Code of Behaviour

Mission Statement

Our mission in Riversdale Community College is to create an educational environment that is positive, safe and inclusive.  We recognise the key involvement of students, family and the wider community.  We embrace diversity, promote integration and foster mutual respect.  We celebrate achievement, address the needs of the individual, challenge, and encourage every person to reach their full potential.

Ethos & Philosophy of School

Riversdale Community College endeavours to provide a curriculum, comprehensive in nature, thus affording each student the opportunity to develop his/her aptitudes and talents fully.

We believe academic success to be vitally important and we hold in equal importance the development of the whole person, giving each student a sense of responsibility, confidence, social skills and a set of values which will enrich his/her personally and also enrich those with whom he/she associates.

The school also provides a pastoral care/social and personal development programme incorporating social and health education, and a spiritual programme.  These are devoted to assisting the student to make the proper choices during his/her education and with a view to him/her obtaining satisfactory and fulfilling employment.

The school motto “Ní neart go cur le chéile” is translated as “Strength through co-operation. To this end the help and support of parents is recognised as being one of our most valuable assets.  We expect a high level of co-operation between home and school in order to promote effective learning and to foster the talents and well being of our students.

To encourage a happy, creative and productive school environment students are required to co-operate with the Code of Behaviour.

Introductory Statement

Our Code of Behaviour sets out, in writing, to describe the behaviour expected of students in order to promote effective learning and to foster the talents and well being of our students. It has been developed in accordance with school ethos and philosophy and this philosophy informs all aspects of the way in which the code of behaviour is implemented.

The code of behaviour has been developed in conjunction with students, parents and staff.

This policy addresses the behaviour of students and includes procedures relating school staff and parents.

In developing this code of behaviour we promote a positive approach to behaviour management.

The following legislation was considered in the creation of the code of behaviour:

  • The Irish Constitution
  • The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
  • Education Act1998
  • Education (Welfare) Act 2000
  • Equal Status Act 2000
  • Health and safety Legislation

 General Rules

  1. Students are expected to show respect and courtesy to all teachers, staff, students and visitors to the college at all times.
  2. To foster learning, students are expected to behave properly and to be suitably prepared for all classes.
  3. Students should have their journal with them at all times.  Journals must be signed every Thursday night by parent/guardian.
  4. Students are expected to be in full attendance on every school day.  A note in the journal from a parent or guardian explaining the absence must be produced on the day the student returns to school.  Students are also required to be in school on time (a.m. and p.m.) and to be on time for each class.
  5. Students are required to be in full school uniform unless otherwise instructed by school authorities. (Students in breach of this rule may be sent home to change).
  6. Students must respect school property and are responsible for the order and cleanliness of the classrooms they use and the general school environment.
  7. For health and safety reasons, when moving around the school, students must walk quietly, in an orderly manner, on the left-hand side of the corridor.
  8. Access to lockers is confined to the following times: Before 8.50 am and during lunchtime. Use of lockers during class time is forbidden.
  9. Eating and drinking in class-time is not allowed.
  10. Chewing gum is prohibited in school.
  11. In accordance with the public Health Tobacco Acts 2002 and 2004, smoking is strictly forbidden within the school environment.
  12. Students are permitted to wear a watch and one pair of stud earrings – one in each ear and no other items of jewellery. In the interest of good grooming/health and safety students are requested not to wear make-up/accessories.
  13. The use of mobile phones and other unauthorised electronic equipment is forbidden in school.

 Potential Problem Areas

Every student is entitled to attend school in safety and without fear or any kind of intimidation.  While on school property students are expected to behave with respect and consideration towards others.  To this end, bullying (physical and psychological) and fighting will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

  1. Bullying :  As per the school Anti-Bullying Policy, Students involved will be referred to the pastoral care system and parents will be requested to discuss the matter.  The school will work with parents/guardians to find a resolution to the problem.
  2. Fighting : Fighting will result in referral to the Year Head/Vice Principal/Principal and immediate suspension.
  3. Truancy :  Because of the dangers involved, truancy for whatever reason is viewed very seriously.  Parents/Guardians will be requested to attend a meeting with the Year Head at the earliest opportunity.  Students may not return to school until this meeting takes place.
  4. Vandalism :  Deliberate destruction of property is unacceptable and will be dealt with severely.
  5. Attendance :  In the interest of education, and in accordance with the Education Welfare Act 2000, full attendance is required throughout the school year.  Frequent unexplained absence will result in a meeting with Parents/Guardians and will result in referral to the NEWB in cases of more than 20 days absence.
  6. Punctuality :  To maintain order and discipline necessary for learning and to avoid disruption students should be on time for classes.  A penalty will be imposed for lateness.
  7. Electronic Equipment : Mobile phones and other unauthorised electronic equipment may be confiscated and will only be returned when a parent or guardian collects it.
  8. Uniform : Students not in full uniform may be sent home to change. Students will be asked to remove jewellery/make-up. Confiscated jewellery will be returned to students at the end of term or at the discretion of the Year Head.
  9. Chewing gum: .Chewing gum is prohibited in school. Due to the high cost of removing chewing gum from the premises/school property, a fine of €2 will be applied to students chewing gum. The amount of the fine will be reviewed from time to time.
  10. In accordance with the public Health Tobacco Acts 2002 and 2004, smoking is strictly forbidden within the school environment. Under section 5 (2A) of this act a person found guilty of an offence under section 47 is liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to €3,000.
  11. Students who are found smoking in the school environment will be suspended for 1 day.
  12. Repeat offenders may have their names passed on to the Environmental Health Officers and to the Inspectors of the health & Safety Authority who are the people charged with the enforcement of the law. This may lead to of a fine of €3,000 on conviction.

Students who break the rules will be given punishment work (which may include detention) by subject teachers.

Disruptive Behaviours

Where school does not fulfil the needs of students whose behaviour is disruptive and the learning of other students is adversely affected by disruption the following procedures will be followed:

  1. Referral to Tutor and Year Head with possible involvement of Parents/Guardians.
  2. Referral to Year Head with involvement of Parents/Guardians.
  3. Where steps (1) and (2) have been followed immediate referral to the Deputy Principal and or Principal will follow possibly leading to suspension.
  4. In exceptional cases students will be referred directly to the Deputy Principal and/or Principal and such incidents may lead to immediate suspension.
  5. Having followed the above procedures, should disruptions continue, a student may be referred to the Board of Management at the discretion of the Deputy Principal/Principal.

These rules have been devised with the health, safety and happiness of everyone in mind.  In keeping them everyone is contributing to the success and well-being of all.

 Classroom Rules

The primary purpose of being in school is to learn.  Classroom rules are in place to facilitate teachers and students in the learning process.  The following are the expectations for all students in our classrooms.

  1. Students are required to line up in an orderly manner outside the door.
  2. Students are required to keep to the seat assigned to them by the subject teacher.
  3. Students are required to have a neat, covered, presentable journal on their desk in class and to use it properly e.g. (writing homework)
  4. Students must have all books and appropriate equipment with them.  Books should be covered and kept in good condition.
  5. Students must listen attentively and co-operative with all learning activities – contribute to learning environment and participate in class.
  6. Homework must be presented on the day it is required.
  7. Rooms should be left neat and tidy at the end of each class.
  8. In order to be on time for each class students are required to move promptly between classes.
  9. Students must obey all teachers’ instructions at all times.

Breaches of the above rules seriously impair student learning and will not be tolerated. Teachers in consultation with the pastoral care system will decide on an appropriate sanction for any such breaches.  Such sanctions may include extra written work, detention, or in serious cases referral to the Year Head/Deputy Principal/ Principal.