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Code of Behaviour

The Code of Behaviour for Gormanston College will be revised in time for the beginning of the new academic year 2014-2015. This revised policy will be produced following a process of collaborative work between teaching staff, parent and student representation and will include ratification by the College Board of Management.

Gormanston College is a Catholic school under the trusteeship of the Franciscan Community. As such it operates according to the Gospel values of the dignity of every human being, fairness, honesty and forgiveness. Our Code of Behaviour reflects these values and these values are encapsulated in the concept of active citizenship where students, parents/ guardians and teachers have come together to construct standards for living their school lives together.

This emphasis on developing a social and moral platform that spells out what is right and good for the college community, what each member of the college community can expect from others, and what each member must give in return. Such a social and moral platform is measured in obligations, duties and commitment to the common good. The common good is the intellectual, moral, physical, spiritual and social development of each member of the College community. The concept of active citizenship also focuses on the future. Working in partnership with parents/ guardians the teaching staff whom are committed to providing all students with an education which will enable them to take on the challenges of the adult world with ease and assurance. 

The principal function of developing a Code of Behaviour is to state the role and responsibilities student, teachers, parents/guardians, management and Board of Management have to contribute to create a learning environment, a safe environment and respectful environment for all. This is achieved through making clear what the College community values as important to ensure students’ successful development and to develop positive working relationships.

The Student Code

Being a student in our school presumes a willingness to accept the values of the College and to abide by its rules.

Students must be aware of and accept that there are acceptable and unacceptable behaviours. Behaviour is a personal choice that is made which will impact on oneself and on others. How students choose to act will have consequences, either positive or negative, for themselves and/or others. It is expected that students make a positive contribution to the life of the college in terms of work, behaviour and relationships.

Rights, Roles and Responsibilities

Our Code of Behaviour reflects values that are encapsulated in the concept of active citizenship. It is measured in obligations, duties and commitment to the common good of all. They are described as rights, roles and responsibilities. The concept of active citizenship also focuses beyond the present and connects into possible futures.  The College endeavours to provide all students with an education which will enable them to take on the challenges of the adult world with ease and assurance. 

Rights we all should expect to enjoy:

  • The right to respect and fair treatment
  • The right to teach and carry out our duties  and to learn without being distracted by others
  • The right to feel safe and be safe

Responsibilities we all have:

  • Responsibility is when we take control of our own thoughts and actions. We all have the responsibility:
  • To care for each other and ourselves
  • To respect other people’s work
  • To set good example
  • To treat all belongings and resources with respect

Students Roles and Responsibilities:

Students are expected to attend the College punctually, in the correct uniform and with all the material they are required to have for that day. During the day they must turn up promptly for class in an orderly fashion. Each student must occupy the place assigned to them by the teacher /supervisor in classroom /study hall. Students are expected to have all necessary books and materials when coming to class. All homework assignments must be completed by each student in accordance with the direction of the teacher. Students must not interrupt the teacher or another student. They may only obtain permission of the teacher by putting their hand up. Class/ study finishes only when the teacher/supervisor dismisses the class. Students are expected to keep classrooms/study halls tidy at all times. Any student who engages in abusive behaviour or uses abusive language must be sent to the Principal /Deputy Principal immediately. Tippex, permanent markers or any solvent based substance may not be brought into the school. With regard to mobile phones/ media devices please refer to Acceptable use of Mobile Phone/ Media Device Policy.

Smoking is illegal in public buildings under the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts and is therefore forbidden in the College. Smoking or the possession of cigarettes in any part of the College environs is prohibited. Those in breach of this regulation will be fined initially and considered for suspension if another offence occurs. The possession, use or distribution of illegal substances or alcohol will result in Automatic suspension and may lead to expulsion. Interference with fire extinguishers or the fire alarm system is a very serious offence and will have a two-fold consequence: 

  • Automatic Suspension
  • Cost of damage

Student Attendance, Registration and Absences

  • Students must report for Morning study by 8.25am. During study times all movement is to be kept to the minimum. Clarification concerning homework and borrowing of books must be done beforehand. Unnecessary noise and interruption of the Supervisor is unacceptable both to the supervisor and the rest of the students.                        
  • Students late for morning study must report to the Supervisor.
  • Students late for 8.45 am class must report to main office and sign late book.
  • Students not in full school uniform must present themselves between 8.40 – 8.45 to the Deputy Principal.
  • Students must be in class on time, with their journal, prepared for work and in full school uniform.
  • All absences must be explained in writing by a Parent / Guardian, in advance where possible, or on immediate return to the College.
  • No student may leave the College without prior notice. Students must get permission from the Principal / Deputy Principal before signing out in the Office.
  • A student going to the infirmary at any time must inform the Principal /Deputy Principal.

The College Marks System

The College operates a marks system, emphasising what is to be praised. What is positive is rewarded with good marks, what is negative is punished with a process of sanction marks. The penalty for breaking rules is determined by a scale of 1 to 8. All marks, good and bad, for each student are recorded. A marks meeting is held once a week attended by the Deans and Clann Prefects, at which  marks for the previous week are allotted (a student has twenty-four hours to appeal the marks if he/she feels he/she has been treated unjustly). The Clann with the lowest marks over a fortnightly period (and a second Clann, if its marks are sufficiently low) is rewarded with extended free time on an allocated evening.  At regular intervals during the school year extra free time is awarded to students on "low marks".  The Clann with the highest net score (good marks minus negative marks) at the end of term and over the whole year is rewarded. This system leads to healthy competition within the College and is a major factor in contributing to good behaviour. A student can earn good marks in the following manner: 

  • Avoiding, or keeping marks in check.              
  • Achieving excellence in the academic sphere
  • Holding and carrying out an assigned job efficiently.
  • Representing the College in sports, debating, or anything of a cultural nature.
  • Assisting the Sports Master efficiently in the running of Inter-College and Inter-Clann competitions.
  • Achieving success when representing his/her Clann in Inter-Clann competitions in sport, debating, music and activities of a cultural nature.

At the end of each term, students with no negative marks are awarded 10 good marks; for 1 negative mark, 8; for 2, 6; for 3, 4; for 4, 2. These marks form an important part in deciding the Clann competition. Just as a student's Clann is penalized for his/her negative marks (and his/her negative marks cannot be erased), so too his/her Clann is credited with a student's good marks and rewarded appropriately

Suspension is imposed if a student reaches a certain total of Clann marks, as set out on page 8.

In certain cases the College Authorities may reach a decision that the behaviour or inability of a student to cope with our restrictions is such that the parents/ guardians are advised to withdraw him/her from the College and we require parents/guardians to accept this advice.

Students and parents are expected to accept the College Code of Conduct on enrolment.