Code of Conduct

RULES & CODE OF BEHAVIOUR

Introduction

Blakestown sees each student as an individual whose talents should be developed to the full. Parents, teachers and the Board of management are partners in the overall education of the student. These rules were drawn up to ensure that every student can benefit within a happy and positive school environment and fulfil his/her intellectual, spiritual, and physical development to the maximum extent in Blakestown Community School.

By keeping to the Rules, a friendly environment can be created where all concerned can work, study and inter-relate in a positive way in pleasant surroundings. Parents/Guardians have accepted that their child must accept the school rules and agree to disciplinary measures which result where the rules are broken.

INDEX:

1. Preparation for school
2. School Uniform
3. Assembly
4. During school
5. Classroom Rules
6. Practical classes
7. Extra-curricular activities
8. Preparation for going home
9. Social behaviour
10. Rewards to encourage good behaviour
11. Parent/Guardian Permission to use photos/video images of students
12. Misbehaviours & Sanctions
13. Property
14. Lunch Pass
15. Appeals against certain decisions of Board of Management

1. Preparation for School:

(a) Parents and students must read and accept the rules of the school as
agreed by the Board of Management, staff and Parents.
(b) Each student is expected to attend school on time every day, in full uniform
and have all the necessary books and equipment

(c) All homework must be completed before arrival at school

(d) Students are expected to be on time for assembly and for each class including after break and after lunch

The four areas where good behaviour is expected are –

(a) On the way to and from school
(b) At Assembly
(c) During and between classes.
(d) During extra-curricular activity.

Note: The school considers the journey to and from school as part of the school day.
Interfering with other students and/or others is deemed unacceptable.

If for any reason students do not comply with the above rules, parents must provide a note of explanation in the student journal on the day in question. These reasons must be acceptable to the school.

2 School Uniform

(a) Maroon jumper with school crest for junior students
(b) Black jumper with school crest for senior students
(c) Grey trousers/skirt
(d) Grey shirt
(e) School tie
(f) Black shoes (flat soles)
(f) Cultural headdress if worn, should be plain grey, black or white.

Students are expected to arrive in school in full uniform. Any student arriving in school without full uniform should have a satisfactory written explanation in the school journal. Excuse notes will only be valid for a maximum of 3 school days. Parents must be prepared to replace damaged, worn out or missing items of uniform at short notice at any time of the school year. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a second uniform on reserve, in case of emergencies.

Jewellery – No excessive jewellery allowed.
Facial jewellery i.e. eyebrow, nose, lip, tongue is strictly forbidden under Health & Safety requirements

3. School Assembly

Assembly takes place each morning at 8.52 a.m. All students should be in attendance in their respective class lines in good time for assembly. Students not in attendance at assembly are marked absent on the register.

If they arrive late for school, it is the student’s responsibility to fill out a late slip which will be noted on the register. A note of explanation from the parent /guardian is required even if the parent/guardian has telephoned the school office.

Lateness may be punished by punishment work and/or detention for 3 lates in one week. Constant latecoming may result in students being issued with a punctuality card. If there is no improvement an interview with parents/guardians will be arranged and their co-operation sought.

4. During School

Students are expected to behave in a reasonable manner at all times while in school or when participating
in school organised activities. While moving through the building, students must walk at all times. At the changeover of class, If remaining in classroom, students are required to sit quietly in their seat and prepare for the next class. If leaving the classroom, walk in a quiet and orderly manner to the next classroom and line-up outside the classroom.

5 Classroom Rules

  • Rule 1 Treat teachers and fellow students with respect
  • Rule 2 Line up outside classroom quietly and on time. Enter and sit in assigned place
  • with teacher’s permission.
  • Rule 3 Place on desk appropriate classroom materials, homework and journal immediately.
  • Rule 4 Listen attentively and follow teacher’s instructions.
  • Rule 5 Always raise hand and wait quietly for permission to speak
  • Rule 6 All work should be completed on time and to a high standard.
  • Rule 7. Record all homework in Journal and leave room quietly when dismissed.

6. Practical Classes

Preparation and tidying up are essential for the success of practical classes. Each pupil must co operates with these simple procedures.

7. Extra-curricular activities

Normal school rules apply. Students who break the rules may face removal from further participation in such activities and/or other sanctions. In exceptional circumstances, the Board of Management reserves the right to remove such students from representing the school in extra-curricular activities

8. Preparation for Going Home

There is an onus on each class to keep the school tidy. At the end of the school day, students should –

(a) Tidy chairs and tables and place any litter in bins;
(b) Close all windows;
(c) Leave classroom, building and grounds immediately without disturbing others;
(d) Uphold the image of the school at all times by behaving well on your journey

9. Social Behaviour

A high standard of courtesy is expected of each student. They are expected at all times to show respect for themselves, for their fellow students, for all teaching and non-teaching staff and for visitors and guests of the school.

Students are expected to take pride in the appearance of the school and of the local area and to have respect for the school premises and grounds and for the dignity of all who work and visit here. Each student is expected to help ensure that the school is always kept clean and tidy by cooperating in the anti-litter campaign in a positive manner.

The school has a Substance Abuse Policy, a copy of which has been sent to all parents/guardians
This policy document outlines procedures for dealing with substance abuse in the school.

To summarise –

  1. Students are expected to display good manners to all adults and fellow pupils
  2. in the school
  3. Smoking is totally forbidden by law anywhere within the school boundaries
  4. Excessive loudness, bad language, horseplay, etc. is unacceptable
  5. Chewing gum is forbidden in the school

10. Rewards to Encourage Good Behaviour

Blakestown Community School acknowledges excellence of achievement and effort in class through a range of awards and rewards such as: –

• Positive comment by subject teacher, Tutor, Assistant Year Head, Year Head, or Deputy Principal
• Positive note/text to parents/guardians
• Positive postcard to parents/guardians
• Displays of student work
• Selection as Mentors or representing school
• Annual Academic Awards Ceremony
• Class Student of the Year Awards
• Sports & Cultural Awards
• Certificates of Merit
• TAP Educational Achievement Awards
• Positive Class Profile sheets
• Prizes for Tidy Classrooms/Tidy Journals/Uniforms
• Daily announcement of student achievements on the intercom
• Class visits by Deputy Principal/Principal to affirm good work and behaviour
• Photographic record of achievement.

11 Parent/Guardian Permission to use photos/video images of students (see pdf attached for printing)
Images of: Pupil Name_____________________________________________

may be used by Blakestown Community School for the following purposes –
• School Displays
• School Publications
• School Website
• Videos of school activities
• Local and national newspapers
Please place a tick [ √ ] in the appropriate box below.
I accept the above paragraph [ ] OR
I do not accept the above paragraph [ ]

PARENT’S/GUARDIAN’S SIGNATURE_____________________________________DATE___________________

12 Misbehaviours and Sanctions

The examples of misbehaviours listed below do not constitute a complete list. The school reserves the right to impose sanctions for other violations which it considers serious. Sanctions may include the following and are designed to minimise disruption to teaching and learning.

In Blakestown Community School, the emphasis is on improving behaviour rather than strictly to punish.

A. Minor Misbehaviour

Disruption of class by any of the following:-

– Homework not done
– talking/laughing/back-answering
– eating/drinking/chewing gum in class
– late coming
– not being in full uniform
– no journal/books or class materials
– use of locker outside stated times
– out of class without a note of permission
– wearing of excessive jewellery
– leaving class before being dismissed
– removing outer garments, e.g. gloves, hood.
– littering

Minor Misbehaviour – Sanctions

• Verbal reprimands by the teacher;
• Note in journal which must be signed by Parent/Guardian;
• Penalty work;
• 10-minute after school detention;
• Speaking to the student and outlining how they can improve.

Imposed by –

The class teacher or the Tutor.
B More Serious misbehaviour

Any of the above (category A – Minor misbehaviour) displayed on a regular basis

– use of foul language
– hitting/horseplay/mess-fighting
– verbal abuse to member of staff/peers
– bullying/racism
– inappropriate sexual comments
– malicious damage to property/theft
– skipping classes
– aggressive/threatening behaviour
– skipping detention

More Serious Misbehaviour – Sanctions

• Entry to Class Report Book;
• Formal school detention – if a student misses two detentions he/she maybe suspended
• Referral to the Year Head or Assistant Year Head;
• Loss of privileges;
• Parents contacted;
• Formal meeting with parents;
• Payment for vandalised or stolen property;
• Conduct card;
• Punctuality Card

Imposed by – Teacher/Tutor/Assistant Year Head/Year Head/Deputy Principal

(C) Gross Misbehaviour

– Any of the above offences listed under A or B which are
repeated or persistent
– Use of foul language to any member of staff
– direct refusal to obey instructions
– smoking on school premises or grounds (this is a breach of public law)
– setting off fire alarm
– substance abuse or dealing in prohibited substances (including aerosols)
– inappropriate use of Internet
– violent behaviour, e.g. physical assault
– any illegal activity

Gross Misbehaviour – Sanctions

• Suspension at the discretion of the Principal and in accordance with the school
policy on suspension and expulsion
• Referral to the Board of Management
• Expulsion: – in cases of gross misbehaviour, a student may be expelled in accordance with
the school policy on suspension and expulsion as per the Education Welfare Act, 2000.

Imposed by –

The Principal/Board of Management
The seriousness of the misbehaviour will determine the sanction to be applied. This may include referral to the Principal with a recommendation for suspension or referral by the Principal to the Board of Management with a recommendation to consider expulsion.
N.B. Parents and students are asked to note that it is not possible to detail every rule and regulation governing one’s behaviour at school. Attendance here is conditional upon acceptance of the above code and the Management reserves the right to make the final decision in its interpretation.

13 Property

Malicious damage to ANY property is a serious breach of school rules and the person responsible must pay for the repairs to, or replacement of damaged property. Detention, suspension or expulsion may also be imposed depending on the nature of the damage caused. In addition the following school rules apply to these items of property.

(a) Mobile Phones etc.

The use of mobile phones, personal MP 3’s, CD players, i-PODS, personal radios and any other electronic devices that may interrupt class teaching is not allowed in school and therefore should be turned off. In the case of mobile phones, use is defined as the sending or receiving of calls or text messages or the taking of photographs.

The breaking of this rule means that the prohibited item, regardless of ownership, will be confiscated for 3 consecutive school days. For example, if a mobile phone is confiscated on a Thursday it will not be returned until Monday at 4 p.m Any such item confiscated must contain ALL integral parts, such as SIM cards, etc. Failure to hand-up such items on request will be considered a major breach of the Code of Conduct and will result in immediate suspension.

N.B. Parents/Guardians may contact the students in case of emergency by calling the main school number
and not the student’s mobile phone.

(b) Lockers
Students may rent lockers at the start of the school year. There is a deposit and a rent to be paid.
The deposit is repayable to the student.

Access to lockers is confined to

(a) before school – 8.45 a.m. to 8.52 a.m.
(b) during lunch and after school.

Students who need to urgently access their lockers must get a note in their journal from a teacher.

Students who persistently break the rules on the use of lockers will have their locker taken from them without refund.

Student lockers are school property. If the school authorities deem there are reasonable grounds to search a student’s locker, the student will be invited to open and search the locker. Reasonable grounds would include a suspicion that there may be stolen property or something unlawful in the locker.

If the student refuses to open and search the locker, the Principal or Deputy Principal will advise the student that they are going to open and search the locker. The search will be carried out by the Principal or Deputy Principal in the presence of a teacher and the student (where practical)

I accept the rules for the use of lockers
Signed__________________________________ Student

14. Lunch Pass

A lunch pass permitting students to stay on the premises from 1.10 p.m- 2.00 p.m. is available to those students who live some distance from the school and for whom it would not be possible to go home and return to school over the lunch hour. In other exceptional circumstances. a lunch pass may also be issued. Only students with a valid lunch pass are permitted to stay on the school premises between 1.10 p.m. and
2.00 p.m.

An application form must be completed, signed by Parent/Guardian and returned with a recent photograph to the school. The completion of the application form does not guarantee that a lunch pass will be issued to the applicant.

The usual school rules apply while on the premises. The lunch pass may be withdrawn temporarily or indefinitely if students break these rules.

15. Appeals against certain decisions of the Board of Management

Section 29 of the Education Act, 1988 gives parents (and students of 18 years of age) the right to appeal certain decisions made by the B.O.M.

Any appeal may be made to the Secretary-General of the Department of Education & Science in respect of a decision by the B.O.M. to –

(a) permanently exclude a student from the school;
(b) suspend a student from the school for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days in any one year; or
(c) refuse to enrol a student in the school.

Appeal forms may be obtained from –

The Appeals Administration Unit,
Department of Education & Skills,
Cornamaddy,
Athlone,
Co. Westmeath. Tel No. 0906-48360
We/I have read the Rules & Code of Behaviour and accept that our/child’s continuing attendance as a student of this school is conditional upon full acceptance of the Rules and Code of Behaviour. (See attached PDF for printing)

 
SIGNED:_______________________ STUDENT
SIGNED:_______________________ PARENT/GUARDIAN

___________________ PARENT/GUARDIAN
CONTACT TEL. No.’s (1)_______________________ (2) _____________________