Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
Loreto Crest
 

Positive Behaviour & Discipline Policy

Introduction
The behaviour and discipline policy of Loreto College Coleraine is determined by the whole staff in the context of the College’s aims and values.  It is an integral part of a positive school ethos where effective teaching, learning and development can take place.

Parental co-operation is fundamental to the implementation of the school’s policy.  By enrolling a child in the school parents indicate agreement with the aims and ethos of the school.

The College seeks to promote a positive approach to behaviour management where mutual respect and self-discipline are fostered and where Spirituality and Excellence are promoted.

Each member of staff shares in the responsibility for the maintenance of order, discipline and good manners and the correction of unacceptable behaviour at all times.

It should be noted that the College reserves the right to discipline pupils for actions/behaviour outside the school.

Training
As a learning-for-all school the College is committed to promoting and facilitating relevant training for both the professional and personal development of staff enabling them to carry out their duties and responsibilities more effectively.

Aims
The aims of the College’s positive approach to behaviour and discipline are as follows:
• To promote effective teaching and learning within a disciplined, stimulating school community.
• To promote mutual respect, self-discipline and positive relationships with the school community
• To develop policies and procedures that promote and sustain positive behaviour management
• To promote a consistent whole school positive behaviour management approach among staff and pupils built on mutual respect
• To recognise and reward positive behaviour thereby enhancing pupil self-esteem and confidence

Objectives
The following objectives are intended to indicate how our aims may be translated into practice.  They are not exhaustive.

To promote effective teaching and learning within a disciplined, stimulating school community through:
• Well planned lessons which challenge, stimulate and motivate all pupils
• Lessons that take cognisance of how pupils learn
• A curriculum that takes cognisance of the different needs and interests of pupils
• Activities that prepare pupils intellectually, socially and spiritually for life
• A clean pleasant school environment
• Displaying pupils’ work inside and outside the classroom
• Bright, attractive, well arranged classrooms
• Promoting a safe and healthy environment.

To promote mutual respect, self-discipline and positive relationships within the school community through:
• Developing and promoting an effective pastoral care system and programme
• Valuing each member of the school community
• Showing care and consideration towards others
• Role-modelling expected behaviour
• Promoting in pupils the need to recognise and address broken/damaged relationships and equip them with the skills to address same

To develop policies and procedures that promote and sustain positive behaviour management through:
• A code of conduct which outlines the school’s regulations and expectations
• Effective classroom management techniques, consistent expectations and clear routines
• Creating and monitoring an orderly working environment
• A Pastoral Policy which aims to provide a safe, caring and supportive school community
• A Child Protection Policy which aims to support each pupils’ development through security, confidence and independence
• A Special Needs Policy which aims to create a safe and secure environment for pupils
• A Health and Safety Policy which aims to secure the health, safety and welfare of all in the College.
• A drugs, Solvent, Alcohol and Tobacco Policy which aims to keep the school free from these substances
• A Homework Policy which aims to ensure that homework is an integral part of each pupil’s learning experience
• A Marking, Assessment, Recording and reporting Policy which aims to provide a uniform system of marking and correction; which informs pupils and parents about progress and encourages pupils to achieve higher standards
• An Internet Policy which aims to protect pupils from accessing inappropriate material
• The development of support structures that enhance positive behaviour management eg pastoral system, prefect system, pupil mentors, pupil interviews, the graduated system of discipline referral etc
• Involving parents/guardians as partners in the management and support of positive behaviour
• A Relationships and Sexuality Policy which helps young people to develop healthy and respectful friendships and relationships.

To promote a consistent whole school positive behaviour management approach among staff and pupils built on mutual respect through:
• Providing a clear, concise Code of Conduct that outlines the school’s regulations and expectations
• Identifying and addressing the main sources of unacceptable behaviour
• Outlining processes/procedures for dealing with departures from expected standards
• Identifying a range and use of sanctions
• Recognising the difficulties in responses given that incidents occur in different contexts
• Implementing firm, fair, positive approaches that help the pupil to move on from the incident

To recognise and reward positive behaviour thereby enhancing pupil self-esteem and confidence through:
• Constructive and positive approaches to assessment, marking and evaluation
• Subject specific awards/rewards
• The Key Stage 3 credit system
• The Loreto Certificate of Achievement
• Records of Achievement
• Biannual reports to parents
• Junior and Senior prizegiving that recognise a wide variety of pupil contributions
• Recognition at assembly and via monitors; special assemblies
• Publication of achievements etc in the press and school magazine
• Positive comments in homework diary
• Full-attendance awards

Management of unacceptable behaviour
Although we encourage and reward positive behaviour and effort and recognise that the vast majority of pupils will comply with our standards, it is necessary to offer clear guidelines on management of unacceptable behaviour.  The College has developed a structure for administrating sanctions which are appropriate and fair.

A Graduated System of Discipline Referral
The administration of discipline is based upon graduated system of discipline referral that is considered good practice in the school.

A number of precepts underpin this system of referral.
• It is based upon a whole school approach, is positive and is designed to help the pupil.  It is wholly consistent with the aims and ethos of the school.
• It is designed to support and encourage a disciplined environment within which effective teaching and learning can take place.
• It combines aspects of both pastoral and discipline policy designed to bring pupils to realise that they are responsible for their actions and must face the consequences.
• It seeks to identify unacceptable behaviour early in a pupil’s career and correct it.
• It works in close partnership with parents at all stages.

The system draws upon the pastoral system within the school.  Central to its success is the consistent use of the student’s Homework Diary/Student Planner.  Absences, Behaviour, Punctuality, Teacher comments and Parent comments can all be recorded in this.
The system is graduated as follows:
1 Pupils are warned verbally about a misdemeanour.  Teacher Level.
2 If this (or similar) is repeated, a note to parents is written in the Homework Diary and the incident is also recorded in the Behaviour section of the Diary.  Teacher/Form Teacher Level.
3 Three such entries in any three months warrants detention.  Year Head Level.
4 Some offences such as chewing gum, uniform infringement, bullying or fighting warrant automatic detention.  A detention note is sent to parents.  A pupil who is absent through truancy for part or all of a day(s) is suspended.
5 If three detentions occur inside any three months the pupil appears before the Discipline Committee.  This consists of three teachers drawn from Vice Principals, Year Heads and Form Teachers.  A formal letter is sent to parents inviting them to attend.  The pupil is formally told of the date and time of the interview.
The outcome is the signing of a “Pupil Contract” and possibly the pupil being put “On Report”.  The parents receive a copy of the contract.  Vice-Principal Level.
6 Should the “Pupil Contract” be seriously compromised the Principal is informed and suspension may follow.  The parents are formally written to by the Principal.  Principal Level.
7 While this graduated system lists the consequences for a repeated series of offences, the serious offender (physical violence, trading in drugs etc.) will be summarily suspended and his/her future in the College considered.  Principal/Governor Level.

The Teacher Level
Misdemeanours are dealt with by individual teachers in the classroom or elsewhere using their own day-to-day sanctions eg verbal warning, extra work, change of seating etc in classroom

The Form Teacher Level
Repeated Misdemeanours warrants a note being written to parents in the Homework Diary and recorded in the Behaviour Section of the Diary.  The teacher continues to apply his/her own day-to-day sanctions.  The pupil should be told his/her actions are becoming more serious.  The Form teacher is informed.

The Year Head Level
Three such serious entries by teachers in the Homework Diary warrants detention.  The Year Head writes to the parents in advance (usually one week) and gives the reason for the detention.  Detention is on Fridays from 3.25pm to 4.25pm.  Work is set for pupils, taken up by the supervising teacher and returned to the pupil’s teacher(s).

Vice Principal Level
If three detentions occur within a three month period the pupil will be invited to attend the Disciplinary Committee.  This usually consists of a Vice-Principal, Year Head and form teacher.  Parents are written to and invited to attend.  The pupil is formally invited in writing to attend.  The outcome of this is the signing of a ‘Pupil Contract’ and the pupil being put on ‘Report’.  The pupil takes responsibility for his/her Report.  Should the ‘Pupil Contract’ be seriously compromised the Principal is informed and a pupil suspension may follow.

Principal Level
Incidents of a very serious nature, or where all possible strategies/sanctions have failed to result in acceptable behaviour, are dealt with by the Principal.  This may involve suspension.  Suspension is normally only for one day; it is the act of suspension that is important.  The Principal writes to the parents in advance (usually one week) indicating the date, duration and reason for suspension.  The Board of Governors and the NEELB are also informed.  Parents are invited to meet the Principal to discuss the circumstances of the suspension.

The initial period of suspension can be up to five days.  This can be extended with the consent of the Chair of the Board of Governors.  Work is set for the pupil during suspension.

Governor Level
Incidents of a grave nature or where all reasonable options and strategies/sanctions have failed, are dealt with at Governor Level and may involve expulsion.  Where expulsion is being considered the pupil may be suspended (as above) until the Board of Governors considers the case.

Initially the parents are invited to meet the Principal to clarify the circumstances of the case.  Thereafter the parents are invited to attend a Consultative Meeting involving the Principal, a
NEELB Officer and the Chair of the Board of Governors.  At this meeting the options available to the parents/pupils are put.  This is followed by a meeting of the Board of Governors to which the parents/pupil are invited and may make representations.  These meetings are convened as quickly as possible.

The outcome is communicated to the parents in writing.  If expulsion follows the NEELB and the Chair of the Board of Governors are informed.  The parents are advised of the right to appeal.

The detailed procedures for Suspension and Expulsion of pupils is appended.

Misbehaviour and Sanctions
The purpose of the referral system and sanctions is to improve the behaviour and performance of the pupil.  In almost all cases this will involve guidance/advice given by the teacher.  In serious/grave cases it may/will involve guidance/referral to outside agencies.

Teachers will endeavour to keep problems misdemeanours in perspective and make a clear distinction between minor and more serious problems, isolated and repetitive problems.  They will also use their judgement based upon comparative incidents, the particular circumstances of the incident, the age of the pupils and the record of the pupils.

The following is a guide to the category of offence and the sanction applied; it is not exhaustive.

MILD MISDEMEANOUR
Talking in class
Homework not done
Books etc not in
Running on corridor
Rough/bad behaviour
Copying
Diary/notes not signed
Late for class
Mobile phone/pager in school

SANCTION
Likely to include verbal correction/warning; teacher’s own day-to-day sanctions; note in diary to parents; break/lunch detention; extra work

SERIOUS MISDEMEANOUR
Mild offences recurring or persistent
Chewing gum
Fighting (of less serious nature)
School uniform breach
Confiscation of bus pass
Bullying including cyber-bullying, phone, texts
Bad, abusive language
Down town without permission
Insolence to member of staff, bus personnel, member of public
Graffiti
Vandalism
Using unfair advantage in tests
Truanting from class/assembly
Inappropriate use of school resources/facilities
Inappropriate use of ICT/internet facilities
Behaviour that damages the image/reputation of the school
Stealing in/out of school (of “petty” nature)
Audio/Visual recordings taken in school, taken out of school and used inappropriately
Possession of knife, blade, sharp implement or “weapon”

SANCTION
Will include a combination of the following: note in diary to parents; detention; communication with parents; use of disciplinary committee; pupil on Report; invitation to parents to come into school; exams cancelled; suspension; NEELB and Board of Governors informed.

GRAVE MISDEMEANOUR
Serious offences recurring or persistent
Severe graffiti
Severe vandalism
Truanting for part or all of school day(s)
Smoking in/out of school in uniform
Fighting/striking another pupil (of more serious nature)
Persistent refusal to obey a teacher’s reasonable request
Possession, use, supply of solvents, alcohol, tobacco, drugs in/out of school in uniform
An established attitude of disobedience and disruption
Intimidation/harassment of pupil/teacher
Striking a teacher
Stealing in/out of school (of serious nature)
Audio/Visual recordings taken in school, taken out of school and used maliciously
Cyber abuse of pupil/member of staff
Use of knife, blade, sharp implement or “weapon” to injure person or property

SANCTION
Will include suspension/expulsion

Pupil improvement
The aim of the positive behaviour and discipline policy is to affect improvement in the pupil.  Therefore the individual circumstances and needs of the pupil are always taken into consideration and given priority.  Pupils are challenged to recognise and accept that they must take responsibility for their own actions.

When pupils show improvement our aim is to encourage and recognise this.  The role of teachers and parents/ guardians is of paramount importance in this respect.  This can be achieved through:

• verbal recognition; praise, helpful advice
• targets for achievement agreed
• recognition when targets are met
• invitation to pupil to take an certain role/responsibility
• self monitoring
• privileges restored
• feedback to parents at PTM
• on-going encouragement, support and approval

Training
As a learning-for-all school the College is committed to promoting and facilitating relevant training for both the professional and personal development of staff enabling them to carry out their duties and responsibilities more effectively.

Evaluation
The College will review this policy annually.  It will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.

Related Policies
Anti-Bullying Policy
Code of Conduct Policy
General Complaints Procedure
Guidelines for Self-Protection
Use of Reasonable Force
Using Images of Pupils and Staff – Guidance
Education for Wholeness, Dignity and Self Esteem
ICT Policy regarding misuse of.
School Rules regarding mobile phones and recording devices.