Code of Conduct

Introduction

This Code of Conduct has been developed in accordance with the South African Schools Act, 1996.

It promotes the Mission Statement of HeronBridge College and works towards a well-balanced, broad education for pupils, a professional environment for teachers and an atmosphere for the extension of generally accepted family principles. It applies to all aspects of school life and incorporates both behavioural goals and disciplinary codes. The code defines the standard behaviour expected of and required from all stakeholders.

It is accepted that this code is a dynamic document, requiring frequent deliberation, and possible revision, in order to always satisfy the needs of the HeronBridge College community. To this end, you are invited to submit any suggestions that may be reviewed from time to time.

If all parties adhere to both the spirit and the letter of the code, healthy working relationships will be created between parents, teachers and pupils, these relationships being the essential foundation for the creation of a constructive teaching, learning and growing environment. The disciplinary codes are intended to promote the maintenance of discipline and order at HeronBridge College (hereafter referred to as “HeronBridge”).

The Code of Conduct is to be presented to all parties concerned on first acceptance to HeronBridge. Signature by parents/guardians of the Contract of Enrolment indicates an acceptance of the Code, as does the employment contract for teachers.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct applies to all within the ambit of HeronBridge College. It promotes the good of pupils, teachers and parents. Regardless of specific age or role, all associated with HeronBridge will conduct themselves appropriately at all times to ensure optimum accomplishment.

2.1 Code of Conduct – Pupils

  • Objectives:
    By attending HeronBridge pupils will endeavour to:
    • mature through their adolescent years;
    • develop their intellectual, sporting, cultural abilities;
    • develop thinking and problem solving skills;
    • gain knowledge about the world in which they live;
    • improve social and friendship skills;
    • explore career opportunities and follow related educational programmes;
    • care for others less fortunate than themselves.Code:
    Pupils are to understand that they each, through their own response to the Code of Conduct and subsequent daily behaviour, either encourage or prevent the attainment of the College’s objectives. The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to ensure that the opportunities presented at HeronBridge are fully utilised. The code thus identifies what behaviour is required and expected. This follows from 2.1.1 – 2.1.3 and in the associated discipline codes in Sections 3, 4, 6.2.1.1 As regards teachersPupils will respect the right of teachers to teach, to co-ordinate learning activities and to facilitate the full school programme. Pupils will show respect to teachers by:
    • being punctual to class;
    • following all teacher instructions;
    • being attentive in class;
    • applying themselves to the work set;
    • not being disruptive in any way;
    • not talking in class until invited to do so;
    • not moving from desks without permission;
    • acquiring permission to participate in lessons;
    • doing tasks, as set by teachers, to the best of their abilities.2.1.2 As regards other pupilsPupils will respect the rights of others to learn. This will be shown by:
    • not distracting other pupils from their tasks;
    • giving others opportunities to make contributions in class and in tasks;
    • not interrupting others while they contribute;
    • respecting others’ points of view;
    • not ridiculing others.2.1.3 As regards personal applicationEach pupil will make the most of every opportunity to achieve well in College. This will be accomplished by:
    • attending school every term day, unless incapacitated and authorised to stay away by a parent or guardian;
    • devoting time and effort to academic studies, as per the timetable and the demands of self-study;
    • taking part willingly and enthusiastically in class activities;
    • working independently and doing more than the minimum required;
    • doing homework and project work as set;
    • presenting assignments well and on time;
    • preparing well for tests and examinations;
    • working neatly;
    • showing commitment to academic achievement;
    • participation in the extramural programme.2.2 Code of Conduct – TeachersObjectives:
    Through their acceptance of employment at HeronBridge teachers will commit to:
    • provide service to HeronBridge;
    • utilise their professional skills for the purpose of educating the pupils;
    • contribute holistically to the programme of the College;
    • advance their own career opportunities and those of others;
    • maintain contact with parents as individuals and as a body;
    • provide care in whatever circumstances and for whomever requires it within the College.Code:
    While every teacher can expect the respect, support and co-operation of the College, parents and pupils in his or her efforts to create a healthy learning environment inside and outside the classroom, it is important that teachers acknowledge their responsibilities. Teachers at HeronBridge thus undertake to:
    • maintain a professional bearing and manner and by so doing set a positive example to the pupils;
    • be well prepared;
    • be fully conversant with the demands of the syllabi taught;
    • be punctual;
    • mark and return assignments, tests and examinations within a reasonable period of time;
    • praise, encourage and motivate pupils;
    • help create a concept of team work or partnership with pupils in the education process;
    • help establish and communicate realistic, clear and meaningful goals each year;
    • confront pupils who transgress the accepted code, administering punishments when necessary;
    • discipline with dignity and follow the principles outlined in the discipline code;
    • report serious misconduct to senior executive staff;
    • be sensitive to the individual needs and problems of pupils.

    Parents of pupils who think a teacher has failed to conform to this code should approach the relevant Head or Deputy. The College undertakes to treat such approaches sensitively and confidentially in an effort to improve the situation.

    2.3 Code of Conduct – Parents

    Objectives:
    In their association with HeronBridge through their children, parents will undertake to:
    • provide their children with the necessities for effective school careers;
    • support their children in their studies and various school activities;
    • uphold the discipline structures of the College;
    • serve on parent committees, as able;
    • attend College functions, sport and cultural activities, parent meetings, as able;
    • extend their own professional expertise to the College, when required;
    • uphold and promote the good name of HeronBridge.

    Code:
    HeronBridge prides itself on the good relations it enjoys with parents. While parents can expect the College to provide their children with the best possible education according to the resources available to it, parents must also accept certain responsibilities in achieving the goals set. Parents should:
    • support teachers in their efforts to teach their children, i.e. monitor homework, check test results, help set goals, regularly consult their diary for teachers’ comments;
    • communicate with Head or Deputy timeously regarding areas of concern before they become major issues;
    • make suggestions or provide assistance to improve the educational process and environment;
    • encourage their children to participate fully in the College’s programme;
    • endeavour to uphold moral and legal behaviour in their children as regards alcohol, cigarettes, substance abuse and sexual activity;
    • be aware at all times of the whereabouts of their children and set parameters as far as time lines, transport arrangements, dress codes and appropriate behaviour is concerned;
    • communicate with the parents of their children’s friends to verify information and to hereby avoid manipulation.

Discipline Code

3.1 Discipline Code – Preparatory School

  • 3.1.1 Principles
    • The Discipline Code is built around the Code of Conduct laid out to learners.
    • Consequences for breaking the Code of Conduct are predetermined and uniform across the Preparatory school.
    • The consequences for transgressing the expected conduct are transparent to all and are presented in language that is accessible to every learner, Grade 1–7.
    • While there are consequences for deviant behaviour, the emphasis will always remain on positive reinforcement, building up learners and not breaking them down. Equal attention will be placed on commendations as on warnings.3.1.2 Positive ReinforcementMerits
    • House merits can be awarded to the children for:
    – right values and good attitudes;
    – sportsmanship;
    – recycling efforts and community service;
    – academic performance;
    – Head’s discretion.
    • The emphasis is on Esprit de Corps and the team and not the individual.
    • Merits will be collected in a box in the front office and totaled each Thursday for learner feedback in the Friday assembly.Good Work Stamps
    • These should be issued as a reward for a concerted and positive work ethic.
    • Good work stamps could be issued by the Head or Deputy Head.
    • In the Foundation Phase, the teacher should consciously seek to allow every child opportunity to get a good work stamp in the term.
    • Each Teacher will be at liberty to implement their own positive reward system in the classroom.
    • Silver Stars Tea – The Silver Stars Tea is a prestigious tea with the Head to reward those children who have been commended for excellent values, manners and conduct. The PA to the Prep School will be advised when a child is nominated by a Grade Head for the tea. The tea will occur termly.3.1.2 Consequences of actions – Building a Responsibility of SelfDiscipline Chart
    • This chart will be transparent to all learners. It should be mounted in each classroom, not just home rooms.
    • The chart clearly outlines the reporting line when children contravene the Code of Conduct.
    • It is written in age and offence appropriate language.
    • It places responsibility on the teacher as first line of discipline, but clearly indicates where matters need to be referred to the Deputy and Head.
    • Each class teacher will discuss the chart with the children and refer them back to it as need arises.Warnings
    • In the Foundation Phase, warnings will be communicated with/ to the parent regularly.
    • In the Intermediate Phase, warnings will be written up in the class discipline file.
    • Warnings for behaviour offences and work ethic issues should be kept separate.
    • Teachers should be cautious to issue warnings for acts of commission and not omission. Children are to be disciplined for issues of defiance rather than occasional irresponsibility. Staff will consciously guard against punitive and petty policing.Discipline File
    • This file contains warning sheets for each individual learner.
    • It should remain in the home room where it may be fetched and updated by other teachers. A system will also be in place where other specialist teachers are able to comment on the children’s behavior.
    • On the third offence, the parents should receive a ‘Progress Report’ enlisting their help and support concerning the issues of concern. This demands the collection of a reply slip, acknowledging the receipt of our communication. Continued transgressions will be referred to the Deputy Head who will issue a warning of detention.
    • One transgression further will lead to a detention and thereafter, every second offence for the same misdemeanour.
    • Discipline sheets will be filed to Learner Profiles at the end of the year should there be a significant record of deviant behaviour.Head and Deputy Based Discipline
    At this level, the discipline will take a formal approach with a disciplinary hearing. The hearing will follow set procedures.

    DISCIPLINE CODE FOR LEARNERS – PREPARATORY SCHOOL
    EXPECTED CONDUCT BEHAVIOUR CONSEQUENCE
    Learners will comply with the general instructions and rules at HeronBridge Preparatory 1.    Deliberately disobeying instructions

    2.    Disrespect towards elders, educators, parents and visitors

    3.    Incorrect uniform, including  hair, dress and other items

    4.    Behaviour in public or at events which brings the school into disrepute

    5.    Trespassing or entering the school grounds after hours or during holidays

    6.    Improper use of ITC rules by viewing, downloading or storing offensive material

    TBD – Warning

    TBD – Warning

     

    TBD – Warning

     

    DBD – Parental contact and action

     

     

    DBD – Warning, parental contact

     

     

    HBD – Disciplinary Hearing

    Learners will behave responsibly and not endanger the safety and wellbeing of others 1.   Playing dangerous games

    2.   Repeated bullying of others

    3.   Fighting or threatening to hit others, including carrying weapons at school

    4.   Disruptive behaviour which means that lessons are interrupted

    5.   Having alcohol at school

    6.   Having cigarettes at school

    TBD – Warning

    HBD – Disciplinary Hearing

    DBD – Disciplinary Hearing

     

     

    TBD – Warning

     

    HBD – Disciplinary Hearing

    HBD – Disciplinary Hearing

    Learners respect and care for the school’s property and the property of others 1.   Tampering with other people’s belongings

    2.   Vandalism

    3.   Littering

    4.   Not taking good care of school books and textbooks

    TBD – Warning

     

    DBD – Warning

    HBD – Disciplinary Hearing

    TBD – Warning

    TBD – Warning

    Learners will be courteous towards and respect their peers 1.   Swearing and using offensive language

    2.   Teasing

    3.   Disrespect towards the religious convictions of others

    4.   Racism

    5.   Sexual Harassment

    6.   Having pornography at school

    7.   Failure to attend compulsory sporting and school functions without prior excuse

    TBD – Warning

     

    TBD – Warning

    DBD – Community service (Disciplinary Hearing)

    HBD – Disciplinary Hearing

    HBD – Disciplinary Hearing

    DBD – Parent contact and action

    TBD – Warning

    Learners will be punctual 1.   No note explaining absenteeism

    2.   Leaving the school property (during school hours) without permission

    3.   Arriving late to school

    4.   Leaving class without permission

    TBD – Warning

    DBD – Warning

     

    TBD – Warning

    TBD – Warning

    Learners will be diligent in their school work 1.   Homework not done

    2.   Not returning reply slips

    3.   Leaving books or work at home

    TBD – Warning

    TBD – Warning

    TBD – Warning

    Learners will behave honestly 1.    Cheating in tests

    2.    Copying other’s work

    3.    Lying

    4.    Stealing

     

    5.    Forging a signature

    DBD – Warning

    TBD – Warning

    TBD – Warning

    DBD – Parent contact, Disciplinary Hearing

    DBD – Parent contact, warning

    TBD – Teacher Based Discipline
    DBD – Deputy Based Discipline
    HBD – Head Based Discipline

    3 warnings – letter to parent
    4 warnings – final advice to parents
    5 warnings – detention< >• The warnings can be for any misdemeanours and may not necessarily be about the same issue.
    • The Deputy Head or Head may issue a detention without warnings.
    • It is also important to note that a disciplinary hearing could result in the ultimate removal of the child from HeronBridge.

 

Discipline Code for Learners – College

Behaviour

CONSEQUENCE

1.   that disrupts the College’s organisation or damages its image e.g.

·   persistent lateness to school

·   failing to fulfill co-curricular commitments

·   failing to give or return important communications between the College and parents

·   being out of bounds

·   defacing or damaging College property

·   infringing the dress code

·   selling items at school

·   littering

·   any misbehaviour during assemblies

·   inappropriate behaviour towards a visitor on the College property

Written impositions and detentions may be given when pupils persistently fail to co-operate in these instances and parents may be contacted via the Head/Deputy.

2.   that harms a pupil’s own educational opportunities
i.e. generally failing to co-operate with a teacher in the classroom e.g.

·   not doing homework

·   failing to bring work materials to school

·   failing to hand in required work

·   not paying sufficient attention to his/her studies

·   failing to write cycle tests or examinations without medical certificates indicating doctor consultations on the specific days concerned

It is the subject or class teacher’s responsibility to punish behaviour that adversely affects a pupil’s own educational opportunities.  Appropriate punishments include written impositions, extra exercises, mark penalties, rewriting tests, etc.

If a pupil repeatedly fails to co-operate, parents will be advised, and, if necessary, executive staff will assist with the problem.

It must be noted that although this behaviour may only seem to affect the individual pupil, such non co-operation may also undermine the educational tone of the class, thus harming the opportunities of others.

3.   that harms the learning opportunities of others
i.e. through unruly or disruptive behaviour which prevents the teacher from being able to teach the class effectively e.g.

·   arriving late without a valid excuse

·   chewing gum, eating or drinking during the lesson

·   talking or moving around the classroom without permission

·   unnecessarily interrupting the lesson

These offences will normally be dealt with by teachers in the first instance but if a pupil is seriously or repeatedly disruptive then, with the permission of the Head/Deputy, a pupil may be removed from class pending an interview with parents.

4.   that harms the healthy learning environment of the College i.e. the pupil’s behaviour is illegal, criminal, anti-social, dangerous, offensive or lowers the educational tone of the College e.g.

·   bullying

·   dishonesty

·   fighting

·   fraudulent actions

·   possession of and/or distribution of offensive or pornographic material

·   use of cell phones or cameras by pupils to take and/or distribute inappropriate photographs of themselves or photographs of other pupils

·   possession of or smoking cigarettes or tobacco or being in the company of those infringing this clause

·   racism

·   rudeness or insolence

·   Satanism

·   sexism

·   sexual impropriety

·   swearing

·   tampering with or damaging other people’s property

·   unseemly or inappropriate physical contact

·   vandalism

·   verbal or physical threats

·   cyber bullying, including inappropriate or unacceptable comments on social network websites and/or cell phones

·   possession of or distribution of offensive material by any electronic means, including cell phones

·   inappropriate use of social network sites, via computers or cell phones, including posting comments about anyone associated with HeronBridge, or the families of HeronBridge

Depending on the nature of the incident, a pupil may be removed from class.

Confidential reports may be obtained from the pupil’s teachers to view the incident in a broader perspective.

An interview with the parents may be arranged to discuss the matter.

Depending on the nature of the report, the pupil’s previous disciplinary record at the College and the seriousness of the offence, the Head/Deputy may issue a verbal or written warning to the pupil in the presence of the pupil’s parents.

Any serious incident and/or repeated incidents of this type of misconduct may result in parents being asked to remove their child from HeronBridge or expulsion.

·   possession of, dealing in or using alcohol or drugs

These offences will result in formal disciplinary hearings, possible suspension and expulsion procedures.  Refer to the specific drug and alcohol policy in Section 4.

·   plagiarism

Plagiarism in any form, in any academic work or exercise, will be deemed most serious.  The definition of plagiarism will include any copying and pasting from electronic media without suitable indication of quoting or referencing.  Such offences will result in formal disciplinary hearings, and censures from loss of marks, to the non-submission of work to the IEB or other agencies, to suspension and expulsion.
In all disciplinary procedures, HeronBridge will endeavour to be fair, consistent, impartial and will treat the pupils with dignity. Moreover, in cases of serious misconduct (when a disciplinary hearing is necessary) parents will be invited to be present with their children.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Substance Abuse

4.1 Definition
Substance abuse is defined for the purpose of this policy as:

“being under the influence of or the unauthorised, excessive or wrongful use of drugs (whether legal or illegal) or alcohol by any member of the College community whenever that person can be associated with the College; a positive identification of drug use by test of an agency recognised by the College for the purpose.”

4.2 Policy
4.2.1 The Head will bear responsibility to ensure the property of HeronBridge College remains a drug free zone.
4.2.2 Suitable education, guidance and monitoring programmes will be conducted at the College.
4.2.3 Appropriate actions will be taken in cases of infringements of this policy.
4.2.4 The best interests of the College as a whole will be considered paramount.

4.3 Application
4.3.1 This policy will be applied consistently in all cases.
4.3.2 A distinction in culpability will be made between instances of those seeking assistance voluntarily and those discovered.
4.3.3 Anyone associated with the College will be given every assistance should it be requested, regardless of any disciplinary actions taken.
4.3.4 All assistance given will respect the dignity of those concerned and will be according to generally accepted codes of confidentiality and dignity.

4.4 Resources
4.4.1 The executive staff will be responsible for providing suitable guidance and educational programmes regarding substance abuse on an ongoing basis.
4.4.2 The Directors will be responsible for providing the Head with resources required: e.g. skilled monitoring services.
4.4.3 Whenever possible, the Head’s requests for assistance in these matters will be acceded to and whatever reasonable support is deemed necessary at any time will be given.
4.4.4 Parent responsibility will be recognised and emphasised throughout.
4.4.5 Outside agencies will be contacted for assistance in both educational and monitoring matters.

4.5 Procedures

  • 4.5.1 All instances of substance abuse will be investigated and actions taken consistent with this policy.
    4.5.2 The Head and staff will be responsible for all necessary investigations.
    4.5.3 HeronBridge College reserves the right to:
    • exert control at all times, as deemed fit by the Head;
    • arrange urine and/or other drug tests by an outside agency selected by the College for any persons identified by the Head/Deputy as possibly being involved (these tests will be at the expense of the College if negative, for the parents’ account if positive);
    • use agencies and/or staff teams to monitor persons, belongings, grounds at any time, to identify any possession or usage of drugs or alcohol;
    • establish and insist upon adherence to contracts of behaviour to regulate future conduct.4.5.4 In cases of possession, usage, abuse or distribution, discipline will be meted out, as seen fit by the Head or disciplinary hearing at the time. Discipline may take the form of:
    • detentions;
    • withdrawals from College activities;
    • community service;
    • written or verbal warnings;
    • final warnings;
    • regular monitoring;
    • contracts regulating behaviour;
    • suspensions;
    • expulsion;
    • referral to the SAPS;
    • or any other action deemed suitable at the time.
    4.5.5 Serious and second infractions will be considered expellable offences.
    4.5.6 In every case, parents must be informed of their children’s involvement and of what actions have been and will be taken.
    4.5.7 Expulsions and suspensions will be according to the South African Schools Act, 1996, or other relevant legislation.

4.6 Principles

  • 1 In every instance, regardless of whether or not the pupil/s concerned are removed from HeronBridge, counselling will be offered and the College’s facilities or advice made available.
    4.6.2 To ensure that HeronBridge’s property is maintained as a drug free zone, the strictest measures must be taken in cases where inappropriate substances are:
    • transported to school or to any activity associated with the College;
    • passed on to others at school or at any activity associated with the College.
    4.6.3 The degree of involvement of any pupil must be assessed thoroughly and actions taken must be commensurate with the severity of the case, the past disciplinary record of the individual concerned, any coercion or intimidation which may have taken place, as well as the reaction of the individual to being involved.
    4.6.4 Pupils may be guilty by association: those in company of others at the time they are guilty of infringements to this policy can be deemed similarly culpable and may be subjected to the same or other disciplinary action.
    4.6.5 The Head has the right to search any pupil, in accordance with the prescriptions of the Government Gazette, Notice 776 of 1998.

4.7 Police action

  • 4.7.1 In cases of possession or of the distribution of illegal substances at school, or in activities associated with the College, referral will be made to the SAPS for further investigation.
    4.7.2 The College will render to the police whatever assistance is required.
    4.7.3 Referral to the police will in no way delay or prevent the implementation of the College’s drug policy.

4.8 Testing

  • 4.8.1 Parent/Guardian acceptance of the Admission Policy of the College provides prior permission to the Head to arrange tests at his discretion, but only if there is due cause or sufficient evidence to warrant this.
    4.8.2 Liaison will take place with parents prior to testing, unless it can be shown that contact was not possible.

SECTION 5 – CO-CURRICULAR CODE

5.1 Introduction
Each activity has its own specific code, to which all participants are expected to adhere. Nevertheless, the following hold as general principles.

5.2 Objectives:

  • Co-curricular activities are presented to:
    • contribute to a balanced College programme;
    • foster healthy lifestyles;
    • develop interest in sporting and cultural activities;
    • develop skills;
    • teach respect for the rules of sport;
    • teach respect for coaches and officials;
    • teach good attitudes towards winning and losing;
    • enhance school spirit;
    • develop camaraderie and team spirit.5.3 Code
    Participants are expected to:
    • behave appropriately on and off the sports field;
    • play in the spirit of the game always;
    • respect opponents;
    • show due courtesy;
    • attend scheduled practices and matches;
    • adhere to the dress code.

SECTION 6 – DRESS CODE

No variation to the uniform as specified in the uniform policy document will be permitted. Any item that is not listed may be confiscated if worn by a pupil.

Any sloppy or untidy appearance will not be tolerated.

Serious or repeated infringements of the dress/uniform code will result in removal from the class until the pupil’s appearance is satisfactory.

THE SECURITY OF BOUNDARIES (Dr James Dobson)

Children feel more secure, and therefore tend to flourish, when they know where the boundaries are. Let me illustrate that principle.

Imagine you’re driving a car over the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado, which is suspended hundreds of feet above the canyon floor. As a first-time traveller, you’re pretty tense as you drive across. It is a scary experience. I know one little fellow who was so awed by the view over the side of the bridge that he said, “Wow Daddy! If you fell off of here, it’d kill you constantly!”

Now suppose there were no guardrails on the side of the bridge. Where would you steer the car? Right down the middle of the road. Even though you don’t plan to hit those protective railings along the side, you just feel more secure knowing that they’re there.

It’s the same way with children. There is security in defined limits. They need to know precisely what the rules are and who’s available to enforce them. When these clear boundaries exist at home, the child lives in utter safety. He never gets in trouble unless he deliberately asks for it. And as long as he stays within those reasonable, well-marked guardrails, there’s mirth and freedom and acceptance.

Your children need the security of defined limits, too. They may not admit that they want you to be the boss, but they breathe easier when you are.

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