Dromindoora National School
Code of Behaviour
Good behaviour and discipline are essential elements in establishing a positive climate for effective learning and teaching. The Code of Behaviour reflects the Catholic Ethos of Dromindoora N.S. and the following values:
- Respect for self and others
- Kindness and willingness to help others
- Courtesy and good manners
- Readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict
Pupils are made aware of the school rules and expected behaviour. Responsible behaviour is re-enforced. Sanctions are positively and consistently imposed to ensure adherence to agreed responsibilities.
At Dromindoora National School, discipline is viewed as a standard of behaviour which children are encouraged to practise. This is for their benefit and development. It is also a measure, which helps the school to be run smoothly and efficiently and facilitates the teachers and staff in carrying out their duties.
Discipline in the school involves discipline within classroom, in the playground, around the school generally and wherever the children are gathered as a school community.
This Code of Behaviour & Discipline has been drawn up in accordance with:
- Department of Education and Science Circular 20/90.
- Education Welfare Act 2000, S. 23.
Every effort will be made by members of our staff to adopt a positive approach to the
question of behaviour in the school. The code offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by teachers.
The school places greater emphasis on praise/encouragement than of sanctions in the belief that this will, in the long run, give the best results.
We recognise the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate 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, children and parents/guardians.
The code of behaviour of Dromindoora N.S. aims to:-
By introducing this policy, the school aims:
- To ensure an educational environment that is guided by our vision statement
- To allow the school to function in an orderly way where children can make progress in all aspects of their development
- To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others
- To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline, recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences
- To ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the school community
- To assist parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the Code of Behaviour and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures
- To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner throughout the school.
- build positive relationships of mutual respect and mutual support among students, staff, parents and the wider community through the Alive O and SPHE programmes
- Children shall treat all members of the school community with respect.
- Children shall treat school property, school environment and the property of others with care and respect.
- Children must remain inside the school grounds unless authorised to leave.
- Children are expected to be punctual at all times.
- Bullying behaviour, dangerous play or inappropriate language shall not be tolerated
- Children must enter and leave their classrooms in an orderly manner.
- Children shall comply with the school Healthy Eating Policy.
- Invitations or greeting cards shall not be handed out by children on the school premises.
- Classroom rules specific to the age level of maturity shall be at the discretion of the class teacher.
- A written note shall be provide to the school to explain all absences.
- In the event that your child must leave the school during the day, (e.g. dental appointment) you will requested to sign him/her out.
- Where a child has been absent for 20 or more days in a school year, the school authorities are obliged by the Education Welfare Act, 2000 to inform the National Education Welfare Board. A reminder letter will be sent when pupils reach 15 days.
- Use of school and school grounds outside of school hours is prohibited unless authorised by the Board of Management
The following are the Golden Rules which the school will use to maintain good behaviour and promote good order and effective teaching and learning throughout the school.
- I will be gentle – I will not hurt anyone
- I will be kind and helpful – I will not hurt people’s feelings
- I will be honest – I will not hide the truth
- I will listen – I will not interrupt
- I will look after property – I will not waste or damage things
- I will work hard – I will not waste time
Our teamwork approach to behaviour
The foundation of positive learning behaviour is effective teaching, and an inclusive and engaging curriculum. The learning programme in the school and how it is presented to the students have a significant effect on student behaviour. Where students are engaged and motivated to learn, it is more likely that their behaviour will be positive.
Classroom management and teaching methods have a strong influence on students’ behaviour. The classroom environment, like the wider school environment, gives students clear messages about teachers’ expectations and creates consistent boundaries.
It is important that teachers believe that student’s negative behaviour can change and know what they can do to make this more likely. With accurate observation and analysis of particular behaviours, teachers can influence some of the factors involved in helping students to manage or change their behaviour. Those factors include:
- previous experience of trying to change, especially experience of success
- parental, family, teacher or other adult and peer support
Modelling the standards: the responsibility of adults
The adults in the school have a responsibility to model the school’s standards of behaviour, in their dealings both with students and with each other, since their example is a powerful source of learning for students. Parents should be expected to model the standards that students are asked to respect. The ways in which parents and teachers interact will provide students with a model of good working relationships.
Genuine efforts will be made by teachers to help children with maladaptive behaviour problems or problems of over / under control through
- firm but supportive handling of the pupil
- warnings / sanctions
- consultation with parents
- referral to another teacher/adult who can work with the student
- consultation with National Educational Psychological Services and possible intervention of HSE Community Psychology Services, the National Behavioural Support Service, the National Council for Special Education, behavioural therapist, Child Guidance Services, Adolescent Mental Health Services or other relevant persons.
Promoting Good Behaviour
Teachers need a range of strategies for promoting good behaviour at class and school level. Students are more likely to behave well when:
- They understand why the code is important and their part in making it work.
- They can see that the code works in a fair way.
- There are standards that set high expectations for student behaviour.
- The standards are clear, consistent and understood.
- Parents support the school by encouraging good learning behaviour.
- There are good relationships between teachers, parents and students and a happy school atmosphere.
- Adults model the behaviour that is expected from students.
Good behaviour is encouraged, praised and rewarded in Dromindoora N.S. Strategies we use to encourage and promote good behaviour include:
- Positive everyday interactions between teachers and students.
- Good school and class routines
- Clear boundaries and rules for students
- Helping students themselves to recognise and affirm good learning behaviour.
- Recognising and giving positive feedback about behaviour.
- Exploring with students how people should treat each other.
- Involving students in the preparation of the school and classroom rules.
The following are examples of how praise will be given:
- A quiet word or gesture to show approval
- A comment in child’s copy / Homework Journal
- A visit to another teacher / Principal for commendation
- Words of praise in front of class / bualadh bos
- Words of praise at assembly once a month
- Words of praise after yard in front of whole school
- Delegating some special responsibility of privilege
- A mention to Parents/Guardians, written/verbal communication
Use of Reward Systems
- Reward systems in the classroom can form part of a planned intervention to help students to manage their own behaviour. Class systems may include incentives such as Student of the Week Awards, End of Year rewards for full attendance, homework passes, positive star charts, Class / group of the week / points systems, Golden Time and certificates.
The class teacher is the front-line source of help for students. As a leader of learning, and someone with an established relationship of trust, the teacher will have strong influence with students. The class teacher will deal with routine incidents of misbehaviour through classroom management strategies, thus minimising the need for other interventions.
From September 2020 Dromindoora will have the traffic light behaviour chart in each room. All children begin on green on Monday and have 30 minutes Golden Time on a Friday if remain on green. Each move down the light system (yellow, orange) will cost 10 minutes off Golden time. Children on red by Friday will not have Golden Time that week.
PARENTS/GUARDIANS ROLE RE: CODE OF BEHAVIOUR AND DISCIPLINE:
Parents/Guardians play a crucial role in shaping the attitudes, which
produce good behaviour in the school. Parents can co-operate with the school by:
(a) Explaining the rules and explaining the reasons for their inclusion in the code.
(b) Encouraging your child to abide by the school rules.
(c) Ensuring that homework is allocated due time and effort by the child.
(d) Visiting the school when requested to do so by the Principal or other member of staff.
Communication with parents/guardians will be verbal, by note in homework diary, or by letter, depending on circumstances. The parents/guardians concerned may be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, suspension will considered. Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour will be regarded as serious misbehaviour.
Where there are repeated instances of misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents/guardians will be requested to attend the school to meet the Principal and/or teachers involved. If the misbehaviour persists the parents/guardians will be requested in writing to attend the school to meet the Chairperson and the Principal/teacher(s). If the parents /guardians do not give an understanding that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future the pupil may have to be suspended for a temporary period. Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of S. 23 of the Education Welfare Act 2000.
In the case of gross misbehaviour the Board of Management shall authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension pending a discussion of the matter with the parents/guardians. Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with S. 24 of the Education Welfare Act 2000.
The school authorities will where possible inform parents/guardians about problems with their children’s behaviour before a serious situation develops.
In order to achieve the aims of Primary Education we must all work together in a combined effort to ensure the child’s all round development is healthy and harmonious.
USE OF THE PROBLEM SOLVING APPROACH AT DROMINDOORA N.S
Where behaviour does not meet school expectations, the teacher and the school respond to the unwanted behaviour using the problem-solving approach:
- Gather information; understand the context and the factors that may be affecting behaviour.
- Generate ideas about possible solutions that take account of the reasons why it may be happening.
- Decide and agree on specific strategies to deal with behaviour.
- Implement the agreed strategy consistently.
- Review progress: evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the intervention.
- Throughout, keep the relationship with the student as positive as possible: involve the student and parents.
Levels of Intervention
Restorative Practice will be in place in September 2020
- Support for all.
- Additional support for some students.
- Specialised support for a small minority of students.
The level of intervention required will be judged by the teachers and / or Principal based on common sense and professional judgement. Sanctions will be proportionate to the nature and seriousness of the behaviour and will take into account:
- The frequency, duration and persistence of the behaviour.
- Whether it is part of an escalating pattern of poor behaviour.
- The context of the behaviour.
- Support for all
Examples of steps to be taken by teachers when dealing with minor misdemeanours:
Verbal reprimand/reasoning with pupil
Removal from the class group (within the class)
Noting instance of yard misbehaviour in yard book.
Noting instance of class misbehaviour in class behaviour book.
(Students will be told when and why a record is being kept)
Examples of steps taken when dealing with regular occurrences of minor misdemeanours
- Write story of what happened and what I should have done. (copy book page) to be signed by the parent.
- Note in homework journal to be signed by parent
- Timeout – temporary separation from peers as follows:
-Juniors will do timeout in senior classroom
-Seniors will do timeout in junior classroom
Teacher will accompany student to relevant classroom and collect him/her after an agreed period of time.
- Obtain a written apology and a guarantee of improved behaviour from child and/or parents
- Sending to another teacher/withdrawal of privileges from the particular lesson or peer group/carrying out a useful task in the school.
- Warning to pupils whose name appears in yard book more than three times.
- Note to parents concerning further misbehaviour (misbehaviour consists of any action that puts the safety of self /other pupil at risk)
- Class teacher meets one /both parents
- Principal/Deputy Principal meets one/both parents concerning yard behaviour.
2. Additional support for some students
Examples of steps to be taken by teacher
- Send to the Principal
- Principal sends note in Journal to be signed by parent.
- Principal meets with one / both parents.
- Formal report to the Chairperson of Board of Management and parents requested to meet with Chairperson and Principal.
4. Specialised support for a small minority of students
Examples of steps to be taken by teacher
- Chairperson / Principal to sanction immediate suspension pending discussion with parents. Suspensions can provide a respite for staff and the student, give the student time to reflect on the link between their action and its consequences and give staff time to plan ways of helping the student to change unacceptable behaviour. The decision to suspend a student requires grounds such as that:
- The student’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education 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.
- Formal written records will be kept of the investigation, decision and rationale for the decision, the duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension. The Principal will report any suspension to the Board of Management and the National Educational Welfare Board.
- If a child is being suspended, it will be for a period of up to 3 days.
- Exclusion will be considered in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour 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.
School Expectations for students with Special Educational Needs
Rewards for students with special needs will take account of their particular learning style. For all students, and especially those with learning difficulties, the reward will be closely linked in time to the behaviour that is being rewarded for maximum impact.
Class teachers and specialist personnel (Special Education Teacher, Resource Teacher, Special Needs Assistants), will check that expectations are communicated in a way that students with special needs can understand. For some students, visual prompts or pictures will be used.
- Teachers must be respected and obeyed. Ancillary staff are to be respected at all times.
- Co-operation and good manners are expected throughout the school day.
- Pupils must respect all fellow pupils and treat one another fairly at all times both within the school building and in the school compound.
- Name-calling and the use of vulgar or abusive language is forbidden. Ridicule towards others is not permitted.
- All visitors to the school are to be treated with respect.
- Pupils are required to attend school regularly and on time.
- When a pupil has been absent a written note of explanation is requested from a parent to class teacher on day of return. The school principal should receive notice of long absences (three days or more). All notes will be filed with reasons detailed on Aladdin.ie. The school requests a doctor’s certificate for significant absences due to illness. If a parent fails to notify the school, they will be contacted in person/by phone to respond with a written explanation using one of the absence notes attached to each homework journal.
- Details of all students who are absent for 20 days or more during the course of the school year will be given to the National Educational Welfare Board.
- In the interest of safety, children may not leave the school compound during school hours unless
- A parent/guardian signed the child out in the relevant book, which can be found in the office. The parent/ guardian must sign the child back in on his/ her return to school.
- The child is collected by a parent/guardian or by a person appointed by a parent/guardian and such arrangement has been conveyed by same to the teacher.
The school authorities should be notified without delay of any infectious illness.
The school has a dress code:-
- Navy Joggers / Sports pants. Elasticized waistband trousers are easier for small children than buttons and belts.
- Red sweatshirt with school crest
- White/Navy polo shirt
- Plain socks
- Comfortable footwear
- Runners are acceptable and worn by most pupils. Velcro Runners are easier than lace ups for juniors.
- Dress Code for summer: navy shorts
- Shorts / Tracksuit pants with logos / stripes are strictly not permitted. We expect co-operation from parents on this.
- Hair to be tied back neatly.
- Haircuts with patterns/designs are not allowed.
- Rings, necklaces or earrings that may endanger self or others must not be worn.
- Pupils must behave in an orderly manner at all times and must walk from one class area to another.
- Pupils are expected to have in class with them all books, copies and writing / art materials as are required daily.
- Pupils are expected to remain seated and behave responsibly if a teacher has to leave the classroom.
- Pupils may not disrupt the class. Interruption of fellow-pupils at their work must not take place without permission.
- The use of scissors, knitting /sewing needles, compasses, knives or other dangerous implements is allowed only with permission of the class teacher and while the teacher is present in the room and supervising. Such implements must be safely stored at all other times.
- Each class will make their own set of class rules at the beginning of the school year which will be signed by all pupils and displayed in the classroom.
- Homework must be done regularly, legibly and carefully, to the best of the child’s ability.
- Homework notebooks / sheets should be checked and signed by parents each night. They are an important communication link between parents and teachers.
- If work is not done, an explanatory note should be provided.
- A student may be asked to complete neglected homework during break time at school or is added to homework list for the following night.
Out –Of –Class Behaviour
- Pupils are not allowed to run:
- when coming into school in the mornings or leaving school in the afternoons or
- inside the school building.
- Pupils are to go to their desk in their classroom when they arrive in class.
- Climbing on walls, trees, benches, and fences is forbidden.
- Rough play is not allowed. Play must be fair and inclusive.
- Pupils are expected to co-operate in keeping the premises and grounds clean and tidy.
- Pupils are to remain in yard or astro pitch depending on the timetable.
The standards and rules contained in this code of behaviour apply in any situation where the student, although outside the school, is representing Dromindoora N.S. Examples include school tours, games, school-linked activities and attendance at events organised by the school.
- Pupils shall be responsible for their own personal property.
- Students are not allowed to have mobiles phones in school. If a child is found to have a phone, it will be confiscated and must be collected by a parent.
- Student property, staff property and school property must not be deliberately damaged, interfered with or taken without permission.
- The school building, furniture, equipment, books etc. must be handled and cared for properly and must not be damaged or defaced in any way. The same applies to the walls, gates, shrubs, trees etc. in the school grounds. Items damaged must be replaced by those responsible.
- Pupils must work in co-operation with the staff of the school at all times. They are expected to be courteous, respectful, kind, and helpful to each other, the teachers, substitute teachers, ancillary staff and all visitors to the school.
- Children are encouraged to be truthful and honest in their dealings with staff and with one another.
- Aggressive behaviour towards a staff member or a fellow pupil will not be tolerated.
- Conduct which in any way threatens the safety or wellbeing of an individual or a group is not permitted. This includes rough behaviour such as fighting, kicking, tripping, shoving, pushing, dragging and spitting.
- An assault by a pupil against a member of staff or another pupil is a crime and will be taken very seriously by the school authorities and the Gardai.
- Bullying is a serious offence(separate policy).
Only those complaints about teachers which are written and signed by parents/guardians of pupils may be investigated formally by the board of management, except where those complaints are deemed by the Board to be:
- on matters of professional competence and which are to be referred to the Department of Education;
- Frivolous or vexatious complaints and complaints which do not impinge on the work of a teacher in school;
III. Complaints in which either party has recourse to law or another existing procedure.
- Contact the school and make an appointment to meet with the relevant teacher with a
view to resolving the complaint.
1.2 Where the parent/guardian is unable to resolve the complaint with the relevant teacher she/he should make an appointment to meet with the principal with a view to resolving it.
1.3 If the complaint is still unresolved the parent/guardian should speak with the chairperson of the board of management with a view to resolving it.
2.1 If the complaint is still unresolved and the parent/guardian wishes to pursue the matter further she/he should lodge the complaint in writing with the chairperson of the board of management.
2.2 The chairperson should bring the precise nature of the written complaint to the notice of the teacher and seek to resolve the matter between the parties within 5 days of receipt of the written complaint.
3.1 If the complaint is not resolved informally, the chairperson should, subject to the general authorization of the Board and except in those cases where the chairperson deems the particular authorization of the Board to be required:
- supply the teacher with a copy of the written complaint; and
- Arrange a meeting with the teacher and, where applicable, the principal teacher with a view to resolving the complaint. Such a meeting should take place within 10 days of receipt of the written complaint.
4.1 If the compliant is still not resolved the chairperson should make a formal report to the Board within 10 days of the meeting referred to in 3.2(B).
4.2 If the Board considers that the complaint is not substantiated the teacher and the complainant should be so informed within 3 days of the Board meeting.
4.3 If the Board consider that the complaint is substantiated or that it warrants further investigation it proceeds as follows:
- a) the teacher should be informed that the investigation is proceeding to the next stage;
- b) The teacher should be supplied with a copy of any written evidence in support of the complaint;
- c) The teacher should be requested to supply a written statement to the Board in response to the complaint;
- d) The teacher should be afforded an opportunity to make a presentation of case to the Board. The teacher would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting;
- e) The Board may arrange a meeting with the complainant if it considers such to be The complainant would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting.
- f) The meeting of the board of management referred to in (d) and (e) will take place within 10 days of the meeting referred to in 3.1(B)
5.1 When the Board has completed its investigation, the chairperson should convey the decision of the Board in writing to the teacher and the complainant within 5 days of the meeting of the Board.
5.2 The decision of the Board shall be final.
September 2020 Covid 19 policy and procedures have been implemented. If a pupil continues to not comply with these new measures, the school may use the Code of Behaviour.