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Character Development / Behaviour Management Policy

The Thornlie Christian College Character Development Policy is based on the College's Core Values:

Learn for eternity
Grow in Christ
Love unconditionally
Live in relationship
Strive for excellence
Equip for service

Our vision for our students is that they will become people of influence who engage life from a Christian worldview, equipped to succeed in their life and calling.

Accordingly, this policy is intended to support our students as they grow and mature in the knowledge of Christ.

Learning

At Thornlie Christian College students are expected to take ownership of their learning. Engaging with the learning process is imperative if our students are to develop their God given talents to the best of their ability. It is therefore important that our students should learn in an environment that is conducive to engagement and ownership.
Our students are expected to:
  • show appropriate respect for their teachers and support staff.
  • cooperate and engage diligently with the learning opportunities provided by their teachers.
  • be organised with all necessary equipment for each learning opportunity.
  • be punctual for class and complete and submit homework and assignments on time.
  • respect the right of other students to learn in a safe, supportive environment at the College.
  • respect the equipment and facilities provided by the College so that all students can benefit from them.

Relationships

Healthy, loving relationships based upon mutual trust and respect provide the ideal environment for children to thrive and learn effectively.
Accordingly TCC students are expected to be:
  • Honest, speaking the truth in love.
  • Relational, resolving conflict in a way that maintains gentleness, kindness and honour.
  • Compassionate, actively caring for and being supportive of their fellow students.
  • Self controlled, physically and emotionally.

Responding to Expectations

Whenever we are faced with expectations there are three ways that we can respond; Rebellion, Compliance and Ownership.

Rebellion happens when, in defiance, we decide that we will not meet those expectations. This is the most undesirable outcome for all concerned and usually leads to a breakdown of relationships and sabotages any possibility of success.

Compliance is a response that follows through with the expectation but only through fear of punishment or because a perceived reward makes it seem worth the effort. While compliance does generally maintain cordial relationships and provide opportunity for success, as soon as there is no accountability or perceived reward, the desire to meet the expectation is generally avoided and a default to rebellion is the consequent response.

Ownership is the response that involves embracing the values and beliefs inherent within the expectation. We understand that it is the right thing to do because we have aligned our values with those behind the expectation. The end result is genuine success that is not reliant on external accountability or rewards.

When our students take ownership of their learning, personal development and behaviour they thrive and inspire others around them to do the same.

Supporting Students

Thornlie Christian College provides support for students through pastoral care, mentoring, encouragement, responsibilities and leadership development, accountability and discipline.

Pastoral Care

Every staff member at TCC is required to practice and live out their Christian faith as an example to our students. Being human and fallible, we accept that we will get it wrong from time to time but this provides us with opportunities to reconcile and restore in a God‐honouring manner. All staff members are committed to nurturing and supporting our students in all aspects of College life. This includes all of our Teachers, Support Staff, Chaplain, Psychologist, Heads of School, Deputy Principal and Principal.

Mentoring

Provided primarily by Classroom, Form and Subject Teachers.

Encouragement

At TCC we believe that every child has been uniquely created and gifted by God. We recognise how important the experiencing of success is to the personal well‐being of every student. We are also aware that ‘making praise cheap’ is counter‐productive and that our students are well‐aware of when they have used their God‐given talents to the best of their ability ‐ and when they haven’t. We therefore seek opportunities to provide genuine positive feedback to all students where it is merited. This may take the form of Verbal Affirmation, Merit Certificates, Trophies and Awards. Some of this recognition will be in public, at Assemblies and Awards Ceremonies ‐ at other times it will be during the course of rich, one‐on‐one conversations between staff member and student.

Accountability

At TCC we set high expectations for all students to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects their developing Christian worldview. With high expectations come high levels of accountability. 

Students at TCC will be held accountable when they engage in behaviours that are:
  • detrimental to the student's own learning or the learning of others.
  • disrespectful to staff, students, property or facilities.
  • disobedient to teachers, support staff, College processes, procedures and expectations.
  • dishonest, either by word or action eg. lying, deceit, stealing.
  • harmful or potentially harmful behaviours to themselves or others eg. substance abuse, violence or bullying.
  • damaging to the reputation of the College, it’s Christian standing and it’s community.

Discipline

Discipline at TCC is closely aligned with Discipling. We seek to develop in our students the ability to make good choices in life ‐ choices based on a firm foundation of Christian understanding and a strong Christian worldview. Every choice has a consequence ‐ good choices will have good consequences and poor choices will result in consequences aimed at redressing the situation.

The TCC system of sanctions is intended to assist our students to learn about this philosophy in a manner that is caring, clear and effective. Our intention is not to be petty or pedantic but rather to prepare our students for life. We require the support of parents to ensure that our students take this aspect of College life seriously. With this in mind the College has developed systems to communicate all Behaviour Management sanctions directly to parents so that issues at College can be discussed and reinforced at home.

Behaviour Management Policy

Behaviour Management in our College is a community matter and all staff, students and parents are required to fully endorse and support the implementation of the policy.

When implementing this policy staff will take into consideration any special needs that a student may have. Due consideration will be given based on advice from specialised staff (eg. College Psychologist, College Chaplain) and outside agencies. Special care will be taken in cases where there is a “gender sensitivity” – in such cases the incident may need to be dealt with by a member of the College Leadership Team of the required gender.

Most disciplinary issues will be dealt with by the classroom teacher. For issues of a more serious nature:

In the Secondary School, the student will be referred to the Head of Secondary School or the Deputy Principal. In the Primary School the student will be referred to the Head of Primary. The Deputy Principal will become involved as necessary.

The Principal will be involved in extremely serious situations that may involve Step 3 Final Warning or Expulsion.

Demerits

Warnings and counselling will first be given where appropriate, taking into consideration the age and development of the student.

Demerits may be issued by the Class/Subject teacher for any incidences of the following:
  • Late for School (Where no note is given - ­issued by the Deputy Principal)
  • Very Late for Class
  • Out of Class Without Permission
  • Trespassing Out of Bounds Areas
  • Littering
  • Uniform Infringements
  • Failure to attend Fast Track++
++Secondary School only: See Fast Track Policy & Procedures

And for minor incidents of the following:
  • Disobedience
  • Disrespect
  • Disruptive Behaviour
  • Inappropriate or unauthorised use of Digital Equipment/ Mobiles/Computers etc.
  • Interfering with or damaging staff/ student or College property
  • Dishonesty
  • Inappropriate Language
  • Other as deemed necessary by the teacher
The number of Demerits issued will be monitored continuously and students will be placed on a Step where there is a pattern of behaviour giving serious cause for concern. Parents will be informed.

Incidents of a More Serious Nature

When the above mentioned incidents are of a more serious nature the following sanctions may be applied by or in consultation with the Heads of School and/or the Deputy Principal. Parents will be informed. 
  • Time Out -  Either in class or Student Services
  • Buddy Class­ -  Prearranged between teachers
  • Suspensions­ -  Either in or out of School (Parents will be informed prior to commencement)
  • Steps
  • Individual Behaviour Management Plan
  • Any combination of these

Bullying

Issues of Bullying will be dealt with according to the College Bullying Policy and any of the College sanctions may be applied including expulsion.

Personal Management Infringements (PMIs)

At the discretion of the teacher PMIs will be recorded for the following reasons.
  • Late to class (L)
  • Diary not signed or not brought to class (D)
  • Not prepared for class ie no books, equipment etc (P)
  • Homework not attempted/completed/handed in (H)
A Demerit will be issued when 3 PMIs are received in a school week.

Primary Classroom teachers will record PMIs and Issue Demerits keeping a record in their Daily Planner (or digital equivalent).

Secondary Teachers will enter their PMIs into a central Database with the 3rd PMI in any seven day period resulting in the issuing of a Demerit. The database will be maintained by the Deputy Principal.

*If a teacher recognises a pattern of behaviour with PMIs that indicate an ongoing problem that falls outside of 3 PMIs in a seven day period, appropriate counselling will be given and a Demerit may be issued.

**The number of PMIs accumulated is higher in the primary school and takes into consideration the age of the student. The number of PMIs will be consistent across year levels.

Lunchtime Detention

For each Demerit the student will be required to attend a 20 minute Lunchtime Detention. Parents will be notified.

Double Detention (Secondary Only)

Failure to attend Lunchtime Detention will result in a Double Detention (40 minutes) the following day.

Individual Behaviour Management Plan (IBMP)

When particular unacceptable behaviours are identified the student may be placed on an IBMP. This will be done in consultation with the parent and is designed to help the student modify their behaviour. This is monitored through a form that is signed by the student’s teacher(s), parents and either the Deputy Principal or Head of School each day. An IBMP is implemented for a minimum of 15 school days.

Suspension

Maximum 5 days either In School or Out of School.

Note: In instances of a serious nature Students may be suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.

Steps

For serious breaches of TCC behaviour expectations (either specific or ongoing)

Step 1 Student's behaviour is a serious cause for concern

Step 2 Student's behaviour is a very serious cause for concern

Step 3 Student's behaviour is given a final warning before expulsion


Step 3 Final Warning

Issues that may lead to Step 3 or Expulsion include but are not limited to the following:
  • Theft
  • Wilful or malicious property damage
  • Violence/Harassment/Threats
  • The use, distribution or inappropriate discussion of illicit substances including alcohol and tobacco
  • Bringing the College, its Christian Standing or its community into disrepute
  • The use, promotion or distribution of any material through any medium encouraging violence, hatred or pornography
Any Student on a Step is ineligible for a leadership position in the College eg. Student Councillor, Sports Captain etc..

Year 12 Students on any Step are not entitled to Senior Status

Any student on Step 3 is ineligible to attend any incursion or excursion unless the activity will contribute directly to the student’s grade in a subject or course.

Step Review

After a maximum of 10 school weeks students on a Step will be subject to a behaviour review to determine whether their current Step should be maintained, added to or reduced.

Any Step carried over from the previous Year will be reviewed at the commencement of the new school year.

Expulsion

Determined by an expulsion committee consisting of the Head of School, Deputy Principal and the Principal. Parents may appeal to the College Board.