Code of Behaviour

Part 1: Code of Behaviour in Summary

R   is for Respect. Respect for all members of our College community and their property.

E    is for Effort. I will try my best in everything I do.

S    is for Spirit. I will be positive in everything I do.

P    is for Politeness. I will speak & act properly at all times.

E    is for Engage. I will listen & get involved in every class.

C    is for Conduct. I will behave in an appropriate manner at all times.

T    is for Target. I will set myself targets & goals & try my best to achieve them.

 

Part 2.         Code of Behaviour in Detail

Outline Structure:

Section 1: Introduction

  • The Lasallian Mission & The Five Core Principles of Lasallian Schools:
  • De La Salle College Dundalk Mission Statement & Motto:
  • Philosophy & Rationale of the Code of Behaviour:
  • Communication of the Code of Behaviour:
  • Acceptance of the Code of Behaviour:
  • Aim, Objective & Scope of the Code of Behaviour:
  • Supporting Policies:
  • Review of the Code of Behaviour:

Section 2: Roles & Responsibilities

  • Role of the Student:
  • Role of Parents/Guardians:
  • Role of the Subject Teacher:
  • Role of the Form Teacher:
  • Role of the Year Head:
  • Role of the Pastoral Care Team:
  • Role of the Principal/Deputy Principal
  • Role of the Board of Management

Section 3: Expectations

General Expectations

  • In The Classroom
  • On College Premises/Grounds:
  • On College Activities:
  • In College Uniform

Specific Expectations:

  • Uniform:
  • Hair, Jewellery & General Appearance:
  • Journals & Homework:
  • Attendance & Punctuality:
  • Examinations:
  • Contacting Home During College Hours:
  • Leaving school without Permission:
  • Smoking, Alcohol & Drugs/Illegal Substances:
  • Healthy Living:
  • ICT & Personal Electronic Devices (PED’s):
  • Property, Plant & Environment:
  • Lockers:
  • Bullying:

Section 4: Student Behaviour

Rewarding Positive Behaviour:

  • Merit System:
  • Annual Student Awards Ceremony:
  • Restorative Practice:

Recording Student Behaviour:

  • Student Performance Report:
  • Student Profile Forms:
  • Student Monitor System:

Defining Unacceptable Behaviour:

   Corrective Actions/Sanctions:

  • General Procedures for Dealing with Breaches of the Code
  • Ladder of Referral
  • Detention:
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

 

Section 1: Introduction

The Lasallian Mission & The Five Core Principles of Lasallian Schools:

The mission of Lasallian schools provides a human & Christian education to all youth, especially the poor & marginalised, in ministries conducted as places of salvation, by professionals acting together & by association for the sake of this mission.

Lasallian schools are characterised by a 300-plus year tradition of relationship-centred education. This tradition is well-expressed in the Five Core Principles of Lasallian Schools.

These principles are:

  • Faith in the Presence of God:

This core principle is reflected through this Lasallian expression of faith: “Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God.”

  • Concern for the Poor & Social Justice:

This core principle is expressed through the Lasallian ideal: “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.”

  • Respect for All Persons:

The Lasallian school engages in a concerted effort to respect the dignity of all persons. This core principle is reflected through the Lasallian expression of faith: “Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.”

  • Quality Education:

The Lasallian school provides an education that prepares students not only for College & career but also for life. This core principle is expressed through the Lasallian ideal: “Teaching Minds and Touching Hearts.”

  • Inclusive Community:

The Lasallian school is a united community where diversity is respected, where no one is left out, and where everyone finds a place. This core principle is expressed through the Lasallian ideal: “The Lasallian Family.”

De La Salle College Dundalk Mission Statement & Motto:

The mission of De La Salle College Dundalk is to give a human & Christian education to our students, with special concern for those who are disadvantaged.

De La Salle College is a community where the different groups associated with it, teachers, management, parents & students work together in close partnership for the good of all.

De La Salle College offers a quality education to all its students.

De La Salle College is a boys’ voluntary secondary school that now operates under the trusteeship of the Le Chéile Schools Trust since September 2009. The college is conducted in accordance with the Lasallian principles and philosophy and the vision of education as outlined in the Le Chéile Charter.

The Motto of De La Salle College Dundalk is ‘Recta Sapere’ which means ‘Right Judgement’ or ‘Knowing What Is Right’. The motto reminds us of the importance of truth & exercising correct judgement in all aspects of our lives.

The Mission Statement & Motto of De La Salle College Dundalk is the underlying philosophy of the Code of Behaviour.

Philosophy & Rationale of the Code of Behaviour:

De La Salle College Dundalk endeavours to provide a safe environment for the education & care for each member of the college community in the tradition of St. John Baptist De La Salle. The legacy of St. John Baptist De La Salle challenges our college to be inclusive & to be especially mindful of the disadvantaged & those with special needs.

The College recognises that every student has the right to be educated without disturbance from other students and that teachers have the right to carry out their work in an atmosphere of co-operation & mutual respect.

The College recognises that every student is unique, with different talents & needs. The dignity of all students, staff members & parents is respected, & this is reflected in college policies & structures. Educational achievement & full personal development are promoted through the class based teaching & learning environment and through the student’s participation in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. This includes the life skills, values & attitudes, which will enable our students to lead fulfilling lives & contribute to society.

Our college encourages a spirit of mutual respect for all & this is reflected in the Code of Behaviour in Summary above – ‘The Respect Rule’. Our ‘respect’ rule sets out in a positive manner our expectations of all students in the college. A copy of our ‘respect’ rule is also printed in the students’ journal. The ‘respect’ rule, which applies to all in the college community, adults & young people alike, states: “Respect for all members of our College community.”

The Principal & the Board of Management support individual teachers in their efforts to create a positive teaching & learning environment in the college. The school community works with parents to develop a meaningful relationship to meet the needs of students. The college seeks to ease the transition from Primary to Secondary school. A special effort is made to maintain a warm & welcoming environment within the school, while pastoral structures have been established to promote positive behaviour.

This Code has been drawn up in consultation with the teaching staff, parents,  students and the Board of Management.

Communication and Acceptance of the Code of Behaviour:

Prior to enrolment each year, prospective students & their parents are furnished with a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour & the code is explained to students again at the college’s induction day by College Management &/or the Year Head.

The Principal will, as a condition of registration, request all parents/guardians to confirm in writing that the code is acceptable to them & that they, the parents/guardians, will ensure compliance with the code by their child. By enrolling their son/*daughter in the school, parents/guardians are agreeing to the code & will sign the registration form to confirm this & agreeing to represent their son/daughter in all matters relating to the school. (*Repeat Leaving Cert. class only)

Throughout their years at De La Salle College Dundalk, the Code of Behaviour & its rationale is explained to students by the Form Teacher, Year Head & College Management. The code is explained to students at assemblies & the high standards expected of them in terms of behaviour & school work are re-iterated. A copy of the code in abbreviated form is published in the Student Journal. The parent/guardian & student must sign this page in the journal at the start of each school year.

It is a condition of enrolment in De La Salle College Dundalk that:

(i)      Students undertake to abide by all the requirements of the Code of Behaviour of De La Salle College Dundalk.

(ii)      Parents/guardians accept the requirements of that code by signing it & undertake to take all reasonable steps to ensure their children abide by it.

Aim, Objective and Scope of the Code of Behaviour:

The aim of the Code of Behaviour is to achieve good order, a vibrant working atmosphere, & the fostering of leadership, relationship & personal development skills.

The objective of the Code of Behaviour of our College is to promote & reinforce positive behaviour in our students. 

This code applies to student behaviour towards all members of the De La Salle College Dundalk community & relates to all College activities during & outside of normal College hours. It applies to all interactions with staff members, whether in school or in the wider community. It also applies to behaviour on the way to and from school, while in uniform.

It not exhaustive & the Principal may on occasion need to take a decision based on best practice for the good of other students & staff & the college. The College reserves the right to vary these procedures & sanctions, taking into account the particular circumstances of incidents, the individual record of students, the health & safety of students & the rights of other students to learn & of teachers to teach in a safe & respectful environment.

If necessary, the Principal will act independently of the outlined procedures for the greater good of the college community. The parents/guardians and the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed in the event of such an occurrence.

Supporting Policies:

The College has formulated a number of policies & procedures to ensure the physical & psychological safety of all members of the College community during the course of all College activities.

Such policies that may be relevant to students include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Health & Safety Policy
  • Child Protection Policy
  • Anti-Bullying Policy – Students
  • Dignity at Work Policy
  • Critical Incident Management Policy
  • ICT / Acceptable Use Policy
  • Substance Abuse Policy
  • Attendance & Punctuality Policy
  • Homework Policy
  • Sports’ Contract


Review of the Code of Behaviour:

This Code of Behaviour will be reviewed every three years.

Section 2: Roles & Responsibilities

Role of the Student:

Students are the primary focus of all activities in the College. The ‘student-as-learner’ in all aspects of life is at the centre of all curricular & extra-curricular activity in the College.

They are expected to co-operate with & follow the instructions of all staff members. They are expected to treat themselves, school staff, fellow students & visitors with respect & will have consideration for the rights & feelings of others.

Students will co-operate with & be kind to each other; will look out for each other’s welfare & work for the greater good of the community.

Fighting is strictly prohibited. Assault on any member of the school community is a very serious breach of the Code of Behaviour. Severe sanctions, up to and including permanent exclusion from the College, will result.

Students are required to help create a healthy, safe & happy environment in which everyone can learn & develop, by following rules such as the one-way system and avoiding boisterous behaviour such as running and shouting, which are not allowed.

They are expected to take individual responsibility for their own behaviour & learning, to listen respectfully to teachers and not to disrupt lessons.

Students must show respect with reference to the ‘Respect Rule’ outlined in the Code of Behaviour in Summary.

Students are expected & encouraged to engage & participate in all facets of school life.

Students have an obligation to uphold the good name of the school and should not engage in any conduct that would bring the good name of the College into disrepute.

Role of Parents/Guardians:

Parents/guardians have the primary responsibility for the education & welfare of their children; they are key partners in the school community.

The Principal will, as a condition of registration, request all parents/guardians to confirm in writing that the code is acceptable to them & that they will ensure compliance with the code by their child.  Parents/guardians, having registered their son/*daughter, must advise the college of any medical, personal, educational or special needs their child may have, so that the school shall put the necessary supports in place. (*Repeat Leaving Cert. class only)

Regular consultation & communication between the college & the parents/guardians & active participation by them in their child’s education & specific college activities are all crucial to establishing effective home, school & community links.  Parents should ensure correct use of the Homework Journal, check it regularly for notes from teachers and address any issues of misbehaviour that are raised in it. They are encouraged to keep in regular contact with the college & advise the college of any difficulties their child is encountering by contacting the school &/or making an appointment with the relevant staff member.

Parents/guardians must make every effort to attend the regular Parent/Teacher Meetings held in the school. The Parents’ Association meets regularly & acts in an advisory capacity in drafting policies & promoting the ethos of the college & the general welfare of students. Parents/guardians are actively encouraged to become involved with the Parents’ Association.

Role of the Subject Teacher:

Each subject teacher explains & clarifies to students on appropriate classroom behaviour & health & safety rules for their classroom/ laboratory/workshop/gym.  Authority within the classroom rests with the teacher in charge. The teachers’ authority extends to the entire College campus.

Advice & encouragement is given in regard to proper completion of assignments & high standards of work. The use of ‘Assessment for Learning’ and differentiation as appropriate by teachers is encouraged to ensure maximum engagement by students.

Role of the Form Teacher:

The Form Teacher explains the Code of Behaviour with the class at the start of each academic year & the reasons for having a code. The primary role of the Form Teacher is to offer support & encouragement & to help with any difficulties the student may have. The subject teacher initially consults with the Form Teacher & parents in matters of discipline concerning individual students.

Role of the Year Head:

The Year Head has overall responsibility for the students in their year group in relation to attendance, behaviour, academic performance and wellbeing. He/she promotes full and positive engagement by students with the school, takes an interest in knowing students personally & advising them on correct procedures and offers support when difficulties arise. The Year Head will discuss difficulties with Subject teachers, Form Teachers, Principal/Deputy Principal & parents and may take action as appropriate to remedy the situation.

The Year Head attends functions associated with the year group, encourages students to achieve to the best of their ability, keeps records & liaises with parents. Assemblies are held on a regular basis at which students are advised about attendance, punctuality, high standards of behaviour & work, as well as the support services, activities & events open to them.

Role of the Pastoral Care Team:

The Pastoral Care team brings together all the support services of the school to review how the school is responding to the overall needs of the students and in particular students ‘at risk’ in relation to attendance, behaviour, engagement, perhaps due to issues of a personal nature.

The team supports Year Heads, Form Teachers, Subject teachers and parents by offering advice or putting a plan of action/support/intervention in place or recommend referral to outside agencies as appropriate. Sources of support may include the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), the National Educational Welfare Board and Family Support Agency (Tusla), the HSE Social Workers, the Garda Juvenile Liaison Officer, the National Behavioural Support Service (NBSS), the HSE Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

The Pastoral care team meets weekly or as necessary & is attended by the Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Heads (where appropriate), the Guidance Counsellors & other personnel where appropriate.

Role of the Principal/Deputy Principal

Both the Principal and Deputy Principal have responsibility for the internal management & discipline in the school on a day-to-day basis and the implementation of the Code of Behaviour.

The Board of Management has delegated the power of suspension (of up to five days) to the Principal.

A student and their parent(s) may be required to sign a Contract of Learning and Behaviour drawn up by the Principal following suspension to support improved behaviour and indicate the consequences of further misbehaviour.

The Principal may refer students involved in serious or ongoing, repeated breaches of the Code of Behaviour to the Board of Management for sanction up to and including expulsion.

Role of the Board of Management

The Board of Management manages the school on behalf of the Patron & for the benefit of the students & their parents/guardians. It upholds the characteristic spirit of the school, & establishes policies on admissions, behaviour, suspension & expulsion. Only the Board of Management has the authority to expel a student.

The Board formally adopts the Code of Behaviour, and ensures that it is reviewed/ amended as required.

Section 3: Expectations

General Expectations

Students have an obligation to uphold the good name of their College & must not engage in any conduct that would bring the College into disrepute. This applies while students are in school, coming to or going home from school & at all school functions.

Students are expected to show politeness, respect & courteous co-operation to all College staff, fellow students, visitors to the College & any external personnel engaged in College activities. Any action that is deemed to offend against courtesy, good taste, common sense or honesty will be deemed a breach of the code.

In The Classroom

Students are expected to fully co-operate with all instructions given by College staff, at all times.

Students are expected to be on time for all classes, to wait outside and enter/leave classrooms in an orderly fashion. An apology & a brief explanation should be given if a student is late for class. Frequent lateness will incur sanctions as it disturbs teaching and learning.

Students are expected to fully engage in all lessons without causing any disruption. They should be alert & participate fully in all class activities, as directed by the teacher. They are expected to have all relevant materials (texts, equipment etc.) for all classes and to complete all homework assignments on time & to an acceptable standard, in accordance with the College Homework Policy.

Students are expected to co-operate with the cleaning of classrooms at the end of the College day, by picking up any litter, closing windows & placing chairs on desks. They are expected to fully comply with any specific rules regarding specialist classrooms or the gymnasium.

If students are seeking permission to miss class due to another activity (appointment with Guidance Counsellor, Student Council meeting etc.) then they must seek permission from the teacher in advance of the proposed absence.

On College Premises/Grounds:

Students are expected to act in a safe & courteous manner in all areas of the school premises/grounds. Boisterous behaviour in school buildings, such as running & shouting, is not allowed.  Students are required to adhere to the one-way system, in the main building. At all stages, students are required to move in an orderly fashion, without pushing or shoving other students.

Students must only enter the College grounds via the Mill Road gate/Castleblayney Road pedestrian gate only. They may not be dropped off/collected in the staff car park/College entrance on the Castleblayney Road due to congestion and may not enter the main building by walking through the Staff Car park or the area between Rm 27 and the Staff entrance.

The following areas of the College grounds are out-of-bounds for all students;

  • The College field (except during PE class)
  • All grass areas/planted areas surrounding the College buildings.
  • Any areas to the rear/side of the gymnasium, both of the College extensions & the Prefabs.
  • The staff entrance in the original building.
  • Any storage areas used by maintenance staff, unless with the express permission of College staff.

During class time Students may only use bathroom facilities with written permission (in the appropriate section of the Student Journal) from a staff member.

  • Note: Louis grounds and playing field are strictly out of bounds and may not be accessed without direct permission from the school authorities.
  • Students may not board buses at St. Louis gate. They must use pick-up points on the Mill Road designated for our school.

On College Activities:

When representing the College, students are expected to uphold the highest standards of behaviour, as detailed in the code & act in a polite, courteous manner at all times.  Directions & instructions from any College personnel &/or external personnel associated with the activities must be complied with at all times. Members of school teams are also bound by the Sports Contract and students going on school tours/ trips may be required to also sign a specific contract.

In College Uniform

Once the student is in uniform, they are representing the College & the highest standards of behaviour are expected.

Any behaviour that is in breach of the code that occurs when the student is in uniform, whether the behaviour is inside/outside College premises or before/after defined College hours, will be dealt with in accordance with the sanctions outlined in the code.

Specific Expectations:

Uniform:

The full College uniform, as detailed below, must be worn in school, coming to & going from College and at all school functions.

The full College uniform is:

  • Black school jacket/fleece with College crest
  • Grey shirt
  • School Tie (junior/senior)
  • Blue school jumper with College crest
  • Grey school trousers
  • Grey/black socks
  • Black shoes, preferably leather (colours/logos are not acceptable)

The College uniform must be worn with respect & pride. Students are representing the College whilst in uniform & must not behave in any way that might bring dishonour to the College.

Non-uniform jackets may not be worn to & from College, or on College premises.

No head covering is to be worn with the College uniform at any time without permission from the school authorities.

PE uniform can only be worn during PE lessons. PE uniform is not a substitute for the proper College uniform & may not be worn in its place without express permission from the school authorities.

Where there is a genuine reason for a student not wearing the correct uniform, parents/guardians must send in a note of explanation in the appropriate section of the Journal. The note must be presented to the Form Teacher during PC class and the uniform issue rectified as a matter of urgency.

Hair, Jewellery & General Appearance:

Students represent themselves, their families and the school. They should do their best to be clean, presentable and neat at all times.

Students must be clean shaven, beards and moustaches are not allowed. Bright, vibrant, unnatural hair colours & bizarre/unconventional hairstyles are not permitted. Long hair must be kept tied up.  Shaved hairstyles and tracking/designs shaved in are not permitted.

Jewellery, with the exception of watches, is not permitted. Piercings may not be worn in school or while in uniform or representing the school. Make-up or visible tattoos are not allowed.

The College authorities reserve the right to adjudicate on the appropriateness of hair styles, piercings, jewellery, make-up, footwear & other items of clothing that are not listed above. Any such decision will be binding on the student concerned. Failure to follow instructions in this regard may lead to detentions or suspension.

Journals and Homework:

The College Journal is a record of the student’s progress over the course of the academic year.  All homework (written & oral) & results achieved in class tests MUST be recorded in the appropriate section of the journal.

Notes home from teachers must be given to parents that evening, signed and presented to the teacher the following day. These are important communications and must be treated as such. If a parent has an issue regarding any note they may contact the teacher by phone through the school office.

Journals must be signed by parents/guardians on a weekly basis as standard and brought to Parent / Teacher meetings.  All student absences MUST be recorded in the journal or submitted via the school app. Sanctions will be imposed for missing/damaged/defaced journals.  

Homework assignments must be noted in the Student Journal ( c.f. Homework Policy)

Homework must be fully completed to the best of a student’s ability & presented on time in the manner requested by the subject teacher. If homework is not done or completed, this must be explained by a note from parents/guardians to the subject teacher(s) concerned.

Parents are asked to check the Student Journal for homework assignments & do all they can to ensure that homework is completed. Repeated failure to complete homework or offer reasoned explanation from parents may result in sanctions such as additional work, detention or a period “On Report” at the discretion of the Year Head.

Attendance and Punctuality:

Students are expected to attend college on time. Recurring poor punctuality is a breach of the Code & the Colleges’ Attendance & Punctuality Policy & sanctions may be imposed accordingly.

The college must be informed of any reason(s) for absenteeism (Education Welfare Act 2000, Section 18). Parents/Guardians are obliged to provide the college, in writing, with the reason for any absence on the student’s return to college. There is a section in the Journal for notes or they may be submitted through the school app. Signed & dated notes must be given to the office on the first day that the student returns to college following the absence. 

Any student who misses 20 days or more within one school year must be reported to the National Education Welfare Board (Tusla) by the school.

Where a student has prior knowledge of an early departure, this must be explained by a note from parents in the appropriate section of the Student Journal in advance of the absence.  The note must be presented in office before morning classes begin. When the parents/guardians of a student have sought & obtained permission for a student to leave the premises early, the parent/guardian will be required to collect the student from the office & sign the ‘sign-out’ book.

School begins at 8.50 a.m. for morning classes & 1.55 p.m. for afternoon classes (1.30 on Friday).  Students who arrive at the College after PC class & 1.55pm/1.30 pm on Friday  MUST report to be entered into the ‘late book’ at the Main Office.

Students are expected to be on time, fully prepared for all classes and must not delay when moving between classrooms.

Three or more unexplained/ unacceptable lates in the morning or after lunch will lead to after-school detention and repeated lates will lead to suspension.

Examinations:

Normal College rules apply during all examination periods, whether internal College examinations or external State Examinations Commission examinations.

All students are expected to behave to the highest standards during all examinations. Failure to do so will result in sanctions being imposed at the discretion of the Year Head and management.

Contacting Home During College Hours:

If students need to contact home, for any reason, during College hours, they may do so through the College office only. Students’ personal phones may NOT be used for this purpose.

Leaving school without Permission:

Students are not permitted to leave the College premises during the College day without permission from the College management.

Any student leaving the College must be signed out by a parent/guardian and collected from the Main Office, only after permission has been granted from College management.

Junior students ( 1st, 2nd, 3rd years)are NOT permitted to leave the school grounds at lunchtime.

Any student leaving school without permission will incur an after-school detention. Repeated offences will lead to suspension.

Smoking, Alcohol & Drugs/Illegal  or Forbidden Items/ Substances:

The use, possession or supply of illegal or banned substances such as drugs, tobacco (including substitutes), alcohol or any type of fireworks is strictly forbidden to students within the College, on the College premises/grounds, attending College events or when wearing the College uniform, including going to/coming from the College. Students are strictly forbidden to enter the College premises &/or to attend College events under the influence of any of the above mentioned substances. The misuse of aerosols & solvents poses a threat to health & safety & is strictly forbidden.

Students involved in any such behaviour will be immediately suspended and risk expulsion.

Healthy Living:

The College is a ‘Health Promoting School’. All students will be encouraged to lead a positive physical & mental lifestyle & the College will encourage students to engage in activities designed to promote good health and wellbeing.

ICT & Personal Electronic Devices (PED’s):

As detailed in the ICT/Acceptable Use Policy, all technology used to access the College’s system/network will be used in a responsible, legal & ethical manner & failure to do so will result in sanctions being imposed in accordance with those laid out in the College ICT Policy  and this Code.

ICT devices refer to any electronic device, including phones, which may be used to access the College network/system. Unacceptable use of ICT includes cyberbullying, chat rooms, social media, plagiarism, downloads, personal storage devices, confidential information or personal non-academic use.

Personal Electronic Devices (PED’s), including phones, must be switched off during the school day. PED’s cannot be used in school except with the express permission of and under the direct supervision of a teacher in class for a specific educational purpose.

Students caught with phones or PEDs on or in use will have them confiscated by staff to be collected by a parent/ guardian from the school office after 4pm. The device should be switched off by the student in the presence of the staff member and submitted immediately, without dispute. Failure to comply with this instruction may lead to suspension.

The parent/guardian will be asked to check the phone in the presence of the Principal/ Deputy Principal to ensure that there has been no unauthorised capturing/recording of any member of the school community or any school activites. 

Such use of a phone/PED will lead to immediate suspension for a minimum of 3 days and in the case where an image/ recording has been circulated/ posted on social media, possible expulsion from the college.

Property, Plant & Environment:

Students are required to respect & show care for all College property & grounds. Should damage occur, students may be required to make good any costs of repair/replacement.

Students have a responsibility to respect school property and the property of others, which must not be interfered with in any way. Theft is a serious breach of the Code of Behaviour which will result in suspension and possible referral to the Board of Management for sanction up to and including expulsion.

De La Salle College is a Green School and students have a responsibility to help keep the school clean and healthy for themselves and others. Littering, graffiti and vandalism of any kind are not allowed. Such behaviour will result in sanctions ranging from community service/ cleaning duties to suspension at the discretion of the Principal.

Students are not allowed to bring, use or supply chewing gum/ permanent markers/ solvents/ liquid correction fluid (tippex etc.) on the College premises. Possession or use of any of these items will result in the imposition of sanctions ranging from community service/ cleaning duties to suspension at the discretion of the Principal.

Malicious activation of the school fire alarm is a very serious breach of the Code of Behaviour and will lead to immediate suspension from the school for a minimum of 3 days.

Students have a responsibility to look after their own property, which must be clearly marked with the student’s name. Valuables are brought to school at a student’s own risk and should be left at home. The school authorities are not responsible for loss or damage to property of students.

Lockers:

Lockers are the property of the school and are provided to students on a rental basis each year for the storage of school books and equipment only. The school authorities retain the right to access any locker where they suspect that it may be used for any other purpose.  Misbehaviour in locker areas, abuse or damage to lockers will result in the loss of the locker and fee to the student.

Bullying:

The College seeks to provide a caring & supportive environment for all of its students & staff, free from humiliation, oppression & bullying. The College deals with bullying incidents under its Anti-Bullying Policy. Definitions and sanctions for all forms of bullying, including cyberbullying, are detailed in the code. Students have a duty not to offend others by using abusive or offensive language.  Any form of verbal or physical intimidation is unacceptable.

Fighting is strictly prohibited. Assault on any member of the school community is a very serious breach of the Code of Behaviour. Severe sanctions, including suspension and possible expulsion from the College, will result.

Students are actively encouraged to report incidents of bullying, aggressive or other unacceptable behaviour. They may do so in confidence through use of the “Anti-bullying Box” or by informing a staff member.

All students must co-operate fully and honestly with the College authorities when spoken to in relation to behaviour that may be interpreted as bullying, fighting or targeting a student in any way.

Section 4: Student Behaviour

Rewarding Positive Behaviour:

Positive behaviour is best promoted & developed by recognising and re-enforcing such behaviour. This can be done both informally and formally

Student effort and behaviour is acknowledged and rewarded in a number of ways:

  • Positive comments in Student Journal. /Telephone calls to parents to mark achievements.
  • Recognition and praise for individual and group achievements by staff during interaction with students.
  • Acknowledgement and praise for individual and group achievements via PA announcements.
  • Highlighting the positive at Year Group Assemblies.
  • Display of students’ work in public areas around the school.
  • Recognition of individual or group achievements in school magazine, the school website/ App/ Twitter/ Facebook as well as local media.
  • Phone call/letter to parents at end of term/ year to highlight improvements and achievements
  • Highlighting the positive at Parents’ meetings.
  • Opportunity to represent the school at various events- Lasallian Competition, Le Cheile Conference etc
  • Election\Appointment to leadership roles – Lasallian Leaders, Student Council, Team captains etc.
  • Lasallian Spirit Nomination Certificates awarded to students who show recognizable leadership skills in school life or a special contribution to the community at large.

 

Annual Student Awards Ceremony:

Since 2006, the College has organised an Annual Student Awards Ceremony. This ceremony recognises the academic, sporting, cultural & other achievements of the students of the College & is a way of positively reinforcing student engagement with the expectations outlined in this cod, both individually and as members of groups/ teams.

Awards are given in areas such as academic achievement, endeavour & academic improvement, as well as extra-curricular activities, such as GAISCE Awards, sporting and cultural activities. Since 2008, the College has awarded the Lasallian Spirit Award, which is presented to a student who greatly contributes to the promotion of the Lasallian ethos of the school, as outlined earlier in this document, through their;

  • Outstanding contribution to general College life, particularly, but not exclusively, in non-academic areas.
  • Lasallian Ethos & Action – someone who participates in, fosters & works for the promotion of the Lasallian ethos of the College, through voluntary bodies such as the Students Council/Environment Committee; through liturgical & spiritual participation.
  • Co-operation & relationships with others – someone who fully co-operates with the various people & groups that make up the College community.
  • Someone who shows consideration, tolerance, understanding, compassion & a genuine concern for all.

This award is generally in recognition of a student who embodies the expectations outlined in this code.

The Group Endeavour Award recognises the outstanding contribution of a particular group of students to the school- e.g. Green Schools’ Committee, Liturgical Group, Foireann Díospóireachta Ghael Linn, Coiste Ghaelbhratach, Sports’ Teams

 

Merit System:

From 2019 onwards & commencing with First Years, the College will adopt & promote a Form Class merit system, whereby a student’s class is awarded points or merits based on individual student’s attainments in various areas of school life, participation in sport, punctuality as well as discretionary awarding of points.

Prizes will be given to the winning class on a termly basis. Merits may be used as a basis for Best Endeavour Awards at the Annual Awards Ceremony. The system may be reviewed/ amended to improve its impact on student behaviour.

Addressing Misbehaviour

Restorative Practice/Discipline:

Restorative Discipline is a whole school, relational approach to building a happy school community and addressing student behaviour that fosters belonging over exclusion, social engagement over control and meaningful accountability over punishment. The main goals are: accountability, community safety and competency development.

Restorative practices help us develop and sustain strong and happy school communities by:

  • actively developing good relationships
  • preventing the escalation of conflict
  • managing conflict in a creative and healthy manner

Restorative approaches enable those who have been harmed to convey the impact of the harm to those responsible and for those responsible to acknowledge this impact and take steps to put things right.

Restorative practice may be used, where deemed appropriate, as a measure to address breaches of the Code.

Since September 2018 Restorative Practice has been formally introduced as part of the Well-being programme for incoming First Years and will feature in that programme through Junior Cycle.

Recording Student Behaviour:

Student Performance Report:

Student behaviour that does not meet the required standard following intervention by the Subject Teacher will be recorded on a ‘Student Performance Report’. Reports will be given to the Form Teacher/Year Head for action/filing. Three reports (from at least two separate teachers) will result in the student’s behaviour being addressed by the respective Year Head.

Serious Incidents will be reported using an Incident Report Form.

Student Progress Forms/:

Student progress forms may be used to gather information regarding concern about student performance, under a variety of relevant headings as appropriate e.g.;

  • Knowledge, Understanding & Application
  • Development of Skills
  • Oral/ Written/ Home Work
  • Social & Personal Skills
  • Motivation & Effort
  • Behaviour & Attitude

 

These forms will be used to inform teachers and parents of student progress, behaviour and possible areas of concern. This may be circulated by the Year Head if there are concerns relating to a student or, at their discretion, after the student has completed a period of monitoring/ On Report.

Student Monitor/ On Report System:

Students may be placed on ‘student monitoring/ On Report’ for a period if they:

  1. persist in ongoing behaviours contrary to the code;
  2. are involved in serious incidents or
  3. are returning from a period of suspension
  4. need to be monitored for on-going academic issues

The format of student monitoring/ On Report will be in accordance with the concerns raised

A student may be placed on Report for one or two subjects if they are areas of academic concern. In such cases the subject teacher would retain the Report Card and return it to the Year Head at the end of the target period- e.g. One or two weeks. The report would then be shared with parents and further action taken as warranted. The aim is to support the student and get him on track in a targeted area without putting undue pressure on him across the board.

Where there are concerns regarding persistent disruption or disrespect across a number of classes a Year Head may place a student On Report for all classes for a specified period of time e.g. One or two weeks, with personalised targets as determined by the Year Head in consultation with parents. At the end of this period further action would be taken as warranted. The period On Report may be extended, perhaps narrowed to a specific number of classes or if there was no improvement, might result in suspension.

Defining Unacceptable Behaviour:

The College deems to be unacceptable any behaviour which:

  • Harms or endangers the student concerned or others in any way
  • has a negative impact on teaching & learning
  • degrades the College environment or the good name of the school

On occasion, students may commit serious misdemeanours not specifically mentioned in the code. In these instances, College management will take such action as it deems appropriate to the specific circumstances.

Interventions/Sanctions:

The purpose of interventions/ sanctions is to bring about a change/improvement in behaviour by helping students to;

  • learn that their behaviour is unacceptable
  • take responsibility for their actions
  • recognise the effect of their actions & behaviours on others.

Sanctions are imposed in the school as a form of positive intervention in the management of behaviour and are designed to:

  • defuse, not escalate a behaviour
  • preserve the dignity of all parties involved
  • be applied in a fair, consistent & timely manner
  • be proportionate to the nature & seriousness of the misbehaviour

The school distinguishes between minor/medium misbehaviour & serious misbehaviour, depending on such factors as:-

  • the nature of the offence
  • the frequency, duration & persistence of the misbehaviour
  • whether it is part of an escalating pattern of poor behaviour
  • the context of the behaviour.

 

Ladder of Referral/ General Procedures for Dealing with Breaches of the Code

Ladder of Referral: Subject Teacher, Form Teacher, Year Head, Deputy Principal, Principal

The list of possible interventions /sanctions given below is not exhaustive & is for illustrative purposes.

The Subject Teacher may use any or all of the following sanctions/interventions

  • Reasoning with a student
  • A firm reprimand
  • A note to parents in the student journal
  • Extra work given to student
  • Letter of apology required for poor behaviour
  • A phone call/meeting with Parents/Guardians
  • Referral to Form Teacher/ Year Head

 

The Form Teacher may use any or all of the above sanctions/interventions plus those listed below.

  • Lunchtime detention
  • Referral to Year Head

 

The Year Head may use any or all of the above sanctions/interventions plus those listed below.

  • Withdrawal of privileges
  • Student Progress Form
  • Student monitoring/On Report
  • Completion of an incident report form
  • Detention after school (parents will be given 24hrs notice)
  • Consult with/ meet parents
  • Agree an improvement plan
  • Referral to Guidance Counsellor/ Learning Support Dept.
  • Referral to Deputy Principal

 

The Deputy Principal may use any or all of the above sanctions/interventions plus those listed below.

  • Arrange meeting with student, parents and Year Head
  • In-House suspension from particular subject(s) for a limited time (Subject Teacher sets work to be completed)
  • Seek cost of repair of damaged property from student/parents
  • School Community Work
  • Referral to Principal

 

The Principal may use any of the above sanctions/interventions plus those listed below.

  • In all cases of external suspension the Principal will inform the Board of Management.
  • The Principal may refer the student to the support services as appropriate- e.g. NEPS, CAMHS
  • The Principal may refer the student to relevant authorities, including the Gardaí.
  • The Principal may refer the behaviour of the student to the Board of Management for sanction up to and including permanent exclusion (expulsion).

 

*The issues, interventions & sanctions listed here are prescriptive & not exhaustive. The College refers the right to address issues other than those listed, must the need arise & intervene & impose the necessary sanctions, as deemed appropriate*

 

General Procedures for Dealing with Breaches of the Code :

  • Any breach of classroom discipline will in the first instance be dealt with by the subject teacher. The subject teacher may counsel, reprimand or impose a sanction on the student as appropriate. The subject teacher will attempt to teach/explain to the student appropriate behaviour.
  • Where the behaviour is repeated or is of a more serious nature, the subject teacher must complete a Student Performance Report &/or Incident Report sheet & refer the matter to the Form Teacher/Year Head as appropriate. The complaint is to be recorded on the student’s file.
  • The Year Head will counsel, reprimand or impose a sanction on the student as appropriate, will consult and may meet with parents. Where appropriate the matter is referred to the Deputy Principal or Principal. Where a student is placed on detention twenty-four hours notice in writing/text message is given to parents. The Year Head will report to the Principal &/or Deputy Principal on a regular basis.
  • A serious breach in the code must be brought directly to the attention of the Year Head, Deputy Principal & Principal.
  • Where the above procedures have been followed & there is persistent low-level disruption or misconduct; where there is a once-off incident of a very serious nature (intimidation, bullying, bad language, damage to property, harassment, refusal to obey reasonable instructions or disruption to the educational process); where students have failed to comply with the sanctions issued; or where there are other considerations which merit it, the matter is to be referred to the Year Head, Deputy Principal or Principal. Following investigation, sanctions may be applied. A report of the action taken will be shared with the Year Head/Form Teacher/Subject Teacher as appropriate, ensuring that all parties are kept informed.
  • In the case of serious incidents where suspension may be warranted, parents will be contacted by the Year Head or Senior Management and the matter will be discussed or a meeting arranged. Only the Principal can suspend. A suspension may be appealed in writing to the Board of Management.

Detention:

It is expected that students will accept & respond positively to correction from members of staff, be it inside or outside the classroom. Students who fail to do so or who repeatedly disregard any regulations may be given a period of detention. This may be during lunchtime or at another time deemed appropriate by the College authorities in consultation with parents.

In addition, the College operates a formal after-school detention system accessible by Year Heads.

Suspension

After consulting with the parents/guardians & the appropriate school personnel, the Principal may suspend a student from the College for a period of up to five days.  This is known as external suspension

Following a suspension a meeting with parents may take place to discuss the next steps for the student, ensuring support and the opportunity for a fresh start. However their previous offences will remain on the College record, & may be taken into consideration if subsequent offences occur.

 A Contract of Learning and Behaviour may be agreed and signed by parents and the student.

Parents/guardians have a right of appeal to the Board of Management. A successful appeal may result in the removal of the suspension from a student’s record.

Appeals may be made by the parents/guardians to the Department of Education & Skills in a case where the cumulative total number of days on suspension for a student exceeds twenty in any one year (Section 28 of the Education Act 1998)

Records will be kept as appropriate.

In exceptional circumstances only- After consulting with the parents/guardians & the appropriate school personnel, the Principal may suspend a student internally, from the regular classes in school, for a period of up to two days – as resources allow.  In such cases Students will be separated from their peers, will attend a specified classroom & will have different break times than the rest of the student body. This is known as internal suspension.

In all cases of suspension work will be assigned by subject teachers and supplied to the Year Head for completion by the student.

Expulsion

Only the Board of Management has the authority to expel a student.

The matter will be very serious, either a pattern of persistent misconduct or a serious once-off incident. The student may pose a real threat to safety or property.

The College would normally have taken significant steps beforehand to address the behaviour & tried a series of interventions, exhausting possibilities, before considering expulsion.

When a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion, the procedural steps will include:

  1. A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.
  2. A meeting with parents explaining the process.
  3. A letter to parents confirming the referral to the Board of Management and an invitation to attend a meeting of the Board with their child, and provision of a copy of the Principal’s report to the Board.
  4. The Board meeting will take place as soon as possible. The student may be suspended pending the Board meeting if the Principal deems that their behaviour poses a risk to the health and safety of others, to the teaching and learning process for others or the orderly running of the school.
  5. A referral to the Board of Management by the Principal for sanction up to and including permanent exclusion.
  6. Consideration by the Board of the Principal’s report and the parents’ and student’s response at the Board meeting convened for the purpose.
  7. Board of Management deliberations & actions following the hearing in line with NEWB procedures.
    • An expulsion may be appealed to the Dept. of Education & Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.