As part of its work supporting schools, the NBSS regularly assists schools to review their Code of Behaviour. The NBSS places a strong emphasis on the Code containing systems and strategies for positive behaviour. This is based on the belief that creating positive behaviour and introducing preventative behaviour strategies in schools is much more successful than simply responding to negative behaviour.
The Code of Behaviour is a crucial document that sets out the school’s policy regarding the expected behaviour within the school community. It highlights the supports and systems that are in place within the school to ensure that teaching and learning can take place and identifies the rewards, sanctions and procedures employed to create an environment of positive behaviour. The following is a snapshot of how one school went about reviewing its Code of Behaviour.
- This school decided it was important to review its Code of Behaviour which was now ten years old. The first stage, after a discussion with the Senior Management Team was to hold a staff in-service day in which the staff reviewed the school mission statement and then used the ethos of the school Mission Statement to begin to frame their new Code of Behaviour.
- From this in-service a group consisting of a wide section of the school community including teachers, management, ancillary staff, students and parents was formed to work on the Code. This group met twice a month and used the NEWB guidelines on reviewing the Code of Behaviour to assist them in their task.
- When a draft document was completed which had at its core an emphasis on positive behaviour, the staff, parents and students considered it and suggested changes to areas such as rewards and expectations regarding corridor behaviour.
- The document was then forwarded to the Board of Management of the school for ratification.
- The working group continued to work with the NBSS on ways of successfully implementing the new Code and ways of making it effective in creating positive behaviour in the school.
This process took approximately six months.