Discipline For Learning

Scoil Fhursa operates a code of behaviour called “Discipline For
Learning” (DFL).

We have used it since 2006 and we are happy to say that it works very well. We wanted to remind everyone about how ‘positive discipline’ works so we made this short booklet with some Board of Management approved 2020 revisions.

D.F.L "The Good Stuff"

All children respond better to praise, encouragement and positive motivation than they do to giving out and nagging. We make a huge effort every day to emphasise the positive. Here are some examples:

2:1 Ratio

For every one time a teacher has to correct unacceptable behaviour, he/she will make two positive comments. For example – “You usually
make such good choices but that wasn’t a very nice choice that you made there. I know you can make much better choices than that.” A 2:1 ratio……
sounds better

Daily Positive Feedback

Every teacher operates a scheme of good marks, star charts and visible positive reinforcement.
The juniors love the pepperoni pizza chart on their walls. Every teacher awards 1 GREEN CARD every day for a pupil of the day:

Daily Positive Feedback works well.

Long Term Rewards

It’s good to save and build towards something good and those green
cards all add up to a special treat. Boys with three green cards can come to the Principal’s office for a reward. At the end of every month, we hold school assembly where pupils are awarded certificates for ‘Pupil of the Month’ and ‘Most Improved’ in the class. Long-term rewards work very well. The Big Ones: At Christmas, Easter and Summer, we have special assemblies where PUPILS OF THE TERM are awarded certificates, prizes and medals. We bring these boys, as well as pupils of the month, to the cinema for special private screenings of the latest movies. This is free and costs parents nothing. The Big Ones are great fun.

D.F.L "The Not So Good Stuff"

Sometimes children will push the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. When this happens, all of the adults in the child’s life need to work together to set limits, to teach the child and to work towards positive targets. Our Discipline for Learning plan is simple, is very fair to everyone … and it works!

The Yellow Card

If a child misbehaves, the teacher will speak to the child and issue no punishment. It’s not all about punishment. 2. If the child misbehaves again, the teacher will speak to the child and the child will ‘miss out’ on some activity soon afterwards. This may involve sitting out or sitting on a ‘thinking chair’ for a short time.3. If the child misbehaves a third time the teacher will issue a note to parents called “The Yellow Card”. Like the yellow card in football, this is a warning – nothing more. Parents should talk to the child about what went on and work with the child to change any unacceptable behaviour. The Yellow Card usually

The Red Card

When a yellow card brings no improvement, the red card comes next. Thankfully only a small number of red cards are given out each year. The yellow card usually works because parents have supported the school in eliminating time-wasting behaviour. We are here to learn after all – not to misbehave! If a pupil does misbehave … three more times … the teacher sends him to the DEPUTY PRINCIPAL. Ms. Shortall will then send home a red card. If parents want to contact the school at this point, they should see Ms. Shortall, not the class teacher. A notebook will go between school and home every day for a week or two so that everyone can keep in touch and can work together on the problem behaviours. It is signed by Ms. Shortall and by parents daily. The Red Card is serious.

The White Card

If the Red Card, the red note book and meetings with Ms. Shortall do not work, and if misbehaviour continues, the pupil is sent to the Principal. Since 2007, only 2 pupils have received white cards for continuous misbehaviour from the Principal. In these cases, after meetings with the parents and when no guarantee of an improvement was seen, the pupils had to be suspended for a time from school. There was no other option We hope that this won’t be happening again.

Some Interesting Facts: In 2006, there were over 14 suspensions for continuous misbehaviour. Since then, there have only been 2 suspensions for continuous misbehaviour. That’s a 99.9% reduction.

We also also have a separate anti-bullying policy and this was updated in 2020 to include homophobic and racist bullying. “Bullying behaviour – when asked to stop” is a very serious misbehaviour.

The Serious stuff

We have 12 SERIOUS MISBEHAVIOUR school rules in our school and they are all agreed by the parents, the staff and the Board of Management. They are written in the pupils’ journals and the teachers explain these rules to pupils regularly – in case they forget! It would be helpful if in doubt, that parents and children read these rules together. These rules are very serious and everyone is in agreement that pupils must be suspended immediately if these rules are broken. Nobody wants this to happen, so we must all work together to avoid it. Here are the facts – Since 2008 when there were 15 suspensions in one year, the numbers decreased steadily to 7, 5 and 4. In recent years there have been only 1 or 2 suspensions – and in some years none at all.

Some Reminders:
The teachers are trained and experienced at handling minor issues on the spot. They follow the Board of Management DFL policy by giving green, yellow and red cards as appropriate. We ask parents to please consider that there may be two side to a story if a pupil arrives home with a version of events in which trouble was caused and where he required some form of correction. We are available to discuss any incident: The class teacher by appointment or the principal on any morning at 8:40 – 9:00 on arrival.

If you would like to  offer any suggestions or if you are unhappy in any way with the school’s DFL Code of Behaviour, you can drop a line to DFL School Policy, The Chairperson, Board of Management, Scoil Fhursa, Dublin, 5. Thank you for reading our booklet.