The aims of the Code of Behaviour of Gaelscoil Osraí are:
- To provide guidance for pupils, teachers and parents of behavioural expectations.
- To provide for the effective and safe operation of the school.
- To develop pupils’ self-esteem and to promote positive behaviour.
- To foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils based on respect, consideration and tolerance 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 foster a sense of co-operation and collaborative responsibility within the school community.
- To balance the educational needs of a student whose behaviour is unacceptable with the educational needs of other students in the school.
- To provide positive support, including active teaching of relevant skills, for those students who are more vulnerable to behaviour problems.
LEARNING, RELATIONSHIPS AND BEHAVIOUR ARE INEXTRICABLY LINKED. Good behaviour is an outcome of effective learning and good relationships, as well as an influence on how students learn.
Some key principles are shared by almost all developed models of behaviour.
- Behaviour has meaning. It is not random. It serves a purpose and has goals, though these goals may not be easy to recognise.
- Behaviour can be learned. This means it can change.
- Behaviour takes place within a particular context and in relation to other people. Understanding the context is central to understanding the behaviour.
- What teachers, other adults and other students do in response to a student’s behaviour is critical in influencing the choices students make about how they behave.
- Effective teaching and learning are closely linked to good behaviour.
- Positive acknowledgment is a very effective way of influencing and promoting good learning behaviour,
- The quality of relationships affects behaviour.
Every member of the school community has a role to play in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour. Rules will be kept to a minimum, emphasise positive behaviour and will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference. Good behaviour will be encouraged and rewarded. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.
Pupils are included in the drawing up of school rules in an age – appropriate manner. This is done regularly but particularly at the beginning of each school year where discussion takes place between each class and their teacher regarding the need for school rules in the context of the safety and progress, both social and academic, of all pupils. Examples of rewards and sanctions are agreed.
The Principal and staff draw up a proposed Code of Behaviour in accordance with National Educational Welfare Board Guidelines on “Developing a Code of Behaviour for Schools.”
The proposed Code of Behaviour is presented to Parent Representatives for discussion after it has been drawn up by the Principal and staff and amended if appropriate.
BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
The Code of Behaviour is presented to the Board of Management for discussion and ratification.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR
- 1. Pupils are expected to treat all adults and fellow pupils with respect and courtesy at all times. Behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable.
- 2. Pupils are expected to show respect for all school property and to keep the school environment clean and litter free.
- 3. Pupils are expected to take pride in their appearance, to have all books and required materials and to be in the right place at the right time.
- 4. Pupils are expected to obey a teacher’s and other school staff member’s instructions, to work to the best of their ability and to present assignments neatly.
- 5. Pupils are expected to attend every day unless there is a genuine reason for absence, in which case the school must be informed in writing or by phone, stating the reason for absence.
Bullying is systematic verbal, psychological or physical aggression by an individual or group against others. The most common forms of bullying are aggressive physical contact, name-calling, exclusion, intimidation, extortion, isolation and taunting. Bullying will not be tolerated and parents will be expected to cooperate with the school at all times in dealing with instances of bullying in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.
AFFIRMING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR
Positive reinforcement of good behaviour leads to better self-discipline and we place a greater emphasis on rewards and incentives than on sanctions.
- A quiet word or gesture to show approval.
- A comment on a child’s exercise book.
- Córas na dTicéidí Buí.
- A visit to another class or Principal for commendation.
- Praise in front of class group.
- Individual class merit awards, points awards or award stamps.
- Delegating some special responsibility or privilege.
- Homework Off Vouchers.
- Written or verbal communication with parent.
- Dalta an Lae/Rogha na Seachtaine.
- School Assembly – Celebration of noteworthy behaviour.
The purpose of sanctions and other strategies is to promote positive behaviour and to discourage misbehaviour. Efforts will be made to understand the child’s behaviour and all sides of the story will be investigated. If appropriate, a programme of suitable behaviour will be drawn up with the child and the child will be encouraged and supported to change his/her behaviour. Sanctions will be applied according to the gravity of the misbehaviour, with due regard to age and emotional development. These will include:
- Reasoning with pupil.
- Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve.
- Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class.
- Prescribing extra work.
- Loss of privileges.
- Note in child’s “Dialann Obair Bhaile.”
- Communication with parents.
- Referral to Principal.
- Principal communicating with parents.
- Exclusion (Suspension or Expulsion) from school in accordance with NEWB guidelines.
Pupils will not usually be deprived of engagement in a Curricular Area, except on the grounds of health/safety but may be deprived of extra-curricular activities if this is felt appropriate.
Where children are to be spoken to by the Principal their parents should always be entitled to attend if the complainant parents are involved in the meeting.
DEGREES OF MISDEMEANOURS.
The degree of misdemeanours i.e. minor, serious or gross will be judged by the teachers and/or Principal and/or Board of Management 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/ misbehaving in class line/leaving seat without permission /placing unfinished food/drinks cartons in class bin/leaving litter around school/ not wearing correct /full uniform/being discourteous/unmannerly/not completing homework without good reason/not having homework signed by a parent/ breaches of the school’s Gaeilge rule.
Pupils are expected to dress neatly in school and to wear the correct and full uniform on the appropriate days. The school uniform consists of tartan pinafore and/or grey trousers, white or grey shirt, school tie and green jumper. The length of skirts is to be of appropriate length. During warm weather, the pinafore/trousers may be substituted by navy/black shorts with no logos.
School tracksuit consists of plain black tracksuit bottoms, yellow shcool polo shirt and school tracksuit top (green with yellow stripes). During warm weather, tracksuit bottoms may be substituted by navy/black shorts with no logos.
Footwear is to be appropriate black shoes and should be safe e.g. no platforms or high heels.
Hair is to be neat, properly kept and inspected regularly for headlice. Hair styles are to be appropriate for school. Hair colour is to be natural.
Pupils with pierced ears may wear neat stud earrings in line with the school’s Health and Safety Regulations.
EXAMPLES OF SERIOUS MISDEMEANOURS.
Constantly disruptive in class/telling lies/stealing/damaging other pupil’s or school property, having a mobile phone on school premises, bullying/back answering a teacher/frequenting school premises after school hours without appropriate permission/leaving school premises during school day without appropriate permission. Not working to full potential/using unacceptable language/bringing dangerous items to school. Deliberately injuring or endangering self/fellow pupils in the school or yard at breaktime/Persistent breaking of the school’s Gaeilge rule.
EXAMPLES OF GROSS MISDEMEANOURS.
Aggressive, threatening, violent or intimidating behaviour towards another/intentional damage to property/causing intentional injury to others. Possession of inappropriate items and potentially dangerous items and substances/the audio or visual recording and dissemination of such recording, of any pupil or staff member.
The above lists are not exhaustive.
Before serious sanctions such as, suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances. In the case of gross misbehaviour or persistent disruption to class, the Board may authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents. The Board of Management of Gaelscoil Osraí reserves the right to take such reasonable measures as it considers appropriate to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained in the school and that the safety of all students, staff and visitors is secured.
Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rule of National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall notify the Local Education Welfare Officer in writing in accordance with NEWB guidelines.
IMPLEMENTING THE SUSPENSION
The Principal should notify the parents and the student in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter should confirm:
- the period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end.
- the reasons for the suspension
- any study programme to be followed
- the arrangement for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the parents (for example, parents might be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the code of behaviour)
- the right of appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (Education Act l998, section 29).
- the right to appeal the suspension or expulsion of a pupil in accordance with Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, when the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches twenty days.
REMOVAL OF SUSPENSION (Reinstatement)
Following or during a period of suspension, the parent/s may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code and the Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class.
School rules are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. If a school is to function efficiently, it is necessary that rules and regulations are clearly stated and enforced consistently and fairly. School rules are outlined in the pupils’ Dialann Scoile.
Parents are reminded that the staff of the school does not accept responsibility for pupils before official opening time 9:10a.m. or after the official closing time of 1:50p.m. (infants) 2:50p.m. (other classes) except where pupils are engaged in an extra-curricular activity organised by the school and approved by the Board of Management. Pupils involved in such activities are expected to behave in accordance with school behaviour policy during these times. The school grounds open at 8.50 am and children are accepted on the grounds at this time and supervised by the Principal or another staff member. Behaviour is expected to be excellent at this time when staff members volunteer to facilitate children and their parents.
BOARD OF MANAGEMENT’S RESPONSIBILITIES
- Provide a comfortable, safe environment.
- Support the Principal and staff in implementing the code.
- Ratify the code.
- Provide support for all staff and pupils in implementing the Code of Behaviour.
- Promote a positive climate in the school.
- Ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner.
- Arrange for review of the Code, as required.
Support and implement the school’s code of behaviour.
- Create a safe working environment for each pupil.
- Recognise and affirm good work.
- Prepare school work and correct work done by pupils.
- Recognise and provide for individual talents and difference among pupils.
- Be courteous, consistent and fair.
- Keep opportunities for disruptive behaviour to a minimum.
- Deal appropriately with misbehaviour.
- Keep a record of instances of serious misbehaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour.
- Provide support for colleagues.
- Monitor patterns of misbehaviour.
- Draw up a behaviour plan for student if appropriate.
- Communicate with parents when necessary and provide reports on matters of mutual concern.
- To communicate issues which arise to the Principal where appropriate.
- Attend school regularly and punctually.
- Listen to their teachers and act on instructions/advice.
- Show respect for all members of the school community.
- Respect all school property and the property of other pupils.
- Avoid behaving in any way which would endanger others.
- Avoid all nasty remarks, swearing and name-calling.
- Include other pupils in games and activities.
- Bring correct materials/books to school.
- Follow school and class rules.
- To follow school’s Gaeilge rule in particular.
Encourage children to have a sense of respect for themselves and for property.
- Ensure that children attend regularly and punctually.
- Be interested in, support and encourage their children’s school work.
- Be familiar with the code of behaviour and support its implementation.
- Co-operate with the teachers and school management in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others.
- The onus is on parents/guardians to ensure that their children’s hair is free from headlice and to deal with the problem promptly if notified by the school authorities.
- Communicate with the school in relation to any problems which may affect child’s progress/behaviour.
- Furnish the school with all appropriate reports or information in relation to the child’s behaviour or academic progress.
- Be mindful of the school rules regarding communication with school staff and the impact of interruptions on the integrity of the school day.
- Be courteous and patient in their dealings with all members of the school community.
- To encourage the observation of the school’s Gaeilge rule and to lead by example in using Gaeilge where possible in the school vicinity and during school activities.
This Code of Behaviour was formulated in consultation with Staff, Board of Management, Parents and Pupils of Gaelscoil Osraí and is regularly reviewed. The staff, as a team, works to ensure that all policies and practices support the objectives of the Code of Behaviour.