Discipline for learning is the system we operate in our school to manage pupil’s behaviour. It is a whole-school approach in which pupils are treated by all teachers in a consistent manner. It aims to create a positive learning environment where pupils are motivated to make responsible choices regarding their behaviour and so minimise disruption and the loss of teaching/ learning time.
The central concept in Discipline For Learning (D.F.L.) is the basic fact that no child has to misbehave. When a pupil does misbehave then he is making a choice to do so. Children can always choose to behave. Pupils have to know that good behaviour brings desirable consequences and unwise choices bring behaviour checks.
D.F.L. is structured around a charter. The charter has three parts.
- Behaviour Checks
There are 6 classroom rules. They are clearly displayed on the wall in each classroom and are also printed in the D.F.L. booklet that each child receives at the start of the school year.
The rules are the same for all children 2nd to 6th and contain the expectations we have for the children in our school. The rules are taught to all pupils and teachers make it clear to the boys what behaviour they want from them and therefore what they don’t want. In this way pupils know precisely where they stand.
The consequences for the behaviour pupils choose are also taught. Pupils who choose to follow the rules will be rewarded. Those who choose ‘unwise’ behaviour will be checked.
The Rules for the Classroom are
- Be in uniform, be on time, and be ready for school.
- Follow instructions straight away.
- Work quietly, finish your work and do it well.
- Keep unhelpful feet, hands, objects and comments to yourself.
- Raise your hand and wait for permission to speak or move from your seat.
- Wait to sort out problems until the right time.
Pupils who follow the rules are verbally reinforced by their teachers throughout the day. They are also rewarded through a structured system consisting of a stamp book. When pupils choose to follow the rules they can earn a stamp. They can earn up to six stamps a day.
Pupils receive their 1st Certificate when they reach 100 points; their 2nd on reaching 200 points; their 3rd at 300 points and so on.
Boys can earn up to 4 lucky dips during the school year when they reach 200, 450, 650 and 900 points.
Prizes in the Lucky Dip can include homework off vouchers, pens, toys, extra P.E. extra computer time or trip vouchers.
Gold Silver and Bronze Medals will be awarded by the Principal at the end of the school year.
Bronze medal winners over 500 points
Silver medal winners over 700 points
Gold medal winners over 900 points
Parents are also encouraged to reward boys who are trying hard and showing good behaviour and achievement.
The behaviour checks are a step by step procedure for dealing with pupils who don’t follow the rules. They are clearly listed on the wall chart in each room and are taught and regularly discussed. Pupils know precisely how they operate.
Every day is a fresh start (except for repetitive poor behaviour) and so pupils know that when they come to school each morning, it is they who choose how their day will go. It is their choice of behaviour that will lead to checks/rewards. If unwise behaviour leads to behaviour checks it is important that pupils know that at each stage they reach, they have a choice to make. They need to stop and think whether to continue with poor behaviour and incur more checks or follow the rules and avoid any more. The choice is their responsibility.
The Behaviour Checks are:
- Oral Warning
- Written Warning
- Offside Table
- Teacher Partner
- Office- Name Recorded in The Book
- Suspension with Work.
Each Teacher keeps a record of the behaviour for his/her own class.
At Stage 3 pupils move to a desk within the class and continue whatever work they are doing.
Stage 4: Pupils are sent to another classroom with work. If a pupil reaches
Stage 4 on two consecutive school days, then he will begin the following day at Stage 4 because of his repetitive poor behaviour.
Pupils reach Stage 5 for
1) having gone down through the stages
2) refusing to comply with the system of checks
3) serious misbehaviour
Stage 6: Parents are called in when a boy reaches stage 5 twice within a month.
Stage 7: If after having had parents called in, a pupil reaches Stage 5 again within 2 weeks, he will be suspended with work.
Suspension with work is where a pupil is given work and must complete it before he returns to school.
Persistent minor misbehaviour becomes serious misbehaviour.
A pupil is moved to stage 5 for serious misbehaviour and can be suspended with work.
Examples of serious misbehaviour are
- Leaving the classroom or school without permission
- Throwing with intent
- Insulting comments regarding other’s family
- Aggressive behaviour
In cases of physical or verbal abuse a pupil may be moved to stage 7 where he is given work which must be completed before he returns to school.
In the case of gross misbehaviour the board of management will authorise the chairperson or principal teacher to sanction an immediate suspension, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.
Suspensions will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 130 (5) of the Rules for National Schools.
Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case in accordance with
Rule 130 (6).