Code of Conduct - OLSS Belmullet

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Code of Conduct


Code of Conduct Policy

A  Welcome  Note
A Message from the Principal

Dear Student,

I wish to extend a very warm welcome to all new students of Our lady’s Secondary School, and to all existing students “welcome back”.

We commence another school year where again our aim is to get each student to reach their potential.   Many students have passed through these doors since the Mercy Sisters opened them in 1943.  Those former students look back with pride on their fond memories and friendships made during their time here. It is now your turn to be part of this proud tradition.  

An enormous range of facilities are available to support and help you reach your full potential.
• A wide variety of courses and subjects
• A diverse curriculum
• Modern Technology    
• Evening Study
• A wide variety of Sporting activities
• Career Guidance
• A Home School Liaison Officer
• Musicals and Drama
• A Pastoral Care team and counselling facilities
• Involvement in work experience and out of school competitions
• A Students Council so your voice can be heard.
• School Tours
• School Canteen

We recognise that achievement comes in many forms (social, personal and academic) and as a staff we must always be available to help and guide you in any way we can.  School is not just about achieving results.   It is important to make friends and enjoy yourself.   All we ask is that you try your very best.

I’m sure 2009/2010 will be a very happy and successful year.

Is mise le meas,

Josephine Moran,
Acting Principal

“Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift received from God”.
1 Peter 4:10

The School Mission Statement
Our Lady’s Secondary School is a co-educational voluntary Catholic Secondary School under the trusteeship of the Ceist.  Our Aim is to promote the development of the total person, by creating a climate where the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and cultural development of all its students is a priority.

This is done in a milieu where we aim:
1. To promote Christian Values of justice, mercy and respect for each other in keeping with The Message of the Gospel.

2. To uphold an agreed code of behaviour

3. To cater for all students learning abilities and to ensure the provision of a choice of leisure and recreational activities.

4. To develop each student’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem by respecting each student for what he/she is – not for what they achieved.

5. To encourage the active involvement of parents and the local community as partners in the education process.

6. To encourage religious practices and to foster commitment to the church and its teachings.

Code of Conduct

1. Aims and Goals of this Policy

We in Our Lady’s Secondary school are a community inspired by the life of Jesus Christ.  Our relationships in school should be governed by His words ‘Do for others what you would want them to do for you’.  Therefore we believe in the values of respect,  trust, courtesy, honesty and forgiveness. We recognise that we all have rights and responsibilities in relation to these values.  Our policy exists to foster this vision.

2. Respect

a. Students are required:
b. To respect themselves, members of staff, other students and visitors to our school.  Bullying violates this respect and will not be tolerated
c. To conduct themselves in a quiet and courteous manner in school, and on school grounds
d. To respect school property and the property of others.  A student or a class who have damaged property shall be responsible for replacement costs

3. Attendance and Punctuality

It is in the students’ own interest that he/she attends school regularly.  Absenteeism and lack of punctuality disrupt the learning process.  Students must adhere to the requirements of current legislation regarding attendance at school i.e. The Education Welfare Act 2000.
The following information will be required if absent from school. A note (see absence form at back of journal), which clearly states the following:
• Date of absence
• Reason for absence
• Signature of Parent/Guardian
It is the responsibility of the student to hand this note to the tutor on their return to school.
The Education Welfare Board is notified of 20 days or more absence of a student
Students who wish to travel to school by means of their own vehicular transport must first request permission from Principal of the school and adhere to the Students Private Vehicular Transport to School policy.
a. Attendance at all classes must be punctual and regular
b. A written note of explanation of any absence must be sent by parents/guardians.
c. Students who have appointments should present a written note of explanation to the tutor at registration.
d.  Students who have appointments should  be collected by parents/guardians.
e. Students ‘sign in’ when late for school and ‘sign out’ and ‘in’ when leaving and returning to school for appointments.
f. Students are not allowed to leave the classroom without permission of the teacher.
g. Assemblies take place monthly for each year group

4. Uniform

School uniform promotes a sense of identity and unity among students and prevents competition in dress. School uniform consists of:
a. Grey Pinafore/Trousers
b. White Blouse/Shirt
c. Black School Cardigan/Jumper/School Hoodie
d. TY Classes -TY Hoodie

5. Classroom Behaviour

a. Students should ensure that they are on time for all classes and that they have all the necessary equipment/special materials needed for class.
b. Students should be attentive and raise his/her hand when they want to ask/answer a question.
c. All students should be respectful and co-operative towards teachers and classmates.
d. Keep classroom neat and tidy – all litter should be placed in bins. No writing on desks.
e. Loitering between classes is not permitted.  Students should visit the toilets/lockers at the breaks.
f. Disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated as it hinders the progress of other students.

6. Classroom Guidelines

a. Thank you for
b. Entering the classroom in an orderly fashion with the permission of the teacher
c. Sitting at  a designated seat in the classroom
d. Placing your books/copies/journal etc. on the desk at the beginning of class
e. Presenting a note for any absence from class to the teacher
f. Being attentive and concentrating well in class, this lends itself to positive results
g. Contributing to the learning process
h. Placing your chair under the table at the end of class and putting any litter in the bin

i. Roll call will be taken for each class
j. Permission to leave class will be written into the journal.  This permission should only be requested in exceptional circumstances.  If a student is found out of class without a signed journal, the student will be requested to return to class
k. Permission to leave at the end of class will be granted after the bell rings

7. Chewing Gum

Chewing Gum is not permitted as it damages school property

8. Alcohol Use/Drug Abuse

a. Students who are under the influence of or in possession of alcohol or illegal drugs on school premises or attending a school-sponsored activity shall be subject to the following procedures:
b. Parents called in.
c. Suspension
d. Recommended for counselling.

9. Fireworks/Bangers or Weapons i.e. Knives etc…

These items are forbidden on school property or on school related activities.  Any student found in possession of such items shall be suspended.

10. Smoking

It is illegal to smoke on the school premises.  Public Health (Tobacco) Amendment Act 2004

11. Walkmans and Mobile Telephones

Walkmans, mobile telephones, musical devices etc… are not allowed in sight during school time and must be turned off at all times during the school day.  If they are seen in class they may be confiscated and are returned at the end of term or when a parent/guardian collects it.   Use of mobile phones is not permitted during school time.  The office phone is available to make contact with home if the need arises during the day.

12. Vandalism

A Gross Referral slip shall be issued. Parents are informed immediately.  Depending on the severity of damage, a suspension may be imposed and the Gardai informed.  In all cases, the cost of repairing the damage must be paid for by the students.

13. Lunchtime

All students should go to lunch at the appointed time only.( see rota timetable)
All students must clear their own table.

14. Throwing

Throwing stones, water, food or any other item will not be tolerated.

15. Journal

Students must have a Journal with them at all times.   If they have forgotten a Journal, they must report to the Deputy Principal for a Journal Sheet.  The tutor must also be informed.  It is not appropriate to put graffiti on a journal, if this happens the journal may have to be replaced.  A replacement Journal costs €15.  A student who frequently forgets their Journal may be given a Referral Slip.
• At the start of the year each student and parent/guardian is required to sign the Code of  Conduct.  
• This will be initialled by the Tutor when signed.  
• Your Journal will be signed by a teacher if you are out of class.

Referral System

If a student repeatedly fails to respond to correction, a referral system is put in place as outlined below:

STAGE 1: On receipt of the first referral slip the Year Head speaks to the pupil about it and talks with them about improved behaviour.

STAGE 2: If the pupil receives a second referral slip the parents are informed by letter sent by their Year Head.  This letter will explain that if they receive another referral slip, the pupil will be on report for one week.  If a gross referral slip is filled in, the student is at stage 2 immediately

STAGE 3: The pupil is put on report by the Deputy Principal.  A letter is sent home by the Deputy Principal.  The report is signed at home each evening and presented to the class tutor at registration each morning

Possible Outcomes of Not Completing Report Properly

• The parents may be requested to visit the school to discuss the pupils’ progress.
• The pupil may be excluded from school until such time as the parents have come in and spoken to the Principal.
• The pupil may be put on report again.
• The pupil may be required to sign a Promise of Good Behaviour.  This must be signed by parents.

STAGE 4: If a pupil receives another referral slip, within one month of being on report, the parents are contacted again by letter and the pupil is put on report again.
STAGE 4: If a period of more than one month elapses before receiving the next referral, the pupil is considered to be on stage 1 of the referral process again.

School Outings

Participation in school outings will be subject to co-operation and adherence to school rules.  Students issued with referrals may be deemed ineligible to travel.

Referral Slip

Pupil’s Name: _________________________

Teacher: ____________________    Class: _________  Date:______

Brief description of misbehaviour:

Rule breached

Action already taken:

Gross Referral Slip
A gross referral may be issued for:
• Defiance/challenging authority or deliberate disruption
• Fighting- verbal or Physical threat or action against another person
• Theft
• Vandalism- deliberate destruction of or damage to property
• Harassment or intimidation of students or staff like: name calling, writing/passing notes, body actions etc…
• Foul language -offensive or coarse language, directly or indirectly to any member of staff or towards another person
• This list is not comprehensive and the school reserves the right to impose sanctions for other violations which it might consider serious

Record of Gross Referral  Slip

Pupil’s Name: _________________________

Teacher: ____________________    Class: _________  Date:______
Brief description of misbehaviour:

Rule breached

Action already taken:

In line with the Department of Education’s Code of Behaviour, the Management Authority shall in the case of persistent or gross misbehaviour, empower the Principal to sanction immediate suspension (see suspension policy) pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.

I have read and agree to the following Code of Discipline:

Student___________________________________ Date  _________

Parent/Guardian___________________________ Date  _________

Sanctioned by Board: 12 January 2010

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