Code of Behaviour
Arles N.S. school has a central role in the children’s social and moral development just as it does in their academic development. In seeking to define acceptable standards of behaviour it is acknowledged that these are goals to be worked towards rather than expectations that are either fulfilled or not.
The children bring to school a wide variety of behaviour. As a community environment, in school we must work towards standards of behaviour based on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility. It follows that acceptable standards of behaviour are those that reflect these principles.
Children need limits set for them in order to feel secure and develop the skills for co-operation. Therefore any rules will be age appropriate, with clear agreed consequences.
Parents can co-operate with the school by encouraging their children to understand the need for school rules, by visiting the school and by talking to the members of staff.
A code of behaviour is established to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption free environment.
Aims of the Code
- To create a positive learning environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour
- To promote self-esteem and positive relationships
- To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour
- To foster a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils and to support good behaviour patterns based on consideration and respect for the rights 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
- To ensure that the school’s expectations and strategies are widely known and understood through the parent’s handbook, availability of policies and an ethos of open communication
- To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy
Responsibility of Adults
The adults encountered by the children at school have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour, both in their dealings with the children and with each other, as their example has an important influence on the children. The adults intend to promote the aims of the code through their own behaviour
Guidelines for behaviour in the school :
The following standards of behaviour are expected in line with the school’s ethos:
- Respect for self and others
- Respect for personal and school property
- Kindness and willingness to help others
- Courtesy and good manners
- Readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflicts
Creating a positive atmosphere by placing greater emphasis on rewards rather than sanctions
- Recognise the differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate those differences
- Foster a high level of co-operation among Board of Management, staff, parents and pupils
- Full School Uniform to be worn. School tracksuit is worn on P.E. days or days pupils have other sporting activities.
With regard to the outlined expectations, pupils are asked to make the following commitments:
- Attend school regularly and punctually
- Do one’s best in class
- Take responsibility for one’s work
- Keep the school rules
- Participate in school activities
- Adhere to classroom rules as designed by themselves in conjunction with their class teacher.
Section 23 (4) of the Act further states that, prior to registering a pupil, the principal teacher shall provide the parents of the child with a copy of the school’s code of behaviour and that the principal ‘may, as a condition of so registering such child, require his or her parents to confirm in writing that the Code of Behaviour so provided is acceptable to them and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the child’.
Whole school approach in promoting positive behaviour:
- All staff share our school ethos which emphasises care, respect, and responsibility.
- Adults model the behaviour that is expected from pupils.
- Teachers use a classroom management plan to promote positive behaviour.
- Regular assemblies where success ( in relation to behaviour, attendance, class and homework) is acknowledged, rewarded and celebrated.
- Parents are welcome in our school and staff consult with them, where necessary and beneficial.
- Problems are noticed and dealt with as soon as possible – early intervention.
- Teachers develop clear and simple classroom rules in discussion with the pupils.
- Pupils are aware that misbehaviour and failure to adhere to school and class rules will incur clear and consistent consequences.
- Staff treat pupils with respect and build up positive relationships with them.
- S.P.H.E. is used as a structure within which to address the teaching of social skills, self esteem and respect and care for others.
- Pupils are given responsibility in the school, e.g litter wardens, distributing lunches, Green Schools’ Committee, Students Council etc.
- Pupils understand why the Code of Behaviour is important and understand their role in making it work.
- Pupils can see that the Code of Behaviour operates in a fair manner.
Approaches to rewards and praise:
Arles N.S. places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will, in the long run, give best results. Our approach to rewards and praise include the following:
- A quiet word or gesture to show approval
- A comment in a pupil’s exercise book
- Stickers, smiley faces, ink- stamps and/ or stars on pupil’s work
- A visit to another member of staff or to the Principal for commendation
- A word of praise in front of the class
- Pupils are congratulated at assembly, through the school newsletter and on the School Website and Blog.
- Certificates of achievement are issued e.g Daltaí na Seachtaine, Attendance
- Certain treats and privileges granted i.e. DVD, homework pass, small gifts, as prizes
- Awarding some special responsibility or privilege
- Informing parent/guardian – written/verbal communication. This could include a note in the pupil’s homework journal.
- Rewards may be for individuals, groups or the whole class
- Reward systems are at the discretion of the individual teacher
Positive strategies for managing behaviour:
The school rules at Arles N.S. are embedded in the following
All pupils have the right to attend school and to return home without interference from other pupils.
Pupils should show respect, tolerance and consideration to all adults, teachers, secretary, caretaker, school visitors and all other pupils in the school.
The school is open to receive pupils from 9.30a.m and pupils should be in their classrooms at 9.30am. School commences at 9.30a.m. School ends at 2.10p.m for Junior Infants & Senior Infants. School ends at 3.10p.m for all other pupils. It is necessary that your child leaves the school at 3.10p.m unless he/she is involved in an after school activity organised by an authorised member of staff. Parents/Guardian should notify the school if their child is not participating in the after school activity on that particular day. The school takes no legal responsibility for supervision of pupils before 9.30am and after 3.10pm.
- School Uniform
Pupils should be clean, neat and tidy in their appearance. Hair should be of a natural colour. Boys should have a standard short length haircut and Girls hair should be tied up. Gel/Wax is not allowed. Parents co-operation is appreciated on this matter.
Pupils should wear the school uniform/tracksuit everyday. The tracksuit is worn on the days your child has P.E or swimming.
Our school uniform and tracksuit is maroon and is available in Shaws Department Store, Carlow.
School Uniform– cream shirt, maroon tie, tartan skirt, grey trousers, maroon jumper and maroon tights/socks. School shoes must be flat.
School Tracksuit– maroon sweatshirt with school logo, maroon leggings, white polo shirt and flat runners. Blade runners or wheelies are not allowed for safety reasons.
Pupils are not allowed to wear tracksuit/leggings or jeans under the school uniform.
Jewellery:For health and safety the wearing of jewellery is not allowed.
Pupils are not allowed home for lunch. School lunches should be healthy. Lunches are eaten in classrooms or in the playground but not on corridors . Chewing gum, sweet or butter popcorn, peanuts, crisps and fizzy drinks are not allowed.
During playtime pupils should avoid rough play which may cause injury to others. Pupils should line up when the bell rings.
- Leaving School Grounds
Pupils may not leave the school grounds except with parent’s/teacher’s permission. Pupils must be collected and signed out by a parent/guardian when he/she leaves the school early.
To ensure the safety of all pupils coming to and from school, the school car park is for staff only.
A pupil may not bring medication to school. A teacher cannot administer medication. For prescribed medicines and exceptions please see Administration of Medicine Policy.
- School Property
Pupils should treat all school property and the property of others with respect. The school does not accept responsibility for any pupil’s property.
- Mobile Phones
Mobile phones may not be brought to school.
- Lewd Materials
No pupil may bring lewd/pornographic materials to school.
Any type of illegal or dangerous substances including cigarettes, matches, lighters or tippex are forbidden.
- Dangerous Objects
A pupil may not bring to school any item which could be seen as a weapon to inflict harm on herself or others.
Homework allocated by teacher should be completed each night. Parents should sign the homework journal every night.
- Internet Access
Pupils have access to the internet under the supervision of teachers.
A pupil may not verbally abuse or physically assault another child or adult in the school premises or in the playground.
The standards expected in the Code of Behaviour apply in any situation where pupils are still the responsibility of the school. These include school trips, swimming, going to and from the church, fieldtrips and after school activities.
PUPILS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS:
Pupils with special needs will be required to follow the school’s ‘Code of Behaviour’ but teachers will use their professional judgment in relation to regularity and level of sanctions. While teachers must be seen to be fair in the eyes of other children who may have exhibited the same type of misdemeanours, they will also show leniency and understanding in relation to children with specific learning/behavioural difficulties. Parents/Guardians of these children will be kept informed of their child’s behaviour on a regular basis and may be requested to work with the school in devising effective strategies to help the child to improve her behaviour. This may involve working and co-operating with a Special Needs Assistant (SNA), if an SNA is deployed to assist a pupil/class and/or agreeing a behaviour plan. The devising of such strategies may also entail contacting and meeting with relevant out of school agencies.
- Strategies and Sanctions:
- A) The following unacceptable behaviours are deemed to be:
We accept that there is need for sanctions to register disapproval of unacceptable behaviour. However, we acknowledge, as all children are different, these are guidelines and will be applied at the discretion of the teachers who will have the best interest of the child as their first priority.
- Interrupting others, wasting time or distracting others.
- Constantly not wearing the school uniform.
- Wearing unsuitable footwear.
- Wearing jewellery
- Eating in the corridor
- Eating chewing gum, sweet/butter popcorn, peanuts or crisps in school
- Littering playground or school grounds
- Running in corridor or through the main doors.
- At playtime, leaving the playground, or re-entering the classrooms from the hall without permission.
- Using offensive language.
- Excluding other through the use of language other than Irish or English. Pupils are expected to use English and / or Irish insofar as they are able.
- Neglecting homework on a regular basis, copying homework, or giving homework to be copied by others.
- Irregular attendance and lack of punctuality.
- Cheekiness and sulking.
- Disruptive behaviour in the classroom / bathroom / cloakroom
- Isolated acts of unkindness to any member of the school community, being discourteous or unmannerly.
- Isolated acts which prevent others from learning.
Strategies and Sanctions in response to these ‘Minor Misbehaviours’
- Reasoning with pupils.
- Reprimand by teacher, which may include a reminder of the school/class rule/policy and /or advice on future behaviour.
- Sanctions within classroom.
- Pupils may be requested to complete unfinished homework/assignments in the GP hall during break times or at home at weekends.
- Loss of class privileges.
- Warning by principal.
- Temporary removal from the situation – pupils may be placed in another classroom with loss of privileges and separated from classmates at break times.
- In the event of repeated minor misbehaviours, parents may be contacted, with a view to developing a coordinated approach to improving the behaviour.
A child will not be deprived of access to a curricular area as a sanction, except on the grounds of safety.
- B) The following unacceptable behaviours are deemed to be:
We accept that there is need for sanctions to register disapproval of unacceptable behaviour. However, we acknowledge, as all children are different, these are guidelines and will be applied at the discretion of the teachers, who will have the best interest of the child as their first priority.
- If minor misbehaviours persist despite interventions after a targeted period of time, these repeated misbehaviours are considered serious
- Repeatedly defying a teacher or other adult
- Persistent disobedience, dishonesty, disrespect or spitting
- Physical fighting and deliberately injuring others
- Vandalising, damaging or stealing school property, the property of staff, or the property of other pupils
- Truancy/leaving the school without permission
- Bullying (See school’s Anti – Bullying Policy)
- Unsupervised use of the internet
- Bringing lewd/pornographic materials to school
- Bringing a mobile phone to school
- Smoking or having cigarettes, lighters or matches
Strategies and Sanctions in response to these ‘Serious Misbehaviours’
- Warning by the Principal
- Removal of non-curricular privileges
- Any lewd/pornographic materials/mobile phones are confiscated
- Parents/ Guardians are notified immediately by phone or by letter, at the discretion of the Principal
- If misbehaviour continues parents/guardians are required to report to the school and to give a guarantee that this misbehaviour will not re-occur
- A ‘Behaviour Plan’ is devised by the Principal, teacher, parent and pupil (depending on the developmental age of the pupil)
- Having followed the above procedure, if there is still no improvement in the behaviour of the pupil, exclusion of the pupil for part of the school day or a temporary suspension (between 1-3 days) will be considered at the discretion of the Board of Management and the Principal.
- C) The following unacceptable behaviours/misdemeanours are deemed to be:
- A serious threat of violence against another child or member of staff on the school premises or playground or at any school related activity
- Actual violence or physical assault on another child or member of staff on the school premises or playground or at any school related activity
- Any wilful or malicious damage to school property or property visited while on a school trip
- Possession, use and /or abuse of dangerous/illegal substances or medicines
- Supplying illegal drugs to other students in the school
- Possession, use and/or abuse of dangerous instrument
- Sexual violence
The decision to suspend a pupil immediately requires serious grounds such as :
- a student has engaged in what is deemed as gross misbehaviour (examples listed above)
- The pupil’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other pupils
- The pupil’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety
- The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property
- That a single incident of misconduct is deemed by the Principal to be of the utmost seriousness that it warrants immediate suspension.
Suspension / Expulsion:
Schools are required, under section 23(2) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, to include their procedures for suspension and expulsion in their Code of Behaviour.
Reasons for Suspension:
- Other interventions will have been tried before suspension and the school staff will have reviewed the reasons why these have not worked.
- Suspension can provide a respite for staff and the pupil, give the pupil time to reflect on the link between their action and its consequences and give staff time to plan ways of helping the pupil to change unacceptable behaviour.
- The decision to suspend a pupil will follow from serious/gross misbehaviour
- The pupil’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students
- The pupil’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety
- The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property
Procedures for Suspension and Expulsion:
The Board of Management and Staff of Arles N.S. will follow the procedures for suspension and expulsion as outlined in the NEWB Guidelines for Schools on Developing a Code of Behaviour (Chapters 10 – 12).NEWB (National Education Welfare Board).
- Fair procedures (i.e. the right to be heard and the right to impartiality) will be applied at all times. Accordingly, pupils and their parents will be fully informed about the alleged misbehaviour and the processes that will be used to investigate and decide the matter and they will be given an opportunity to respond to an allegation before a decision is made and before a serious sanction is imposed.
- In exceptional circumstances, the Principal/Board may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary when the continued presence of the pupil in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of pupils or staff of the school, or to any other person (NEWB Guidelines p73).
- Automatic suspension will apply in the event of a student engaging in gross misbehaviour.
Under the Education Welfare Act, 2000, ‘A student shall not be expelled from a school before the passing of twenty school days following the receipt of a notification under this section by an educational welfare officer’ (Section 24(4)) It is the right of a Board of Management to take ‘…such other reasonable measures as it considers appropriate to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained in the school concerned and that the safety of students is secured.’ (Section 24(5))
The Board of Management will follow;
- the factors to consider before suspending a student (p.72)
- the factors to consider before proposing to expel a student (NEWB Guidelines p82).
Procedures to be followed: Suspension: See Page 74 NEWB Guidelines
Procedures to be followed: Expulsion: See Page 83 NEWB Guidelines
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 decisions of the Board of Management, including
(1) permanent exclusion from 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.
Accordingly, The Board of Management of Arles N.S. will advise parents of this right of appeal and associated timeframe if it has been decided to suspend or permanently exclude a pupil. Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent or student. (See Circular 22/02)
- Keeping Records:
In line with the school’s policy on record keeping, and data protection legislation, records are kept in relation to pupils’ behaviour.
Procedures for notification of pupil absences from school:
The Education Welfare Act, 2000,
- Section 23 (2)(e) states that the Code of Behaviour must specify, “the procedures to be followed in relation to a child’s absence from school.”
- Section 18 stipulates that parents must notify the school of a student’s absence and the reason for this absence.
Reference to other Policies:
Our school policies listed below are in line with the spirit of our school’s Code of Behaviour:
- Sexual harassment
- Record keeping
- Health & Safety
- Special Educational Needs
- Observation of positive behaviour in classrooms, playground and school environment
- Practices and procedures listed in this policy being consistently implemented by teachers
- Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils
Roles and Responsibility:
- The Board of Management of Arles N.S. has overall responsibility for ensuring that the Code of Behaviour is implemented.
- The Principal, Deputy Principal and the school staff will coordinate and monitor the implementation of this policy.
- The pupils of the school will endeavour to do their best to uphold the school’s Code of Behaviour.
- Parents/ Guardians of the pupils in the school will be aware of and co-operate with the school’s rules and systems of rewards and sanctions. They will be supportive of the school’s Code of Behaviour.
Implementation Date: 19th June 2012
Timetable for Review: On a yearly basis/or as the need arises.
Ratification & Communication:
This policy was updated and ratified by the BOM of Arles N.S. on 10th October 2019.
The Board of Management reserves the right to amend the policy in line with any changes in legislation, any forthcoming Department of Education and Skills circulars, any forthcoming national guidelines, or any other incidents which may give rise to a revision of the policy.
(Any ratified policy will be distributed to all the partners concerned subsequent to ratification.)