This is a statement of the principles and strategies for managing children’s behaviour in Kealkill National School.
This policy was developed in 2011 and it was reviewed in June 2013. It was again reviewed in October 2014.
This policy is very much a pro-active positive policy: however, it needs to state what behaviours are not acceptable and the sanctions that will be enforced.
- It recognises that the vast majority of our students are well behaved.
- It works to actively re-enforce and reward this good behaviour.
- It recognises the impact poor behaviour has on learning and teaching and on reading achievement.
- Good behaviour must be taught and developed through role play and regular enforcement.
- Effective classroom management, the setting of high expectations and a consistency of approach will help achieve this end.
- It is the responsibility of every member of staff to do this and to work together to achieve this end.
- The policy must be viewed in conjunction with several other inter-related policies:
- Anti Bullying Policy
- Supervision Policy
- Child Protection Policy (Children First Guidelines)
- Critical Incident Policy
Behaviour which respects the rights of all children to learn and teachers to teach is fundamental to all children’s success at school. This policy provides a basis upon which our school will establish effective behaviour codes and these codes will provide the framework for a safe, orderly, happy, productive and success-oriented learning environment in Kealkill National School.
Our School Behaviour Policy will endeavour to ensure that all children in Kealkill National School exhibit two essential components of successful learning in schools:
Mutual Respect and Learning.
The focus should be and will be on providing opportunities and supports for the children to experience success in a positive and affirming environment.
This policy is based on the following principles:
- Kealkill National School has a responsibility to help prepare our pupils for fulfilling participation in society.
- All individuals within the school both staff and pupils should treat each other with respect at all times.
- Behaviour has consequences which increase or reduce choices in life.
- Individuals must accept responsibility for their own behaviour.
- It is a requirement under the Education Welfare Act, 2000, Section 23 (1) which refers to the obligation on schools to prepare a code of behaviour in respect of the students registered at the school. It details in Section 23(2), that the code of behaviour shall specify:
- The standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each pupil attending the school;
- The measures that shall be taken when a pupil fails or refuses to observe those standards;
- The procedures to be followed before a pupil may be suspended or expelled from the school concerned;
- The grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a pupil; and
The Board of Management, teachers, staff and parents will work together to provide an environment which is: –
- Conducive to learning
- Free from harrassment and bullying
This Behaviour Policy provides a framework for the development of such an environment, based on the following Classroom Golden Rules and Playground Golden Rules.
Classroom Golden Rules
- We are gentle
- We are kind and helpful
- We listen
- We are honest
- We work hard
- We look after property
At the beginning of each academic year, the class teacher will draft a list of class rules with the children, based closely on the “Golden Rules”. Class rules will be kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. Where possible they emphasise positive behaviour. Rules will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.
Playground Golden Rules
- We are gentle
- We are kind and helpful
- We play well with others
- We care for the playground
- We listen
- We are honest
- WW keep the playground safety rules
When playing on the playground all pupils are expected to behave in an appropriate manner. The pupils have rights but they also have responsibilities. While there are playground golden rules, more specific rules and expectations are also outlined. These playground rules are regularly communicated to the pupils and there may often be more specific rules added to the list by the teachers.
Pupils have a right to:
- Be safe
- Be listened to
- Be respected
- Their own privacy
- Enjoy sports in a protective environment
- Be protected from abuse
- Participate on an equal basis, appropriate to ability
- Experience competition and the desire to win
- Be believed
- Ask for help
- Play in a safe environment that is free from harassment
Pupils are responsible for:
- Showing respect to their peers and staff on duty
- Keeping themselves safe
- Reporting inappropriate behaviour or risky situations
- Playing fairly
- Respecting opponents
- Having respect for teachers and accepting decisions
- Showing appropriate loyalty
- Not cheating
- Not using violence
- Their behaviour in defeat
Pupils should adhere to these safety rules
- Pupils wait for teacher on duty before going to yard
- Pupils walk to and from the yard
- Pupils are not allowed to leave the play area unless given permission from teacher on duty
- Pupils should not act in an aggressive or rough manner during play
- Pupils are not allowed to pull and drag their peers
- Pupils must show respect to adults on yard and also to their peers
- Name calling is prohibited
- Pupils need to control their actions and play in a safe manner to ensure that all children, including themselves, are safe
- Pupils should not exclude other pupils
- Threats or physical hurt to other pupils will not be condoned
- Rumours should not be spread
- Intimidation and bullying will not be tolerated
A behaviour chart (copy at end of policy) for yard will be filled out if a child breaches these rules and it will be placed in the child’s file.
Incidences of serious and gross misbehaviour in class or on the school premises will be treated very seriously.
Examples of serious misbehaviour include
- Behaviour that is hurtful (including bullying, harassment, discrimination, and victimisation)
- Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning
- Threats or physical hurt to another person
- Damage to property
- Bringing dangerous equipment to school
- Leaving school/school activities without permission.
Examples of gross misbehaviour include:
- Assault on a teacher or pupil
- Serious Theft
- Serious Damage to property
- Serious bullying
- Carrying drugs, alcohol, cigarettes
Sanctions for misbehaviour
The purpose of a sanction is to bring about a change in behaviour by:
- helping students to learn that their behaviour is unacceptable
- helping them to recognise the effect of their actions and behaviour on others
- helping students (in ways appropriate to their age and development) to understand that they have choices about their own behaviour and that all choices have consequences
- helping them to learn to take responsibility for their behaviour.
A sanction may also:
- Reinforce the boundaries set out in the code of behaviour
- Signal to other students and to staff that their wellbeing is being protected.
In instances of more serious breaches of school standards, sanctions may be needed to:
- Prevent serious disruption of teaching and learning
- Keep the student, or other students or adults, safe.
The following steps will be taken when a child behaves inappropriately. The list is by no means exhaustive. Teachers may put in place alternative measures bearing in mind the circumstances involved. The aim of any sanction is to prevent the behaviour occurring again and if necessary to help the pupil devise strategies for this. It is important that the sanctions taken relate as closely as possible to the behaviour.
It is important that continuous channels of communication are kept between home and school when dealing with a child’s misbehaviour. Depending on the severity and nature of the misbehaviour, the school may need to enforce a suspension or expulsion. This could be an isolated or a once off misbehaviour.
For progressive misbehaviours the following sanctions should take place.
- 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/ writing out the story of what happened
- Loss of privileges
- Detention during break
- Communication with parents
- Referral to Principal
- Principal communicating with parents
- Exclusion (Shortened school day, suspension or Expulsion) from school (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular and Education Welfare Act 2000)
Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 130 (5) of the Rules of National Schools. Before resorting to serious sanction e.g. suspension, the normal channels of communication between school and home will be utilised. The school principal has the authority to sanction a 3 day suspension. Further progressive suspensions will require Board of Management approval. This approval may be obtained at a regular meeting of the Board or at an emergency meeting at which the chairperson and principal have outlined for the Board the reasons why they feel it is necessary to impose a further progressive suspension. In line with the requirements of the Education Welfare Act (2000), the Board of Management will inform the Education Welfare Board when a pupil’s period of suspension equals or exceeds six school days or results in the pupil exceeding 20 days of absence in a school year.
Removal of suspension (Reinstatement)
Following, or during a period of suspension, the parents/guardians may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parents/guardians and the pupil must give a satisfactory undertaking that the 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 and will not have a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other pupils. 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.
The Board of Management has the authority to expel a pupil in an extreme case e.g. where repeated incidents of serious misbehaviour interfere with the education opportunities of fellow students or where there is a threat to the health and safety of wither students or staff. Where expulsion is considered, the school authorities will have tried a range of other interventions and will have formed the opinion that they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the pupil’s behaviour. This sanction would be imposed under the terms of Education Welfare Act (2000). Suspension/expulsion procedures are in accordance with the Education Act (1998)
Positive Behaviours will be rewarded so teacher should frequently:
STOP, SCAN, CATCH THEM BEING GOOD
Teacher should set out clear expectations at all times, during lessons and out in the yard, including:
- Remaining in seat and getting on with work assigned (if child/student has tendency to get out frequently, reward for short periods in seat and increase accordingly).
- Showing courtesy and good manners.
- Playing safely and not doing anything to endanger others.
- Having all homework completed.
- Paying attention and actively participating in class lesson.
- Walking around school building.
- Any behaviour which the staff deems to set a good example.
When giving a pupil a reward, staff members should clearly identify why the pupil is getting the reward and what behaviour has been exemplified.
Rewards for Positive Behaviour in Primary School:
- A quiet word or gesture to show approval
- A comment in a pupil’s copy or homework journal
- A visit to another member of Staff or to the Principal for commendation
- A word of praise in front of a group or class
- Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
- Golden time
- Positive messages sent home
- Reward at the choice of pupil or teacher
Children with Special Needs
All children are required to comply with the code of behaviour. However the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules. Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the class teacher, learning support/ resource teacher, and or principal will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given. Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times. Professional advice from psychological assessments will be invaluable.
The children in the class or school may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with special needs adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support. This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.
Communicating with Parents and their role
Communicating with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers should develop a joint strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy which can be implemented at home and in school.
A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff, pupils and parents have been established and are being reviewed regularly.
Parents are encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child’s life (in the past or present), which may affect the child’s behaviour.
Parents also have roles to play:
- Ensure their children attend school and are punctual.
- Equip pupils with appropriate school materials, a sufficient healthy lunch and full uniform.
- Be courteous towards pupils and staff.
- Make an appointment to meet with a teacher/the Principal through the office.
- Respect school property and encourage their children to do the same
- Label pupils coats and other personal property
- Strictly supervise pre-school children, when in the school
As the Board of Management is responsible for the Health & Safety of all staff and students, parents are requested not to approach or reprimand another person’s child on the school premises.
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management 25/11/2014