Student Policies

Discipline Policy

In Catholic schools we strive for the discipline of living as Christ taught us. Teachers constantly seek to express their approval and to positively reinforce the children's appropriate behaviour.

Each class has rules for behaviour and there are general rules for behaviour in the playground.

Children are made aware of a system of positive consequences for good behaviour and of other consequences for misbehaviour.

Corporal punishment is expressly prohibited at the school. The CEO, Sydney does not sanction administration of corporal punishment by non-school persons, including parents, to enforce discipline in the school.

Restorative Justice

Good Shepherd's Discipline Policy is based on the Principles of Restorative Justice:

  • it is the responsibility of adults to facilitate the success of children
  • when someone has done something that causes harm, there are many choices:
    • ignore it and hope it goes away
    • act tough and punish
    • label
    • facilitate a process so peace can be restored for the person harmed, the person who did the harm and the community.

The goals of Restorative Justice are:

  • to improve relationships between all key members of the school community – students, teachers and parents
  • to enhance academic performance – improved learning outcomes emerge out of positive relationships
  • to respond to the needs of students in our school who have extremely challenging behaviours in a manner that promotes inclusiveness
  • to develop skills in collaborative problem-solving.

Restorative Justice focuses on reconciliation and reparation. Students who break rules are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their behaviour, and to restore damaged relationships and material losses. Participation in Restorative Justice helps students to understand the consequences of their behaviour, and to realise that they have the power to make things right.

We encourage responsible, positive self-discipline.

Code of Behaviour

Introduction

This Code of Behaviour is part of Good Shepherd's Pastoral Care Policy. It was first implemented in 2000 and is reviewed annually. The code implements the principles of Restorative Justice and is located in the Staff and Parent Handbooks and on the school website.

Statement of Belief

At Good Shepherd School, each community member values each individual. We acknowledge the worth of each individual and are therefore committed to upholding the rights of each person. Each community member has a responsibility to honour and uphold the rights of others. Students must learn to accept that they are responsible for their behaviour and its effect on others and the classroom and school environment. Accordingly, there are privileges for upholding people's rights and undesirable consequences for not respecting their own or other people's rights. Corporal punishment is not an option to be used by anyone. It is never acceptable.

Definitions

Appropriate Behaviour
At Good Shepherd, we adopt the words of Jesus (Matthew 7:12) to define appropriate behaviour: Jesus said: "Always treat others as you would like them to treat you."
Consequences
A consequence needs to be as related as possible to an inappropriate behaviour. It needs to teach the student something about appropriate behaviour (Rogers, 1994, 81). Desirable or undesirable consequences ought to be seen as an outcome of choice (Rogers, 1990, 153).
Mandatory Provisions
Each member of the school community (children, teachers and parents) accordingly has responsibilities to ensure that the rights of each child are upheld. Each community member, therefore, holds the responsibility to effectively implement this Code of Behaviour.

Anti-Bullying Policy

The aim of the Anti-Bullying Policy is to ensure that pupils learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without fear of being bullied. Bullying is anti-social behaviour and affects everyone; it is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Only when all issues of bullying are addressed will pupils be able to fully benefit from the opportunities available at the school.

Bullying is defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. The three main types of bullying are:

  • Physical: hitting, kicking, theft
  • Verbal: name calling, racist remarks
  • Indirect: spreading rumours, excluding someone from social groups.

Students who are being bullied may show changes in behaviour, such as becoming shy and nervous, feigning illness, taking unusual absences or having difficulty separating from parents and carers. There may be evidence of changes in work patterns, lack of concentration or truanting from school. Students must be encouraged to report bullying in schools.

Staff must be alert to the signs of bullying and act promptly and firmly against it in accordance with school policy.

Implementation

The School

The following steps may be taken when dealing with incidents:

  • If bullying is suspected or reported, the incident will be dealt with immediately by the staff member who is approached
  • A clear account of the incident will be recorded in the playground folder or other written account and given to the Assistant Principal
  • The Assistant principal will interview all concerned and will record the incident in the office folder stored in the AP's office
  • Parents of both the victim and the offender will be informed of the incident and consequence and response to the care of the victim
  • Discipline measures (time-out, loss of playground privileges, detention, behaviour contract, counselling) will be used as appropriate and in consultation with parties concerned
  • Restorative Justice practices will be utilised to assist in developing empathy and understanding of the consequences of one's actions.
The Victim

Students who have been bullied will be supported by:

  • Offering immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a member of staff of their choice
  • Reassuring the student
  • Offering continuous support
  • Restoring self-esteem and confidence
  • School counselling if required students who have bullied will be helped by:
  • Discussing what happened
  • Discovering why the student became involved
  • Establishing the wrong doing and need to change
  • Informing parents/carers to help change the attitude of the student
  • School counselling if required

The following disciplinary steps can be taken:

  • Official warnings to cease offending
  • Restorative justice meeting with the victim
  • Detention
  • Exclusion from certain areas of school premises
  • Behaviour contract and negotiated play privileges
  • Provision of counselling support through school counselling or STAR
  • Suspension

Within the curriculum the school will raise awareness of the nature of bullying through inclusion in PDHPE Program, Bounce Back Program, Restorative Justice Practices and assemblies in an attempt to eradicate such behaviour.

For further information contact:

Students' Rights and Responsibilities

  1. To be able to learn in a friendly, encouraging, peaceful, secure, supportive and positive school environment:

    Students' responsibilities

    • to be co-operative, polite and respectful
    • to respect and appreciate the work of others
    • to do their best work in the specified time
    • to be a good friend
    • to respect the friendships of others
    • to be a peacemaker
    • to respect other students' learning time.

    Parents' responsibilities

    • to be supportive in developing these responsibilities
    • to promote and model a positive school environment
    • to communicate with teachers

    Teachers' responsibilities

    • to work towards providing this environment by being encouraging and positive to each class member
    • to discipline consistently and fairly
    • to provide guidance in socially acceptable behaviour
  2. To have appropriate access to and respect for the school's facilities and environment:

    Students' responsibilities

    • to share equipment and play areas
    • to care for equipment and the school and classroom environment.

    Parents' responsibilities

    • to model and promote the use and care of school resources
    • to financially support the school's development of facilities
    • to ensure that facilities and equipment are cared for.

    Teachers' responsibilities

    • to allocate use of facilities appropriately and fairly
    • to ensure that facilities and equipment are cared for.
  3. To have appropriate access to the teacher's time:

    Students' responsibilities

    • to display 'turn-taking' behaviour
    • to be considerate of the needs of others
    • to listen and be co-operative.

    Parents' responsibilities

    • to respect teaching time
    • to make appointments to meet with teachers at mutually convenient time.

    Teachers' responsibilities

    • to allocate time fairly
    • to use teaching time professionally.
  4. To have a safe environment:

    Students' responsibilities

    • to respect others and avoid bullying
    • to act in a safe and responsible manner
    • to respect the property of individuals and of the community
    • to report situations in which they feel unsafe
    • to report unsafe areas and equipment.

    Parents' responsibilities

    • to comply with and model safe behaviours
    • to support Child Protection legislation
    • to report unsafe areas and equipment.

    Teachers' responsibilities

    • to ensure that the environment is safe and that children act safely
    • to report unsafe behaviours, areas and equipment
    • to support Child Protection legislation implementation
    • to explicitly teach techniques and principles related to positive behaviour programs.

    All School Staff's responsibilities are:

    • to provide a safe environment
    • to implement Child Protection legislation.
  5. To be heard and to be able to express an opinion:

    Students' responsibilities

    • to listen and speak appropriately
    • to respect others - not to tease or be 'bossy'
    • to respect the opinions and the good name of other people.

    Parents' responsibilities

    • to model appropriate expressive behaviour to children (assertive, not aggressive)
    • to model appropriate assertive behaviour to non-assertive students
    • to respect the opinions and the good name of other people
    • to inform teachers of incidents and concerns about their child(ren)
    • to display confidentiality where appropriate
    • to support the school's discipline procedures.

    Teachers' responsibilities

    • to encourage children to speak appropriately
    • to listen attentively
    • to guide group discussions
    • to teach appropriate assertive behaviour to non-assertive students
    • to respect the opinions and the good name of other people.
  6. To know what is acceptable behaviour and the consequences of unacceptable behaviour:

    Students' responsibilities

    • to contribute to, and uphold, class rules which describe the characteristics of being a Nurturing Disciple
    • to uphold school rules.

    Parents' responsibilities

    • to support their child in developing appropriate behaviour
    • to support their child in changing inappropriate ways of behaving
    • to support the school in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour.

    Teachers' responsibilities

    • to discuss these rights with students and make the issues clear through the annual development of fair classroom rules and consequences, based upon being a Nurturing Disciple
    • to deal with inappropriate behaviour in a fair and just way, ensuring that consequences consider the actions of all involved and the individual considerations of each child involved
    • to inform parents of concerns about individual children's inappropriate behaviour, whilst maintaining the respect and dignity entitled to other concerned parties.

    All School Staff's responsibilities are:

    • to implement and review the Code of Behaviour.