AIMS INTO PRACTICE - SOME GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS.
The seven aims set out above will be best achieved within the framework of a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere in which all pupils are able to give of their best and are encouraged and stimulated to fulfil their potential both in the classroom and in any extra-curricular activities. Discipline is often considered only in the context of punishments or sanctions. It needs to be seen in the much wider framework which demands a positive policy of encouraging good attitudes, rewards and praise (where possible) and setting good example. In our school, we realise the need to put great emphasis on rewarding those pupils who behave well rather than punishing those who behave badly. Although sanctions will be used when necessary, our policy will concentrate on achieving the right framework for discipline and the right ethos in the school so that punishments and sanctions become increasingly unnecessary. Most pupils react well to praise and there is always something worthy of praise in all children.
As a Catholic school our aim will be to establish a community of prayer and worship where learning takes place in harmony. Our school must be a community of caring, of sympathy, understanding and tolerance. It must be a community which believes in the uniqueness of each individual as a cherished creation of God. In such a community there will be justice and generosity but there will also be guidelines to follow and rewards and sanctions to be given out. We will aim to establish caring and supportive relationships. It is in such a setting that children can experience dignity as persons and will come to appreciate the meaning of such virtues as honesty, truth, trust and responsibility.
We in the school would see unacceptable behaviour resulting from an extensive range of factors and influences. Generally acts of indiscipline can be put into the following categories and they would be regarded as totally unacceptable.
1. BETWEEN THE CHILD AND THE GENERAL AUTHORITY OF THE SCHOOL.
e.g. truancy, persistent lateness, not bringing notes, lack of respect for lunchtime supervisors, running in corridors, leaving school without permission, anti-social behaviour such as telling lies, cheating, stealing, spitting or rude language.
2. BETWEEN THE CHILD AND HIS/HER SCHOOLWORK OR HOMEWORK.
e.g. persistently untidy work; unfinished work; not doing homework; carelessness with work; laziness and wasting time.
3. BETWEEN PUPILS.
e.g. bullying; fighting or quarrelling; calling names; dangerous or unruly behaviour; threatening another child; telling lies about another child; refusing to share things; showing a lack of respect for another pupil; distracting other children from their work; stealing; destroying or defacing another child’s books or property.
4. BETWEEN PUPIL AND TEACHER.
e.g. disobedience; disruptive behaviour in class or on out of school trips; showing insolence, rudeness in manner or language; not paying attention; time-wasting; telling lies; temper tantrums; lack of courtesy to teachers.
5. BETWEEN PUPILS AND SCHOOL PROPERTY
e.g. lack of care for or loss of, school books; lack of care for school equipment; defacing of school furniture or school buildings; destruction of school property - such as plants, trees etc.
6. BETWEEN PUPILS AND THE WIDER COMMUNITY
e.g. stealing, damaging or destroying private property; bad behaviour on the street or on buses coming to or going home from school; showing a lack of respect or concern for other people and their property.
The emphasis will always be on giving encouragement and praise rather than criticism or punishments. Praise and encouragement will be given in many ways and, without any attempt to put them into a value order, will include the following:
- a quiet word of encouragement.
- a written comment on the child’s work pointing to the merit of the work.
- a visit to another teacher/Principal for commendation or other form of reward.
- a public word or praise for the child in front of the class or at assembly.
- a star/points award system
- public acknowledgement by presentation at assembly or by giving the child some special task or responsibility.
- the giving of marks, grades or assessments by the teacher for good behaviour as well as good work.
- special certificates for a each class, with a chosen focus, presented formally at First Friday assemblies. Mother Teresa Cup for outstanding kindness and consideration for others and Headteacher Shield for outstanding work, presented monthly.
- using the school reports and Records of Achievements to highlight and comment favourably not only on good work but also on positive behaviour or actions or positive attitudes.
- short notes to parents informing them specifically of some action or achievement which deserves praise.
- head teacher award stickers as an ongoing acknowledgement of improvement, effort or achievement.