Code of Conduct


The Code of Conduct at Potchefstroom Central School is based on a few essential principles


RESPECT MYSELF          

By striving to realise my talents and having pride in my thoughts, actions and dress.

RESPECT OTHERS

By being polite, considerate and helpful at all times, giving others an opportunity to reach their full potential in school life and encouraging those who are weaker by giving them assistance and support.

RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT

By consciously caring for and protecting my natural surroundings.

ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY

By completing whatever tasks have been set for me and recognising that with every responsibility comes accountability.

School rules are clearly set out together with disciplinary procedures covering all aspects of school life governed by the few principles stated above.  Misdemeanours range from minor offences through to serious offences and major offences and cover such behaviour as grooming, general behaviour, theft, offensive materials, punctuality and substance abuse

The purpose of any disciplinary procedure that is applied to learners who violate the Code of Conduct, is to rehabilitate unacceptable behaviour rather than punish the offenders.

CODE OF CONDUCT

INTRODUCTION AND POLICY

Our school, POTCHEFSTROOM CENTRAL SCHOOL, recognizes the policies and principles of the Department of Education and Human Rights in accordance with the Constitution of South Africa.

To give effect to the constitutional rights and mission statement of our school, the learners, educators and parents as co-authors have produced this document.  Through this policy document, its ownership and committed implementation, values of our school will be upheld,  effective schooling will be guaranteed, and the Governing Body be empowered to ensure quality education.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

This Code of Conduct is a binding document, which must be known, understood, and implemented by all parties.  It will be applied consistently to establish and maintain discipline based on the principle of a "reasonable man".

All parents must be part of the team and take an active role in the moral development of their children.

All learners are expected to respect their school environment.  They must be considerate to the well-being of the school and not the individual interest or rights at the expense of the majority.

Our school exists to provide an environment of sound learning and any obstruction or hindrance to realize this objective, will be punished accordingly.

As part of our mission, good behaviour will be valued and awarded.

GENERAL RULES

No learner may leave the school or classroom without permission.  There should be no visitation at school by friends or parents unless on urgent matters as permitted by management.  All visitors to school must report to the office first.

Attendance at school and classes is compulsory.  Late-comers and absenteeism will be dealt with accordingly.  Letters for absenteeism are compulsory.

All learners are expected to participate in organised school activities, and during these activities, good behaviour should prevail at all times.

This Code of Conduct, empowers the Governing Body to search learners or classrooms at any time, to remove unwanted material or weapons.  This search may be done with the help of the police if circumstances so demand.

The Bill of Rights is not unlimited.  It will be upheld only through responsible actions within the value system of our school and constitutional imperatives.

It is expected of every learner to do the assignments and written work given without an excuse and to strive for the best performance within the limited resources.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE FOR MINOR OFFENCES AND GENERAL OFFENCES AND FOR NOT CONFORMING TO THE RULES OF THE SCHOOL

These are offences that are punishable on the spot by the Educator,  the Principal or the Deputy Principal.  (These punishments could include the issuing of extra homework, detaining the child in class during a break, withdrawal of certain privileges for a period of time.)

First Offence: 
Warning in "at-hand" book or verbal warning.

Second Offence: Social skills training, school service, time-out, etc. appropriate to the offence.  Parents will be notified about the punishment and will be expected to assist with improving the behaviour of the child.

Parents will be notified if there is no improvement and the matter will be dealt with as a serious offence, i.e., a final written warning that could lead to suspension.

Rules for the Learners of the school

Classroom

  • Always be busy with school work or reading. Leave distractions at home.
  • All belongings should be marked. Belongings that are not marked and that disappear, will be deemed to have been lost by the learner.
  • Sport bags and belongings must be taken home every day. Take responsibility for belongings!
  • Speak with respect to the educator and other learners. Be silent when there is a visitor in the class.
  • Raise your hand when you want to speak to an educator.
  • No scratching or writing on desk surfaces (vandalism).
  • Homework is compulsory for Grades 3 - 7. Grades 1 - 2 are expected to read and practise phonics.
  • Always try your best to be at school when class tests are being written.
  • When a child has been absent from school, a written note from the parent is compulsory on returning to school.
  • Physical Education is a compulsory subject and all children must participate. A medical certificate is required when a child continuously excuses himself/herself. The compulsory uniform for P.E. is navy shorts and a white T-shirt or school navy / black costume and cap.
  • No writing of rude or nasty letters
  • No bullying in class.
  • No littering in the classrooms.
  • No eating/chewing in class.
  • Always get to your class on time. No dawdling!
  • No actions that may cause accidents, e.g. no running on the corridors.
  • Two minutes of silence at the end of each school day.

School Hall

  • Line up quietly and in an orderly manner outside the hall.
  • Lead in quietly.
  • Learners are only allowed into the hall when they are accompanied by an educator.
  • No talking during Assembly.
  • Respect all furniture in the hall.
  • No food or drinks allowed in the hall at any time!
  • Assembly :Mondays  :  07:30 - 08:00
  • Hymn Singing :Fridays - At appointed times.

Playgrounds / Buildings

  • The playgrounds are demarcated for various Grades.
  • The grass in the quad is out of bounds unless learners are given permission to meet or walk on the lawn.
  • The quad area is out of bounds during break and before school (except to place your suitcase).  Corridors are out of bounds during breaks.
  • The boiler room is out of bounds.
  • No ball games in the quad area or near windows e.g. Hall, Library, Music Centre.
  • Walk on the corridors.  Walk briskly and quietly.
  • Silence when the bell rings.
  • No writing on the walls.
  • Leave toilets as you would like to find them.
  • All litter to be placed in a dustbin.  Fines will be imposed on those who litter.
  • No spitting.
  • No bullying / sexual harassment / intimidation / threats / fighting.
  • Jungle-gym and swings:   Children (Foundation Phase) may play on them while under supervision.
  • SIT on the benches!
  • Listen to the prefects.

Extra-curricular Activities

  • Make a commitment to the activity you participate in.
  • Be punctual for all practices and matches.
  • Show appreciation by thanking your coach, team-mates and opposition.
  • Apologise to the educator/coach if you could not attend a practice.
  • Wear the correct sport uniform.
  • All boys and girls must wear caps in the swimming pool.
  • Respect the decisions of the umpires.
  • Self-discipline is required at all activities.
  • Spectators sit on the stands and behave courteously.
  • No screaming and shouting unless you have been given permission to do so.
  • No chewing gum.
  • Non-sportsmanship and misbehaviour on or next to the sports' fields or at cultural activities could lead to exclusion from the activity or sport.
  • No littering on sports' fields.

General Rules

  • Greet each other at all school activities.
  • Visitors to the school should be treated with respect.  A standard greeting:  "Good Morning ma'm."   "Good morning sir"
  • No learners may leave the grounds during school time or while waiting for extra-mural activities without the permission of the Principal.
  • Be on time for school. 
    • School starts at 07:30. 
    • School closes: Grades 1-2 : 12:40; Grades 3-7 : 13:20  
  • Learners who arrive at school very early must wait at the hostel (before 07:00).
  • No cheating in tests / exams.
  • School grounds, buildings and pool are out of bounds during holidays.
  • Any learner suffering from a contagious disease may not attend school until a letter has been received from a medical doctor declaring a clean bill of health.
  • Learners may not operate any electrical apparatus.
  • Suitcases must have firm partitions to keep books secure.  No soft bags or rucksacks.  A contact number must be written in the learner's suitcase (in case of emergencies).
  • No pornographic literature.
  • No foul or improper language (swearing), no verbal abuse.
  • No drugs, alcohol, smoking, stealing, vandalism or bullying.
  • No weapons, knives, dangerous games,
  • If a cell-phone has to be brought to school, it may not be used for calls (or SMS's) during school time.

School Uniform

  • The correct school uniform must be worn on all the appropriate occasions.  When wearing your school uniform in public, your behaviour must be exemplary.  For example, boys must not walk around with their hands in their pockets.    School uniform rules apply outside the school as well.
  • Jewellery:  Girls may only wear one signet ring and stud ear-rings/sleepers (nothing may be attached to the sleeper).  Jewellery worn for religious reasons may only be sanctioned if a letter signed by the parents is produced.   Boys may not wear any jewellery.  Jewellery will be confiscated and only returned at the end of the term.
  • Nails - clipped, short and NO varnish.

HAIR: GIRLS

  • Hairstyles should always be neat.
  • Long hair must be tied back.
  • Hair may not be coloured.
  • Hair accessories should be green, navy or white and within reason.
  • No exotic hairstyles.
  • Hair must be kept out of the eyes.
  • Braids must be manageable and not elaborate.

HAIR:   BOYS

  • Hair must be kept short and neat.
  • No exotic hairstyles.
  • No long fringes.
  • Hair may not touch the collar or curl up at the back or cover the ears.
  • No colouring or hi-lights.
  • No gel.

SUMMER UNIFORM

GIRLS:   Green dresses, white socks, black shoes, school jersey or tracksuit top.

BOYS:    White short-sleeved shirt, grey shorts, navy school socks, black shoes, jersey or tracksuit top.

(No P.T. shirts!)

WINTER UNIFORM

GIRLS:   Tracksuits, white long-sleeved shirt/ and school tie / white polo neck top, navy tunic (same as High School for Girls), navy school socks (no white socks with tracksuits), black stockings.  No skirts.

BOYS:    White long-sleeved shirt and school tie / white polo neck top, grey shorts/longs, tracksuit, school socks.

Navy Dri-macs may be worn over school jerseys or track-suit tops only!

ALL CLOTHES MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED.

SERIOUS OFFENCES THAT MAY LEAD TO A FINAL WARNING LETTER, PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION AND OR EXPULSION

A final warning letter will be issued after all efforts of encouraging remedial, corrective behaviour have failed.  If a learner is guilty of offences listed, he/she will be notified in writing and provisionally suspended with immediate effect.  Time suspension will be accompanied by a written notification of a hearing which must be acknowledged by the affected parties.

Cheating in a test / exam:   The teacher has the right to remove your paper/test and penalise your results/ marks.

Stealing:  If proven, in addition to a final warning, the case could be referred to the police.

Vandalism  (damaging school property):

In addition to a final warning, the matter could be reported to the police and the parents or guardians will be compelled to replace or pay for the damaged property.

Fighting, carrying of dangerous weapons, smoking, drugs and drinking of alcohol, possession of pornographic literature.

This refers to inside and outside the classrooms, i.e. on the school grounds, at functions and excursions.

In the event of the above, in addition to a final warning and suspension, a criminal charge could be laid with the police where applicable.

Harassment and abuse  (sexual, physical, emotional, verbal):

Repeated misbehaviour, which causes disruption of classes, is a serious offence.  Harassment of fellow learners (including bullying) and intimidation of teachers will lead to suspension and expulsion after a final warning has been given.

Regular absenteeism:

To ensure effective schooling, all learners must attend school regularly and do school work.  If a pupil is absent without permission for an unreasonable period, a letter will be sent to the parents and applicable steps be taken as befits the offence.

Playing truant  (bunking):

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

Subject to the School Act (1996), the decision to expel, and/or to suspend a learner after a fair hearing, rests with the Governing Body.  The Governing Body will suspend the learner as a corrective measure for a week.  If the decision is taken for expulsion, a recommendation will be sent to the Head of the Department , who makes the final ruling.  While awaiting the decision of the Head of the Department, the period of suspension may be longer than one week.  The parties involved in the disciplinary proceedings may lodge an appeal against the decision of the Head of Department.

The provisional suspension and/or expulsion will only be considered when sufficient grounds exist that the presence of the learner at school would disrupt the discipline, and/or for his/her protection.

DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

The educator(s), after exhausting all possible options to ensure discipline, will refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee.  The Committee will comprise of the Governing Body  and educators.  This Committee shall always be fair and consistent in the handling of matters referred to it.  All the steps taken, will be solely based on maintenance of standards, correction of behaviour and upholding human values.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

PROGRESSIVE ACTION:  STAGES OF A PROCESS

1.  The learner will be notified of an offence and given the first warning in writing.

2.  The second offence will also be recorded and followed by a written warning and social skills training.  Counselling skills will be used and the interactions between the learner, parents and counsellor will be recorded.

3.  If there is no improvement, the final warning will be issued and the case will be referred to the Governing Body and/or Department.  This final stage will depend on the seriousness of the offence.

DISCIPLINARY HEARING

1. The learner will be notified in writing about the nature of the offence, the date, venue and time of the hearing, and that the learner should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

2. In the case of a serious offence, the learner will be provisionally suspended immediately.  This suspension is applied in the interest of the learner and the school environment until a hearing takes place.  In this case the parent will be notified of the decision of the Disciplinary Committee/Governing Body.

3. The accused learner and the parent/guardian have the right to study any evidence or document.

4. Witnesses may be called for questioning.  Caution will be exercised in the questioning of young learners so that the hearing or proceedings can take place in a fair and professional way to uphold the Constitutional Rights.

5.  If the accused is found guilty after consideration of all factors before the Disciplinary Committee, the punishment that befits the offence will be given.

6. If the offence warrants expulsion, the Governing Body will forward the relevant documents of the process and their recommendations to the Head of the Department.  The learner will remain suspended until the final decision of the Head of the Department is received.

7. The learner has the right to appeal against the sentence if sufficient grounds exist.

8. In order to issue an appropriate punishment, suspension and expulsion, the Disciplinary Committee will satisfy both procedures and substantive fairness, i.e.

Substantive fairness

  • Did the learner contravene any offence as stipulated in the Code of Conduct?
  • Was the learner aware of the rule or could have been aware thereof?
  • Is the rule reasonable or valid?
  • Has the rule been consistently applied?
  • Is the punishment appropriate for the offence?
  • How grave is the misconduct?

Procedural fairness

  • The Disciplinary Committee will investigate the matter.
  • Prior notice will be given to the learner and the parent/guardian.
  • Reasonable time will be given to the accused.
  • The accused learner will be given a hearing to state his/her case.
  • The learner and parent/guardian will be notified in writing about the decision taken.

HOMEWORK POLICY

The Homework Policy for the school is quite simple:  Whatever classwork is not completed during the school day is to be completed at home.

There are, however, some additional tasks that the teachers may wish to give the children, for example, in the Foundation Phase there are usually some consolidation exercises in phonics, reading, spelling and number work.  No child in the Foundation Phase (Grades 1-3) should have to spend more than half an hour (maximum) on homework each day. 

In the Senior Classes (Grades 4 - 7) children may be asked to do some consolidation of work covered in class, or research or collecting of items for specific tasks in the various classes  and preparing a little each day for tests/exams.   Here again, time spent on homework should be approximately 45 minutes.  Children are given plenty of time to do the "little extras" - often as long as a week.  Children should organise their time and spread their tasks out and should not leave work till the last minute.

Not doing homework is more than just an act of disobedience.  It is an act of disrespect focused at the teacher.  As "respect" forms the basis of our Code of Conduct, any acts where the necessary respect is not shown will be severely dealt with.   A disciplinary hearing may be called and a report of such a hearing will be placed in the child's permanent record.  Sadly, this is the only recourse we have with regard to effective discipline where children choose not to co-operate in respect of what their teachers are trying to do for them. 

We call on all parents to support us in this regard.  Should you wish to communicate with us on this matter, please e-mail us at pcschool@intekom.co.za 

PLEASE DOWNLOAD AND COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW AND RETURN IT TO YOUR CLASS TEACHER.  THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN MUST ALSO SIGN AFTER READING THE DOCUMENT.

Download Code of Conduct Form

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