About St Mark's - Code of Discipline
The 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 Code of Discipline
(1) To provide a framework to assist the school in maintaining a positive, safe learning environment.
(2) To clarify and formalise existing rules and procedures.
(3) To inform parents and pupils of the standard of behaviour expected in the school and of the procedures in use to deal with inappropriate behaviour.
(4) To provide the teachers with a frame work for dealing more efficiently with discipline problems.
(5) To outline some of the means whereby good behaviour is encouraged and rewarded.
The implementation of this code will lead to:
(a) A safe environment for the children.
(b) Sound character training.
(c) The development of good work habits.
(d) Reduced teacher stress.
(e) Improved home/school liaison.
While the very size of the school necessitates uniformity of discipline there must be flexibility to allow for each teacher’s individual style and professional judgement. Current class sizes require tight classroom discipline yet the emphasis in discipline will be on good teacher - pupil relationships.
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.
As adults we should aim to:
- Create a positive climate with realistic expectations
- Promote, through example, honesty and courtesy
- Provide a caring and effective learning environment
- Encourage relationships based on kindness, respect and understanding of the needs of others
- Ensure fair treatment for all regardless of age, gender, race, ability and disability
- Show appreciation of the efforts and contribution of all
- To discourage physical aggression and encourage ‘Kind Hands, Kind Words, Kind Feet’. A Code of Conduct for staff and volunteers ensures that the rights of the children are upheld.
The main sections of this Code are
(2) Homework Policy
(3) Incentives and Rewards
(4) Discipline Procedures.
In conclusion, the success of this code will depend on the wholehearted co-operation of parents, teachers and the principal in the interests of the children.
- All members of the school community will behave in ways that show respect for others.
- All children will attend school regularly and punctually; will endeavour to do their best in class and will take responsibility for their own work.
- Full school uniform will be worn ; for health and safety reasons, the only item of jewellery worn by children will be a wrist watch.
- In the playground children will remain in their own area and avoid games that might lead to injury.
- All forms of bullying will be unacceptable in the school.
- Punishments will be accepted with good grace, completed promptly and signed by a parent.
Homework will be assigned on a regular basis.
All homework will be completed.
Parents will check all homework and sign the School Journal each night to confirm that ALL homework has been completed.
Parents will take an active interest in their child's homework,especially reading and learning.Parents will listen to their child’s reading each
night. If homework causes worry for the pupil, parents will contact the teacher.
When homework has not been done, a note of explanation will be signed by a parent and will be sent in to the class teacher.
Homework Passes will exempt a child from written homework only.
Incentives and Rewards
There are a number of rewards that teachers may award in their classes.
(1) A sticker on record sheet.
(2) A monthly certificate of merit.
(3) A positive comment in homework journal.
(4) A letter to parents acknowledging improvement.
(5) Golden Time
(6) Raffle or lucky dip.
Have a Check List Of The Staged Approach To Discipline For Each Child.
In the first instance each teacher deals with his/her own disciplinary matters in the classroom or during supervision. At the end of each week the teacher awards a conduct grade to every child. The grade will be a two, a one or a zero.
2 = (10 - 8) = Very good
1 = (7 - 5) = Fair.
0 = (4 - 0) = Unsatisfactory.
The grade will be recorded:-
(a) In the child’s journal.
- Along with other details on a special conduct record sheet kept by the teacher.
At the end of each month, a certificate of merit is awarded to children who have received all twos. Good conduct grades could also be rewarded by the class teacher on a weekly basis or at the end of a term.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE STEPS IN DEALING WITH MISBEHAVIOUR
1. The teacher gives a warning and / or a punishment as appropriate. Each individual teacher keeps a record of pupil misbehaviour. A child’s class teacher is informed when the child is involved with another teacher in a disciplinary matter.
2. If a parent feels that a child has been punished unfairly, the parents should contact the teacher in question directly in order to clarify the situation. In the meantime, the punishment may be suspended, providing an adequate letter is received by the teacher. If a parent and teacher fail to reach agreement the matter is referred to the Principal.
3. TWO SUCCESSIVE ZERO grades will result in a YELLOW CARD, notifying parents of unsatisfactory work or behaviour. This card signed by parents is returned to the class teacher and kept on file.
- If there is no sustained improvement after the first yellow card,a RED CARD is sent immediately, requesting parents to attend a meeting with the class teacher.
- In the event of a single serious breach of school rules, a teacher may send a red card.
6. When the situation continues to be unsatisfactory or when in the opinion of a teacher a particular matter warrants it, a child is referred to the Principal directly.
7. The Principal may send a letter requesting the parents to make an appointment to meet with the Principal and class teacher in the office.
8. Where behaviour shows no improvement after the Parent/ Teacher/ Principal interview a final letter is sent to the child’s parents warning of suspension.
9. A pupil who is continuously disruptive or who commits a serious breach of discipline may be suspended by the Principal for an initial period of three school days.
10. When disruption by a child becomes a frequent occurrence, the Principal may make an arrangement with the parents that the child be taken home for the rest of the day or for a specific period each day, or on a reduced school day for a specific period.
11. If there is no improvement after suspension, further periods of suspension may be imposed.
12. Expulsion: Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.
Role of Parents
It is School Policy to inform parent(s) Guardian(s) at an early stage if problems occur and not simply at the point where possible suspensions are involved. To maintain good standards of behaviour the school must rely on the support and cooperate of the parent(s) guardian(s). Parents are invited to keep in close contact with the school with regard to all aspects of the child’s progress.
Acceptance Of Code:
Before registering a child as a student in St. Mark’s School, the principal will provide the parents of such child wi a copy of the school’s Code Of Behaviour.
The principal as a condition of registering the child, will require his / her parents to confirm in writing:
(a) that the Code of Behaviour is acceptable to them; and
(b) that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that their child complies with
Review of Code
A copy of this code has been made available to all parents. All parents have studied the code, signed and returned the form appended to the code indicating their agreement with its terms. It is a condition of attendance at this school that pupils abide by the rules and regulation in this code of discipline. All members of the teaching staff have been involved in the planning of this code. The code will be reviewed at regular intervals