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Discipline

Code of Discipline

All our pupils are constitutionally entitled to learn in a peaceful environment.

Parents/Guardians as the primary educators of their child have a responsibility to ensure that their child does not deny other pupils this entitlement.

Our curriculum aims to ensure each child to realise his or her potential as a unique individual in a peaceful stimulating environment.

In this regard the pupil will enabled to develop skills which will enable him or her to live a full and useful life and so contribute to the good of society.

The Board of Management and teachers are committed to the realisation of these aims.

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GENERAL BEHAVIOUR:

Pupils are expected to respect:

  • Themselves and their property
  • School property
  • Each other
  • Their class teacher
  • All the  staff within the school
  • All visitors to the school.

 

Teachers:

  •  Teachers should at all times treat all the pupils fairly and equally, and should not be seen to show favouritism within the classroom.  
  • Corrective action by teachers will be in areas that will be of benefit to the pupil as well as being an exercise to fit the disciplinary problem.
  • Where a pupil continues to disrupt the class the situation will be brought to the attention of the parent and Principal by the class teacher.  
  • Extreme misbehaviour of pupils is to be recorded in a discipline book.
  • Where a pupil continues to disrupt the class, the Principal will request a meeting with the parents/guardians and class teacher.
  • If the disciplinary problem is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Principal and the Class Teacher, parents/guardians will be requested to appear before the Board of Management  Under the terms of the Department of Education Circular 7/88 suspension of the pupil may follow.

 

BASIC RULES:

Each child is given a copy of the following basic rules.  These rules are signed by both parent/guardian and pupil.  This is then inserted in child’s Homework Diary.

 

Rules for Good Behaviour

  1. I will respect myself, the other children and the teachers in my school by what I say and do.
  2. I will respect school property, my property, rental books and other children’s property.
  3. I am not allowed play in the evergreens, behind the school or behind the after school prefab.
  4. I may not leave the yard during playtime without a Teacher’s permission.
  5. I will behave myself in the yard. I will stop playing when the bell rings and I will line up correctly.
  6. I will behave myself in class and my behaviour should not distract the teacher and the other children in my room as they do their work.

 

ATTENDANCE:

Regular attendance is expected if the pupil is to achieve his or her potential.  When a pupil is absent a written note is requested as explanation.  These notes are in the back of the Homework Diary.  Under the terms of the Education and Welfare Act the name of any pupil who is absent 20 or more days in the year has to be sent to the local Educational Welfare Board with a list of reasons for the absences.

If a pupil has to leave school during the day it is expected that parents/Guardians or another designated person collect him or her.  (The contact person should have written permission from parents/guardians to collect the pupil.)

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that their child is collected by a person with a full driving licence.  The school will not accept any responsibility in the event of an accident.

 

UNIFORM:

Pupils are expected to wear the school uniform every day.  Names should be clearly visible on the school jumper.  A note is expected if a child is unable to wear uniform.

 

HOMEWORK:

Generally it is school policy to assign homework on weeknights, Monday-Thursday.  Parents should sign journal if possible to confirm that homework has been completed and inspected.

 

LUNCH:

In accordance with our Healthy Eating Policy consumption of bars, sticky bars, sweets, crisps, fizzy drinks and chewing gum is forbidden.  Pupils may bring in a small treat on Fridays. The school is currently involved in the A.C.E. Programme in conjunction with the H.S.E.

 


MOBILE PHONES:

The use of mobile phones by pupils is not permitted during school hours.  Pupils may use the school phone if parents need to be contacted.

 

PROPERTY:

Pupils are expected to respect the property of other pupils and school property. Names should be clearly visible on personal property.  It is expected that all schoolbooks be covered. Parents will be expected to replace a rented book that has been damaged in any way by their child.

 

BEHAVIOUR IN THE PLAYGROUND:

  • We aim to make the playground a happy place.
  • Children are encouraged to report any concerns to the supervising teacher.
  • Any behaviour which interferes with others at play is not permitted.  Pupils may not leave the playground for any reason without the permission of the supervising teacher.
  • Pupils may not approach the perimeter wall without first informing the teacher on duty, to speak to a person or parent who comes by car to the school at break time. Under no circumstances may a student approach the wall to speak to a stranger.  
  • Parents who come by car to the school at break-time to collect a child should first inform the teacher on duty of their intention to collect their child.
  • Pupils are not permitted around the back of the school and may not play among the evergreen trees.
  • When the bell rings, pupils are expected to line up in an orderly fashion.
  • Pupils misbehaving in the yard will have their names recorded in the “Yard Book” and parents will be informed.

 

PARENTAL CO-OPERATION:

To maintain good standards of behaviour the school must rely on the support and co-operation of parents.  We would, therefore, earnestly request you:

  • Communicate regularly with the school about factors likely to effect the behaviour of your child in school.
  • Having signed the code, to co-operate with the school in its implementation.

 

 

DFL – Discipline for Learning

What is DFL?
Discipline for Learning (DFL) is a system of POSITIVE discipline where the emphasis is on recognising and affirming the children in class who behave well. It is a matter of ‘catching the children being good’ rather than spotting the ‘bad behaviour’. The children know the rules and know that if they keep them they will be recognised and rewarded and equally that if they don’t they will be sanctioned. This is a preventative measure rather than a curative measure that we would like to encompass as part of our school ethos in St.Colman’s N.S.

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The DFL System has 3 components:

  • Rules
  • Rewards
  • Sanctions

Rules

1. Silence, whispering, quiet talking: Know when, know where, know why.
Silence- when teacher is speaking, when another pupil is speaking, when testing is in progress, when teacher requests silence, when lining up to leave classroom, in the corridor and after bell rings on yard.
Whispering – when seeking or giving help in class, when teacher is speaking to another adult
Quiet Talking – during any form of group work, during art lessons, while having lunch

2. Orderly Walking is the rule, into and within the school
When children enter and leave the building, walk until outside the gate. When leaving/entering the classroom, children line up and leave/arrive in an orderly walking line

3. Arrive on time, heed the bell, Line up fast, use class time well
At the sound of the bell, play cases immediately. Children walk to their designated line and line up in an orderly fashion. In the classroom, changeover between subjects should be quick and quiet. Avoid time wasting.

4. Show respect, Earn respect.
Speak politely, stand respectfully, address adults by their title and children by their first names, stand back and hold door open for adults, say please and thank you at appropriate times, only do to others as you would like them to do unto you.

5. Check your bag, have everything in. In the yard, is everyone in?
Have everything you need for each day. Play fairly in the yard or on wet days in the classroom. Treat others as you would like them to treat you.

 

Rewards
The reward system works for those who abide by the ‘steps to success’, behave positively, work conscientiously, wear the uniform daily etc. The whole idea is to ‘catch children being good’.

 

Marble System

Each class will have two jars. One jar contains marbles while the other jar is an empty jar of marbles that each class must fill.

Each class teacher along with the students may decide on various steps to success or rewards for their class.

The class in consultation with each other and the teacher may decide on 3-4 rewards that will aim to receive through positive behaviour/work/ social skills.
These rewards will be labelled on the outside of the jar and once the jar reaches a reward, the class will then receive that reward. For example, these rewards might look as follows:

  1. No Homework
  2. Sit where you want
  3. 15 mins extra Golden Time
  4. Watch a Movie

 

Each class may vary depending on class level. This is an example from the 3/4th class level.

Other class may alter their system to suit the needs of the school/class.

Other Teacher’s may award a marble to different classes for positive behaviour.

 

Sanctions
On the negative side of DFL there is a list of sanctions as follows:

  1. Oral Warning
  2. Name noted in Teacher’s Journal
  3. Removal to different seat
  4. Note sent home informing parents
  5. Meeting or phone call with parents.
  6. The Principal is informed (name is recorded )
  7. If name is recorded 3 times, this results in the Principal meeting with the parents
  8. Parents called again. Suspension threatened. Parents required to call back into school within a week to check on child’s behaviour
  9. Suspension for 3 days (BOM)
  10. Expulsion (BOM)

Final Thought
The strength of the DFL system is in it’s predictability. Before coming into school, the child knows with absolute certainty what will happen is he/she chooses to behave well and just as definitely , what will happen if he/she chooses otherwise.

Discipline and Sanctions Policy

Our Discipline Policy was planned and developed by members of the teaching staff, parents and Board of Management having been reviewed following the issuing of Guidelines by the National Educational Welfare Board and as part of our follow up to our WSE Evaluation in September 2016.

It was agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community, loyalty within the school and a high level of co-operation between staff, pupils, parents and wider school community.

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Mission Statement

St.Colman’s  N.S is a co-educational Catholic, primary school, which strives to provide a well ordered, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed. While St.Colman’s N.S is a school with a Catholic ethos, it also has due recognition for all other religions. St.Colman’s  will strive to promote, both individually and collectively, the professional and personal development of teachers through staff development programmes.

Aims

  • St. Colman’s will encourage the involvement of parents through home/school contacts and through their involvement in St. Colman’s Parents Association.
  • St. Colman’s will endeavour to enhance the self-esteem of everyone in the school community, to imbue in the pupils respect for people and property and to encourage in them a sense of responsibility.
  • St. Colman’s will promote gender equity amongst the teachers and pupils.
  • To create an environment where all partners in the school community (i.e. children ,staff members and parents) feel safe, respected and valued.
  • To promote self-discipline
  • To create an environment where the children and their teachers can reach their creative and intellectual potential without disruption.
  • To have a framework in place (i.e. the Code of Discipline) to help the school run smoothly.
  • To establish an effective means of communication between pupils, teachers, parents/guardians and Board of Management.
  • To help children acquire and develop moral and ethical values and a respect for the belief and values of others.
  • As a staff our aim is to create a happy, secure environment for all our pupils, within which there is order, effective teaching and an agreed approach to discipline.

 

Standards of behaviour: Standards of behaviour should reflect values such as:

  • Respect for self and others
  • Kindness and willingness to help others
  • Courtesy and good manners
  • Fairness
  • Readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict forgiveness

 

The standards should reflect the commitment that the school expects from students to their own learning and to that of their peers.

The commitment includes:

  • Attending school regularly and punctually.
  • Doing one’s best in class.
  • Taking responsibility for one’s work.
  • Keeping the rules.
  • Helping to create a safe, positive environment.
  • Respecting staff.
  • Respecting other students and their learning.
  • Participating in school activities.

 

Standards are also a way of signalling to members of the school community the kinds of behaviours that are not acceptable in the school, for example:

  • 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
  • Theft

The Rights of Children, Teachers and Parents. Children’s rights:

Children have the right:

  1. To be educated in a safe, happy secure environment.
  2. To grow intellectually, emotionally and physically with an understanding of special needs and disability.
  3. To be treated as an individual with due respect and regard for others within the school community.
  4. To be listened to and to question.
  5. To express their concern, beliefs and opinions.
  6. To be free from all forms of abuse, whether physical, emotional, mental or sexual.
  7. To receive information about topics and concerns affecting their lives (including information on the Code of Discipline).

Teachers have the right:

  1. To educate in an environment relatively free from disruption.
  2. To be treated with respect.
  3. To full and open communication with parents.
  4. To voice concern about child’s safety, behaviour and academic progress.
  5. To support, relevant information and co operation from parents in order to achieve the school’s aims and objectives.
  6. To be listened to and participate in decision making that affects their own school work and that of the school in general.
  7. To appeal to a higher authority e.g. Principal, Board of Management, Department of Education and Science and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation
  8. To receive adequate facilities and resources appropriate to their teaching duties.

Parents’ rights:

Parents have the right:

  1. To communicate with teachers on matters of mutual interest and concern.
  2. To respect, understanding and confidentiality.
  3. To be listened to.
  4. To receive progress reports in accordance with agreed school policies.
  5. To have contact at an early stage to discuss difficulties.
  6. To be consulted for disciplinary action at an early stage.
  7. To appeal to a higher authority, e.g. Board of Management, Department of Education & Science.
  8. Of access to the Code of Discipline of the school and to receive information on school policy and procedure.

Responsibilities of Children, Teachers and Parents

Children are to be responsible for:

  • Their class work and homework.
  • Knowing and complying with school and class rules.
  • Their behaviour in class and in the schoolyard.
  • Their belongings
  • Their classroom
  • School property.
  • Their environment.
  • Playing safely and fairly.
  • Including others in their games.
  • Helping and caring for others, in particular the younger children in the school.
  • Telling a member of staff if they know another child is not being respected.

Parents are responsible for:

  • Encouraging children to have a sense of respect for themselves, for others, for their own property and that of others.
  • Ensuring homework is completed.
  • Ensuring children attend school regularly and punctually wearing school uniform.
  • Ensuring children are prepared for school with pencils, books etc.
  • Ensuring children have had enough sleep and food.
  • Keeping in touch with the school about all aspects of child’s learning, progress and behaviour.
  • Communicating to school/teacher any problems, which affect children’s learning and or safety.
  • Co-operating with teachers in incidences where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulty for others.
  • Informing school in writing of reason for all absences.
  • Being familiar with school policies, codes of behaviour etc, and supporting and implementing these policies.

Teachers are to be responsible for:

  • Supporting and implementing the school’s Code of Behaviour.
  • The children in their care.
  • Creating a positive atmosphere/environment for learning.
  • Being firm and fair. Treating all children with equal respect.
  • Giving due attention to all children.
  • Communicating with parents on issues concerning their child’s learning and behaviour.
  • Having positive expectations for children.
  • Ensuring opportunities for disruption are minimised.
  • Adhering to the homework policy.
  • Informing children what is expected from them in terms of behaviour.

Code of Behaviour/School Rules.

The following is the general code of behaviour expected of all pupils.

BASIC RULES:

Each child is given a copy of the following basic rules.  These rules are signed by both parent/guardian and pupil.  This is then inserted in child’s Homework Diary.

 

Rules for Good Behaviour

  1. I will respect myself, the other children and the teachers in my school by what I say and do.
  1. I will respect school property, my property, rental books and other children’s property.
  1. I am not allowed play in the evergreens, behind the school or behind the after school prefab.
  1. I may not leave the yard during playtime without a Teacher’s permission.
  1. I will behave myself in the yard. I will stop playing when the bell rings and I will line up correctly.
  1. I will behave myself in class and my behaviour should not distract the teacher and the other children in my room as they do their work.

 

Classroom rules:

  1. I will sit on my chair when requested to do so and do my work well
  2. I will listen. I will let others speak
  3. I will always walk and never run
  4. I will help to keep a tidy classroom.
  5. I will use the toilet properly and wash my hands.
  6. I will be kind and helpful and not hurt other peoples’ feelings
  7. I will stay in my place if my teacher is out of the room.

 

Yard rules:

  1. I will stay in my designated area.
  2. I will walk quietly in my line to and from the yard.
  3. I will let others join in my games.
  4. I will be gentle. I will not kick, punch or play rough games.
  5. I will not use bad language or call names.
  6. I will be fair I will not tell silly tales.
  7. I will walk to my line when I hear the bell.
  8. I will not push or shove in the line.

 

Classroom Discipline: Positive attitudes will be encouraged by all teachers.

  • Teachers promote models of good behaviour.
  • Remind children of rules and the rationale for them.
  • Reward good behaviour. ”Catch them while they’re good” (see DFL Policy –Discipline for Learning)
  • Give privileges to children, when they are good.
  • Assemblies to reiterate rules and good behaviour.
  • Class teacher operates reward system appropriate to class. (Marble System)

 

Minor misbehaviours:

  • Continuous talking
  • Fidgeting
  • Inattention
  • Pushing in line
  • Telling silly tales
  • Refusal to do work
  • Application to work
  • Homework
  • Behaviour in class
  • Behaviour in yard/at games/ hall
  • Respect for school community
  • Respect for school and other pupils property
  • Repeated interruption
  • Obedience
  • Punctuality
  • Non wearing of school uniform
  • Use of mobile phones during school hours
  • Rough play
  • Playing outside of the designated area.

 

Serious misbehaviours:

  • All minor misbehaviour when on a continuous basis
  • Rough play
  • Serious fighting
  • Stealing from others
  • Ongoing lying, dishonesty
  • Disrespect
  • Hitting or aggressive behaviour
  • Bad/inappropriate language
  • Racist remarks
  • Biting
  • Uncontrolled behaviour
  • Use of mobile phone as recording device

 

Major misbehaviours:

  • All minor and serious misbehaviour when on a continuous basis
  • Blatant disobedience or disrespect
  • Insults to staff
  • Damage to property
  • Bullying
  • Threats
  • Pornography
  • Continuous disruption
  • Brawling
  • Any behaviour, which has a detrimental effect on education/ safety of others.

 

Complaints

  • A parent/guardian who wishes to make a compliant should, unless there are local arrangements to the contrary, approach the class teacher with a view to resolving the complaint.
  • Where the parent/guardian is unable to resolve the compliant with the class teacher she/he should approach the principal with a view to resolve it.
  • If the compliant is still unresolved the parent/guardian should lodge the compliant in writing to the Chairperson of the Board of Management with a view to resolving it.

 

Sanctions to deal with misbehaviours:

Minor misbehaviour

  1. Verbal warning from teacher
  2. Sanction system appropriate to class (see DFL Policy)
  3. Removal from class/yard (wall, time out etc.)
  4. Verbal warning from Principal
  5. Contact parents requesting meeting.

 

Serious misbehaviour:

  1. Parents informed.
  2. Removal or separation from class or yard.
  3. A follow up meeting with parents may be requested to start intervention and behaviour management program.

 

Major misbehaviour:

  1. Parents informed  
  2. Review of conduct
  3. Suspension
  4. Expulsion.

 

Suspension

As part of the code of behaviour, the board of management may use suspension. The board of management has the authority to suspend a student. This authority is delegated to the principal formally and in writing. Suspension should be a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern. Normally, other interventions will have been tried before suspension, and school staff will have reviewed the reasons why these have not worked.

 

The decision to suspend a student requires serious grounds such as that:

  • The student’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education and welfare 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. A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension.

 

Factors to consider before suspending a student:

  • The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
  • The context of the behaviour
  • The impact of the behaviour
  • The interventions tried to date
  • Whether suspension is a proportionate response
  • The possible impact of suspension will be part of an agreed plan to address the students behaviour.

 

The suspension will:

  • Enable the school to set behavioural goals with the students and their parents
  • Give the school staff an opportunity to plan other interventions
  • Impress on a student and their parents the seriousness of the behaviour.

 

Forms of suspension

Immediate suspension:

In exceptional circumstances the principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of students or staff of the school, or any other person. Fair procedures must still be applied.

 

Automatic suspension:

A board of management may decide, as part of the school’s policy on sanctions and following the consultation process with principal, parents, teachers and students, that particular named behaviours incur suspensions as a sanction.

However, a general decision to impose suspension for named behaviour does not remove the duty to the due process and fair procedures in each case. Behaviour that is persistently disruptive to learning or potentially dangerous can be a serious matter. Behaviour will be examined in context to understand both the behaviour itself and the response or sanction that is most appropriate.

 

Procedures in respect of suspension

  • Inform the students and parents
  • Give an opportunity to respond
  • Procedures in relation to immediate suspension

 

Expulsion

The board of management in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour may expel a student. The grounds for expulsion may be similar to the grounds for suspension. In addition to factors such as the degree of seriousness and the persistence of the behaviour, a key difference is that, where expulsion is considered, the school authorities have tried a series of other interventions, and believe they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the student’s behaviour. There may be circumstances where the board of management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence.

In all cases of suspension or expulsion the procedure laid out by the National Education Welfare Board Guidelines will be followed.

 

Factors to consider before proposing to expel a student.

  • The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
  • The context of the behaviour
  • The impact of the behaviour
  • The interventions tried to date
  • Whether expulsion is a proportionate response
  • The possible impact of expulsion

 

Assistance and guidance may be sought from bodies such as Child Guidance Clinics, Child and Adolescences Mental Health Services, Special Educational Support Services, The National Educational Psychological Services and Rainbows.

 

Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion, the procedural steps will include:

  1. A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the principal
  2. A recommendation to the board of management by principal
  3. Consideration by the board of management of the principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing
  4. Board of management deliberates and actions following the hearing
  5. Consultations arranged by the educational welfare officer
  6. Confirmation of the decision to expel Appeals

 

A parent may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998 Section 29). An appeal may also be brought by the National Educational Welfare Board on behalf of a student.

 

Factors to consider before proposing to expel a student.

  • The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
  • The context of the behaviour
  • The impact of the behaviour
  • The interventions tried to date
  • Whether expulsion is a proportionate response
  • The possible impact of expulsion.

 

Conclusion:

The school places great emphasis on the part that parents can play in encouraging and developing acceptable levels of social behaviour. If a good relationship exists between parents and school staff, the pupils will ultimately reap the benefits.