Introduction:

A core employment value is the commitment to ensuring that each individual is guaranteed a working environment where he/she may expect to be treated with dignity by management and work colleagues. This approach is a positive emphasis on the importance of each individual and the contribution he/she makes to the success of the workplace. It guarantees the optimal working conditions that allow individuals to freely maximise their role in the workforce. Sound management ethos is based on providing leadership that encourages individuals in this regard. This is best achieved in our school through the creation and maintenance of a positive working environment.

Integral to this employment value and in particular to the principle of mutual respect is the commitment to provide a workplace free from bullying. It is in such a context that the philosophy and policy statement will be realised.

Objectives of Dignity at Work Policy

  • To create and maintain a positive working environment in the North Monastery Secondary School where the right of each individual to dignity at work is recognised and protected.
  • To ensure that all members of the school community are aware and committed to the principles set out in this policy.

The Board of Management is committed to providing all employees with an environment that is free from any form of workplace bullying.

The purpose of this document is to outline the Board’s policy and procedures in relation to workplace bullying.

A complaint of workplace bullying will be taken seriously and dealt with properly in accordance with due process.

In approving this policy, the Board has agreed that:

  • It be brought to the attention of all Staff
  • All staff be asked to co-operate with its implementation.

The Policy

The objectives of the Board’s Policy is to eliminate workplace bullying to contribute to a supportive environment where staff has the right to carry out the work of the school in its’ holistic approach to educating our student cohort.

The Policy guarantees that all complaints will be taken seriously and investigated promptly, and that all parties involved will be treated with respect.

Staff will be protected from victimisation or discrimination for assisting in an investigation. Victimisation as a result of a member of Staff raising a complaint will not be tolerated.

Definitions

Workplace bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment , which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work. An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but as a once off incident is not bullying.

Harassment and Sexual Harassment

The Employment Equality Act, 1998 and 2004 specifically deals with harassment in the workplace. The new Code aims to give practical guidance and advice. Harassment that is based on the following nine grounds – Gender, Age, Marital Status, Family Status, Sexual Orientation, Disability, Race, Religion, or member of the Traveller Community is a form of discrimination in relation to conditions of employment.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined in the Equality Act 2004 as any form of verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose of or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person.

The unwanted conduct may consist of acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display, or circulation of written words, pictures or other material.

Harassment

Harassment on the other eight grounds covered by the legislation is any unwanted conduct related to any of the eight grounds (other than gender) and the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person. The unwanted conduct may consist of acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures, or other material. (Employment Equality Act 2004)

What constitutes ‘Unacceptable Behaviour’/Workplace Bullying?

Bullying can take a number of forms. Under the Health and Safety Act there is a requirement that personnel are consulted in respect of acceptable/unacceptable behaviour and that through this consultation process, the staff will have ownership of the policy as it relates to their school

A pattern of the following behaviours are examples of types of bullying:

  • Exclusion with negative consequences
  • Verbal abuse/insults
  • Physical abuse
  • Being treated less favourably than colleagues
  • Shouting
  • Intrusion-pestering, spying or stalking
  • Menacing behaviour
  • Intimidation
  • Aggression
  • Undermining behaviour
  • Excessive monitoring of work
  • Humiliation
  • Withholding work related information
  • Setting unrealistic and unreasonable targets
  • Blame for things beyond the person’s control
  • Unequal treatment.

This list is not exhaustive.
It is noted that a once – off incident is not normally considered to be bullying behaviour

What are the Effects of Bullying?

International research shows that that the effects may be physiological, psychological and behavioural.
Effects on the individual : research shows that individuals who are continually bullied lose self -confidence as self-esteem is eroded and they are at an increased risk of suffering stress. There may be serious effects on health and the person’s career may be adversely affected.

Effects on the Organisation:

Individuals who are bullied will find it difficult if not impossible to give their best in the workplace. Among the well-documented effects are increased sickness/absenteeism, low morale, a tense atmosphere, cliques or factions.

Why might an individual be reluctant to take action?
Because the particular workplace culture supports bullying i.e. staff in general are unaware of the seriousness of bullying.
Because of fear the complaint may not be taken seriously.
Because he/she may be seen as unable for the job or/and a weak person.
If the alleged bully is a person in authority, there may be the fear management will support the alleged perpetrator(s).
Because making a complaint could result in further intimidation and increased bullying.
Because there are no witnesses to the bullying and it would be one person’s word against another.
Because he/she might be seen to be lacking in credibility or/and personal status.
Where there are witnesses, these might be unwilling to come forward because they are afraid of being branded troublemakers.
Witnesses may also be unwilling to be seen to be taking sides.

What can I do to ensure that workplace bullying does not occur in this school?

  • By being familiar with the school policy.
  • By participating in in-service with respect to dignity at work.
  • By engaging in consultation with respect to the development and review of the dignity in the workplace policy.
  • By being aware and educated about workplace bullying.

What can I do to stop people bullying me?

Tell them it has to stop! This may be more difficult for some individuals than for others. It is inappropriate for work colleagues to act out their behaviour in an unacceptable manner. If you find it impossible or difficult to make an approach, tell somebody— the Principal, a Contact Person,, the ASTI Steward, the Deputy Principal, or other……GET HELP AND SUPPORT.

What may be the consequences of not dealing with workplace bullying?

There are consequences for the individuals who perceive themselves to be targets of bullying behaviour, for the alleged perpetrator(s), for organisational culture/ethos and for the Board of Management.

Are there performance criteria by which the success of the Policy might be judged?

  • The existence of a Policy on Dignity in the Workplace and the prevention of workplace bullying forms part of the health, safety and welfare at work.
  • Awareness/availability of Policy
  • Existence of Charter in a visible place: Dignity in the Workplace.
  • Dignity in the Workplace as well as inappropriate/bullying behaviour are defined in the Board Policy.
    Employee’s right to complain is respected.
  • Informal resolution of complaints is encouraged.

Procedures for dealing with workplace bullying

There are two stages for dealing with cases of alleged bullying:

Stage 1: Informal and
Stage 2: Formal.

Sometimes individuals may be unaware of the negative effects of their behaviour on other adults in the workplace. Such individuals may simply need to be told. Thus, at times incidents of bullying can be handled effectively in an informal way under Stage 1. If an incident occurs that is offensive, it may be sufficient to explain clearly to the offender that the behaviour is unacceptable. If the circumstances are too difficult or embarrassing for an individual, support may be sought from another colleague, a contact person, staff representative, Principal , Deputy Principal.
A complainant may decide, for whatever reason, to bypass the informal procedure and proceed to Stage 2.

The following section outlines the procedures to be followed with respect to a complaint.

Code of Practice Detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace (Extract from IR Code of Practice S.I. No 17 of 2002 Code of Practice.

1. Informal Procedure

While in no way diminishing the issue or the effects on individuals, an informal approach can be often resolve matters. As a general rule therefore, an attempt should be made to address an allegation of bullying as informally as possible by means of an agreed informal procedure. The objective of this approach is to resolve the difficulty with the minimum of conflict and stress for the individuals involved.

a. Any employee who believes he or she is being bullied should explain to the alleged perpetrator/s that the behaviour in question is unacceptable. In circumstances where the complainant finds it difficult to approach the alleged perpetrator/s directly, he or she should seek help and advice, on a strictly confidential basis, from a contact person. A contact person in the school environment could, for example, be one of the following:

  • A work colleague
  • A member of management
  • An employee/trade union representative.

In this situation the contact person should listen patiently, be supportive and discuss the various options open to the employee concerned

b. Having consulted with the contact person, the complainant may request the assistance of the contact person in raising the issue with the alleged perpetrator/s. In this situation the approach of the contact person should be by way of a confidential, non-confrontational discussion with a view to resolving the issue in an informal low-key manner.

c. A complainant may decide, for whatever reason, to bypass the Informal procedure. Choosing not to use the informal procedure should not reflect negatively on a complainant in the formal procedure.

2. Formal Procedure

If an informal approach is inappropriate or if after the informal stage, the bullying persists, the following formal procedures should be invoked:-

a. The complainant should make a formal complaint in writing to his /her Principal. If the Principal/Deputy Principal is the subject of the complaint, the formal complaint should be made to the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

b. The alleged perpetrator/s should be notified in writing that an allegation of bullying has been made against them. They should be given a copy of the complainant’s statement and advised that they shall be afforded a fair opportunity to respond to the allegation/s.

c. The complaint should be subject to an initial examination by a designated member of management, who can be considered impartial, with a view to determining an appropriate course of action. An appropriate course of action at this stage, for example, could be exploring a mediated solution which would require the agreement of all parties, or a view that the issue can be resolved informally. Should either of these approaches be deemed inappropriate or inconclusive, a formal investigation of the complaint should take place with a view to determining the facts and validity or otherwise of the allegation/s.

Investigation

d. The investigation should be conducted by either a designated member or members of management or, if deemed appropriate, an agreed third party. The investigation should be conducted thoroughly, objectively, with sensitivity, utmost confidentiality, and with due respect for the rights of both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator/s.

e. The investigation should be governed by terms of reference, preferably agreed by the parties in advance.

f. The investigator/s should meet with the complainant and alleged perpetrator/s and any witnesses or relevant persons on an individual confidential basis with a view to establishing the facts surrounding the allegation/s. Both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator/s may be accompanied by a work colleague or employee/trade union representative if so desired.

g. Every effort should be made to carry out and complete the investigation as quickly as possible and preferably within an agreed timeframe. On completion of the investigation, the investigator/s should submit a written report to the Board of Management containing the findings of the investigation.

h. The complainant and the alleged perpetrator/s should be informed in writing of the findings of the investigation.

i. Both parties should be given an opportunity to comment on the findings before any action is decided upon by the Board of Management. The method of communicating the commentary may be in writing and/or by the individuals presenting at a Board of Management meeting.

Outcome

h. Should the Board of Management decide that the complaint is well founded, the alleged perpetrator/s should be given a formal interview to determine an appropriate course of action. Such action could, for example involve counselling and/or monitoring or progressing the issue through the disciplinary and grievance procedure of the employment.

3. Confidentiality

All individuals involved in the procedures referred to above should maintain absolute confidentiality on the subject.

4. At all stages of the process a clear record should be kept of:

  • The investigation undertaken.
  • All communication to/by the complainant
  • The subject of the complaint
  • The steps and all the decisions taken

The above records should be held by the Chairperson of the Board of Management in a confidential manner in a secure place.

Where a complaint has been rejected or has not been upheld, a statement to that effect shall conclude the record in the personnel file of the complainant. All records in relation to a rejected /not upheld complaint shall be removed from the personnel file of the subject of the complaint. A statement of the
outcome of the investigation will conclude all other files. Where a statement of the outcome of the investigation confirms the allegations to be true then the statement of outcome shall be placed on the file/record of the person against whom the investigation upheld the complaint.

5. Protection and Support

Staff shall be protected from intimidation, victimisation or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation. Retaliation against a staff member for complaining about bullying/ harassment is considered a disciplinary offence. A malicious complaint made by a staff member will be considered misconduct under the disciplinary procedure.

6. Assistance in the event of Harassment

Every effort will be made to assist if they so wish, persons who are victims of bullying/harassment to deal with the problem and where it is requested, the services of a counsellor will be made available by the Board of Management. Persons who bully/harass others may be requested to attend counselling to prevent further incidences of harassment occurring. Access to such counselling may be made available by the Board of Management.

7. Training/Awareness

It is considered that all personnel who have a role in either the informal or formal procedure – e.g. designated members of management, worker representatives, union representatives etc- should be made aware of appropriate policies and procedures which should, if possible, include appropriate training.

This Policy will be reviewed in September 2018

Code of Behaviour to Support Learning

“Good behaviour is a necessary condition for effective teaching to take place”

1.0  Mission Statement

“Inspired by the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice, the North Monastery Secondary School, in its proud tradition is committed, in partnership with parents, to enabling all members of the school community, to achieve their full potential in a caring Christian community where mutual respect, good order, discipline and positive self-esteem are the values which guide us in our teaching and learning community”.

2.0  Preamble

The Board of Management of the North Monastery Secondary School strives to ensure that our school is a place where all stakeholders exist in an atmosphere which is conducive to effective teaching and learning. It is also a school where students and teachers co-exist in an atmosphere of mutual respect and safety.

Good order and discipline are vital ingredients which facilitate teaching and learning of the highest quality and underpins every classroom setting. Ensuring we reach these high standards is an achievable goal once respect for human dignity is a core value for all stakeholders.

The school accepts that our students come from varying cultural and social backgrounds. We also understand that our students have different aspirations and abilities. The school strives to ensure each student reaches his potential and as a consequence the services of the Pastoral Care Team, the Learning Support Teacher, the Guidance Counsellor, and the Behaviour for Learning Teachers support the work of teachers in the classroom to facilitate the enhancement of the student experience.

This Code of Behaviour is the set of programmes, practices and procedures that together form the school’s plan for helping students in the school to behave and perform well.

We respect and encourage the collaborative role of parents in the implementation of this policy.

3.0  The National Educational Welfare Board states the following in relation to high standards of behaviour :

3.1  “Standards are the means by which the school will:

  • Provide clarity for students about the school’s high expectations for their behaviour
  • Set goals for students that will guide them in moving towards mature appropriate behaviour
  • Serve as a practical tool for teaching and learning

3.2  Standards of behaviour should reflect values such as:

  • Respect for self and others
  • Kindness and willingness to help others
  • Courtesy and good manners
  • Fairness
  • Readiness to use respectful ways of resolving conflict and difficulties
  • Forgiveness

3.3  The standards will describe the commitment that the school expects from students to their own learning and that of their peers. This commitment will include:

  • Attending school regularly and punctually
  • Doing one’s best in class
  • Taking responsibility for ones work
  • Keeping the rules
  • Helping to create a positive environment
  • Respecting staff
  • Respecting other students and their learning
  • Participating in school activities

3.4  Standards are also a way of signalling to members of the school community the kinds of behaviours that are not acceptable in the school, for example:

  • Behaviour that is hurtful (including bullying, harassment, discrimination, and victimisation)
  • Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning
  • Threats or physical hurt to any person
  • Damage to property
  • Theft

4.0  As a practical response to behaviour standards as set out by the NEWB, the Aims of our Code of Behaviour to Support Learning are:

  1. To provide behaviour guidelines which will support  each student to develop, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
  2. To emphasise and highlight the promotion of good behaviour.
  3. To create an environment where all partners in our school community feel safe, respected and valued.
  4. To promote self – esteem, self – discipline and positive relationships.
  5. To create an ordered and respectful  environment where  pupils and staff can reach their creative and intellectual potential.
  6. To ensure students and parents are aware  of the standards of behaviour required from each student for effective teaching to take place.
  7. To highlight how positive and co-operative behaviour is encouraged, acknowledged and rewarded.
  8. To outline the strategies to be initiated when a student contravenes this Code.

 

5.0  Roles and Responsibilities

Every member of the school community has a role to play in ensuring the promotion and effective implementation of this Code.

5.1  The Code as it applies to Students

Each student has a duty to his class teacher and his fellow students to behave in a manner which does not impede the teacher from teaching and his fellow students from learning.

Before specific rules are itemised it should be noted that teachers are in “loco parentis” . As a consequence they are entitled to be respected by all students in the same way that parents are respected in the family home. It is absolutely unacceptable that any student will  attempt to abuse, harass, intimidate or assault  any member of staff while he/she is going about his/her daily  work. It should also be noted that staff members other than  teaching staff are entitled to the same respect and protection.

The following rules as they apply to students will support and underpin this philosophy. They will support good order in the school thereby ensuring students can learn and teachers can teach.

5.2  Classroom Behaviour

  • A Student should enter the classroom in an orderly manner and sit at his allotted desk.
  • A student must be in full school uniform.
  • Books and equipment essential for effective teaching and learning must be in a student’s possession on entering class. They should be placed on the desk as soon as the student is seated.
  • Homework must be produced for each class. If a student does not have his homework completed then he is required to have a note from home explaining why the homework has not been attempted or completed. If a student is absent from a class then it is his responsibility to ensure he has all relevant homework completed.
  • Students are expected to be cooperative at all times while a class is in session.
  • It is a requirement of students that they are respectful at all times to members of staff both inside and outside the classroom setting. Any student who defies a member of staff or who acts in a disrespectful manner will be deemed to have breached this Code and may be withdrawn from class by management. A meeting may be sought with parents and a suspension may follow. A repeat of this type of behaviour may result in the student being referred to the Board of Management where options up to and including expulsion will be considered.
  • Offensive language is absolutely forbidden within the school.
  • Incidents of bullying, name calling or harassment will be considered a serious breach of this Code. The Anti-Bullying Code and the Code of Behaviour will be invoked to address incidents of bullying.
  • A student cannot leave the classroom without the permission of the class teacher.
  • Students are not allowed to eat, drink or chew gum in the classroom or corridors.
  • Before a student leaves a classroom he must check the area around the desk for litter. The student must deposit litter in the appropriate bin BEFORE  leaving the classroom.
  • Students can only leave the classroom for a toilet break at the designated times. If a student requires a toilet break other than the designated times then a doctors’ note will be required.
  • All students are required to have a School Journal. The Journal will be used to take down homework, facilitate notes  from parents to teachers and also from teachers to parents. It must be made available to teachers in the classroom.
  • Students must comply with the specific rules and regulations as they apply to specialist areas such as Science Laboratories, Gym, Metalwork and Woodwork rooms, Art room, Computer Room.
  • Students must assemble quietly outside the classroom door until the teacher allows them to enter.
  • Smoking is absolutely forbidden on the school premises, school grounds, in the vicinity of the school and on all school outings.
  • Students must comply with the school policy on mobile phones. (see separate policy).
  • Students are expected to pick up litter and always keep the school and the grounds clean and tidy. (refer to Green Flag Policy)
  • Chewing gum is forbidden in the school building and campus.
  • Bringing illegal substances into the school for personal use of for distribution is absolutely forbidden. A student who is found in possession of these substances will be referred immediately to the Board of Management

5.3  Respect for International Students

  • All students are expected to adhere to our Code of Diversity
  • Students are expected to recognise and value differences between individuals as a consequence of being born into and living his early years in another country.
  • All students have a duty to promote an atmosphere of inclusiveness in our school.
  • Any student who by his behaviour does not live up to the aims and objectives of our Diversity Code will be dealt with through the Sanction Process linked to this Code of Behaviour.

5.4  Appearance and School Uniform.

The school uniform identifies students with the school. We expect students to wear the uniform with respect and pride. The uniform is also an important element of our safety strategy as students are easily identifiable within the school, when they are on school trips or in the school yard. All items of uniform should have a student’s name attached. This will enable an item to be returned to a student in the event of the item being mislaid.

The Code as it applies to the uniform is as follows:

The uniform consists of:

  • Grey Pants
  • School tie
  • Pale blue shirt
  • Navy V-neck jumper
  • Plain black leather shoes
  • Blue Marine Jacket with School Crest attached.

The following are not permitted:

  • Boots
  • Runners
  • Any type of facial jewellery
  • Hand Jewellery
  • Snood
  • The wearing of any type of badge or symbol that may be considered discriminatory or offensive to others.
  • Sweat shirts, Hoodies or Sports Jackets.

5.5  Student’s responsibility re books and equipment.

  • Students are not allowed to store bags/books in corridors or under
  • Books should have a student’s name on the inside cover to ensure a book can be returned to its owner in the event of being lost.
  • Students should ensure they have books for the six morning classes in their bag BEFORE attending first class in the morning.
  • Books for the three evening classes should be removed from a student’s locker BEFORE he attends the first class in the
  • Students are allowed into the building 10 minutes before the start of afternoon classes. This is adequate time for each student to his obtain his books from his locker
  • It is not acceptable for a student to disrupt a class in order to retrieve a book from his locker.
  • Students are not permitted to access their lockers between
  • Students are required to return to school following the summer break with all necessary books, equipment.
  • Students must have the required equipment for PE. This Includes sports shirt, tracksuit, and runners.
  • The Book Rental Fee must be paid to the school BEFORE the student returns to school after the summer break. Parents/guardians will be given adequate notice of the deadline for paying the fee. The books are not the property of the student until such time as the third payment of €100 is paid before the beginning of Third Year. We will, where possible, accept an agreed staged payment plan between the parents and the school during the summer to facilitate parents paying off the €100. Please be aware that Books will have to be returned to the school if the payment for the book rental scheme is not paid on or before the deadline. 

5.6  Student’s responsibility to the Environment

  • All students are expected to support the principles underpinning our Green School Policy. This is a separate policy and should be read in conjunction with this Code.
  • Recycling bins must be used in the classroom, corridors and yards.
  • Waste bins are also provided at strategic points around the school and should be used by students
  • A student should never leave a classroom until he has checked that the area around his desk is free from litter. Any litter collected should be deposited in the appropriate bin BEFORE the student leaves the classroom.
  • Chewing gum is extremely difficult to remove if it comes in contact with school furniture, the school floor, a student’s clothes or hair. Students are therefore not allowed to chew gum in the building or in the campus.
  • It is absolutely forbidden for a student to write or draw on a desk.

Graffiti  on walls or desks makes a very negative visual impact on individual classrooms and on the school building in general.

5.7  Student’s  responsibility in relation to Mobile Phone Usage

Students must turn off mobile phones BEFORE entering the school gates. They must  remain switched off until the student exits the school gate at the end of the school day.

Parents and students are asked to reference the Mobile Phone Acceptable Use Policy which should be read in conjunction with this Code of Behaviour.

5.8  Students responsibility in relation to the School Campus

  • Students are not allowed to encroach on the school gardens at any time.
  • For health and safety reasons students must confine themselves to their designated yard at break times. This is to ensure all students are supervised when in the yard.
  • When leaving the school building and exiting the main school gate students must confine themselves to the footpaths adjacent to the avenue.
  • Students must not congregate between the Fair Hill gate and the steps leading down to the door opposite the Fair Hill entrance. This means that once a student enters the Fair Hill gate he must proceed immediately to the designated yard or entrance door.

5.9  Students responsibility in relation  to Attendance and Punctuality.

There is a direct link between a student’s attendance and his academic attainment. If a student is to reach his academic potential then he must be in school on time ever day for the full duration of the day. A student who is habitually late for school is disrupting the work ethic of the class and the teacher. He is also developing bad habits which will undermine him in Third Level and in an employment environment.

  • The school day begins at 8.55am and finishes at 3.45pm.
  • Assembly begins for all students each morning at 8.50am. Students must be on time  for assembly
  • A parent/guardian must write a note in a students’ Journal if;
    • The student is late for school and has a valid reason
    • The student must leave the school during the school day
    • The student has been absent the previous day or number of days.
  • Any student who arrives late in the morning or afternoon must first sign in at the office BEFORE going to class.
  • Family holidays arranged during school time seriously undermine a student’s progress. As a school we are not in favour of students being taken out of school for the purpose of a family holiday.
  • The school is obliged by law to inform the Education Welfare Board if a student has accumulated 20 absent days. Parents will be informed once a student has accumulated 15 absent days.
  • Parents will be informed if a student is persistently late without a valid reason.
  • A student who accumulates three such  lates will be put on a 30 minute detention after school. The date of this detention will be at the discretion of the  Deputy Principal or Year Head.
  • Subsequent lates up to a maximum of 6 will result in the student being put on I hour detention for each late. Once the student has reached the 6th late the student will receive a Letter 2. Parent/guardians will meet with the Deputy Principal and if necessary the relevant Year Head to seek a resolution to the problem of the student arriving late for class. For each subsequent late a student will be required to attend detention on a Wednesday for a period of 2 hours. This sanction will be applied for a maximum of three lates. If the student is unable to resolve the issue at that stage he will be sent home each day he is late.

Students miss out on teaching and learning when they are taken out for appointments or holidays. they also miss out on homework. As a consequence appointments where possible should be made outside school hours,

  • Students who need to leave the school during the school day to visit the doctor, dentist etc. must have a note in his Journal  signed by a parent/guardian. This note must state the reason for the absence, the time the student will be leaving the school and the approximate time of his return. This note must be presented to either the Year Head, Deputy Principal or Principal for signing BEFORE the student signs out at the office. The school secretary will check that a member of Senior Management has signed the note before allowing the student to sign the Permission to Leave Register.

5.10  The Code as it applies to School  Examinations.

  • Students are required to be seated in their allocated Examination Centre at least 5 minutes before the start of an examination.
  • Students who are consistently late for examinations will not be allowed to enter a centre and will be sent home if in the opinion of management there is no acceptable reason for being late.
  • Students must have in their possession all equipment required for the examination.
  • Students are required to be in full school uniform for the duration of the examination.
  • A student will be removed from a centre and sent home if his behaviour is such that the ability of other students to concentrate on their work is compromised as a consequence of his behaviour. The student will be allowed back to complete his examinations once the management receive a letter from a parent or guardian confirming that the student will comply with school rules as they apply to examinations.
  • A student who is found to be cheating in an examination will be removed from the Centre and sent home for the remainder of the examination. He will not receive a result for the relevant subject.

6.0  The role of  Management and Teachers in relation to the implementation of the Code

Teachers use their professional expertise in understanding the links between behaviour and learning: their experience of what works to help students to behave well; and their knowledge of the school and of the school community.

However despite the best efforts of our teachers and management, inappropriate behaviour does happen. Minor breaches have a disruptive influence on the classroom setting and in time can lead to the undermining of the learning environment.

Serious misbehaviour can have more long lasting consequences. It can result in the undermining of morale and affect in a very negative way the educational life chances of students. It can cause stress and anxiety for students and staff which is a most undesirable situation for co-operative students and hard-working staff to endure.

The management of the North Monastery Secondary School is very conscious of the need to maintain a classroom and general school environment which supports the learning of every student and facilitates teachers to carry on effective instruction.

When a student begins to display challenging behaviour in the classroom a series of interventions will be introduced in an attempt to get the student back on track.

The following individual interventions  will form the basis for a whole school strategy to address inappropriate behaviour by a student:

6.1  Subject Teacher

The subject teacher is the front line source of support for students. As the leader of learning and someone in an established relationship of trust, the subject teacher will have a strong influence on students’ behaviour.

The subject teacher will deal with routine incidents of misbehaviour through classroom management strategies thus minimising the need for other interventions.  For minor breaches of the Code the subject teacher will;

  • Issue a student with a Letter 1 for the following reasons:
    • No homework
    • No materials
    • No extra work
    • No PE gear.
  • Issue the student with a Letter 2 in consultation with the Year Head or Deputy Principal. The Letter 2 will outline the nature of the problem and an invitation to the parent/guardian to meet with the subject teacher.

The teacher may be accompanied by the appropriate Year Head or the Deputy Principal. This meeting will act as an early warning sign for a parent and student and ensures both the school and the parents are co-operating in the interests of the student.

This meeting will plot a course of intervention/s to facilitate the amelioration of the student’s behaviour. Interventions may include some or all of the following; Guidance Counsellor, Behaviour for Learning Teachers, Learning Support Teacher.

Once a Behavioural Plan is decided upon the student will be put on a Yellow Close Supervision Card for a period of two weeks. If at the end of this period the student’s behaviour has improved to the satisfaction of management and the teaching staff then the Yellow Card will be withdrawn.

  • If at the end of the Yellow Card period the student’s behaviour has not improved then a meeting will be arranged with the Principal and Deputy Principal for the student and his parents. This meeting will address the continued inability of the student to comply with the Code. This meeting will also map out further interventions if required. For a two week period following this meeting the student will be issued with a Red Close Supervision Card.
  • If at the end of this period the behaviour of the student has not improved the student’s file will be referred to the Board of Management. The Board will discuss all options up to and including expulsion.

6.2   Issuing of Referral Notice.

  • A Referral Notice is a very important link in the continuity chain of behaviour management.
  • It is normally issued by teachers to record a serious incident of misbehaviour in a classroom setting, in the school campus or outside the confines of the school grounds.
  • It records the nature of the infraction and facilitates the recording of action taken by management to address the issues highlighted in the Referral.
  • The Referral Notice will form part of the Student File sent to the Board of Management in serious cases of student

 6.3 Whole class Behaviour Performance Sheet.

  • On occasions it may be necessary for a class to be monitored by all subject teachers.
  • This will consist of a teacher awarding a grade of Behaviour/Performance at the end of a class. The grade will be in Likert Scale Format.
  • The Performance Sheet will be handed in to the office at the end of the school day for consideration by the Year Head in consultation with the Deputy Principal. If the performance of the class is not up to a standard which conforms to this Code, then sanctions will be applied.

7.0  The role of Parents  as it applies to the Code

Parents have a vital role to play in the implementation of the Code. In the following very practical ways they can support their son in his learning by;

  • Ensuring the student’s attendance and punctuality is of the highest standard.
  • When referring to attendance of a student in school The Education Welfare Act states “ where a student is absent from the school at which he is registered during part of a school day, or for a school day, or more than a school day, the parent of the student shall in accordance with procedures specified in the Code of Behaviour prepared by the school under Section 23 of the Act NOTIFY THE PRINCIPAL OF THE SCHOOL OF THE REASONS FOR THE STUDENT’S ABSENCE”.
  • This absence must be recorded in the student’s Journal.
  • Checking his Homework Journal every night to ensure homework is completed.
  • Supporting the student’s learning by ensuring the student abides by our school rules and policies.
  • Attending Parent-Teacher meetings and any special appointments when requested.Providing the student with all the requisite books and materials for every subject.
  • Ensuring the student attends school every day wearing his full uniform.
  • If there is a change in the home circumstances of a student the parent must inform the school as soon as possible. This includes a bereavement which may upset the student and undermine his ability to concentrate.
  • The parent must inform the school if there is a change in a contact number. Correct information is vital with regard to a contact number particularly in the event of an emergency.

8.0  The Code as it applies to Suspension.

Suspension is defined as “requiring a student to absent himself from the school for a specified period of time”. During a period of suspension the student retains his place in the school.

The Board of Management delegates authority to the Principal to suspend a student. In the absence of the Principal authority for suspension will be transferred to the Deputy Principal.

A student may be suspended for a number of reasons including:

  • If the student’s behaviour has a detrimental effect on the education of other students and the ability of teachers to teach.
  • If the student has behaved in a manner which in the opinion of management constitutes bullying/harassment/intimidation or assault of a member of staff.
  • If following an investigation the student is found to be responsible for damaging school property.
  • If a student’s behaviour brings the name of the North Monastery into disrepute.
  • If the student in the opinion of management following consultation with staff is considered a threat to the safety of students and staff.
  • If a student is involved in physical fighting while on the school premises /campus.
  • Repeated, persistent failure to follow instructions, after other interventions have failed.
  • Refusal to comply with the School Policy on Mobile Phones having been directed to do so by the Principal/ Deputy Principal or teacher.
  • Smoking or consuming alcohol, taking or distributing illegal substances on the school premises or grounds or while on a supervised school outing.
  • Leaving the school premises without permission during the school day without regard for health and safety implications.

8.1  Types of Suspension

8.2  Immediate Suspension

In exceptional circumstances , the Principal may consider an immediate  suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student  in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of students and staff.

It may be necessary where a student despite warnings and interventions continually undermines the work of students and staff to such an extent that students cannot learn and teachers cannot teach.

It may also be necessary in a case where a student is involved in bullying or harassing a staff member within the confines of the school or on social media. In this instance the continued presence of the student in the school would result in the relevant staff member  being unable to function at his/her optimum level of proficiency.

In practice the parent will be contacted by phone and once contact is made the parent/guardian will be made aware of the nature of the infraction. The parent/guardian will be requested to come to the school as a matter of urgency to meet with management. Following this meeting the student will return home with the parent. If the parent is unable to come to the school the student will be sent home.

The parent/guardian will be contacted by letter which will outline the reasons for the Immediate Suspension and also the process which will  be initiated by the school management to address the issue.

There may be a possibility that the Principal may have to refer the student’s file to the Board of Management.

A student will be offered the services of the Guidance Counsellor following his return from suspension.

8.3  Grounds for immediate Suspension

  • Smoking in the school building/campus
  • Fighting in the school building/campus
  • Refusing to comply with an instruction given by a member of staff which undermines the ability of the teacher to teach and students to learn.
  • Directing abusive and threatening language towards a member of staff or a student
  • Threatening a member of staff.
  • Setting off the Fire Alarm.
  • Refusing to hand over his phone in contravention of the Mobile Phone Policy.
  • Harassment/bullying of a student or staff member through the medium of social media.

The grounds listed above may be referred to the Board of Management for consideration up to and including expulsion.

8.4  Automatic Suspension

The Board of Management as part of the school’s policy on sanctions  and  following consultation with the Principal, parents, teachers and students, have decided that particular named behaviours incur suspension as a sanction. Fair procedures will apply in these cases.

In  addition to the grounds for Immediate Suspension the following infractions will result in an Automatic Suspension;

  • Leaving the school during the school day without permission from school management.
  • Not turning up for detention.
  • Turning up late for school as outlined in 6

In the case of an Automatic Suspension the parent will receive a letter outlining the reasons for the suspension and the steps which must be followed by the student if he is to be allowed to return to school.

8.5 Permission to Return to School Form.

The purpose of the Return to School Form is to help the student reflect on the reason he was suspended and how he proposes to behave in future so that he will avoid a further suspension.

  • Before a student returns to school following a suspension he must fill out the Return to School Form.
  • This Form must be signed by a parent/guardian and presented to the Deputy Principal at Assembly BEFORE the student returns to class.
  • The Deputy Principal must be satisfied;
    • The student understands why he was suspended
    • The student has highlighted the section of the Code he has contravened
    • The student has explained the steps he proposes to take to ensure he does not contravene the Code in future.
  • If the student fails to address all issues pertinent to the Return to School Form he will be sent home until the form is filled out to the satisfaction of management.

8.5  Suspension during a House Examinations

This should be used only where there is:

  • A threat to good order in the conduct of the examination
  • A threat to the safety of other students and personnel
  • A threat to the right of other students to do their examination in a calm atmosphere.

The sanction will be treated like any other suspension, and the principles and fair procedures governing suspensions will be applied.

State Examinations

It should be noted that a student who in the opinion of the State Examination Supervisor needs to be removed from a centre during the state examinations, may be required to complete his examinations in another school.

The decision to remove the student from the centre will be taken by the Supervisor. He/she will inform the Department of Education and Skills that the student has been removed.

8.6  Implementing a suspension

The Principal will inform the parents/guardians and the student in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter will confirm:

  • The period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end
  • The reasons for the suspension
  • Any study programme to be followed
  • The arrangement for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the parents/guardians
  • The provision for an appeal to the Board of Management
  • The right to appeal to the Secretary General of the DES.

9.0  Expulsion

The Board of Management of a recognised Secondary School has the authority to expel a student.

A proposal to expel a student requires serious grounds such as that:

  • The student’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or the teaching process
  • The student’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property
  • The student behaves in a manner which intentionally or recklessly, seriously interferes with the other’s peace and privacy or causes alarm, distress or harm to another.

9.2  Expulsion for first offence

There may be exceptional circumstances where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence. The kinds of behaviour that might result in a proposal to expel on the basis of a single breach of the code might include:

  • A serious threat of violence against another student or member of staff
  • Actual violence or physical assault
  • Supplying illegal drugs to other students in the school
  • Sexual assault
  • The student behaves in a manner which intentionally or recklessly, interferes with the other’s peace and privacy or causes alarm, distress or harm to another.

9.3  Procedures in respect of expulsion

Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion, the following steps will include:

  • A detailed investigation carried out by the Principal.
  • A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal.
  • Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing.
  • Following the hearing the Board of Management will state its intention to expel or to recommend some other sanction.
  • If the intention is to expel the Board will contact the Education Welfare Officer and outline the reasons for the intended course of action.
  • The EWO will arrange for consultations over a period of 20 school days.
  • The Board of management may consider it appropriate to suspend a student during this period.
  • Where the twenty – day period following notification to the EWO has elapsed, and where the Board of Management remains of the view that the student should be expelled, the Board of Management will formally confirm the decision to expel. Parents will be notified immediately that the expulsion will now proceed. Parents and the student will be informed of their right to appeal and supplied with the standard form on which to lodge an appeal.

10.0  System of Rewards

It is the policy of the Board of Management of the North Monastery Secondary School to acknowledge and reward students who by their demeanour exemplify good behaviour, co-operation, respect and a positive commitment to learning.

A rewards system creates a positive environment in the school because:

  • It celebrates  and validates achievement, service and effort.
  • It highlights students who work very quietly and diligently throughout the school year.
  • It is not confined to high achievers. It focuses on every student who is trying to reach his potential no matter what level he is at in the ability spectrum.
  • It acknowledges good and respectful behaviour in the classroom and within the confines of the school campus.
  • It acknowledges service to the school in areas such as the Green Flag Initiative,

The Yellow Flag Initiative, Service in the local community, The School Music Initiative, Commitment to training and playing on school teams, being a team member in the Young Scientist Competition. Member of School Debating Team, Member of School Maths Team, Representing the school at Social, Cultural, and Educational Events

  • The list of positive behaviours highlighted in our Hidden Hero Merit Sheet will also form part of the System of Rewards.

10.1  Operation of the Awards System in Practice

  • All students entering the school at the beginning of the academic year will be awarded 1000 points.
  • Points are added when they are given by individual teachers and management.
  • Points are deducted when a student displays behaviour which is not in keeping with the aims of the Code.

10.2  Awarding of points

Points will be awarded for the following :

  • Any of the qualities highlighted in the Hidden Hero Merit Award Booklet: + 10 points
  • Member of Yellow Flag Committee, Member of Green Flag Committee, Representative team member: + 10 points
  • Significant improvement in school/class tests: + 10 points 
  • In the top 5 students in each subject in class/end of term tests: + 20 points
  • No recorded lates per term: + 10 points
  • No yellow card per term: + 20 points
  • No suspension per term: + 20 points
  • Full attendance in school per term: + 20 points
  • End of term report from teachers
    • Good Effort: + 20 points
    • Very Good Effort: + 30 points
    • Excellent Effort: + 50 points
    • Outstanding Effort: + 80 points 

Achievement Certificates

These Certificates will be presented to students at the end of the academic year.

The Certificates are based on an accumulation of points awarded for positive behaviour.

The following Certificates will be presented:

  • Bronze Certificate will be awarded to a student who achieves between 1250 and 1500 points
  • Silver Award will be awarded to a student who achieves between 1501 and 1750 points.
  • Gold Certificate will be awarded to a student who achieves between 1751 to 2000 points.
  • A Certificate of Excellence will be awarded to a student who achieves above 2000 points.

10.3   Points will be deducted for the following:

  • Any of the infractions listed as incurring an Immediate Suspension: – 100 points
  • Any infraction which results in an Automatic Suspension: – 100 points
  • Any infraction or number of infractions which result in the issuing of  a Yellow Card: – 50 points
  • Any infraction or repeat infractions which result in the issuing of a Red Card: – 80 points
  • Each time a student signs in on the Late Roster: – 15 points
  • Any infraction which contravenes the list of acceptable behaviours as outlined in Section 5.0 of the Code. This excludes infractions which result in suspension: – 15 points

10.4 Meeting with Parents/Guardians

A meeting with Parents/Guardians will be arranged once a student’s points rating drops below 800. The Deputy Principal and relevant Year Head will attend this meeting. If a meeting has been convened due to the issuing of a suspension or possible expulsion then this meeting may be postponed. If the meeting is scheduled then the reason for the deterioration in behaviour will be discussed.

If in the opinion of the Deputy Principal and Year Head the presence of other staff members with specialist skills would be of assistance they will be invited to attend the meeting.

A programme of interventions and a monitoring procedure will be initiated as a consequence of this meeting.

10.4   Recognition of Positive Behaviour.

Students who make a genuine effort to co-operate with the principles and values underpinning the Code and the Merit System may  be recognised and rewarded in the following ways:

  • Letter home to parents/guardians acknowledging good behaviour at the end of each term.
  • Regular celebration of good attendance records at Assemblies.
  • Presentation to students at Assemblies for good behaviour and achievement in examinations.
  • Trips arranged for students who are in the top 10% academically in each Year Group.
  • Trips will be organised to acknowledge students who have made a significant improvement academically.
  • Students who demonstrate improvement in behaviour following an intervention by Behaviour for Learning Teachers will be recognised at assemblies.
  • Individual class groups will be taken on trips when they achieve certain targets set for behaviour and academic performance.

The trips will be organised in October, January, and March.

10.5   Achievement Awards Night

The Annual Achievement  Awards Night is an occasion when as a school community we acknowledge our students for their achievements in all facets of school life.

This Policy will be reviewed in September 2016.

 

Students are selected for the programme based on the following criteria:

  • Students with low academic performance in primary school
  • Students who achieve very poor results in the standardized tests prior to entering secondary school
  • Students with serious difficulties in basic skills such as literacy and numeracy
  • Students with a record of high absenteeism from primary school
  • Students who would have had access to resource teaching

Students are selected for the programme by the following staff members:

  • Principal
  • Deputy Principal
  • JCSP Coordinator
  • Home School Liaison Officer
  • Learning Support Teacher

Students in the programme are organised in the following way:

  • All JCSP students are placed in a single class unit
  • They are streamed upon entering Secondary school
  • The subject teachers are part of the JCSP department
  • Certain students are withdrawn to attend the Behaviour Support Unit

The curriculum provision is as follows:

  • All JCSP students are offered English, Irish, Maths, French, History, Geography, Science CSPE, SPHE, Religion and a choice of either Metalwork or Woodwork.
  • The literacy needs of the students are assessed prior to entering 1st year and resource and learning support hours are allocated to those in need
  • During the course of the year, other students from the JCSP class may be sent for assessment based on the opinion of subject teachers
  • The students are retested every year to assess the increase of reading ages and levels.
  • Each JCSP teacher receives a Student Profile Handbook that breaks the particular subject into separate sections that would be tested at ordinary and foundation level.
  • There is a checklist for students to fill in after completing a particular topic that can only be filled in when a students fully understands the topic
  • A teacher may wish to focus on four of the sections in the handbook and may award the students personally or use them to gain a certificate at the end of third year
  • Students in third year receive a folder which holds these JCSP checklists, handouts, certificates, class tests and worksheets which are used as a means of revision before the Pre Exam and Junior Cert

The programme is coordinated and developed in the following ways:

  • A coordinator is appointed to run the programme
  • Based on the amount of students in the programme, the coordinator is allocated between three and five class periods to coordinate everything
  • The coordinator attends regular in-services on literacy and encourages other JCSP teachers to do the same by putting up the JCSP calendar in the staff-room and applying for cover
  • The coordinator tests the reading ages of all JCSP students pre and post a reading initiative
  • The Coordinator holds term meetings with the JCSP teachers to discuss new resources, initiatives and any problems arising from the students
  • It is preferable that that coordinator teaches a subject with each JCSP class as they will have a better understanding of the students and their challenges.

Selection of JCSP initiatives:

  • The JCSP coordinator applies for initiatives offered by the Curriculum Development Unit which aid teaching and learning
  • Initiatives can be applied for in term one and term two of the academic year
  • A literacy and numeracy initiative are always applied for
  • Other initiatives try to focus on the social skills and the self esteem of the students such as school outings, award evenings and team building
  • Due to limited funding, each year a selection of JCSP teachers will be involved in an initiative concerned with their subject

Provision of JCSP resources:

  • Based on the needs of the students and teachers, the JCSP coordinator applies for resources which are supplied by the Curriculum Development Unit.
  • Resources include Keyword notebooks, Keyword posters, Wall charts, Posters, Postcards, Bookmarks, Book tokens, Calculators, Workbooks, Subject Handbooks for teachers.
  • The resources are distributed and explained to each subject teacher upon arrival at the annual JCSP meeting for each year group
  • If a particular teacher wishes to carry out an exercise with JCSP students that requires additional funding, they may apply for it through the JCSP coordinator

Parental Involvement:

  • The parents of JCSP students are involved as much as possible through invitation to awards nights commending their son’s achievement in a particular task
  • JCSP postcards are used as a means of communication between teachers and parents
  • Parents are informed of trips through letter and phone contact
  • Certificates are given to students who have made significant improvement in an area
  • JCSP certificates are given to students who have completed the JCSP programme and are now in fourth and fifth year.

JCSP work to date:

  • In 2009/2010, Second year students completed six novels in six weeks
  • Second years also completed a Who Wants to be a Word Millionaire initiative
  • Second Years were brought Ice Skating as a reward for participating in these initiatives
  • Parents of Second Years were also invited to an award morning where their sons received their certificates for their reading challenges
  • Flashmaster Math calculators were purchased for this groups in an attempt to make maths fun and also to improve basic arithmetic
  • History and Geography teachers teamed up to bring the class to the Queenstown story and on a tour of Cobh harbour
  • 42 novels purchased
  • 12 DVD’s purchased
  • In 2010/2011, First year students were brought bowling as a reward for good behaviour.
  • Third year students received their study folders and keyword notebooks
  • Postcards were sent home to both second and third year parents to communicate good progress students had made
  • Reading tests were carried out on both first and third year groups at the beginning and end of the academic year
  • Staff profile meetings were held for each JCSP group at the beginning and end of the year
  • A special award was set up to honour the most improved JCSP students and this was celebrated at the school’s annual award night
  • The attendance of one particular students was monitored closely with an attendance certificate available at the end of a six week period
  • A spelling intervention was done with third years to improve knowledge of exam terminology before the Pre exams
  • Irish workbooks were purchased to improve literacy in other languages
  • 13 Easter eggs purchased for first year students
  • First year students entered the “Make a Book” competition with a three books they had written and designed
  • Pens, copies, pencils, maths sets and calculators bought for all second year students
  • 42 novels purchased
  • In 2011/2012, Mary Glasgow French magazines were purchased to improve interest and literacy in French
  • SRA reading kit was purchased to help second years with their writing and comprehension
  • “In The Spotlight” progressive text books were purchased to improve first years understanding of comprehensions
  • 30 novels purchased
  • Four bean bags purchased for library
  • 2 French Story books
  • Three posters for library purchased
  • Subscription to Mary Glasgow Spanish magazine
  • 3 potted plants for Library
  • 2 magazine storage boxes for library
  • 14 ringbinder folders for 3M students

Pastoral Care is an individual and community response to Jesus’ call to ‘love one another as I have loved you’ (John 13;34). The person of each individual human being, in his/ her material and spiritual needs, is at the heart of Christ’s teaching: this is why the promotion of the human person is the goal for all members of our Catholic School Community.

As an Edmund Rice school we are conscious of the Mission Statement that informs our policy formation;

“The partnership that characterises an Edmund Rice School promotes inclusiveness, mutual respect and a sense of inter-dependence for the development of the school and the community where personal growth is facilitated. It fosters a wide network of relationships and is deeply Christian”. ( Edmund Rice Schools Trust Charter.)

The Congregation for Catholic Education states:

“Pastoral Care is lived in all dimensions of Catholic School life. Fundamental to all relationships within the community of our Catholic school is a commitment to a shared vision, inclusive processes and the common good. Each member of a Catholic school is responsible for living out pastoral care in his her everyday actions. All members of our Catholic school community are challenged to commit themselves to Pastoral Care by:

    • Recognising the dignity of the human person made in the image of God.
    • contributing to a welcoming and inclusive community
    • recognising that quality relationships are pivotal
    • being compassionate and forgiving
    • fostering networks of care
    • respecting and supporting diverse family structures
    • valuing different cultural perspectives and traditions
    • providing contemporary teaching and learning
    • providing opportunities for the development of Pastoral Care
    • committed to organisational and structures that benefit individuals and the school community.

(Congregation for Catholic Education 1997).

To facilitate the implementation of the above the school supports our ethos by ensuring our processes and structures facilitate the PCP as a living vibrant entity.

Pastoral Care Framework

All members of the school community have a role to play in supporting the Policy. Individuals, groups, committees, and programmes contribute in a multi-facetted approach to the implementation of this policy
The Pastoral Care Team has a key role in supporting the implementation framework.

The Pastoral Care Team consists of:

  • the Pastoral Care Co-ordinator/Convenor
  • the Guidance Counsellor
  • HSCL Teacher
  • School Completion Person
  • Chaplin
  • Behavioural Support Personnel
  • Principal
  • Deputy Principal
  • SPHE Co-ordinator
  • other persons may be co-opted from time to time.

The Pastoral Care Team will have as its responsibilities:

  • Co-ordinating the Pastoral Programme
  • Supporting Teachers, Class Tutors and Year Heads
  • Supporting students with particular difficulties
  • Ensuring students who are entitled to resources from DES receive same
  • Promote the Pastoral Care Programme within the school community.

The crucial role played by all staff in the implementation of the Policy is recognised and affirmed as they carry out the following roles:

Pastoral Care Co- Ordinator

  • Acts as Convenor and Chairperson of the Pastoral Care Committee
  • Acts as contact person between Pastoral Care Committee and SPHE Programme teachers.
  • Acts as conduit for Pastoral Committee with Management.
  • Ensures minutes of Pastoral Committee meetings are recorded.

Principal and Deputy Principal

Re Staff.

  • Provide support to Pastoral Committee, Tutors, Year Heads and all staff involved in the Pastoral Process.
  • Meet weekly with the Pastoral Team, and Year Heads.
  • Be available to staff on a one to one basis to discuss concerns re students, classes etc.
  • Ensure decisions taken at Pastoral Meetings and Year Head Meetings are acted upon.
  • Provide information and support for staff in relation to in-service courses.
  • Maintain student files with regard to issues of pastoral care.
  • Initiate and facilitate the implementation of Policies and Programmes which support the Pastoral Process.

Re Students

  • To encourage the participation of students in all aspects of school life.
  • Fostering a vibrant school spirit and building positive relationships between students and between students and staff.
  • Promote pastoral issues at Assemblies and other school events.
  • To be available, in liaison with Pastoral Care Team, to students on an individual basis.
  • To develop in conjunction with the Pastoral Care Team, measures to aid the development of the student at every level.

Re Parents

  • Provide parents of incoming students with an overview of the pastoral system in the school.
  • Encourage parents to actively support the pastoral system at Information Evenings for all Year Groups.
  • Encourage the positive involvement of parents in the life of the school.
  • Have regular contact with parents on relevant pastoral issues, e.g. bullying, substance abuse etc.
  • Ensure all aspects of the Parents Policy are implemented.

Year Head

  • Attends meetings of Year Heads once per week
  • Facilitate meetings of Class Tutors once per term
  • Facilitate meetings of Class Teachers once per term
  • Liaises with parents at parent/teacher meetings and at individual conferences with parents
  • Make contact with parents when deemed necessary
  • Reports to Year Head meetings re the above and also re- emerging problems concerning individual and class issues
  • Review academic progress of students in consultation with class teachers
  • Checks absences and punctuality

Class Tutor

  • The class Tutor takes a special interest in his/her tutor class and in the welfare of each of its individual students. For this reason, wherever possible, Class Tutors will be assigned on the basis that they have regular contact with the class group.
  • Promotes a positive spirit in the class
  • Ensures students are aware of the school’s Mission Statement, Code of Behaviour, Anti- Bullying Policy, Respect Initiative and all other Policies which contribute to a positive school environment.
  • Pays particular attention to First Year students. These students will require constant and consistent support based on the needs as outlined in various reports on the transition from Primary School to Secondary school. As a consequence First Year tutors may need to meet on a more regular basis than Tutors in other Year Groups.
  • Meets with the relevant Year Head at least once per term.
  • Takes an interest in individual students particularly students who are at risk or vulnerable.
  • Encourages students to take part in school activities.

Subject Teacher

  • Closely monitors class atmosphere and the demeanour of students.
  • Refers students to year head or Guidance Counsellor if concerned re behaviour, work ethic etc.
  • In co-operation with Management and Pastoral Care Committee fosters good manners and respect for others during class periods.
  • Actively encourages the development of values such as empathy, kindness, generosity, sincerity and integrity within the context of the classroom.

Guidance Counsellor

  • Counselling is offered on an individual or small group basis.
  • The Counsellor helps students to make decisions, solve problems, change behaviour, or effect changes in their lives.
  • Enables students to understand the process of career choice and to develop their capacities to determine and execute career decisions.
  • The Guidance and Counselling focus may relate to personal, educational or career issues.
  • School management, teachers, parents and chaplain may refer students. Friends of students may sometimes consult with the Counsellor resulting in an appointment.
  • The voluntary participation in counselling of the referred student must be respected by all concerned.
  • The Guidance Counsellor may recognise that an individual student needs assistance from other qualified professionals outside the school environment. The counsellor organises such provision following agreed procedures with the school, parents and local agencies.
  • Recommendations are made about appropriate agencies. Parents may be encouraged to refer a student through his GP.
  • Particular care is taken to involve all interested parties in the student’s welfare. However all such information will be shared as appropriate on a need to know basis.

Home School/Community Liaison Teacher

  • To maximise the active participation of students in the learning process, in particular those who might be at risk of failure.
  • To promote active co-operation between home, school and relevant community agencies in promoting the educational interests of students.
  • To raise awareness in parents of their own capacities to enhance their children’s educational progress and to assist them in developing relevant skills.
  • To enhance the student’s uptake from education, their retention in the educational system, their continuation to post-compulsory education and to third level.

Behavioural Support Classroom.

The purpose of the BSC is to enable our school to embrace and implement evidence-based best practice approaches to creating positive learning experiences for our students. As well as offering support for the minority of students who persistently present challenging and disruptive behaviours within subject classrooms, a BSC can provide a model of effective personalised learning and teaching that could be disseminated and replicated in all class rooms throughout the school.

It provides an intensive, short term, individualised intervention for students who consistently fail to respond to alternative interventions and supports in the school. It is an essential facet of the whole school approach, to the promotion of positive behaviour.

The Behaviour for Learning teachers focus with students on the following positive characteristics;

  • More positive self- image
  • An improved attitude to school
  • Better attendance
  • Increased motivation
  • More positive attitude to learning
  • Successful gradual reintegration
  • Targets/objectives met
  • Reduction in timetabled attendance in BSC.

There is a referral procedure in place and students are provided with a Student Behaviour Plan which will include the following;

  • Clear, measurable targets.
  • Named adults involved in the plan.
  • A description of any resources and strategies to be used.
  • A clear description of the role the BSC staff will play in the Plan.
  • A clear and realistic time-frame to run the plan including data for monitoring and evaluation
  • Key success and reintegration criteria.

This Behavioural Support Strategy underpins our view that a student can improve his behaviour when provided with adequate support and by so doing can experience success in the classroom.

School Completion Personnel

The School Completion Programme aims to impact positively on the retention levels of our students. Its multi-faceted approach contributes to the facilitation of student achievement by increasing the number of students completing their second level education. The supports respond to the social and personal needs of students through After-school and Out-of school initiatives. Activities such as breakfast clubs, activity afternoons, summer programmes, homework clubs etc, make a valuable contribution to encouraging students to feel positive about their experience of school. These activities are supported by the school in very practical ways through the provision of finance and personnel. The school supports the aims of the programme particularly the following:

  • To retain our students in the formal education system to completion of the Leaving Certificate or equivalent.
  • To offer positive supports to our students to prevent early school leaving.
  • To ensure the Programme is student centred by developing programmes appropriate to his needs.
  • To support and encourage families to act in partnership with the school and other agencies for the educational benefit of the student.

The School Completion personnel make a significant contribution to the pastoral process through its representative on the Pastoral Care Committee.

The Student Council

The Student Council plays an important role in the life of the school. It is resourced and supported by a member of staff who attends all meetings. The Council enables students to acquire organisational, planning and communication skills so necessary for students as they move from the school environment to the social world outside the school environment. All students have a role to play in the election of the Council. This experience of participatory democracy provides students with a valuable learning experience which will enable them to take an active role in their local community.

The DES highlights the role of the Council as follows:

  • It enhances communication between students, parents and teachers
  • Promotes an environment conducive to educational and personal development
  • Promotes friendship and respect among students
  • Supports the Management and Staff in the development of the school
  • Gives students a role on issues that are of concern to them.

Our school supports the aims as highlighted by the DES.

Social Personal and Health Education and its role in the pastoral process.

SPHE as part of the curriculum supports the personal development, health and well-being of young people and helps them create and maintain supportive relationships. There is a very clear link between the SPHE Programme and Pastoral Care provision. The SPHE Curriculum and the Pastoral Care Programme are implemented in concert with each other and as a consequence this connection will ensure the student is placed at the centre of both initiatives.

The aims of SPHE are:

  • To enable students develop skills for self-fulfilment enabling them to make an active and positive contribution to society.
  • To promotes self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • To enable students develop a framework for responsible decision making.
  • To provide opportunities for reflection and discussion.
  • To promote physical, mental and emotional health and well – being.

Special Needs Assistant

Special Needs Assistants are recruited specifically to assist our school in providing the necessary non-teaching services to pupils with assessed educational needs. They have a very important role in ensuring that students with SEN are given the support necessary to enable them to benefit fully from the Education Provision in our school. We are very conscious of the need to ensure the SNA , teacher and parents work in harmony for the benefit of the student .

Their duties are assigned by the Principal on behalf of the Board of Management. Those duties may involve the following:

  • Assisting students to board and alight from school transport.
  • Special assistance as necessary for students with particular difficulties e.g. helping special needs pupils with writing, reading, word processing, computers or other use of equipment.
  • Assisting on out of school visits, walks, examinations and similar activities.
  • Assisting the teachers in the supervision of pupils during assembly, recreation, and dispersal from the classroom.

This list of duties is not exhaustive and may be adjusted at any time depending on the needs of the students with SEN.

The SNAs’ will meet with the Co-ordinator of the Pastoral Care Team and the Principal every other week to review the progress of all students in their care. These meetings will ensure the individual needs of the student are being met. They will also meet with the parents/guardians of the students in their care at least once per term or more frequently if required. A member of the teaching staff, Pastoral Care Team or Management will also attend this meeting.

This Policy gives a unity of purpose to the work carried out by staff in support of our students. It underpins our commitment to provide our students with a positive and supportive learning environment.
Student wellbeing is also at the heart of this policy. It ensures the learning environment is safe, inclusive, and facilitates students to engage with the all aspects of school life.

This policy was presented to Staff at a Staff Meeting on 21st September 2011. It was passed with some amendments.

This policy was approved by the Board of Management in October 2011.

Aims of the Policy

This Policy will inform students and parents/guardians of what is expected of them re their use of mobile phones. It will also outline the procedures which will be followed by all staff when students are found to be in breach of this Policy.

Provision of mobile phones to students.

The North Monastery Secondary accepts the right of parents/guardians to provide a student with a mobile phone. We understand this may be done for many reasons.

We have experience of students having access to a mobile phone for a short period of time due to a particular family issue which is of short duration. Parents may also provide a student with a mobile phone for security reasons. It means a parent/guardian can contact a student once outside school providing reassurance for the parent/guardian.

Parents and students need to be aware that these devices can create difficulties for students, school management and classroom teachers if they are used inappropriately.

If a student brings a mobile phone on to the campus then the student must adhere to the rules laid down in this policy. These rules have been devised to ensure good order in the classroom and to protect students from unwanted and unsolicited phone calls and messages. This Policy also applies to all school related actvities outside the school campus. The Policy is underpinned by Child Protection and Anti- Bullying Legislation.

All school personnel will adhere to these rules and parents are asked to co-operate with their implementation. If the rules are broken by any student, then sanctions will be applied. Representations cannot be accommodated if the Policy is to be applied fairly.

It is important to note that responsibility for the security of a mobile phone rests solely with the student. The school will accept no responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged phones while the student is on the school campus.

The school accepts no responsibility for phones that are lost or stolen while a student is travelling to and from school.

Rules

  1. Students are allowed to bring a mobile phone to school BUT it must be switched off BEFORE the student enters the school gate.
  2. Once the phone is turned off outside the school gate it cannot be used for making or receiving phone calls, texting, checking the date/time or listening to music.
  3. Under no circumstances can a phone be used for making video recordings/audio recordings or taking photographs during school time. Such recordings can be used to bully, harass or intimidate a student. The full rigours of our school Code of Behaviour will be used in these situations. These types of recordings are considered a flagrant breach of child protection guidelines. They also undermine a students’ basic right to come to school free from the threat of intimidation and bullying. A student in breach of this rule could face serious sanctions up to and including expulsion. If a student is found to be in breach of this rule he will be required to delete the recording in the presence of management and a sanction will be applied.
  4. If a student needs to contact home for any reason he must seek the permission of Management or his Year Head. Once permission is given a parent/guardian will be contacted by the school secretary. Under no circumstances is a student permitted to contact home on his mobile phone during school hours.
  5. In the case of an emergency a student can be contacted through the school office. The student will be taken from his class as quickly as possible and will be assisted by school staff until such time as a parent arrives on the premises. It is not permissible for a parent to ask a student to keep his phone on during school time in order to receive a text message or phone call.

Sanctions.

As a school community we are very mindful that our Code of Behaviour is designed to ensure good order in the school and to create a positive learning environment for all students. The improper use of mobile phones can have a negative effect on the learning environment of the school and also on the health of our students. It should also be noted that the use of a mobile phone to intimidate, harass or bully a student is a criminal offence. We as a school community have a duty to protect students in circumstances where a student uses a mobile phone in a manner which is not alone breaking school rules but is also breaking the law.

It is therefore important to state that school management will involve the Gardai if it is of the view that a school sanction is not appropriate or sufficient for an offence as outlined in the previous paragraph.

If a student is found in breach of of the above rules the following action will be taken

  • The staff member who witnessed the student using the phone will remove the phone from the student and the phone will be handed into the office. The SIM card cannot be removed from the phone. The phone will be confiscated for a period of one month from the date of the incident. The Principal or in his absence the Deputy Principal will inform parents/guardians on the appropriate form that the phone has been confiscated.
  • If a subsequent incident occurs the phone will be confiscated for the remainder of the school year.
  • If a student uses his mobile phone for the purposes of bullying, harassment or intimidation of another student then this matter may be referred to the Board of Management.

Review.

The Board of Management will review this policy in May 2016. However any member of the school community is entitled to request a review of the policy at any time.

Introduction

Homework is an integral part of the learning process. It reinforces the learning which takes place in the classroom and it also provides an additional resource to students to help further their understanding. Homework is an essential part of school life; it is not an optional extra.

Mission Statement

Inspired by the vision of Edmund Rice, the North Monastery, in its proud tradition, is committed in partnership with parents, to enabling all members of the school community to achieve their full potential in a caring environment where mutual respect, good order, discipline and positive self-esteem are the values which guide us in our teaching and learning community.

Homework is a vital part of carrying out this vision and ensuring that students work to their full potential.

Aims

The purpose of homework is to:

  • Increase the understanding of material covered in class
  • Provide students with an additional opportunity to explore and work with new material
  • Improve skills crucial to studying certain areas/subjects
  • Promote independent learning
  • Develop a work ethic within students
  • Encourage parents/guardians to become involved in their child’s education

Definition

Homework may consist of:

  • Written tasks
  • Reading tasks
  • Research
  • Project work
  • Vocabulary acquisition
  • Revision of material covered in class
  • Studying for a test
  • Aural/oral work
  • Gathering resources for a project
  • Drawing/sketching
  • Practicing a particular skill, e.g. playing music
  • Preparation for the next class

Times

The minimum recommended time for homework per day is as follows:

  • 1st Years: 1½ hours
  • 2nd Years: 2 hours
  • 3rd Years: 2½ hours
  • 4th Years: 1½ hours (this may vary depending on projects, etc)
  • 5th Years: 3 hours
  • 6th Years: 3½ – 4 hours

Responsibilities

Students are required to:

  • Have their student journal with them in every class
  • Record their homework in their student journal
  • Present homework in a neat and tidy format
  • Complete homework on time and to the best of their ability
  • Approach their teacher if they have any concerns regarding the work that is to be completed
  • Ensure they have the necessary materials with them to complete their homework before they leave the school at the end of the day

Parents can support their son by:

  • Monitoring their son as he does his homework
  • Sign their son’s journal on completion of all homework
  • Ensure a quiet learning environment is available for their son, away from any distractions
  • Allocate sufficient time every day for their son to complete his homework

Teachers will support each student by:

  • Ensuring that each student records his homework in his student journal
  • Being mindful of students’ varying abilities when assigning homework tasks
  • Returning any homework collected for correction promptly
  • Keeping a record of the homework they assign to every class
  • Endeavouring to set aside time in class to explain the homework given in order to avoid any confusion or stress being put on students
  • Correcting any homework that has been assigned

Students who are absent from class due to other school activities such as matches, etc., are required to find out about missed work from their classmates.

SEN Students

Teachers are encouraged to consider the Special Educational Needs (SEN) of students, if any, when setting homework. Information on such students will be made available to teachers in the school office and through the SEN Coordinator. They are also encouraged to liaise with any Learning Support or Resource teachers that students may have in order to maximize the benefit of such entitlements.

Sanctions

Failure to complete homework may result in the following:

  • Parents/ Guardians will be informed either through communication in the student’s journal or at a parent-teacher meeting
  • The issue of a Letter 1, requesting that parents sign the letter and ensure the completion of the initial homework
  • If a student fails to produce homework following the issuing of a Letter 1 the Code of Behaviour to Support Learning will be applied.

Evaluation

This Homework Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis through staff and departmental planning and/or if any issues arise during the school year.

Ratified by the Board of Management in May 2015.