Scoil Mhuire, Ballyroan road, Abbeyleix, Co Laois.


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Discipline Policy

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Scoil Mhuire Abbeyleix


Code of Behaviour and Discipline


INTRODUCTION

In devising the code of discipline for Scoil Mhuire, consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school community. The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each pupil is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to an education in a relatively disruption free environment.

Every effort will be made by all members of the school staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school. The code offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by teachers.

The school places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will, in the long run, give the best results. The over-riding emphasis must be the encouragement of positive behaviour in the classroom and in the school in general.

The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences. It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-operation among staff and between staff, pupils and parents.

The rules will be kept to minimum and will be clearly and, as far as possible, positively stated.
All efforts will be made to match the curriculum to the abilities, aptitudes and interests of each individual pupil. This should help to reduce boredom, lack of interest and/or lack of progress.

In the belief that the most effective schools tend to be those with the best relationships with parents, every effort will be made by the Principal and staff to ensure that parents are kept well informed, that the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents and that parents are not only told when their children are in trouble, but when they have behaved particularly well.

This code will be reviewed, on an annual basis, by the Staff, Parents and the B.O.M of the school.


THE PURPOSE OF A CODE OF DISCIPLINE

The purpose of a code of discipline is the creation of a positive learning environment which promotes contentment, motivation and achievement.

A Code of Discipline is not simply a list of rules. Neither is it a list of sanctions/punishments. The overall emphasis should be 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 danger of labelling a pupil as being "disruptive" or otherwise must be highlighted. The damaging consequences of labelling are well documented. Children perform to then the level of expectations that are set by parents and teachers. Thus it is important that no child should find himself/herself confined by a label.


IMPLEMENTING THE CODE

Agreed procedures are clearly laid down and known to all staff, pupils and parents.

Clear lines of communication and a generally agreed incident reporting procedure, both within the school and between the school and home have been dawn up.

Class meetings are held at the beginning of each school year to inform pupils of the school rules and regulations. A list of school rules will be displayed in each classroom and in the school homework notebooks and will be referred to at regular intervals.

The Code of Discipline will be made available to all parents/guardians of the school.

New parents will be asked to give a written commitment to the code upon the enrolment of their child/children in the school.


PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES THAT WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE CODE OF DISCIPLINE

Encouragement of positive behaviour among the school pupils.

Encouragement of respect for self, others/peers, and the school staff as well as the school building and grounds.

Emphasis on the need for tolerance of others in the school community.

Encouragement of a sense of respect of difference and the cultures and practices of others.

It is important to stress the need to strike a balance between the use of rewards and sanctions. Rewards for effort are as important as for work well done. The use of positive comments, notes on improvement, merit stickers etc. are very effective in motivating children, so that notes in the homework journal become part of an ongoing picture of a child's development rather than merely comments on lack of progress and poor behaviour in school.


SCHOOL RULES
POSSIBLE STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR

It is most important that positive behaviour is recognised, affirmed and promoted as often as possible.
Praise/positive reinforcement may be given by means of any one of the following:

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval.
  • A comment in a pupil's exercise book.
  • A visit to another member of staff or to the Principal for commendation.
  • A word of praise in front of a group or class.
  • A system of merit marks/merit stickers.
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege.
  • A mention to parent, written (via the homework note book) or verbal communication.
  • Pupil sent to the Principal's Office for the awarding of a merit sticker.
  • Pupils mentioned at the monthly assembly.
  • Pupil awarded stars on the Class Star chart (if appropriate).



DISAPPROVAL OF UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR WILL BE DEALT WITH AS FOLLOWS:-

Should a pupil break the rules as set out above or ignore their responsibilities, disciplinary action will be taken against them. The following strategies will be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour.
The nature of the behaviour will determine the strategy. These strategies are not listed in ascending order and may be used as appropriate to the situation in hand at a particular time.

  • Reasoning with pupils.
  • Reprimand (including advice on how to improve).
  • Loss of privileges.
  • Communication with Parents.
  • Detention, during school break periods.
  • Temporary separation from peers.
  • Referral to Principal/Deputy-Principal.
  • Issuing of a Yellow/Red Discipline Card.**
  • Principal/Deputy Principal will contact the Parents/Guardians.
  • Prescribing Extra Work.


Suspension (Temporary). In accordance with the Rules For National Schools (130) and the relevant provisions of The Education Act (1998) and The Education Welfare Act 2000.

The school Principal/Deputy Principal will keep a written account of all instances of breaches of discipline, and the investigation of same, in the school incident book. Instances of good behaviour will also be recorded in the school incident book.

** A Yellow Card means that a formal warning has been issued as regards behaviour.
**A Red Card will signify an incident of gross misbehaviour and will necessitate the attendance of the parents\guardians at the school to meet the school principal and possibly the chairperson of the B.O.M.

This policy was drawn up by the staff, B.O.M. and Parent's Association of the school in September 2001. The policy has been reviewed and updated on a yearly basis since that time.

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