Code of Discipline

This code is applicable to 95 percent of students but we recognise that there are 5 per cent to who it may not strictly apply to. Other individual plans will be put in place for them.

Aims:

  • In devising the code, consideration has to be given to the particular needs and circumstances 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.
  • Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school.

Principles:

  • The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to tolerate these differences.
  • It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour 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 discipline is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner.
  • Children with a problem will often use anti-social or aggressive behaviour to command attention. Rather than punish such behaviour we at Scoil Mhuire na mBuachailli try to create an environment where the pupils feel secure and accepted for their individuality; a place where everyone is important and everyone has a role to play

School Rules:

Safety: For my own safety and that of others-

  • I should be careful coming to and going from school
  • I should always walk while in the school building.
  • I should remain seated at all times in class and while eating lunch
  • I should be careful in the playground and always show respect for my fellow pupils.
  • Bring a note of explanation following absences
  • I should never leave the school grounds without the permission of the Principal.

 Caring for myself:

  • I should respect myself and my property, always keeping my school bag, books and copies in good order.
  • I should always be in school for 9.10 a.m.
  • I should show respect for my school and be proud to wear the complete school uniform every day.
  • I should always be aware of my personal cleanliness.
  • I should always bring a sensible, nutritional lunch to school if not receiving the school lunch. Chewing gum is not permitted.
  • I should always do my best in school by listening carefully, working as hard as I can and by completing my homework.

Caring for Others:

  • I should be kind and respectful to teachers and fellow pupils by being mannerly and polite, by taking turns and by remaining silent and orderly in my class line.
  • I should behave well in class so that my fellow pupils and I can learn.
  • I should always keep my school clean by bringing unfinished food and drinks, cartons, wrappers, etc. home.
  • I should show respect for the property of my fellow pupils, the school building and grounds.
  • Be truthful and honest at all times.

Bullying:

I should never bully others. I should never allow others to bully me and if it happens I should tell my parents and my teacher. Bullying is always unacceptable.

Scoil Mhuire na mBuachailli is a’ bully- free’ zone.

Clár ama na Scoile

School Opens: 9.10 a.m.

School begins: 9.20-9.30 a.m.

School Closes:  2.50p.m.

Homework

It is the policy of the school to assign homework from Monday to Thursday each week. Parents are strongly advised to take an active interest in their child’s homework and to sign their Homework Journal / copy each night (ensuring that it is done).

Strategies

If an incident happens anywhere in the school a teacher should record that they did a risk assessment and that is why they took the ensuing action.

(a)Praise may be given by means of any one of the following:

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval
  • A comment in a pupil’s exercise book
  • A visit to another member of Staff or to the Principal for commendation.
  • A word of praise in front of a group or class.
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege.
  • A mention to parent, written or verbal communication.
  • A bug for their class under the class bugs scheme.

 (b)Disapproval of unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with as follows:-

(The nature of the behaviour will determine the strategy)

  • Reasoning with pupils
  • Reprimand (including advice on how to improve).
  • Prescribing extra work.
  • Communication with Parents.
  • Temporary separation from peers and/or loss of privileges.
  • Referral to Principal/Deputy-Principal.
  • Note to parents
  • Take note of
  • Write out
  • Suspension/expulsion (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular 7/88).

Procedures:

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 / Arriving late for school / Running in school building / Messing around in the class line / Leaving seat without permission during class / Leaving litter around school / Not wearing correct uniform /Not working to full potential / Being discourteous / Not completing homework without good reason / Not having homework signed by a parent when requested to do so / Endangering self/fellow pupils in the playground at break time.

Examples of steps to be taken by teachers when dealing with minor misdemeanours:

Verbal reprimand / reasoning with pupil

Noting instance of yard misbehaviour in yard book.

Removal from the yard/ Standing in/ to the side, during break time.

Possible steps to be taken when dealing with regular occurrences of minor misdemeanours

Phase 1 (within the classroom)

Write story of what happened Or one copy of school rules Or relevant rule to upper limit of 20 times—all to be signed by parent.

Note in homework journal to be signed by parent / Temporary separation from peers.

Sending to another teacher / Denial of participation in some class activity.

Warning to pupils whose name appears in yard book more than three times.

Note to parents concerning further misbehaviour in yard.

[Misbehaviour in yard consists of any action that puts the safety of self/other pupil at risk]

Phase 2:

  • Send to D-Principal
  • Send to Principal
  • Class teacher meets one/both parents
  • Principal/D-Principal meets one/both parents concerning yard behaviour.

Examples of serious misdemeanours

Constantly disruptive in class / Telling lies / Stealing / Damaging other pupil’s property.

Bullying.

Back answering or being unmannerly to any member of school staff or visitors.  Frequenting school premises after school hours without appropriate permission / Leaving school premises during school day without appropriate permission.

Using unacceptable language / Bringing weapons to school.

Deliberately injuring a fellow pupil.

Examples of steps to be taken when dealing with serious misdemeanours:

  • Send to Principal
  • Principal sends note in Journal to be signed by parent
  • Principal meets with one/both parents.
  • Chairperson of Board Of Management informed and parents requested to meet with Chairperson and Principal

Examples of Gross Misdemeanours

Setting fire to school property / deliberately leaving taps turned on in classrooms.

Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or another pupil.

Examples of steps to be taken when dealing with gross misdemeanours

  • Chairperson/Principal to sanction immediate suspension pending discussion with parents
  • Expulsion will be considered in an extreme case in accordance with Rule 130 (6) i.e.

“No pupil can be struck off the rolls for breaches of discipline without prior consent of patron and until alternative arrangements are made for enrolment of pupil at another suitable school in the locality”.

It should be noted that these lists consist of examples only: It is not meant to be a totally comprehensive list of misdemeanours and procedural steps.

School Policy on Bullying

Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others.

Indications of Bullying / Behaviour:

Anxiety about travelling to/from school

Unwillingness to go to school

Deterioration in educational performance

Pattern of physical illnesses

Unexplained changes in either mood/behaviour

Visible signs of anxiety/distress

Possessions missing

Increased requests for money

Unexplained bruising

Reluctance and/or refusal to say what is troubling him/her 

Procedures for noting and reporting incidents:

  • All reports of bullying should be noted, investigated and dealt with by the class teacher so that pupils will gain confidence in telling. A special Incident Book will be kept in the office for this purpose only
  • Serious cases should be referred immediately to the D-Principal and then to the Principal
  • Parents should be informed by the D-Principal / Principal earlier rather than later.
  • Parents must be informed of the appropriate person to whom they can make their enquiries regarding bullying
  • Pupils must understand that reporting is not ‘telling tales’
  • Individual teachers should record and take appropriate measures in accordance with policy
  • Non-teaching staff should be encouraged to report incidents. Discretion is important.

Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying:

(i) Firm unemotional problem-solving approach.

(ii) Incidents best investigated outside the classroom situation.

(iii) Teacher should speak separately to the pupils involved.

(iv) Answers should be sought to questions of What, Where, When, Who and Why.

(v) Members of a gang should be met individually and as a group.

(vi) Meet parents of parties involved.

Programme for work with pupils:

Learning strategies should allow for the enhancement of each pupil’s self-worth.