and Responsibilities
To be educated in a disruption free classroom
To be treated fairly, consistently and with respect
To have their individual differences recognised and provision to be made for these differences
To be listened to and to ask questions, at appropriate times
To have their positive behaviour affirmed and their misbehaviour addressed appropriately
To attend school regularly and punctually
To work quietly and safely, top the best of their ability
- To listen to their teachers and to act on instructions and advice
- To listen to other pupils and to wait their turn to speak
- To show respect for all members of the school community
- To respect the rights of other pupils to learn
- To care for their own property and to respect all school property and property of other pupils
- To avoid behaving in a way, which would endanger themselves or others
- To contribute to good order in the school, by moving quietly around the school and by keeping the school clean and tidy
- To bring the correct materials and books to school
- To follow school and class rules and procedures
- To be treated with respect and dignity by all members of the school community
- To be able to teach in a safe, well-maintained environment, free from disruption
- To have the support and co-operation of all staff colleagues, parents and Board of Management, in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the school
- To work in an atmosphere which encourages professional development
- To consult with pupils and parents informally and formally, when their professional judgement deems it necessary
- To support and implement the school’s Code of Behaviour consistently and for the duration of the academic year
- To create a war, safe, welcoming environment for each pupil
- To develop and nurture a sense of self-esteem in each pupil
- To facilitate each pupil to reach their full academic potential, by recognising and providing the individual talents and differences among the pupils
- To be courteous, consistent and fair, while keeping opportunities for disruptive behaviour to a minimum and addressing misbehaviour appropriately
- To use their professional judgement, to decide when it is necessary to communicate with parents and to provide reports on matters of mutual concern
- To keep a record of instances of serious misbehaviour(Continuum of support, Guidelines for Teachers, NEPS)
- To be treated with respect
- To have a safe and welcoming environment provided for their child
- To expect that there will be a recognition of the individual differences among pupils
- To expect that there will be fairness and consistency in the way the pupils are treated
- To communicate with teachers by appointment on matters of mutual interest or concern
- To expect contact at an early stage to discuss difficulties and/or problems
- To receive regular progress reports and information on the school’s policies and procedures
- To be consulted in relation to the school’s Code of Behaviour and to appeal decisions in accordance with agreed procedures
Make an appointment to see a teacher not to approach at the gate
No to air grievances on Social Media
To encourage pupils to have a sense of respect for themselves and others, for their property and that of others
To ensure their children attend school regularly and punctually
To show interest in their child’s education by ensuring their child has the correct books and materials and by signing homework notebooks and reading records
To support the school in the implementation of the school’s Code of Behaviour. It is a condition of enrolment in the school that parents agree to comply with the school’s Code of Behaviour (Education Welfare Act 2000 section 23,4)
To co-operate with teachers in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others
To communicate with the school in relation to any problems which may affect their child’s progress/behaviour
Not to come to a teachers private residence or make contact via mobile phone
Positive Strategies for Managing Behaviour
The school has adopted a whole school approach to developing positive behaviour amongst its pupils. This has involved the co-operation and collaboration of staff, Board of Management, parents and pupils. All staff are involved in promoting good discipline in the school and are encouraged to interact with all the students at all times. The teacher on duty is responsible for dealing with incidents during breaks.
Our school policy is designed to promote good behaviour, rather than merely deter bad behaviour. In promoting positive behaviour we aim to establish a climate where praise and encouragement far out-weigh the frequency of criticism and sanctions. The teachers work together to develop routines to ensure the smooth running of classroom learning and to ensure the safety of the children while moving around the school.
Each teacher has the responsibility to develop and nurture a sense of self-esteem in each pupil, and in this regard, praising of desirable behaviour is essential. We praise and reward children for good behaviour in a variety of ways:
- Teachers congratulate children – either publicly or privately, being sensitive to the age and personality of the pupil
- Affirming comments and smiley faces on pupil’s work
- Stickers, badges or stamps in books
- Personal sticker charts
- Time on computer or other special activities, work displayed, homework pass
- A visit to another teacher/principal for praise
- Informing parents through oral or written communication
- Golden time
Undesirable behaviour of the pupils
The undesirable behaviour of the pupils will be categorised into minor and serious misbehaviour and will be dealt with accordingly.
- Speaking out of turn
- Behaving in a manner which distracts other pupils and prevents them from learning
- Breaking the class rules
- Misbehaviour in the line and when moving around the school
- Incomplete/no homework without a note from a parent
- Passing inappropriate remarks
- Telling lies
- Lack of attention while instructions are being given
- Rough play in the classroom and playground
- Chewing gum at school
Repeated incidences of minor misbehaviour
- Refusal to listen to staff and to follow instructions given by staff members
- Inappropriate questioning and answering back to members of the school community
- Leaving the classroom and/or school premises without permission
- Stealing, defacing or destroying other pupils’ belongings or school property
- Refusing to co-operate with instructions and advice
- Acting aggressively or with violence towards any member of the school community
- Directing insolent or abusive language at any members of the school community
- Rough play in the playground
- Using a mobile phone or electronic device in school
In the interest of fairness to all, the teacher will ensure, as much as reasonably possible, the individual misbehaving is identified and sanctioned, not the entire group, as this causes a negative atmosphere in the room and may lead to additional misbehaviour.
Strategies to prevent escalation of misbehaviour
The following strategies may be utilised in any particular order, to prevent misbehaviour escalating
- Non-verbal signs such as a warning look, a change in tone of voice or stopping speaking and waiting for attention
- Moving to stand in the vicinity of the pupil
- Overlooking/ignoring behaviour while praising the pupil demonstrating the appropriate behaviour
- Moving the pupil to a quiet spot to work
- Regular reminders and class discussions about the class rules
- Establishment of clear class and school routines to minimise opportunities for misbehaviour.
Consequences of Misbehaviour
- Reprimand and Reasoning (Making clear what behaviour was unacceptable)
- Withdrawal temporarily to “timeout” area of the classroom
- Loss of privileges and/or classroom jobs
- Detention during break – Prior notice to parents. The student will only be detained for five minutes max and will be allowed outside for the remainder of the break.
- Logical consequences – e.g. move to the back of the line for inappropriate behaviour in the line/ Star or Sticker not being awarded
- Referral to Principal/Deputy
- Student Reflection Form
In the event the above strategies do not work, the following steps will be followed:
- Verbal warning
- Reasoning with the pupil (What did you do? What rule did you break? How can you fix it?)
- Star not being awarded
- Time out within the classroom
- Time out in another room
- The teacher requests a meeting with parents
- Individual behaviour plan, in consultation with parents
- The principal requests a meeting with parents if there has been no improvement in behaviour following meetings with the class teacher
Suspension if there is no improvement following the meeting with the Principal (rule 130(5) for Primary Schools)
Expulsion (Rule 130(6) Primary Schools).
Restorative Questions to respond to Challenging Behaviour
- What happened?
- What were you thinking about at the time?
- What have your thoughts been since?
- Who has been affected by what you did?
- In what way have they been affected?
- What do you think need to happen to make things right?
To help those harmed by other actions
- What did you think when you realised what had happened?
- What have your thoughts been since?
- How has this affected others?
- What has been the hardest thing for you?
- What do you think needs to happen to make things right?
In extreme cases and when all possible avenues of discussion, negotiation and mediation open to us have been exhausted, as a last resort it may be deemed necessary for the Board of Management to expel a pupil from the school in accordance with Section 23 of the Educational Welfare Act, 2000
Prior to this, the school will have significant steps to address the misbehaviour, such as
Meeting with parents and the student to try to find ways to help the student change his/her behaviour
Ensure the student understands the consequences of their behaviour, if it persists
Ensuring all other possible options have been tried
Seek the assistance of support agencies, such as the N.E.P.S., H.S.E. Community Services, Student and Adolescent Mental Health Services, National Behavioural Support Services and National Council for Special Education, if appropriate
The decision to expel a student require serious grounds such as
The student’s behaviour has had a serious detrimental effect on the education of other students
The student’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety
The student is responsible for serious damage to property
While these are similar to the grounds for suspension, factors such as persistence and seriousness of the behaviour as well as a belief the school has exhausted all possiblities for changing the student’s behaviour will influence the decision of the Board to expel a student.
The full details of the procedures to be followed can be found in Guidelines for Developing a Code of Behaviour, section 12, p80 – 87 and a full list is included in Appendix 2. http://www.newb.ie/codes of behaviour guidelines/download guidelines.asp