St. Vincent de Paul R.C. Primary School.
Behaviour and Discipline Policy
St. Vincent’s is a Roman Catholic School, so discipline comes under the umbrella of Christian Ethics and although aspects of it may be imposed by those in authority, love for one another, respect and care for each other must be at the centre of everything we do, say, enact and request others to do. The children are given to us for a short period of their lives and they should be able to look back at their years in our school and say that they were treated at all times with love and respect, equally and with justice and fairness.
Our school, in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ, believes that all people are created by God the Father and are equal and should be given equality of opportunity to achieve their full potential. Everyone is different and has the right to be treated justly and fairly regardless of their attitude and/or appearance. We believe that every person is a unique individual, created in God’s image and loved by him. We are therefore committed to treat every person with equality of esteem and the respect and dignity due to a child of God.
We are called to seek perfection in all aspects of our lives. We celebrate the enrichment of the total community which flows from diversity of age, gender, racial and social origins, abilities, culture and religion. We are therefore committed to ensure that all are to be given every opportunity to develop their talents to the full.
We offer our pupils the experience of life in a community founded on Gospel values and working in harmony. Through this and a variety of educational experiences and interactions we aim to prepare our pupils for a life working with others in communities which maybe diverse socially, culturally and religiously. We recognise that it is also important to help pupils to understand their own ethnic identity and cultural heritage as well as helping them to understand that others irrespective of whether the school serves or is located in an ethnically diverse community.
We would like our pupils to understand that they have a duty of care for all, with preferential consideration for the poor, and to ensure that we provide for those who are socially, academically, physically or emotionally disadvantaged.
Our belief in the Gospel message commits us to be in the forefront of the movement for the social and racial justice and harmony. We believe this is fundamental to the common good. We aim to prepare our pupils to serve as witnesses to these moral and spiritual values in the wider world. Jesus showed us the way of forgiveness and at St Vincent’s we strive to follow his teachings and show forgiveness to one another.
We will always strive to ensure that all staff recruited to school, and all pupils and their families are fully aware of our aims and objectives and undertake to support them.
TO EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN
To educate our children, we must encourage the children to think as individuals and take responsibility for their actions. When they go wrong or appear to do so, teachers/supervisors redirect, encourage or sympathise. In today’s society more than ever the children need to know what is right. We believe that, it should not be our society that decides wrong and right, but rather the teachings of the gospel and the Life of Christ. We are very fortunate to believe in God, a God who loves us, a God who forgives us and a God that has told us what is right and wrong and if His Ways are followed the children will know clearly the difference between right and wrong.
The children are given the freedom and encouragement to think and organise themselves in certain circumstances, so promoting self-discipline and responsibility. A certain maturity should evolve throughout the school as the freedom and responsibility given to the children grows with their age and the correct use of that freedom. By this, children should be encouraged to act amongst themselves in a reasonable manner and to intervene where unreasonableness, fighting, bullying and/or name calling arises, and to realise that to start any of these is wrong. Year 6 children are encouraged to act as prefects and help their special friend.
We see our children as God’s Children, who are loaned to us by parents for a few hours each day, and who should be respected and loved as such. They are treated equally and sympathetically by all in authority. Our discipline springs from a deep respect for each individual child and for their place in the society of our school and for their future good to the society of our world, from this should spring a child’s love of God and respect for all others.
THE TEACHER’S ROLE IN SCHOOL
It is very important that the positive aspects of praise and reward should have great emphasis. Good discipline is based upon mutual knowledge and respect the rights of others and thinking about others before ourselves.
The children will respond better to us if we recognise their difficulties and strengths, and if they know what is expected of them.
We must also try to acknowledge that the children have achieved what has been asked of them, and improved in their behaviour.
The range of rewards must be accessible to all pupils of all abilities. These should be discussed with your class so that everyone knows why rewards are given.
Any sanctions must be administered justly and fairly and ‘fit the crime’. Sanctions must take account of the individual circumstances and needs.
We should all recognise the role that good Classroom Management plays in discipline, so your role is very important. Have the work organised and well prepared, and have class routines well established.
We must all make sure that there is good communication within the school and between the school and parents, governors, the community and outside agencies.
The agreed aims and standards should be applied throughout the school.
All teachers/supervisors must accept responsibility for maintaining good behaviour throughout the school. When moving about the school we must all take responsibility for pupils’ behaviour and if someone is doing something wrong then they need to be corrected. Do not ignore bad behaviour around school.
The rules should be applied consistently by all members of staff, but there should be flexibility in the use of sanctions to take account of individual circumstances.
Discuss with your pupils what the class rules are and why they are necessary. Talk about their rights and responsibilities and the right of others, from this, form the class rules/contract. The agreed rules/contract should be renewed each year, discussed during the year and put on display in the classroom. These rules (the contract) should be referred to throughout the year.
WE SHOULD TRY TO:-
DISCIPLINE AND HOME
At all meetings with parents it is emphasised that it is their responsibility to discipline their children and our responsibility to educate them. It is important that parents accept their responsibilities, which is why parents will be involved in discussions about their child if s/he persistently misbehaves. Parents will be expected to discuss their child’s behaviour with school and to punish him/her at home. The importance of discipline from home is emphasised at the meeting with our new parents in June and in the home-school partnership (contract signed by parents). Parents are also informed about their child’s behaviour in the grade slips that are sent home in the Autumn and Spring terms. We encourage parents to bring their child with them to parent’s appointments in the Autumn and Spring terms.
A letter will be sent home to a child’s parent if that child has received 3 warnings in class (allowing for the fact that warnings can be removed for good/improved behaviour) in one week. The first letter home will inform parents of their child’s poor work/concentration/behaviour, i.e. identify clearly the reason/s for the letter. This letter will contain a reply slip to confirm that the parents have received the letter. If a second letter home is required a request will be made to parents to make an appointment to see the class teacher to discuss the situation. If a third letter is required the parents will be asked to make an appointment to see the head teacher. In our school it is expected that very few children will receive these letters. All letters will be logged against the child’s records held on SIMS.
The class teacher must do everything they can to organize their class and the delivery of the curriculum to make sure that every child receives their entitlement to an education. It is the responsibility of the teacher/s to organize and manage their class so that there is no misbehaving. If a child continues to misbehave the teacher must discuss the child’s behaviour with the SENCO and produce an IEP for the child. Records must be kept detailing the episodes of misbehaviour on SIMS. The IEP and the records will be used to support the reason for sending a letter home.
In addition to the above a letter will be sent home to the parents/carers of any child who raises a hand or kicks out in anger at another child irrespective of who is to blame. This shall also be recorded on SIMS.
DISCIPLINE AROUND SCHOOL
Encourage the children to discuss and agree to the routines for each of the headings. Display what the class has agreed.
1. Entering School
2. Entering the Classroom
3. Lesson Time
4. End of Lesson
5. Around School
We want the children to do what is right because they know it to be right and not because it is imposed from above.
We hope this approach will lead to self-discipline by each individual pupil.
So that the right atmosphere for education to take place throughout the school is maintained, it is necessary to have some basic rules. These are few, simple and easy to understand and then should be explained to your class.
The sanctions open to school are:-
For persistent offenders exclusion over lunch time will be introduced and, then as a last resort, exclusion from school will be enforced. If a child is a persistent offender parents will be informed and invited to discuss their child’s behaviour with the Class Teacher, Head Teacher, and, if necessary, the Governors of the School, before the child is excluded.
1. Around School
All informal contact contributes to standards of behaviour. Control that behaviour:-
2. Developing Classroom Routines
Develop, discuss and agree with your pupils routines for:-
REWARDS AND SANCTIONS.
It is very important that the positive aspect of praise and reward have great emphasis. Recognise and give attention to good behaviour and good work. By praising pupils you are showing others what is expected.
Children respond better if you recognise their difficulties and strengths. Remind all pupils of their capabilities.
Rewards - Praise good work, don’t underestimate the value a child puts on receiving praise from their teacher. They value praise from their teacher very highly and will always try to please you. Nominate children for good work/behaviour, for a certificate, which will be presented during assembly on a Wednesday.
Our success is tested not by the absence of problems, but the way in which we deal with them.
Don’t react -
Give house tokens - Recognise success by praise in class, house tokens and by sending pupils to the Head Teacher for stickers.
Use postcards to inform parents of children’s achievements in all areas.
Display pupils’ work as much as possible in a variety of different ways and use the ‘Captain’s Table’ as an incentive.
The Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher are very willing and indeed welcome the opportunity to praise individuals for pieces of good work if these are brought to their notice.
Praise and encouragement in lesson should be used as much as possible.
Encourage all children to participate in the debates, suggesting topics for the council, voting for the council representatives and allow time each week for discussing council issues. The school council meets alternate Mondays at 2.45 p.m. and report their findings to the assembly held on Wednesday mornings.
Sanctions for disobedience will vary according to the circumstances surrounding each incident.
Firstly, the child is dealt with by the teacher/supervisor ‘in situ’ and a suitable solution found (punishment decided upon). If there are any problems in dealing with the child in question then letters will be sent home to parents (see page 5 – Letters Home). If the child misbehaves during lunch /playtimes then the Head, Deputy or a member of the SMT will deal with the child. If this fails, then the parents will be informed and invited to visit the school to discuss their child’s behaviour with the Class Teacher and Head Teacher. If necessary the Governors will be informed and a meeting arranged between them and the parents.
If you consider bullying or racism to be involved please read the Anti – Bullying/Racism Section of the Discipline Policy and follow those procedures.
If the Teacher considers an offense serious then the Head Teacher should be informed immediately.
If a Teacher keeps a child in detention during the school day (playtime or lunchtime), then that Teacher must make sure that the child is supervised.
For the benefit of all, a child’s behaviour is very important so that:-
At school, we should try at all times to praise good behaviour and it is through the teaching of the Gospel that this is encouraged and taught as a way to show our love for God and for one another.
Sanctions - It must be emphasised that it is the primary responsibility of staff to deal with discipline themselves. Pupils should expect fair and consistently applied sanctions for bad behaviour, which makes the distinction between serious and minor offences. Staff should try to ensure that our discipline policy is applied consistently by all members of staff, but that there is flexibility in the use of punishments to take account of individual circumstances. Please try:-
Change of Seat
Withdrawal of privilege or work
Detention (Withdrawal of break and/or lunch time play).
Punishment to fit the crime e.g. picking up litter
Referral to Head or Deputy
Inform Parents of Bad Behaviour
Contact Parents for a Meeting with Class Teacher and, if necessary, the Head Teacher
Exclusion by Head Teacher, if all avenues have been tried and if we can arrange for another school to accept him/her
Never - Send a child outside a classroom. You may send them to another class, but they must not be left unsupervised outside your classroom.
Always - Try to have another 'body' present, whilst dealing with a child. Make a note about an incident and in this report identify the child/ren involved.
ANTI - BULLYING/RACISM POLICY
St Vincent’s believes that:
We have discussed this policy with the School Council and each of the classes. We want everyone in school to be safe, happy, treated with kindness, consideration and fairness. In this spirit we do not therefore accept bullying as something to be tolerated. We all have a part to play in discouraging and preventing bullying from happening. We are committed to a school community where bullying is not tolerated and actively tackled.
How do we define bullying?
Bullying is any mental, written, verbal or emotional approach to someone that has the intention of hurting, causing distress or intimidating the person on the receiving end. This includes the use of mobile phones, computers and any other form of communication technology e.g. texting offensive or threatening messages, messages sent via email, facebook, twitter or any other social networking sites, as well as the use of photographs taken by phones to intimidate or cause offense in any way. Incidents happen in the playground during the normal day-to-day activities, so for school to consider the incident as bullying the offence must have happened repeatedly by the same child/ren against the same child/ren over a length of time. Incidents will be recorded and parents and staff informed.
To ensure a happy, safe comfortable environment for playing, learning, teaching and working for everyone at all times.
To have a zero tolerance of bullying
To give a clear message about what is and what is not acceptable.
To involve all staff in dealing with incidents of bullying effectively and promptly.
To involve the wider school setting (e.g. Lunchtime supervisors, part-time staff/volunteers) in dealing effectively with any bullying incidents.
To promote the emotional health and well-being across the whole of St Vincent’s for all members of our community to act as role models in all situations.
To support the person who is being bullied to express their feelings.
To support the person displaying the bullying behaviour to express their feelings.
To discuss which rules have been broken.
To discuss strategies for making amends.
To make clear that bullying is not acceptable on any grounds, and that bullying because of race, disability, gender or sexual orientation are all equally unacceptable.
To direct the victim as to what s/he should do
To have strategies for victims to cope
To make clear the sanctions for bullying and their application
To ensure all pupils and staff are familiar with procedures
To monitor active implementation of the policy following incidents of bullying
To review and evaluate the effectiveness of the policy’s implementation
Avoid smiling, laughing or standing by if they see someone being bullied
Find a way to help the victim away from the situation
Discuss their concerns about bullying, either as a friend or a victim, with a third party whom they can trust and can confide in. (A member of staff, a member of their peer group or friend, A Special Friend)
Be aware that all incidents will be taken seriously
EXCLUSION OF A CHILD
It must be emphasised that the Head Teacher is very much against the exclusion of a child. Our Mission Statement refers to "Christian concept, values, attitudes and actions ............... We will seek to value the contribution of each individual to foster and cultivate self-esteem". Therefore, we feel that this is best achieved by providing each child and family with support, help and guidance, not by exclusion. We will do everything we can working with the; parents, child, LA and outside agencies to keep the child in school.
Any child who is causing a problem, before the Head Teacher will exclude him/her, should have a record/file showing:-
If after all of these being applied the Head Teacher feels that it is necessary for the education, health and safety of the teacher, the child and/or his peers, he will use exclusion.
The Governors will, however, support the Head Teacher who excludes a child involved in; drugs, extreme violence, a serious case of assault involving either a teacher or child, sexual misbehaviour or persistent unacceptable behaviour. In such instances the Head Teacher will inform the parents of the decision and they will be invited to discuss this with the Governors.
The Local Authority will be informed about the exclusion and will be invited to all the meetings.