St.Patrick's N.S. Curtlestown

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Code of Behaviour


Introductory Statement
This policy was reviewed and reformed on the 15th November 2004. The staff of the school were involved in drawing up the policy and brought it to the Board of Management for ratification.

In order for this policy to be implemented successfully it requires the co-operation and support of all staff, pupils, parents, and the Board of Management, working as a team.

We decided to review our Code of Behaviour for the following reasons:
It is a priority area identified by the staff and parents
The existing policy is due for review and amendment
It is a requirement under the Department of Education and Science Circular 20/90 on School Discipline

Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school
We hope that the atmosphere of our school will be one of constructive co-operation. Our school should be a place where all staff, pupils and parents are happy and enjoy working and learning together. We aim for a harmonious environment that nurtures the children's' potential.

Aims of policy
St Patrick's National School hope to achieve the following by introducing this policy:

To allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way
To enhance the learning environment 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


In general:

Each child is expected to be well behaved and to show consideration for other children and adults
Each child is expected to show respect for the property of the school, other children's and their own belongings
Each child is expected to attend school on a regular basis, to wear the school uniform, and to be punctual
Each child is expected to do his/her best, both in school and with homework

In the classroom
" The atmosphere should be one of constructive co-operation. Pupils should be conscious of the disruption that bad behaviour causes. They must avoid the kind of behaviour that interferes with the work of the class, or wastes the teacher's time.

" The teacher will deal with minor breaches of discipline, in the classroom or elsewhere, by any of the pupils in the school.

" Persistent or serious breaches will be dealt with in consultation with the Principal, the parents, and the Board of Management, in that order. (See Strategies Section)

General rules for the play areas
Children will be made aware of the rules of behaviour in the play areas as soon as they enrol in the school and will be reminded of them as often as is necessary. They will be made aware that the rules are made for their own safety, and of the importance of these rules.

Personal safety
Areas that are off-limits:
" The wood/bank
" The back of the school and the bank behind it
" Behind the shed and boiler
" The top of the wall (roadside)
" Any railings around the school
" The tree areas below the railing
" The oil tank
" No sticks, "guns", bows and arrows etc.
" No throwing of missiles - pinecones, apple cores, snowballs etc.
" No climbing - trees, pipes, walls, railings etc.
" No swinging or sliding on the handrails
" No running on the steps
" No rough play - kicking, hitting etc.

Respect for property
The buildings, fences, trees, shrubs and equipment are to be treated with respect and should not be abused. Children should be conscious of the litter problem and should be able to take responsibility for their own litter.
Respect for their peers
Every child should respect the rights of every other child and in particular the needs and weaknesses of smaller children.
Acts of bullying and revenge are not permitted. (We also have an anti-bullying policy)

Respect for visitors
Politeness to visitors, including people passing by on the road, is an important consideration.
Children should be aware of proper behaviour in the presence of adults. Deference, politeness and cheerfulness are to be cultivated.
Special consideration is required on the steps, in the corridors, at the doors and where ball is being played.

In the play areas the teacher on duty will deal with complaints, in accordance with strategies outlined below.

Coming to school and going home
Behaviour on the school bus, getting on and getting off should be given special attention.
Children must stay on footpaths until their lift arrives.
Infants will be collected at the gate.

Strategies for rewarding positive behaviour
" Positive behaviour will be consistently encouraged by positive affirmation for good behaviour. In addition, children will be rewarded with a good behaviour voucher - ten vouchers will receive a reward e.g.:
o Privilege jobs/responsibilities e.g.
o Greenschools:
o monitors
o composting
o recycling
o feeding the birds
o Sitting beside a friend for the day
o Time in class library
o Games
o Stickers and stamps
o Monthly prizes etc.

" In addition to the above, if children in 1st - 6th classes collect ten good behaviour vouchers they don't receive homework on a night of their choice.
" We will constantly monitor our strategies to ensure that they are having a positive effect on the children. We may change them if they are losing interest and we may add new ones to keep the children interested.

Strategies for dealing with unacceptable behaviour
" Reasoning with the pupil
" Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
" Temporary separation from peers - e.g. stand by railings/wall or walk around with teacher on duty
" Loss of privileges - e.g. homework on Friday, removal of break time equipment (balls, bean-bags etc.)
" Loss of posts of responsibility e.g.:
o Recycling
o Composting
o Feeding the birds
o Jobs/messages etc.
" Children will write incident report in homework notebook, acknowledging their behaviour and reasons for not repeating behaviour
" Child's name will go into the Behaviour Book (kept in Staff room)
" If a child's name is in the Behaviour Book 5 times they will be referred to the Principal
" If the behaviour does not improve (e.g. 5 more incidents), a meeting will be set up with the child and the child's parents, teacher and principal.
After the meeting with parents, if the child's behaviour still does not improve, incidents will be reported to the Board of Management. The Board of Management will deal with suspension/expulsion procedures in accordance with the Education Welfare Act.

Note: Teachers will have ongoing communication with parents, e.g. informal meetings before and after school, notes home in homework notebook, child's own record of incident, which will have to be signed, phone call home etc. Therefore, parents will be aware of behaviour before steps i) and j) occur.

Success criteria
We will use the following as indicator of the success of this policy:
" Positive feedback from staff, parents and pupils
" Observation of behaviour in classrooms, corridors, yard
" Observation of children's' attitudes towards each other
" A decrease in names going into behaviour book
" Increase in number of children receiving good behaviour vouchers

Roles and responsibility
All staff will be involved in the implementation of this policy, constant breaches will be dealt with by the Principal and Board of Management.

We expect parents to assist with the implementation of this policy by encouraging positive behaviour in their own children.

The policy will be given to parents of Junior Infants when they enrol at St Patrick's National School. Parents will be expected to read it and to sign it, and to explain it to their children and to encourage their children to obey the Code of Behaviour.

Implementation date

This policy will be implemented from December 1st 2004

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