Principles of Discipline Policy
If the school is to achieve a happy, secure environment in which children can develop to their full potential, it is necessary to provide a framework which promotes constructive behaviour and discourages unacceptable behaviour. The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to an education in a relatively disruption free environment. The school code places a greater emphasis on rewards that on sanctions, and the ideal is that pupils will acquire self – discipline. There are times however when it may be necessary to impose sanctions in order to maintain good order and to discourage offenders.
The ethos of our school establishes and supports a strong sense of community within the school between School, Board of Management and Parents/Guardians.
A mutual relationship of respect cultivated between Staff, children and Parents/Guardians.
1) All pupils are expected to treat staff and their fellow pupils with respect and courtesy at all times. The use of foul language and any form of bullying are unacceptable.
2) Pupils must respect all school property and keep the school environment clean and litter free.
3) Pupils must have all books and required materials.
4) Pupils are expected to work to the best of their ability and to present written exercises neatly.
5) Any form of behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable.
As a Staff our aim is to create a happy, secure environment for all our pupils, within which there is a sense of good order, effective teaching and an agreed approach to discipline. These sentiments are contained in the 6 Golden Rules for our school listed as follows:
- 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.
The emphasis in Boher is on the positive. Our catch phrase is: – Catch them when they’re being good!
The code of discipline aims to achieve three things:
- The efficient operation of the school and the structuring of in – class discipline so that there exists an efficient and stimulating learning environment.
- The maintenance of good order throughout the school and respect for the school environment.
- The development of self – discipline in pupils based on consideration, respect and tolerance for others.
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 wisely
With this is mind the following rules and sanctions have been put in place to cover the areas of:
- Transition areas (corridor etc)
- I will sit on my chair when requested to do so and do my work well
- I will listen. I will let others speak
- I will always walk and never run
- I will help to keep a tidy classroom
- I will use the toilet properly and wash my hands
- I will be kind and helpful and not hurt other people’s feelings
- I will behave well if my Teacher is out of the room.
Good behaviour will be praised and rewarded. Unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated.
The following are the sanctions which may be used to show disapproval of and discourage unacceptable behaviour.
- Verbal warning.
- Gestural warning – look, whisper.
- Loss of privileges / Shortened play-time and/or detention during which educational activity is supervised.
- Principal informed
- I will let others join in my games.
- I will be gentle. I will not push, kick or punch.
- I will not use bad language or call names.
- I will be fair. I will not tell silly tales
- Always walk quietly, never run.
- I will let adults pass
- I will not push or shove in the line.
Positive attitudes must be constantly encouraged by all Teachers.
- Teachers promote models of good behaviour.
- Remind children of the rules and the rationale for them.
- Reward good behaviour. ‘Catch them when they’re good’.
- Give privileges to children, who have difficulty behaving, when they’re good.
- Continuous talking.
- Telling Tales.
- Refusal to do work.
- All minor misdemeanours when on a continuous basis.
- Rough play causing injury.
- Serious fighting.
- Stealing from others.
- Lying, dishonesty, ongoing.
- Hitting or aggressive behaviour, unprovoked.
- Bad/ inappropriate language.
- Racist remarks.
- Uncontrolled behaviour.
Duty to look beyond the behaviour. The aim of the Code of Discipline is to achieve internalisation of Discipline.
Serious/Continuous Misdemeanours – examples: spitting, kicking, bullying,
Cursing – actions/sanctions:
- Verbal warning.
- Circle Time/Class Assembly will be used as a tool to address issues – resolve conflict.
- Class spoken to, indirectly addressing child.
- Child seen individually by Principal.
- Behaviour is noted, 2 strikes and Parents are informed.
- Staying in from yard may be appropriate means of discipline. Parents will be informed.
- Parents may be informed – steps deemed necessary will be decided upon.
- Relevant assessments may be sought.
- A shortened day may be decided upon.
- In the event of serious misbehaviour the Board of Management may be informed.
- Where steps 1 -10 have been carried out and the problem still pertains, the Principal, in consultation with the Board of Management and Staff, may take a decision to suspend a child.
- Where there is a serious/grave problem and should the welfare of other children or Staff be at issue – placement in another school, more appropriate to the child’s needs, may be sought/recommended.
- Monthly check of behaviour is carried out as preventative measure.
- See Protocol for extremely challenging children.
PROTOCOL FOR CHALLENGING CHILDREN.
- Teacher seeks a solution through various strategies within classroom context e.g.:
Catch child when good.
Bringing attention to positive behaviour.
Being specific about inappropriate behaviour.
Putting sanctions in place e.g.: Loss of privileges, play time
Circle Time, if appropriate.
- Teacher may look for advise to others – Colleagues/Principals/Psychologist
- Programme for behaviour devised i.e. Individual Behaviour Programme.
- Parents/Guardians contacted and involved, crucial to effectiveness to work as team.
- Regular Meetings/Reviews established. Feedback – 2 ways. Notebook – daily communication if effective.
- Teacher is requested to record behaviour daily so as to make detailed evaluation.
- Psychological educational assessment is sought and if appropriate resource hours with Special Needs Teacher will be recommended.
- The Principal in consultation with the Teacher, Psychologist and D.E.S. Inspector may look for a Special Needs Assistant for the child.
- In extreme cases where:
(a) the education of the other children in class is being adversely affected or
(b) their emotional welfare is suffering
Then, in consultation with Class Teacher and other staff involved with child, a decision will be taken by the Principal to shorten the child’s day.
By so doing it is hoped that the time spent in school will be within the limits of what the child can cope with and at the same time allows the other children a time during which their needs may be focused on by Teachers.
- Having worked through the above steps and where it is felt by the Board of Management that they have explored all other options (in consultation with Principal and Teaching Staff, D.E.S. Inspector and Psychologist) a decision may be taken to seek a placement on another school deemed more appropriate to meeting the educational, emotional, psychological and language needs of the child.