Code of Behaviour - Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara

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Code of Behaviour

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Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara
 Donacarney, Mornington, Co Meath



(amended Dec 2018)

Our school seeks to create an environment in which effective teaching and learning can take place.
The principles underlying this Code of Behaviour are based on respect.
• Respect for self
• Respect for others.
• Respect for the environment.
The policy seeks to put into practice the shared values of the community.

The aims of the Code of Behaviour of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara are:
• To provide guidance for pupils, teachers and parents on behavioural expectations.
• To provide for the effective and safe operation of the school.
• To develop pupils’ self-esteem and to promote positive behaviour.
• To foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils based on respect, consideration and tolerance 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.

Every member of the school community has a role to play in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour. Rules will be kept to a minimum, emphasise positive behaviour and will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference. Good behaviour will be encouraged and rewarded. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.
Every effort will be made by members of school staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour with a greater emphasis on reward than on sanctions. Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school premises. There is also an onus on parents/guardians to ensure that their children know, understand and obey the school rules.

General Guidelines for Positive Behaviour

Pupils are expected to...
1. ... treat all adults and fellow pupils with respect and courtesy at all times. Behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable
2. ... show respect for all school property and to keep the school environment clean and litter free.
3. ... take pride in their appearance, to have all books and required materials and to be in the right place at the right time.
4. ... obey a teacher’s instructions, to work to the best of their ability and to present assignments neatly.
5. ....attend every day unless there is a genuine reason for absence, in which case the school must be informed in writing, stating the reason for absence.
Bullying is repeated verbal, psychological or physical aggression by an individual or group against others. The most common forms of bullying are aggressive physical contact, name-calling, intimidation, extortion, isolation and taunting. Bullying will not be tolerated and parents will be expected to cooperate with the school at all times in dealing with instances of bullying in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.
Affirming Positive Behaviour
Positive reinforcement of good behaviour leads to better self-discipline and we place a greater emphasis on rewards and incentives than on sanctions.

• A quiet word or gesture to show approval.
• A comment on a child’s exercise book.
• A visit to another class or Principal for commendation.
• Praise in front of class group.
• Individual class merit awards, points awards or award stamps.
• Whole school assemblies as an incentive: Class Spirit award, Best Line Award, etc.
• SPHE programme (all classes) encourages good behaviour.
• Delegating some special responsibility or privilege.
• Written or verbal communication with parent.
• Signing a contract to abide by the rules of the classroom.
• Monthly Assembly for the presentation of merit awards. In addition to individual awards there is also a Class Spirit Award and a Best Line Award.
• Stickers, star charts, Dojo points, Buddy pass, Good Friend Award
• Homework pass
• Golden Time

Discouraging Misbehaviour
The purpose of sanctions and other strategies is to promote positive and discourage misbehaviour. Sanctions will be applied according to the gravity of the misbehaviour, with due regard to age and emotional development. These may include
• Reasoning with pupil.
• Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve.
• Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class.
• Writing a reflective paragraph on misbehaviour
• Loss of privileges.
• Communication with parents.
• Referral to Principal/Deputy Principal
• Principal communicating with parents.
• A reduced school day.
• 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).

Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a Curricular Area, except on the grounds of health/safety

Involving Parents/Guardians in Managing Problem Behaviour

Parents/guardians are valued as partners in the school community and as such will be invited to participate in promoting positive behaviour both in school and in the wider community. Class teachers will refer to repeated episodes of minor misbehaviour in the pupil’s Homework journal or Communication Copy which parents/guardians are requested to sign each evening.
In cases where pupils are required to complete some extra work as a sanction, parents/guardians will again be requested to sign the relevant work. Class teachers may occasionally request parents/guardians to visit them in school to discuss some aspect of a pupil’s behaviour.
The Principal will be informed of these meetings and may be invited to attend. Parents/guardians are encouraged to make appointments to meet with class teachers and/or the Principal at the earliest opportunity in an effort to prevent any escalation of inappropriate behaviour. The school will remind parents/guardians of the procedures for contacting the school at every opportunity.
In specific cases a shorter school day may be implemented where a pupil is having severe difficulties coping with a full day. This would be agreed between the principal teacher and Parents and BOM.
Where pupils are found to be involved in more serious misbehaviour the Principal may telephone or write to parents/guardians to request them to attend an informal/formal meeting at the school. Others who may also attend these meetings include; class teachers, teachers who witness misbehaviour while supervising on yard duty and Chairperson of the Board of Management. The pupil may also attend all or part of these meetings if deemed appropriate.

Before serious sanctions such as detention, 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 the Board of Management will seriously consider suspension. Parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or pupil will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.
Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested  to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the principal. If the parents 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 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, the Board may authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.
Where parents do not agree to meet with the Principal, written notification will serve as notice to impose a suspension.

Implementing a Suspension
Written notification
The Principal will notify the parents in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter should confirm
• The period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end
• The reasons for the suspension
• The arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the pupil and the parents (for example the parents might be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the code of behaviour).
• The provision for an appeal to the Board of Management
• The right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Records and Reports
Formal written records will be kept of:
• The investigation (including notes of all interviews held)
• The decision-making process
• The decision and the rationale for the decision
• The duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension
The Principal should report all suspensions to the Board of Management, with the reasons for and the duration of each suspension.
The Principal is required to report suspensions to the NEWB in accordance with the NEWB reporting guidelines (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, section 21(4) (a))

Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)
Following or during a period of suspension, the parent/s may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code 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.
A period of suspension will end on the date given in the letter of notification to the parents about the suspension.
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.

School Rules
School rules are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. If a school is to function efficiently, it is necessary that rules and regulations are clearly stated and enforced consistently and fairly.
The degree of misdemeanours i.e. minor, serious or gross, will be judged by the teachers and/or Principal based on a common sense approach with regard to the gravity/frequency of such misdemeanours as follows:

Examples of Minor Misdemeanours
Interrupting class work/running in school building/ leaving seat without permission/ littering/ not wearing correct uniform/ being unmannerly/ telling lies/ not completing homework/ endangering self/fellow pupils at break time
Examples of Serious Misdemeanours
Constantly disruptive in class/stealing/damaging other pupil`s property/bullying/back answering a teacher/using unacceptable language/deliberately injuring a fellow pupil
Examples of Gross Misdemeanours
Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a staff member or pupil. Seriously damaging school property.

It should be noted that these lists consist of examples only: It is not an exhaustive list of misdemeanours.

Before/After School
Parents are reminded that the staff of the school does not accept legal responsibility for pupils before official opening time of 9.20 a.m. or after the official closing time of 2p.m. (infants) 3 p.m. (other classes) except where pupils are engaged in an extra-curricular activity organised by the school and approved by the Board of Management. Pupils involved in such activities are expected to behave in accordance with school behaviour policy during these times.

Class Rules

At the beginning of each academic year the class teacher will draft a list of class rules with the pupils. These reflect and support the school rules, but are presented in a way that is accessible to the children. Class rules will be kept to a minimum, will emphasise positive behaviour where possible, and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community.

Yard Rules

Shortly before the end of playtime the teacher rings the bell and all pupils freeze. When the second bell is rung all pupils walk to their line and stand in their designated position until their class teacher collects them.

Pupils are only permitted to play in the part of the yard designated for their class.

Pupils are not permitted to re-enter the school building during break time without permission from a teacher

Pupils must show respect to school staff, other pupils and to visitors to the school at all times.
Pupils will be withdrawn immediately if they engage in behaviour than endangers the safety of others.

The Code of Behaviour also applies to off-campus activities: tours, sports events or other events at which the pupils are representing the school.

Board of Management’s Responsibilities
• Provide a comfortable, safe environment.
• Support the Principal and staff in reviewing and implementing the code.
• Ratify the code.

Principal’s Responsibilities
1. Promote a positive climate in the school.
2. Ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner.
3. Arrange for review of the Code, as required.

Teachers’ Responsibilities

Support and implement the school’s Code of Behaviour.
1. Create a safe working environment for each pupil.
2. Familiarise the pupils with the school rules
3. Recognise and affirm good work.
4. Prepare school work and correct work done by pupils.
5. Recognise and provide for individual talents and differences among pupils.
6. Be courteous, consistent and fair.
7. Keep opportunities for disruptive behaviour to a minimum.
8. Deal appropriately with misbehaviour.
9. Where a teacher is concerned about a pupil’s behaviour s/he will keep a written record of instances of serious misbehaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour. The teacher will also record interventions taken.
10. Provide support for colleagues.
11. Communicate with parents when necessary and provide reports on matters of mutual concern.

Pupils’ Responsibilities
1. Attend school regularly and punctually.
2. Listen to their teachers and act on instructions/advice given by all members of staff.
3. Show respect for all members of the school community.
4. Respect all school property and the property of other pupils.
5. Avoid behaving in any way which would endanger others.
6. Avoid all nasty remarks, swearing and name-calling. Nicknames, slang names or calling pupils by their surnames is discouraged as we would like all pupils to be treated with respect.
7. Include other pupils in games and activities.
8. Bring correct materials/books to school.
9. Be familiar with school rules as outlined in the pupils’ journal.
10. Follow school and class rules.
11. Children should leave the school grounds promptly when dismissed by the class teacher. No lingering in the basketball court or climbing on fences.
12. On a wet day pupils will stay indoors. They must remain seated unless given permission to do otherwise by the supervising teacher or ancillary staff member.
13. Mobile phones or electronic devices are not permitted for pupils.
14. For health and safety reasons jewellery, other than watches is not to be worn.

Parents`/Guardians’ Responsibilities
1. Ensure that children attend regularly and punctually.
2. Be interested in, support and encourage their children’s school work.
3. Be familiar with the code of behaviour and support its implementation.
4. Be familiar with the school rules as outlined in the pupils’ journal.
5. Encourage children to have a sense of respect for themselves and for property.
6. Co-operate with teachers in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others.
7. Communicate with the school in relation to any problems which may affect child’s progress/behaviour.
8. The school requires notification if a child is being collected early from school.
9. Notify the school following an absence by a pupil.
10. Please label all pupil’s property – books, coats, jumpers, lunchboxes, etc.

The following policies should be read in conjunction with this policy:
Homework Policy
Healthy Eating Policy
Procedure for Communicating with School Staff
Health and Safety Statement

Ratified by Board of Management   September 2017
Signed __________________________________________
Chairperson, Board of Management

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