Code of Behaviour

Introductory Statement

This Code of Behaviour has been devised by the staff of Gelncovitt National School in consultation with the members of the Board of Management and the Parents Association. It was devised during the Summer Term of 2013-2014.

Rational

The Board of Management of Glencovitt National School decided to review the Behaviour Policy to ensure than it is in compliance with legal requirements and good practice as set out in Developing a Code of Behaviour : Guidelines for Schools, NEWB, 2008.

It is a requirements under the Education Welfare Act, 2000, Section 23 (1) which refers to the obligation on schools to prepare a code of behavior in respect of the students registered at the school. It details in Section 23 (2), that the code of behavior shall specify:
1. The standards of behavior that shall be observed by each student attending the school;
2. The measures that shall be taken when a student fails or refuses to observe those standards;
3. the procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled from the school concerned;
4. The grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a student; and
5. The procedures to be followed in relation to a child’s absence from school.

Relationship to Characteristic Ethos

Glencovitt National School seeks to enable each child to develop his/her potential in a caring environment where the talents of each child are nurtured and valued. The school climate and atmosphere are created by the actions and behavior of everyone in the school. The behavior of adults in a child’s life, including parents and teachers, is a significant influence on how a child acts. The code will be most effective where there is a high level of openness and co-operation between staff, parents and pupils. A clear understanding among all the partners of the standards of behavior required and the procedures to be adopted where there are breaches of the code also helps ensure a harmonious environment where all can work effectively.

Aims

In devising the code, consideration has been given to the particular need and circumstance of this school. The aim is to create an ordered and orderly environment in which pupils can, through developing self-discipline, feel secure and make progress in all aspects of their development. This code of behavior describes the school’s expectations about how each member of the school community will help to make the school a good place for teaching and learning. Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behavior in the school and the over-riding aims will be –

• To ensure an educational environment that is guided by our caisson statement;
• To promote positive behavior and self-discipline;
• To foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils based on respect, consideration and tolerance of others;
• To enhance the learning environment and allow the school to function in an orderly way where children can make progress in all aspects of their development;
• To ensure that safety and wellbeing of all members of the school community;
• To assist the parents and children in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the Code and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures;
• To ensure that the system of rules, rewards and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner throughout the school;
• To enable teachers to teach without disruption.

Guidelines for Behaviour in the School

It is agreed that a high standard of behavior requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-operation among staff and between staff, parents and pupils. Every effort will be made to ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner. The limits of behavior are clearly defined and children become familiar with the consequences of behavior beyond these limits. The over-riding principle governing this code is respect – respect for ourselves and others; our own and others property and the environment.

Whole School Approach to Promoting Positive Behaviour

The Board of Management and the Principal have overall responsibility for the implementation and on-going monitoring of this policy. However, all staff members have responsibility for their own classes and for the general school population when on yard duty of on any organized out of school activity. Senior students have a role to play and parents or other members of the school community may make comments or suggestions through their representatives on the Board of Management of directly to the Principal. The school values the support and co-operation of parents in the promotion of this strategy. It is the policy of this school to actively promote good behavior.

Teachers will use various strategies to promote good behavior including:
Star/reward charts, stickers, homework passes, extra responsibility in class and in the school, singling out for exceptional worthwhile achievements and efforts and other incidental means of praise or reward.

To facilitate new members of staff become familiar with practices within the school, discussion regarding the implementation of the code will always form a part of the first staff meeting held each September. A Copy of the code will be available to both parent and teachers.

The code will also be given to parents whenever they enroll a child in the school.

Roles and Responsibilities

Board of Management
The Board of Management is expected to
• Provide a comfortable, safe environment
• Support the Principal and staff in implementing the code;
• Ratify the code;
• Ensure the code is communicated to the whole school community.

The Principal

The Principal is expected to:
• Promote a positive climate in the school;
• Ensure that the code of behavior is implemented in a fair and consistent manner;
• Arrange for a review of the code as required.

Teachers

Teachers can expect to:
• Be treated with respect;
• Teach in a well maintained physical environment relatively free from disruption;
• Get support and co-operation from colleagues and parents in order to achieve the school’s aims and objectives;
• Be listened to and participate in decision making which affects their own work and that of the school in general;
• Work in an atmosphere that encourages professional development;
• Get support and professional advice from the Board of Management, Department of Education and Skills, the National Education Welfare Board, the National Council for Special Education and the National Educational Psychological Services to help to cater for the psychological, emotional and physical needs of their pupils;
• Have grievances dealt with according to agreed procedures as set out in the CPSMA handbook.

Teachers are expected to:

• Support and implement the school’s Code of Behaviour;
• Be cognisant of their duty of care;
• Create a safe, welcoming atmosphere for their pupils;
• Praise desirable behavior;
• Facilitate pupils to reach their full academic potential;
• Be courteous, consistent and fair;
• Keep opportunities for disruption to a minimum;
• Keep record of serious misbehavior or repeated instances of misbehavior;
• Provide support for colleagues.

Pupils

Pupils can expect to:
• Be treated fairly, consistently and with respect;
• To feel safe, respected and secure;
• Have positive behavior reaffirmed;
• Have misbehavior dealt with appropriately;

Pupils are expected to:

• Attend school regularly and punctually;
• Wear a neat school uniform;
• Work quietly and safely to the best of their ability at all times;
• Respect the right of other pupils to learn;
• Show respect for all members of the school community;
• Respect school property, the property of others and their own belongings;
• Keep the school environment clean and tidy;
• Have the correct books and materials in school;
• Follow class rules;
• Move quietly and carefully around the school;
• Line up in an orderly manner before and after break;
• Stay on the premises and within designated areas during school times;
• Do their homework to the best of their ability.

Parents

Parents can expect to:
• Be treated with respect;
• Have a safe and welcoming environment for their child;
• Obtain recognition for individual differences among pupils having due regard for the resources that are available;
• Have fair and consistent procedures applied to school’s dealing with pupils;
• Receive progress reports in accordance with agreed school policy (Parent Teacher meetings and end of year reports) Receive information on school’s policies and procedures.

Parents are expected to:

• Ensure their children attend school regularly and on time and that they are collected from school on time;
• Encourage their children to follow the school’s Code of Behaviour;
• Ensure their children wear the school uniform;
• Ensure their children have the correct books and materials;
• Read written communication received from the school and respond appropriately;
• Report to the office if calling to the school during the day for any reason;
• Make an appointment beforehand if they need to see a teacher;
• Treat all members of the school community with respect;
• Provide a letter for all absenteeism;
• Inform class teacher of any change to collection procedure for their children;
• Co-operate with teachers in instances where their child’s behavior is causing difficulty to others;
• Communicate to the school problems which may affect their child’s behavior;
• Aggressive, threatening or violent behavior towards a pupil, property or teacher will be regarded as serious or gross misbehavior.
• Attend meetings at the school if requested;
• Help their children with their homework and ensure it is completed.

School Rules

In order to achieve a happy, healthy and safe working environment, where a sense of mutual respect is fostered, every pupil is expected to keep the following rules;

a. Respect and Courtesy
All pupils are expected to treat staff and fellow pupils with respect and courtesy. Inappropriate behavior i.e. rough play, bad language, fighting, personal remarks, pushing, kicking and spitting will not be tolerated. School property and the property of others should be respected.

b. Dress Code
Pupils are required to wear the complete uniform every day except on the designated P.E. day.

Girls: Grey pinafore/skirt/tailored trousers, grey shirt, green cardigan/jumper and green and grey tie.

Boys: Grey trousers, grey shirt, green jumper and green and grey tie.

The school track suit is worn on P.E. days.

P. E. Requirements: plain grey, black or navy tracksuit bottoms, runners, white polo shirt and green sweatshirt;

Inappropriate footwear, long earrings or expensive jewelry are not allowed;
Hairstyles to be neat and tidy and no impede schoolwork;
Regular uniform inspections will be made.

c. Healthy Lunches
The school encourages parents/guardians to provide a healthy lunch for their child.

d. Homework
Homework is expected to be well done, clean and neat;
Checking and signing by parents/guardians on a daily basis is recommended;
Incomplete homework must be explained in writing by a parent/guardian.

e. Attendance
Each child is expected to be in school at 9.20a.m., when the bell rings. Children need to be collected promptly at home time;
Pupils are expected to be present every day;
A written note is expected to explain all absences.

f. Movement throughout the school/school grounds
Entering and leaving the school must be done in an orderly manner;
Pupils are asked to stand back and allow adults to pass;
Running is strictly forbidden in classrooms and on corridors.

g. Break-times
Classroom/corridor/yard supervisors are to be obeyed at all times;
No re-entering the school nailing during the breakers without permission or teacher;
During inclement weather pupils remain indoors in their classrooms and may play with games proceeded or may watch a programme as selected by the teacher.

h. Mobile Phones
Mobile phone are not permitted at school.

i. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum is not remitted at school.

System for acknowledging good behavior, progress and effort.

Good behavior is praised in a number of ways:

a. For Individuals, good behavior may be acknowledged as follows:

• A quite work or gesture to show approval;
• A Word of praise in front of group/class;
• A mention to the Principal
• A comment/smiley/sticker in the exercise book;
• A mention to parents (verbal or written)
• A treat e.g. if terms of a behavior contract are fulfilled.

b. A Group/Class treat such as:

• Reduction in homework;
• Edible treat;
• Programme;
• Time given to preferred activity;
• Extra playtime;
• A mention to the Principal
• A mention to parents.

Consequences of unacceptable behavior

Disapproval of unacceptable behavior will be dealt with as follows:

1. Reprimand and Reasoning (making clear what behavior was unacceptable and filling a Behavoir Reflection sheet for older students;
2. Loss of privilege. Breaktime Detention:
3. Referral to Principal/Deputy:
4. Communication with parent;
5. Withdrawal from class temporarily to “timeout” area of classroom;
6. Withdrawal from class temporarily to another classroom;
7. Losses and damage caused must be made good in all cases;
8. Suspension/expulsion.

Procedures for notifying the school about absences.

Parents/Guardians are expected to communicate the reasons for the non-attendance of their child in Glencovitt National School by:

1. Notifying the school (e.g. phone call to Secretary/Principal) of the cause of the absence not later than the end of the third day of absence;
2. Sending in a signed dated explanation of absence when the pupil returns to school. Such notes are an important part of the record keeping down to fulfill the requirements of reporting to the National Education and Welfare Board.

When and where will behavior be subjected to the Code of Behaviour?

Standard and rules in the Code of Behaviour will apply to all situations where the pupils are the responsibility of the school. This includes activites not within the school grounds.

Suspension

Before serious sanctions such as suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilized. Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter, depending on the circumstances.
For gross misbehavior or repeated instances of serious misbehavior, suspension may be considered. The parents concerned will be invited to come to school to discuss their child’s case.

Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehavior, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson, teacher and the principal. If the parents (and the pupil) do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future the pupil may be suspended for a period. 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 regards to records fo previous misbehaviousm their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Tules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.

In the case of gross misbehavior, where it is necessary to ensure that order and discipline are maniteianed and to secure the health and safety of pupils and teachers, the Board has deferred responsibility to the the Principal to sanction an immediate suspension for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.

Further suspension will require Board of Management approval. The approval may be obtained at a regular meeting of the Board or at tan emergency meeting at which the Chairperson and Principal have outlined for the Board the reasons why they feel it is necessary to impose a further suspension. In line with the requirements of the Education Welfare Act (2000), the Board of Management will inform the Education Welfare Board when any pupil’s of suspension equals or exceeds six school days.

Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)

Following, or during a period of suspension, the parents may apply to have the pupil reinstate to the school. The parent’s (and pupil) 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 he other pupils. The principal will facilitate the preparation of a behavior plan for the pupil, if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class.

Children with Special Needs

The school recognizes that children with special needs may beed assistance in understanding certain rules. Specilaised behavior plans will be put in place with parents and he class teacher, Learning Support/Resource Teacher and/or Principal. Professional advice from the National Education and Psycholgical Service may be sought.

Expulsion

The Board of Management has the authority to expel a pupil in an extreme case e.g. where repeated incident of serious misbehavior interfere with the educational opportunities of fellow students of where there is a threat to the health and safety of either students or staff. Where expulsion is considered the school authorities will have tried a range of other interventions and will have formed the opinion that they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the pupil’s behavior. This sanction would be imposed under the terms of the Education Welfare Act (2000). Suspension/expulsion procedures are in accordance with the Education Act (1998).

Before/After School

Parents are reminded that the Board of Management of the school does not accept responsibility for pupils before official opening time of 9.10 am or after the official closing time of 2.00p.m. (Infants) 3.00p.m. (other classes) except where pupils are engaged in an extracurricular activity organized by the school and approved by the Board of Management. Pupils involved in such activities are expected to behave in accordance with school behavior policy during these times.

Appeals

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, parents (or pupils who have reached the age of 18) are entitled to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science against some decision of the Board of Management, including (1) permanent exclusion form a school and (2) suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year. Appeal must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent of student. (see Circular 22/02)

Reference to other Policies

Other school policies that have a bearing on the code of behavior include:
• SPHE plan;
• Anti-bullying Policy;
• Enrolment Policy;
• Tours Procedure
• Healthy Eating Procedure;
• Special Educational Needs Policy
• Attendance Procedure
• Homework Procedure

Success Criteria

This policy will be deemed to be successful when the following are observed:
• Positive behavior in class rooms, playground and school environment;
• Practices and procedures listed in this policy being consistently implemented by teachers and Principal;
• Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils.

Roles and Responsibilities

• Principal is charged with following the procedures outlined in this Code;
• Teachers are responsible for monitoring the behavoiur of pupils and reporting any concerns to the Principal.

Implementation Date – 16th June 2014

• Parents and pupils are responsible for adhering to and supporting the Code while also informing the Principal/Class Teacher of any concerns in relation to the Code.

Review

The code will be discussed at staff meetings and review periodically. The Code was reviewed in May 2015 and now stands as the official Code of Behaviour of the school.

Ratification and Communication

The policy must be ratified by the Board of Management after consultation and feedback from staff, parents Association and Parents. The school community will be advised that the Code has been reviewed and is available upon request. New parents/guardians will be given a copy of the Code at the open afternoon for infants in May.

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