The establishment of a sound learning environment at school and classroom level is the paramount to effective learning and teaching.
The nurturing of a positive ethos within our school is encouraged through happy relationships among staff and pupils and between pupils themselves.
- To encourage an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and corporate responsibility;
- To nurture a positive school ethos through positive behaviour strategies and celebrations of success;
- To raise standards of attainment, behaviour and attendance for all pupils;
- To involve parents, pupils and staff in setting rules/standards of behaviour within the school;
- To encourage pupils to manage their own behaviour effectively while respecting the rights of others;
- To inform parent and pupils of sanctions that will be taken for negative behaviour;
- To develop social and citizenship skills through a variety of school contexts.
The above aims are attributed to one of our school aims which is ‘To create an atmosphere of trust and tolerance to help develop self-confidence, self esteem and self discipline.’
Christianity is at the core of our learning.
Our basic school rules are common-sense ones, which allow us to work in harmony with one another and ensure safety and wellbeing for all within the school community.
Managing positive behaviour
Positive behaviour is achieved in two ways:
- Prevention – Preventative strategies which encourage each pupil to develop a sense of personality and self discipline.
- Management – When negative behaviour occurs we need to be able to respond positively and effectively.
We try to do both by employing positive behaviour strategies through a number of initiatives and school policies and imposing understood sanctions when negative behaviour arises.
Staff: The school staff, both teaching and non-teaching, share a collegiate responsibility for consistently implementing school policy on positive behaviour. Mr McLean has overall responsibility for ensuring positive behaviour.
Parents: Parents have a responsibility for ensuring that they support their child in meeting school expectations in respect of positive behaviour.
Pupils: Pupils’ responsibility is to be responsible for their own positive behaviour and meet the expectations set out by the school.
Advice for Staff
Children have to learn positive behaviour and as in all aspects of life, they sometimes have to learn from their mistakes. As in all aspects of managing behaviour consistency, respect and positive attitudes are the key to success. Negativity is strongly discouraged.
- Have a positive attitude; negativity breeds negativity;
- Be consistent, fair and persistent;
- Keep any promise you make to the pupils and remain open and honest with them;
- Before taking any action, communicate clearly and effectively your intentions to the pupil;
- Act rather than react;
- Impose appropriate, fair and effective sanctions that are relevant to the misdemeanour;
- Be confident and let your voice and manner make it clear to the pupil you expect them to do as you ask;
- Seek advice and support if a situation escalates;
- Reprimands should focus on the behaviour, not on the pupil’s personal qualities;
- Pupils should be reprimanded privately whenever this is possible.
- All members of the school community are expected to respect each other;
- Pupils are expected to take care of and value school property and equipment;
- Pupils are expected to conduct themselves in an orderly manner at all times while under the jurisdiction of the school;
- Pupils are not allowed to bring any potentially dangerous object to school that could harm themselves or others, or electronic objects such as mobile phones, game boys, personal C.D.s, as they can cause distractions in the classroom or can get damaged or lost;
- Pupils are expected to bring in an explanatory note from his/her parents/guardian after every absence;
- Pupils are not allowed to leave the school grounds during the normal school hours without first having obtained permission from the school.
Positive Behaviour strategies:
- Superstars of the week, school house points, certificates and stickers for positive behaviour and achievement in areas across the curriculum and outside school;
- Use of ‘Circle Time’ to discuss aspects of personal and social development including positive and negative behaviour;
- Records of Achievement Folders by Year 7;
- Discussing whole school behaviour issues at staff meetings;
- Appointment of Class Captains at Key Stage 2 who have some responsibility to support school rules;
- Whole school assemblies on moral and social issues;
- Discussion and implementation of aspects of Citizenship within the classes
- Staff using praise as a sincere and prompt response to positive behaviour or achievement;
- Setting of personal targets for improving work and/or behaviour
- Individual class reward systems
Sanctions used for inappropriate behaviour:
- Verbal rebuke and reinforcement of correct course of action by member of teaching/auxiliary Staff;
- Change in seating arrangements within the classroom;
- Withdrawal of privileges/losing of awards/points;
- Writing letter of apology;
- Pupil discussion with Mr McLean;
- Record of incident in incident log folder;
- Notice to parents of unacceptable behaviour;
- Interview requested with parents and pupil;
- Individual Targeted Behaviour programme and/or home – school diary set up;
- Advice sought from outside agencies e.g. Educational Psychologist, Child Psychiatrist, School Doctor;
- Possible exclusion.
Procedures for dealing with major breaches of discipline:
- Temporary informal suspension in agreement with parents;
- Two/three day recorded temporary suspension in agreement with parents;
- Formal suspension procedures are implemented in consultation with Area Board;
- A case conference called involving parent and support agencies;
- Recorded Permanent exclusion;
- Parental right of appeal to Area Board against decision to exclude.
Incident log folder:
This is used to record:
- Any incident involving a child or anyone employed at the school, which results in personal injury;
- Theft or damage to property;
- Any complaints/concerns about a child’s behaviour from own/other parents;
- Any contact about pupil from outside agencies;
- Aspects of bullying or racism.
The log is dated, indicates people involved, relevant information and action taken.
Use of Physical Restraint
If a pupil becomes physically aggressive towards a pupil or member of Staff and will not refrain from actions by verbal rebuke, or if the pupil is likely to cause physical injury to others or him/her self, staff may use *reasonable force to part the bodies involved or prevent the pupil from self-injury. No further attempts should be used to physically restrain the errant pupil. Mr McLean should be informed of the incident immediately and parents/guardian or outside agencies should be contacted for further support. Any injury to pupils or staff should be recorded.
Monitor and review of policy:
This policy is drawn up in consultation with Governors and will be monitored and reviewed as part of the ongoing audit of practice within the school. Parents receive a copy of the policy and contents are discussed with the pupils.
Definition of Reasonable Force
The Education (NI) Order 1998 (part II Article 4 (1)) states:
“A member of the staff of a grant-aided school may use, in relation to any pupil at the school, such force as is reasonable in the circumstances for the purpose of preventing the pupil from doing (or continuing to do) any of the following, namely:
• committing any offence;
• causing personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the pupil himself); or
• engaging in any behaviour prejudicial to the maintenance of good order and discipline at the school or among any of its pupils, whether that behaviour occurs during a teaching session or otherwise.”
Based on this legal framework, the working definition of “reasonable force” is the minimum force necessary to prevent a pupil from physically harming him/herself or others or seriously damaging property, but used in a manner which attempts to preserve the dignity of all concerned.
Reward Systems within each classroom