Code of Discipline
1. Aims of Code
2. The rights of the Children, Teachers and Parents
3. Responsibilities of Children, Teachers and Parents
4. Code of behaviour
5. Sanctions/ Strategies for dealing with mis-behaviour
6. Dicipline note
The Ballyshannon NS School Community is one where children, staff and parents co-exist in an atmosphere of mutual respect and safety. An inherent part of this is the promotion of positive relationships and behaviours.
The Ballyshannon NS Code of Discipline is written in accordance with Circular 20/90 of the Department of Education & Science on school discipline, the Education and Welfare Act (2000) and the Equal Status Act of 2004.
1. AIMS OF THE CODE
In our school we aim:
To create an environment where all partners in the school community (i.e. children, teachers 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 effective means of communication between pupils, teachers, parents/guardians and Board of Management.
To help children to acquire and develop moral and ethical values and a respect for the belief and values of others.
2. THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN, TEACHERS AND PARENTS
2.1. Children’s Rights
Children have the right:
To be educated in a safe, happy secure environment.
To grow intellectually, emotionally and physically with an understanding of special needs and disability.
To be treated as an individual with due respect and regard for others within the school community
To be listened to and to question.
To express their emotions, doubts and beliefs.
To be free from all forms of abuse, whether physical, emotional, mental or sexual.
To receive information about topics and concerns affecting their lives (including information on code of discipline).
2.2. Teacher’s Rights
Teachers have the right:
To educate in an environment free from disruption.
To be respected and held in proper esteem.
To full and open communication with parents.
To information on the child, their family background and easy access to parents when necessary.
To voice concerns about the child’s safety, behaviour and academic progress.
To expect backup, support and co-operation from parents for their work.
To be listened to.
To appeal to a higher authority, e.g. Board of Management, Department of Education & Science, Union
To receive adequate facilities and resources appropriate to their teaching duties.
2.3. Parent’s Rights
Parents have the right:
To easy access and regular informative communication with the Teacher/Principal.
To respect, understanding and confidentiality.
To regular updates on the progress of the child/children.
To question teacher’s actions.
To be consulted for disciplinary action at an early stage.
To appeal to a higher authority, e.g. Board of Management, Department of Education & Science.
Of access to the Code of Discipline of the school.
3. 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 school yard.
Not excluding others from 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 to be responsible for:
Providing firm guidance and positive role models to children.
Children’ s behaviour in school and at home.
Becoming involved in their children’s learning.
Ensuring homework is completed.
Ensuring children come on time to school.
Ensuring children come prepared for school with pencils, books etc.
Ensuring children have had enough sleep and food.
Keeping in touch with school about all aspects of child’ s learning, progress and behaviour.
Communicating to school/teacher any problems which might affect children’s learning and or safety.
Teachers are to be responsible for:
The children in their care.
Creating a positive atmosphere/environment for learning.
Being firm and fair. Treating all children with equal respect.
Being prepared for class work.
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.
Checking and correcting homework, and adhere to the homework policy.
Informing children what is expected from them in terms of behaviour.
Not holding children responsible for parents’ shortcomings.
4. CODE OF BEHAVIOUR
All partners have responsibilities which require us to behave in certain ways. Many responsibilities are shared or common to teachers, pupils and parents.
It is expected that if a child finds himself/herself or any other child a victim of any form of misbehaviour that they inform the teacher and/or parents/guardians.
The following is the general code of behaviour in use in the school:
· Respect, courtesy and co-operation to be shown towards other children, teachers, support staff and parents, in the classroom, the playground and on school outings, at all times.
· Respect to be shown by the children towards their own and other children’s property, school property and environment.
· Respect to be shown for other people’s space i.e. no verbal or physical violence or aggression, or any form of bullying behaviour (See Anti-Bullying Policy)
· Respect for pupil’s own feelings, i.e. it’s okay to feel sad, quiet, angry, etc.
· Respect to be shown for other people’s feelings.
· Children are to behave in an orderly fashion in the classroom, moving around the school, going to and from the playground and while travelling on the school bus.
· Children are asked to come to and leave school on time.
· Children are asked to bring to school each day all books, copies and materials necessary to do their class work properly.
· Children are to complete assigned work (written and oral) both at school and at home.
· Children are asked to listen to others and to take turns to speak in class.
· Children must not behave in any way which endangers themselves or others and are asked to take care of our younger children at all times.
· Children are asked not to exclude others from games.
· Children must remain within the designated playground boundaries during breaktimes.
· Children must not leave school without permission from the teaching staff.
5. SANCTIONS/STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH MIS-BEHAVIOUR
5.1 Golden Time
In class, use is made of Golden Time. Children follow class rules which are devised and signed by the teacher and pupils, and which are closely related to the general Code of Behaviour of Ballyshannon NS. When a child misbehaves a warning is given and placed on the “Golden Time” chart within the classroom. Where a child loses 3 warnings in one school day, 5 minutes of Golden Time are lost during Golden Time. The child who loses minutes of Golden Time, they must sit apart from the rest of the class for that time. Golden Time lasts for a half hour on Friday (or a day to be decided by the class teacher). During this time, activities include board games, computer time, drawing/ painting, reading a book; any activity that the child chooses to engage in within reason.
5.1 Golden Time
At times Golden Time may not be the most effective may of dealing with misbehaviour (e.g. breaktimes, certain incidents especially in senior classes) and the teacher may deem it necessary to use other strategies, such as the following:
· Verbal reprimand, in private where practicable, to include reasoning and advising how to improve.
· Temporary separation from other children or stands apart from group until calm and ready to resume work. This strategy to be used at the discretion of the teacher depending on the situation and the age of the child.
· The child to remove to another classroom for a short period as a calming measure.
· Sitting near teacher.
· Pupil apologises sincerely.
· A record will be kept of continuous misbehaviours in class and yard, and of all serious misbehaviours in order to identify patterns of behaviour.
· The child is deprived of a favourite activity, the parents are informed depending on the seriousness of the misbehaviour.
· Parents are contacted about behaviour in writing depending on frequency and/or seriousness.
· The child is asked to write about his/her behaviour, when she/he behaved so and how it will improve (to be signed by parents).
· Children are sent to the Principal for continually occurring or serious misbehaviours.
· Parents are requested to meet with Teacher and or Principal.
· Referral to the Board of Management.
· Suspension (Rule 130 National Schools) used to deal with continuously disruptive pupils or with a serious breach of discipline.
6. COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS REGARDING DISCIPLINE
The support and co-operation of parents/guardians is essential if the Code of Discipline in school is to operate effectively. If a good relationship exists between parents and school staff the pupils will ultimately reap the benefits. To foster good communication, the following procedures are school policy:
· A standard note to parents asking them to speak to their child about an issue or asking the child to write about it will be sent home (see sample)
· Personal contact with teacher and/or Principal in the form of a letter of phone call.
· A meeting with the class teacher and/or Principal and parents.
A copy of the Code will be given to all parents in the school and will be published on the school website.
Child has to write about the incident and how they will try to prevent it recurring again.