HOPE FULL SERVICE SCHOOL
INTERMEDIATE DISCIPLINE POLICY 2019
ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES IN RESPECT OF DISCIPLINE
The South African Council of Educators (SACE) gives very clear guidelines to teachers regarding their professional conduct. Schools should use this code of conduct as a guide when developing a school’s own code of conduct for educators. Implementation of this code of conduct implies that, in practice, the educator will conduct him- or herself as follows:
Respect your own professionalism:
Take responsibility for your own development and ensure that you keep abreast of curricular and co-curricular developments.
A professional educator is dependable and maintains confidentiality.
Support your school as a learning institution. Promote sound learning and teaching in your school by providing supporting and co-operative inputs.
Acknowledging your responsibility
- Provide personal and social support for each learner. Should you suspect or know that a learner is experiencing problems, show interest and do something to help.
- Maintain consistent discipline. For instance, it is your responsibility to ensure that all learners abide by the school’s dress code. Do not leave discipline to the senior personnel.
- Insist that learners display good manners at all times.
- Inform parents of the behaviour of their children.
Diligence and co-operation
- Be punctual. Conform to your school’s prescriptions.
- Prepare well for your class teaching. Learners usually know if you have not prepared, and this can sometimes lead to disciplinary problems.
- Plan effectively for good behaviour. Know your learners and their needs.
- Do not keep a class waiting for you, especially before the first period and after breaks.
- Do not keep a class with you once the period is over.
- Do not leave your class on its own.
- Do not dismiss your class early.
- Do not allow latecomers into your class without a letter from a parent or a letter of explanation from a teacher.
- Do not, as a form of punishment, send learners out of your class. (Every school must have a clear policy about this.)
General control in the school
- During the change in classes, the behaviour of learners in the passageways must be monitored by teachers. Educators must stand near their classroom doors when learners enter and leave classrooms.
- Do not ask learners to carry messages.
- Supervisory periods are not free periods. The learners must be encouraged to do their work.
General School Rules:
The Hope Full Service School rules are intended to establish a disciplined and purposeful environment to facilitate effective teaching and learning at the Hope Full Service School. Nothing shall exempt a learner from complying with the Hope Full Service School rules. Ignorance of Hope Full Service School rules is, therefore, not an acceptable excuse.
Learners are expected at all times to behave in a courteous and considerate manner towards each other, the Learner Representative Council (LRC), all members of staff and visitors to the Hope Full Service School.
Learners are expected to abide by the Hope Full Service School rules with regard to appearance and behaviour when representing the Hope Full Service School both during Hope Full Service School hours and after Hope Full Service School hours, at Hope Full Service School and away from Hope Full Service School. Learners may not say or do anything that will discredit themselves or the Hope Full Service School.
No learner has the right at any time to behave in a manner that will disrupt the learning activity of other learners, or will cause another learner physical or emotional harm.
The Gradehead or HOD will contact parents/guardians when a learner’s behaviour becomes a cause of concern and will endeavour, in a spirit of constructive partnership, to resolve the problem.
Hope Full Service School and Class Attendance
Parents/guardians, learners, teachers and Hope Full Service School Governing Body (SGB) members are jointly responsible for ensuring that all learners attend Hope Full Service School.
If a learner does not attend Hope Full Service School regularly, the relevant register teacher will report the absence of the learner to the parent and the Principal in writing. The register teacher must keep an accurate register of learner attendance and must keep copies of all communication to parents when absence from the classroom is reported.
All learners are to arrive at Hope Full Service School before the official starting time. Learners who are late for Hope Full Service School will be marked absent as registers are completed at the beginning of each Hope Full Service School day.
Absence from a class, without the permission of the relevant register or subject teacher, is prohibited. Any absence from Hope Full Service School must be covered by an absentee note from a parent/guardian.
Should a learner be absent from Hope Full Service School for a period of three (3) days or longer, this leave of absence must be supported by a letter from a medical doctor/traditional doctor/registered herbalist.
Any absence from a formal examination, test or task must be supported by a letter from a medical doctor/traditional doctor/registered herbalist.
No learner may leave the Hope Full Service School during Hope Full Service School hours without a letter from a parent/guardian requesting the release of their child and the permission of the Principal/Deputy Principal/Grade Head from whom an exit note must be obtained.
Truancy from Hope Full Service School is prohibited.
One of the school’s aims is the orderly and systematic approach to studies. For this reason the Homework diary is compulsory for all learners. They are designed to last for a full year. If a learner uses the diary properly, it becomes an invaluable aid to planning good study habits and it becomes an integral part of successful study.
Parents are obliged to look at the diary at least once a week and to sign it.
Form educators will check diaries on a regular basis.
Excuses for failing to have a diary or not having one at school, or a diary being unsigned, are viewed in a poor light and will result in action being taken against any learner who chooses to ignore this important part of his/her academic responsibility.
The diary makes provision for teacher/parent communication where questions / problems, etc can be addressed.
Hope Full Service School Uniform and General Appearance
Learners are expected to wear the official Hope Full Service School uniform and appear neat and tidy at all times.
No additions to the uniform that are not in accordance with the regulations will be allowed. No earrings, jewellery, accessories, coloured contact lenses or visible tattoos are allowed.
No colouring of hair or wearing of exotic hairstyles is allowed.
Fingernails must be kept trimmed short and clean at all times.
During events that allow the wearing of casual wear, learners should wear neat, presentable clothes. Beachwear, tight-fitting clothes, clothes that are see-through and/or too revealing are not allowed. Hair, shoes and accessories should be neat at all times.
Only learners that have applied, submitted relevant supporting documents and received the necessary permission from the Hope Full Service School Governing Body, may deviate
from official Hope Full Service School uniform for religious and cultural reasons as contemplated in Part 1 paragraph I of this Code of Conduct.
- Clips must be white, maroon, black or silver.
- White, maroon, black, brown or silver bobbles/hair ties.
- Hair must be tied up when it is long enough to reach the collar.
- All hair to be tied up and worn away from the face. No loose strands will be allowed.
- No dyed or fancy hairstyles are permitted.
- No gel or hairspray is permitted.
- Nails are to be clipped neatly to the end of the finger.
- No french manicures are allowed.
- Only clear colourless nail varnish may be worn, otherwise girls will be requested to remove it immediately.
- No make-up (including base, mascara) may be worn, otherwise the learner will be sent home.
- Only jewellery allowed is a watch and Medic Alert bracelet, signet-ring and one pair of earrings (sleeper or stud) that will be worn in the bottom pierced hole only.
- No studs or rings may be worn in the mouth, nose, face or tongue.
- No permanent make-up is allowed.
- No coloured / shiny lip ice is permitted.
- No tattoos allowed, and if you have, it may not be visible.
- No “dreadlocks”, “pineapple ponies”, spikes, “plaits” or any other style, which causes the hair to stand up unnaturally, and/or appear long, is permitted.
- Hair to be cut neatly and short (clear of the ears, neck and forehead).
- No fancy or wild styles, gel, grease or hair sprays permitted.
- No “steps” or definite line is permitted.
- No “undercuts” are permitted.
- When the hair is pulled straight it may not hang over the eyebrows or the ears.
- Boys are to be clean-shaven. If they haven’t shaved, parents will be contacted to come and fetch them
- “Sidies” may not be longer than the middle of the ear.
- Hair may not be dyed – no “highlights” or “low lights”. If this is done, hair must be shaved with a No.2 blade and be kept that way until it is according to the rules.
- No hair extensions may be worn.
- No “dreadlocks”, “pineapple ponies”, spikes, “plaits” or any other style, which causes the hair to stand up unnaturally, and/or appear long, is permitted.
- No “mohawk” / “mullet” allowed.
- No “patterns” may be cut into the hair.
- Only jewellery allowed is a watch and a medic alert bracelet. No studs or rings may be worn in the ear, mouth, nose, face or tongue.
NOTE: Any transgressions of these rules may lead to the learner being sent home.
Valuables and Personal Belongings
The Hope Full Service School will not be held responsible for theft of or damage to personal belongings on Hope Full Service School premises (e.g. cell phones, bags, books and clothing).
- Learners should avoid bringing cell phones, large sums of money and valuables to Hope Full Service School. Cell phones may not be switched on during a normal Hope Full Service School day. If the learner brings a cell phone to Hope Full Service School, the learner must carry a written request from the parent, which must provide for an indemnification against loss of or damage to the cell phone.
Arrangements should be made with the teacher in charge for safekeeping of valuables, etc. during sports practices.
Learners may not bring computer games, iPods or similar electronic devices to Hope Full Service School.
Classroom Code of Conduct:
A classroom code of conduct emphasises the responsibilities and rights of each person in the class. This can be a very useful instrument in the management of discipline and behaviour in the classroom. It can further contribute to the building of learners’ self-esteem and improvement in learning.
A classroom code of conduct provides learners with an opportunity to take co-responsibility for discipline within the classroom. It encourages a sense of responsibility, because they must not only develop the rules, they must also support them.
It encourages esprit de corps and group responsibility. Group pressure is thus channelled in a positive direction.
The development of a healthy and positive class atmosphere, where learners participate in discussion and negotiations, is central to this approach. It gives learners a say without giving over the say to learners. It also promotes a positive relationship between educator and learners, which makes a further contribution to the handling of discipline. Learners co-operate better and mutual relationships generally improve.
Classroom codes of conduct make a positive contribution to an improvement in learning – an orderly and well-disciplined classroom is a prerequisite for effective learning.
Also, learners are, indirectly, made responsible for their learning.
Suggestions for drafting of a classroom code of conduct
A classroom code of conduct must be comprehensive, but must not contain too many rules.
It is not a rigid document and must be adapted if the need arises.
Formulate the rules in the learners’ own words. However, draft the rules in a positive style by using must instead of must not. Rules must be clear.
Learners are experts on their own lives and can thus make the best contributions as regards the environment within which they function.
The classroom code of conduct must make provision for rules, rewards for observing the rules and disciplinary measures for offences. Rules without consequences are of no value.
A classroom code of conduct is of little value if it not consistently and firmly applied.
Procedure for the drafting of a classroom code of conduct
Use a register period for discussing and drafting a classroom code of conduct. Introduce the discussion by explaining that the discussion and
proposals are subordinate to what is non-negotiable, such as the country’s laws and the school’s code of conduct, as well as to the fact that teaching must take place.
Divide learners into groups and provide each group with a sheet of paper and a pen. Ask learners to draw a large circle on the sheet of paper. They must write down, inside the circle, what aspects will contribute to successful teaching, and, outside the circle, they must write down those aspects which will lead to a poor teaching experience.
After completion of this task, each group reports back to the whole class. The groups then get together to generate rules for the creation of a successful lesson. This is followed by a class discussion of each group’s rules and the class reaches consensus as to which rules should be adopted. Remember that the rules must be worded in a positive way. Also take decisions on the manner in which obedience to the rules is rewarded, and disciplinary measures applicable to transgression of the rules.
A typed version of the classroom code of conduct is given to the learners on the following day for final approval. The approved code of conduct is then put up on the classroom wall where everyone can see it. Also, each learner receives a copy to keep in his or her desk.
Loitering and/or playing in and around the corridors, stairwells and toilets is forbidden.
All litter must be placed in refuse bins or wastepaper baskets.
Willful damaging, vandalism or neglect of Hope Full Service School property and the property of others, either by writing or by a physical act, is prohibited. Theft of Hope Full Service School and private property is also prohibited.
Any act of cheating in class work, homework, informal and formal tests or internal or external examination is prohibited. Furthermore, copying of and/or borrowing another learner’s work is forbidden.
Disruptive, unruly, rude and/or offensive behaviour will not be tolerated.
The timeous handing in of work is the responsibility of each learner.
Learners who fail to produce a medical certificate on absenteeism during formal examinations/tests/assessment tasks will obtain a mark of “0” (nought) for the particular
The learner will respect the beliefs, culture, dignity and rights of other learners, as well as their right to privacy and confidentiality.
Language that is seen as pejorative, discriminatory or racist is prohibited.
Any act that belittles, demeans or humiliates another learner’s culture, race or religion is prohibited.
All learners have the right to an education free of interference, intimidation and/or physical abuse. The learner will respect the property and safety of other learners.
Fighting or threatening of other learners is forbidden.
The learner will respect those learners in positions of authority. A learner who is in a position of authority will conduct him/herself in a manner befitting someone in authority. S/he will respect the rights of other learners and will not abuse such authority bestowed upon him/her through his/her position.
The carrying, copying and/or reading of offensive material is prohibited.
Learners must keep clear of areas that are indicated as out of bounds. These include:
- The Hope Full Service School motor vehicles garage.
- Electrical mains distribution boxes, fire extinguishers and hoses.
- Parking lots, except while accessing their own vehicles.
Rules Governing Public Places
The Hope Full Service School is a place of safety where laws pertaining to public spaces are applicable.
No dangerous objects or illegal drugs as defined in the SA Hope Full Service Schools Act or the Safety Regulations will be brought onto and/or used on the Hope Full Service School property unless authorised by the Principal for educational purposes. Dangerous objects include knives, firearms or any item that could harm a person.
The carrying and/or smoking of cigarettes is prohibited.
Alcohol is not permitted on Hope Full Service School premises or during any Hope Full Service School activity.
The carrying of and/or consumption of illegal chemical substances and drugs is prohibited.
The Code of Conduct is applicable when making use of public transport to and from Hope Full Service School.
Learners may not hitchhike while in Hope Full Service School uniform, whether formal or sports dress.
Hope Full Service School Enrichment Programme
Involvement in activities making up the Hope Full Service School Enrichment Programme forms a valuable and integral part of the holistic education of every learner. All learners are, therefore, expected to become actively involved in at least one (1) sport, cultural and/or service activity per term.
The learner is expected to adopt the correct etiquette pertaining to the specific activity at all times.
Once a learner has committed him/herself to an activity, s/he will be bound to meet the rules and obligations related to that activity.
Involvement in a particular activity will span the entire season/duration in which that activity takes place.
Attendance of all practices is compulsory. Missing a practice without a valid excuse in writing from the learner’s parents may result in the learner being suspended from participation in one (1) inter-Hope Full Service School league fixture.
Appropriate kit/uniform will be worn to practices.
The correct match kit/uniform will be worn to inter-Hope Full Service School league fixtures.
Learners travelling to an away fixture will travel in full Hope Full Service School uniform, unless other arrangements have been made.
Sports and other kit must be carried in an appropriate bag.
Learners playing in home league fixtures may arrive at the venue in their appropriate sports kit/uniform with their Hope Full Service School blazer.
Cultural rights will be considered in the event that they do not relate to a religion, if such cultural rights manifest in conduct of a permanent nature that is compulsory for the cultural group. This refers to cases where the removal of the cultural jewellery or mark will cause considerable pain to the learner. Normally, cultural rights are exercised through marks and expressions of a temporary nature that are justified for a specific cultural gathering. The learner must convince the Governing Body that his/her cultural rights can be exercised only through a permanent intervention.
Any request for a deviation from the Code of Conduct based on cultural rights must be in writing and must be based on a process similar to that contained in subparagraphs above.
Every teacher is responsible for discipline in his or her class and has the full authority and responsibility to correct the behaviour of learners whenever such correction is necessary. Any corrective measure or disciplinary action will correspond with and be appropriate to the offence.
All learners will abide by the discipline system that has been developed to assist and guide learner behaviour in the Hope Full Service School.
Grading of Offences
Offences are graded according to the nature and degree of seriousness of the offences, of which Grade 3 offences are the most serious.
The grade of an offence will determine the procedure to be followed.
Grade 1 offence – a written warning followed by a final written warning, then a disciplinary hearing.
Grade 2 offence – a final written warning followed by a disciplinary hearing, then a tribunal hearing.
Grade 3 offence – a disciplinary hearing or a tribunal hearing (depending on the severity of the particular offence).
All Grade 1 offences will be dealt with by the staff member or RCL member/prefect concerned who must keep a written record of such offences and the disciplinary measure taken
When a third Grade 1 offence occurs, the matter is referred to the Grade Head along with the record of all three (3) offences and the Grade Head will issue a written warning.
A signed copy of acknowledgement will be kept on record by the Grade Head and communicated to the parent/guardian.
Should the particular Grade 1 offence recur after disciplinary intervention has occurred and a written warning has been issued, the staff member will, in consultation with the Grade Head, arrange an interview with the learner. A final written warning will be issued. A signed copy of acknowledgement will be kept on record by the Grade Head and communicated to the parent/guardian.
The Grade Head will keep on record copies of all relevant documentation relating to the offences and the disciplinary measures imposed and provide copies thereof to the learner’s register teacher.
All Grade 2 offences will immediately be referred to the Grade Head. The staff member will, in consultation with the Grade Head, arrange an interview with the learner. A final
written warning will be issued and disciplinary action applied. A signed copy of acknowledgement will be kept on record by the Grade Head and communicated to the parent/guardian.
When a second Grade 2 offence occurs after a final written warning has been issued for the first offence, the Grade Head will refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee for a disciplinary hearing. The parent/guardian will be advised in writing, a minimum of five (5) days before the designated date, that an internal disciplinary hearing has been convened.
Should the particular Grade 2 offence recur after the issuing of a final written warning and a disciplinary hearing has occurred, the Disciplinary Committee will refer the matter to a tribunal hearing. The parent/guardian will be advised in writing, a minimum of five (5) days before the designated date that a tribunal hearing has been convened.
The Grade Head will keep on record copies of all relevant documentation relating to the offences and the disciplinary measures imposed and provide copies thereof to the learner’s register teacher.
All Grade 3 offences will immediately be reported to the Grade Head. The Grade Head will refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee who will, depending on the severity of the offence, determine whether to convene a disciplinary hearing or a tribunal hearing. The parent/guardian will be advised in writing, a minimum of five (5) days before the designated date that a hearing has been convened.
The following list of interventions and corrective measures used by the Hope Full Service School are aimed at correcting behaviour before suspension and expulsion:
- A verbal warning/reprimand to express disapproval.
- Written warning.
- Final written warning.
- Removal from classes to the exclusion room.
- Written punishment.
- Community service to improve the physical environment within and around the Hope Full Service School property.
- Homework detention.
- Supervised Hope Full Service Schoolwork.
- De-merit detention.
- Referral for counselling.
- Attendance of a relevant life skills programme.
- Fines to compensate for damages, to cover the cost of repair or replacement of the lost or damaged item, and/or the accumulated fine.
- Exclusion from Hope Full Service School activities and functions, e.g. tours.
- Withdrawal of recognition, e.g. award, monitor badge
- Temporary suspension from class or Hope Full Service School, pending disciplinary hearing.
- Disciplinary hearing.
- Tribunal hearing.
Failure to comply with interventions and corrective measures will lead to further interventions and may lead to the offence being categorised at a higher grade. Expulsion may be recommended for a Grade 3 offence.
- Conduct that may lead to suspension/exclusion includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Conduct that violates the rights or safety of others.
- Criminal behaviour of any kind.
- Defacing or destroying Hope Full Service School property.
- Disrespectful or objectionable conduct and verbal abuse directed at teachers, other Hope Full Service School employees or fellow learners.
- Outright defiance of lawful requests or instructions issued by persons in authority.
- Indulging in harmful graffiti, racism or “hate speech”.
- Sexual harassment or sexual assault.
- Immoral behaviour or profanity.
- Possessing, using or displaying evidence of use of any narcotics, unauthorised drugs, alcohol or any other intoxicant.
- Repeated infringements of the Hope Full Service School rules or the Code of Conduct.
- Possession of dangerous weapons (guns, knives and other objects which may threaten the lives of learners/teachers).
Should a learner be found guilty by a court of law for breaking the law of the Republic of South Africa, the Hope Full Service School has the right, after a fair hearing through the Governing Body, to recommend expulsion to the Provincial Department of Education.
A tribunal hearing will be convened with a view to recommending expulsion. In such instances the recommendation for expulsion will be submitted to the Provincial Head of Education to approve the decision.
Where approval for expulsion is not granted, learners will attend counselling or the relevant life skills programme before they may return to class. Such learners will be accommodated in the exclusion room in the interim to continue with Hope Full Service Schoolwork until they have completed the series of counselling sessions or the stipulated life skills programme.
Suspension of a Learner by the Principal or Deputy Principal as a Pre-cautionary Measure
The Governing Body authorises the Principal or Deputy Principals to institute suspension, as a precautionary measure, with regard to a learner who is charged with a serous misconduct offence as contemplated in section 8 of the SA Hope Full Service Schools Act.
Before a learner is suspended, the learner and his/her parents must be given an opportunity to indicate why the suspension should not be considered.
The disciplinary proceedings must commence within one (1) week after the suspension. If the proceedings do not commence within one (1) week, approval for the continuation of the suspension must be obtained from the Head of Department.
This suspension will be applicable until a finding of not guilty is made or, in the case of a finding of guilty, until the appropriate sanction is announced.
Disciplinary and Tribunal Hearings
Written notice of a disciplinary or tribunal hearing will be given at least five (5) Hope Full Service School days before the hearing, which could imply temporary suspension from classes, excluding formal scheduled tests and examinations which count towards the year mark.When a notice is issued to a learner the learner must acknowledge receipt of notice by signing for it. This is not an admission of guilt.If a learner does not appear at a hearing, the hearing will be conducted in his/her absence.
A written verdict of the hearing will be issued to the offender. The offender must acknowledge the content by signing the document.
A learner has the right to request a review of the disciplinary action taken against him/her if sufficient grounds exist. Disregard of punishment of the Disciplinary Committee will lead to temporary suspension pending a hearing.
The Disciplinary Hearing Commission will consist of the following members:
a Governing Body representative;the Hope Full Service School Principal or Discipline Officer delegated to oversee this function; the Grade Head; and the register teacher.
The hearing will also be attended by the learner, and any other learner s/he may need for his/her defence.
Disciplinary measures that a Disciplinary Hearing Committee may impose include:
Demerits.Suspension from Hope Full Service School for a minimum of two days up to a maximum of five (5) days, ratified by the Governing Body, to be effective immediately. This will be put in writing and a copy kept on record.
Recommendation with respect to counselling/attendance of a life skills programme.
Progress monitoring process initiated for a minimum of two (2) weeks, followed up with a progress report.
A written conduct and behaviour warning issued. A signed copy of acknowledgement will be kept on record.
Payment to cover the cost of repair or replacement of the damaged, lost or stolen item.
The Tribunal Hearing Commission will consist of the following members:
- the Governing Body Chairperson;
- two (2) parent representatives from the Governing Body;
- the Hope Full Service School Principal or Discipline Officer delegated to oversee this function;
- and the Grade Head.
The Principal/Discipline Officer will keep on record copies of all documentation relating to the offence, the conducting and findings of the hearing, and the disciplinary measures imposed.
The Principal/Discipline Officer will furnish the relevant Grade Head and register teacher with all the information necessary for their records.
Procedure during Hearings
The Chairperson of The Committee must lead the proceedings and:
Introduce those present and state their functions.
Ensure that witnesses are present only while giving their evidence.
The Chairperson must inform the learner of his/her rights:
- The right to a formal hearing.
- The right to be present at the hearing.
- The right to be given time to prepare for the hearing case.
- The right to be given advance notice of the charges.
- The right to be represented at the hearing by one (1) internal representative.
- The right to be accompanied at the hearing by parents/guardian if the learner is a minor.
- The right to ask questions on any evidence produced, or on statements of witnesses.
- The right to call witnesses to testify on his/her behalf.
- The right to an interpreter, to be requested 24 hours prior to the hearing.
- The right to appeal within five (5) days against any penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Committee.
If the learner does not attend, the hearing will be conducted in his/her absence.
The Chairperson is to explain the nature of the alleged breach or misconduct to those present at the hearing.
The procedure of enquiry is to be explained by The Chairperson. The evidence of the complainant and his/her witnesses will be heard first. The learner and panel may ask questions about the evidence. The learner and his/her witnesses may then give evidence and the complainant and Committee may ask them questions.
When all the evidence has been heard, The Chairperson must close the enquiry, dismiss the complainant, the accused, their representatives, the parent/guardian and all the witnesses.
The Disciplinary Committee must discuss and weigh the evidence and come to a decision.The Chairperson must reconvene all interested parties.The Chairperson is to communicate the decision of The Committee.The Chairperson must explain the decision of The Committee and the reasons for the penalty (if any) that has been imposed.The learner must be advised of his right to appeal (Annexure E).The complainant and learner must sign the disciplinary form and a copy must be handed to the learner. (If the learner refuses, a witness must sign in the presence of the learner).The signing of the document by the learner does not imply an acknowledgement of guilt.
Bullying behaviour is: When a child or group of children misuse their power to hurt other children or exclude them.
The following three essential elements are always present in bullying behaviour, namely:
deliberate use of aggression,unbalanced power relationship between bully and victim, and the causing of physical pain and/or emotional anxiety.
Types of bullying:
- Verbal and written, for example name calling, negative / ugly comments, intimidation, threatening or humiliating smses.
- Physical, for example bumping, scratching, shouldering, hitting, tripping, biting, rolling eyes, showing suggestive signs.
- Social / Relationships, for example gossiping (verbal or written), revealing personal information, manipulation of the child with a view to humiliation, exclusion from a group.
Consequences of bullying
- Increased fear of school and absenteeism.
- Victim’s development is affected.
- Causes handicaps.
- Feelings of inferiority.
- Self-esteem problems.
- Feelings of loneliness.
- Social isolation.
- Emotional problems.
- Psychosomatic symptoms.
- Communication problems.
- Struggle to achieve academically.
- Some victims commit suicide.
- Rule-breaking, anti-social behaviour patterns.
- Risk of criminal behaviour later.
Prevention of bullying
Class rules should give, in short and concrete terms, a clear guideline for acceptable behaviour.
The class rules should include that bullying is unacceptable, that learners will support the victims of bullying and that the class will work together as a unit.
Continuous focus on the development of social skills amongst learners.
In the prevention of bullying, a balance must be managed between consequences and prescriptions.
All learners who are guilty of bullying should be called to account. It will send out a clear message that bullying will not be tolerated.
Help for bullies
Keep in mind that the bully often comes from a background where there is insecurity, little parent involvement and inconsistency in actions of parents. These learners are often subjected to physical punishment and emotional outburst.
Before formal counselling is necessary, the bully must come to the realisation that his / her behaviour is always going to have negative consequences until the behaviour is changed.
Insistence on an apology, development of self-esteem, why-questions and asking nicely to stop have little success in effecting a change, and can aggravate things.
Important principles for classroom management
Discipline is an important part of the day-to day classroom management. Discipline is closely bound to teaching and instruction and good discipline can be ensured through good management and teaching skills.
- Know your learners by name and establish a meaningful relationship with the learner.
- Be consistent in your expectations and application of discipline.
- Be punctual, organised and prepared for lessons. This promotes discipline.
- Set realistic and achievable targets for your learners.
- Motivate your learners through awards and encouragement.
- Create positive learning experiences for your learners by presenting well prepared and interesting lessons.
- Preparation for the classroom
- Do lesson preparation – ensure that you know what you must do and that you use teaching time to the full.
- Approach teaching with a positive attitude. It helps if you create a positive classroom atmosphere.
- Try to create a stimulating environment, using pictures and colour in order to make learning a pleasure.
- Plan your discipline to the same degree that you plan your lessons. Equip yourself in advance to handle certain crisis situations.
- Actions within the classroom
- Create a positive environment by moving around while you teach. Don’t try sitting and teaching. A passive teacher easily loses the attention of the class.
- Many problems originate at the beginning of the lesson when learners come into the classroom. Try to get the lesson under way as soon as possible – don’t have learners wait for you – rather wait for them.
- If you must discipline during a lesson, give short and simple instructions with clear reference to the rules. Also make use of Quick Responses. Do it quickly and immediately continue with the lesson.
- Do not become angry.
- Should a learner become disruptive during a lesson, or refuse to carry out a task, deal with it immediately. Be consistent.
- Ensure during the concluding phase of a lesson that all learners have clarity about your expectations about such matters as homework, assessment tasks and incomplete work.
General guidelines regarding classroom management
Know yourself – it helps to know what annoys you – do not always react immediately – children sense that and can exploit it. They will, therefore, draw you into a conflict situation where there are only losers.
- If you wish learners to “count up to 10”, then you must set an example. It gives you an opportunity to establish the appropriate detachment. Remember that you are the one with the most insight – that classroom is the place where you are in control – the more “equipment” you have to control this space, the easier it will be to manage it.
- It is of paramount importance to know each child’s personal context and background. If she came to school hungry today, it will influence her behaviour in a certain manner. If his parents had a serious fight the previous night, he may be clowning in class today.
- Keep the child’s stage of development in mind.
- Bear in mind that impulsive learners do not always understand the implications of their behaviour, and that we must make them aware of them.
- The emotionally immature learner cannot always handle his conflict and is inclined to blame others. Therefore, create an educational opportunity out of a crisis situation – the learner will probably be afraid to swim through the proverbial river – it is your task to fetch him from the other side.
- Use positive reinforcement. Encourage learners continually and thank them for their co-operation. Your professional actions will create respect among learners.
- Be clear in your instructions. Vagueness confuses learners.
- Be form and confident – learners always exploit uncertainty. You can be confident only if you are well prepared.
- Parental involvement is of great importance. Try to involve parents.
- In the classroom you act in place of the parent. This implies that you must do more than pure teaching – good teaching involves the whole child and therefore also his or her emotional needs and growth.
- Classroom discipline must conform to the code of conduct of the school. This ensures consistent actions and creates security among learners.
- Make learners aware of the implications of their choice of behaviour. Guide learners towards accepting personal responsibility.
- Some disruptive behaviour requires a long-term strategy to eliminate it. Here you must definitely involve your colleagues so that a uniform and consistent approach can be devised. This is done through the education support team (EST).
- Guard against labelling a learner. Do not condemn a learner. Condemn his or her behaviour.
- Function within a framework of rules, rights and responsibility and not in terms of your status as an educator.
- Behaviour does not exist within a vacuum – try to discover the source of a learner’s behaviour.
- Remember that you are a role model for your learners. Your example is thus of cardinal importance – inspire learners with your example.
You have an important facilitation role in the development of the child’s self-image. A child with a positive self-image usually displays positive behaviour.