General introduction:

Springdale National School is under Church of Ireland management. It seeks to provide spiritual and moral values, personal and social skills and to encourage all to achieve to their best potential. These attitudes are promoted both by explicit teaching in the classroom and in the informal life of the school. Effective behaviour management in the school depends on the support, co-operation and example of parents, guardians and teachers.

 

Ethos

  • The Board of Management and staff of Springdale National seek to promote honesty, courtesy, punctuality and responsibility in each individual pupil. It is hoped to inculcate a proper regard for the rights and views of others and to promote a caring and tolerant attitude to other people and to the environment. It is expected that pupils will extend these values and attitudes in their dealings with other children, staff members and all visitors to the school.
  • The school recognises the importance of teachers and parents working in partnership to educate the children according to Christian principles.
  • The school aims to ensure that the individuality of each child is taken into account, while acknowledging the right of each child to be educated in a disruption free environment.
  • All staff members shall endeavour to adopt a positive approach to discipline, with a greater emphasis being placed on rewards than on sanctions.
  • The school recognises the variety of differences existing between children and the need to accommodate these differences where possible. The school will endeavour to make the curriculum as appropriate as possible to the needs of the children.
  • Pupils are encouraged to see themselves as a community where all are entitled to live peacefully irrespective of age, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, ability, disability, intelligence or family circumstances.
  • The school actively promotes gender equity.

 

Responsibility of Adults

The adults encountered by the children at school have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour, both in their dealings with the children and with each other, as their example has an important influence on the children.

As adults we should aim to

  • Create a positive climate with realistic expectations
  • Promote, through example, honesty and courtesy
  • Provide a caring and effective learning environment
  • Encourage relationships based on kindness, respect and understanding of the needs of others
  • Ensure fair treatment of all, irrespective of age, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, ability, disability, intelligence or family circumstances
  • Show appreciation of the efforts and contribution of all
  • Discourage any use of physical aggression

 

School Rules

  1. The school doors open at 8.15am. Children should not arrive at school before this time. The school accepts no responsibility for the safety of children arriving before 8.15am. School doors close after classes have been dismissed (1.15pm for infants and 2.15pm for all other classes). The school accepts no responsibility for children remaining on school property after this time. The only exception to this is when children remain in school for after school activities which are under the supervision of a staff member.
  2. Children may only leave the school premises with permission from a teacher.
  3. We do not use bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades or scooters in the school yard.
  4. We only use personal electronic equipment in school with permission from a member of staff.
  5. We walk quietly in the school building.
  6. We keep our school environment clean and tidy.
  7. We wear “indoor shoes” in the school building.
  8. Our playground is a “no contact” playground. We do not get involved in rough play e.g. carrying other children, “mess fighting”, contact sports.
  9. We know that bad language, fighting, spitting, and other forms of antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated. We behave respectfully to others, using courtesy and good manners.
  10. We respect school property and the property of others.
  11. We respect the rights of others to education in a disruption-free and safe environment.
  12. In the case of all absences, parents/guardians must inform the school of the reason for the absence (in writing). The school is legally obliged to inform TUSLA if a child misses twenty days or more in a school year.
  13. Every child and his/her parents/guardians will be asked to sign a contract of behaviour at the start of the school year.

 

Unacceptable behaviour:

The following behaviour is regarded as unacceptable in the school, either in itself or in the interests of providing a safe, secure environment for all the children.

  • Bullying of any description (See policy on bullying)
  • Physical or verbal abuse
  • Unexplained late arrival
  • Threatening or intimidating behaviour
  • Bad language
  • Rudeness or disrespect to anyone in the school
  • Wilful or malicious damage to school or personal property
  • Possession of objects which could cause damage to school property or injury to people in the school
  • Spitting
  • Theft
  • Truancy
  • Use of mobile devices without permission (see Mobile Technology Policy)
  • Playing ball games/running in the school building – except under supervision in the PE hall
  • Dropping or throwing litter
  • Chewing gum
  • Any activity on supervised trips with the teachers which would have a detrimental effect on the reputation of the school

 

Class Rules

At the beginning of each academic year, the class teacher will draft a set of class rules with the children. These reflect and support the school rules, but are presented in a way that is accessible to the children. Class rules are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. They should, where possible, 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.

 

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 or in keeping certain rules. Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the class teacher/learning support teacher/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 also be taken.

The children in Springdale National School may be taught strategies to assist pupils with special needs to adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support. This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting difference in all individuals.

 

Rewards

The school recognises that children are usually well behaved, promotes good behaviour, and rewards instances of good behaviour. These rewards will include:

  • a quiet word or gesture to show approval
  • a visit to another member of staff or to the Principal for commendation
  • praise in front of the class/school
  • informing parents/guardians of good behaviour
  • stickers – leading to “Lucky Dip” prizes
  • nights off homework
  • choice of rewards for the child/children

 

Sanctions:

For instances of unacceptable behaviour, it is necessary to have sanctions in place. In all cases it is important that the child knows that it is the behaviour the school is objecting to and not the child. The sanctions used by the school include:

  • reasoning with the child explaining why the behaviour is unacceptable
  • reprimands, including direction on what is unacceptable behaviour
  • referral to the Principal
  • communication with parents/guardians
  • separation from peers/friends
  • loss of privileges
  • additional work/homework
  • detention during break time
  • detention after school (not to exceed one hour)
  • daily report card
  • temporary suspension in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules For National Schools as amended by Circular 7/88

 

Teachers will keep a written Continuum of Support  record of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of improvement on seriously disruptive pupils.

When there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Board of Management will be informed. The Board of Management has ultimate responsibility for school discipline. Anyone with an unresolved grievance or concern may refer the matter to the Board.

In situations where there is evidence of serious ongoing emotional and behavioural difficulties, teachers will work with parents/guardians to have the child referred for assessment with the relevant services.

 

Parent/Guardian/School Communication

  • The school endeavours to keep a welcoming atmosphere and to keep parents/guardians informed of good behaviour as well as when their child is in trouble.
  • Parents/Guardians will be informed at an early stage of instances of misbehaviour.
  • Communication with parents/guardians will be verbal or written depending on the circumstances
  • Parents/Guardians will be invited to come to school to discuss their child’s case, where there is continual disruption or serious misbehaviour such as bullying or other violent/aggressive/threatening behaviour.
  • For repeated cases of serious misbehaviour, the parents/guardians will be contacted by the Board of Management and asked to meet the Chairperson and the Principal. If parents/guardians are contacted by the Board, their child will automatically be placed on report for a week. This will involve getting a daily report card on his/her behaviour and schoolwork, to be signed by parents/guardians and teachers.

Suspension/Expulsion:

  • For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, suspension will be considered by the Board of Management.
  • If a child is placed on report three times in any school year, the Board of Management has the right to suspend the child for a subsequent instance of serious misbehaviour.
  • Parents/Guardians have the right to appeal against the suspension to the Board of Management.
  • Where parents/guardians have met with the Chairperson and Principal and where no undertaking of improvement in the child’s behaviour has been given, the child may have to be temporarily suspended in accordance with Rule 130(5) of Rules for National Schools and Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. Temporary suspension is usually for a period of up to three days but may be extended to five days.
  • The Board of Management may authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension, pending discussion with parents/guardians.
  • Parents/Guardians will be informed in writing of the period of the suspension, the dates it will begin and end, the reasons for it, the commitments to be entered into by the pupil and the right of the parents/guardians to appeal the suspension.
  • Expulsion may be considered by the Board of Management in extreme cases in accordance with Rule 130(6). Where a decision is taken that expulsion is warranted, the Board of Management will contact the Educational Welfare Officer. While the Educational Welfare Officer conducts enquiries the Board of Management may decide to suspend the student for the duration of these enquiries under Section 24(5) of the Education Welfare Act 2000.
  • When twenty days have elapsed from the report to the Educational Welfare Officer, the Board of Management may decide to continue with the expulsion of the child. Parents/Guardians will be informed of this decision in writing and will be supplied with the standard form to appeal the decision should they wish to do so.

 

This policy was reviewed by the Board of Management on 8th May 2018
Date of next review: May 2020 (or sooner if required)