St. Joseph’s has the reputation of being a well ordered community where effective teaching and learning can take place within an environment that is safe, secure and purposeful. Our Mission Statement is clear that “every member of our community is responsible for creating an environment that is caring, fair and respectful of each individual.”
The school community expects the highest standards of behaviour from its members, and we have supported the following code of conduct for many years, based on the principle that all students and adults at St. Joseph’s will be valued equally and treated with respect.
1. Treat everyone as an individual who deserves your respect;
2. Show care for other people’s property and facilities in school;
3. Always treat everyone in a way you would wish to be treated. Verbal, physical and online bullying is totally unacceptable;
4. Listen carefully and follow instructions;
5. Always work to the best of your ability, and allow others to do the same;
6. Be organised – have your diary and correct equipment for lessons. Complete homework on time and bring in reply slips and absence notes;
7. Be punctual to school and lessons;
8. Be polite, courteous and obedient – only enter or leave a classroom with permission, and never be in the wrong place at the wrong time or leave school premises without permission;
9. Wear correct uniform and comply with rules about appearance;
10. Behave inside and outside school in a sensible and responsible manner, always mindful of the safety of others.
The above has been devised for the good of everyone in our community. Students who respect our code of conduct are rewarded in a number of ways and we believe that our guidance in doing so prepares our students for life as a Christian adult in society. We firmly believe that a positive system of praise, encouragement and reward is the most important way of fulfilling our Mission Statement.
Pupils who break our code of conduct, and therefore fail to respect other students, staff, their property or the school site will be subject to sanctions. The one which concerns many parents new to the school is detention. This can be given at lunchtime, but is normally after school. Detention can be used as a sanction for a variety of misdemeanours, and can vary in length, but this is normally no longer than one hour. Where possible, parents will be given twenty-four hours notice of a detention.
Detentions should be recorded in the Student Diary and parents are asked to sign the relevant section to acknowledge this. Staff also record detentions and these are normally passed onto Heads of Departments and Heads of Year.
We are prepared to be reasonable with detention arrangements, and parents can contact the school to talk about rearranging the date of a detention if there is any problem for their child getting home.
We are also aware that bullying is another area of concern to the parents of students new to this school, and for this reason we have included our full Policy Statement on Bullying for your information. It is because we have this policy, and because we make this a high profile issue that the students tell us that bullying is not a huge problem at St. Joseph’s.
Several years ago we introduced our Peer Mediation Scheme. This involves pupils in year 11 being trained as mediators. They are introduced to the students at the beginning of the year as people who can be contacted as a ‘first port of call’ if a child feels under pressure from any other students.
The rationale behind the scheme is the premise that students who might be the victims of bullies might prefer to approach another pupil for help first rather than a member of staff. The role of the mediator is to listen, or, perhaps, get both parties together to resolve the problem – or if necessary, involve a member of staff. If at any time you are worried about any aspect of the above, please do not hesitate to contact school.