DISCIPLINE AND HOW IT WORKS AT OUR SCHOOL
One of the biggest challenges facing education in our country is effective discipline (or the lack thereof). Poor discipline is the single biggest threat to maintaining a high standard of education in our schools.
The South African School’s Act, No. 84 of 1996, Section 8, stipulates that the Governing Body of a public school must adopt a Code of Conduct for learners in the school. We have a well established and effective Code of Conduct in place at our school.This Code of Conduct can be viewed at on our Website or parents may request the front office to make a hard copy available.
In order for our school to function effectively and ensure quality education for all our children, we are compelled to implement and maintain high standards of discipline. This cannot be achieved by the headmaster and staff alone. It is vital that teachers and parents develop a relationship of mutual trust to ensure good discipline. After all, we all have the best interests of the children at heart. Our aim at Thornhill Primary is to be consistent, effective and positive in our disciplinary practice. However, in cases of serious misconduct, we will be forced to take a hard line on discipline. We cannot lose sight of the rights and needs of the teachers and the other children in the school. Our Code of Conduct is very specific in the manner in which serious misconduct is dealt with. Please support the school and teachers by becoming familiar with the Code of Conduct and school rules.
HOW DOES DISCIPLINE WORK AT OUR SCHOOL?
Our disciplinary system has foundations in the Assertive Disciplinary programme by Lee Canter which promotes positive behaviour management in the classroom.
1. The aim of the Assertive Disciplinary programme is to teach pupils how to make the correct choices when it comes to their behaviour and in so doing their self esteem is raised and thus their academic success will be boosted.
2. The programme is based on consistency, follow through and positive relationship building. The key is the belief that the teachers have the right to teach and the pupils the right to learn and thus all who are concerned are being empowered.
3. Teachers, through established rules and clear routines, leave pupils no doubt as to what is expected of them at all times.
4. Children are rewarded for following instructions through supportive feedback.
5. Firm disciplinary boundaries within the classroom encourages a secure learning environment for all. With this sense of security comes academic success.
We work on the principle of fair warning being given to our children regarding their conduct and attitude in and outside the school. Once fair warning has been given, there is no excuse for negative conduct or attitude.
The Five Rules
Our discipline system is based on five rules:
1. Follow the instructions.
2. Keep your hands, feet, objects and unkind words to yourself.
3. Listen while somebody else is speaking.
4. Look after all property.
5. Behave appropriately.
A copy of the five rules is displayed in each class and in the school diary.
The school diary also has a list of all the specific rules that branch off from the Five Rules.
Each class has a tracking chart listing the children in the class. This chart travels with the pupil as the school day progresses. Should a child’s conduct, attitude, behaviour or work ethic be such that sanction needs to be applied to the child, the teacher will record this sanction in the tracking chart in the form of demerits. When the child accumulates five demerits, a detention letter will be sent home informing the parent or the guardian of the forthcoming detention.
Should the teacher feel that the child's transgression is serious enough to warrant immediate contact with the parent/guardian, the teacher will telephone the parent/guardian. The teacher may also ask the child to telephone the parent or guardian to explain the wrongdoing.
Detentions are held on designated Friday afternoons from 14:00 until 15:00. Children may be excused once from attending detention on receipt of a letter of request from the parent or guardian, the condition being that the very next detention must be attended. Failure to attend detention will result in a further detention being issued.