Expectations of Students

Teachers at St Columba's have the authority and responsibility to lead, guide and encourage students to examine their behaviour and take ownership of it. Our Student Management Policy, Uniform and Grooming, and College Award System explore our expectations of students in detail.

Student Management Policy

Statement of Beliefs

We believe in a loving God, present among us, whose Son, Jesus, offers blessings to us as individuals and as a community when we do two things – love God, and love each other as we love ourselves.

Therefore, we promote these value-based aims:

At the individual level:

  • Respect for others
  • Respect of others’ property
  • Respect for authority (justly exercised)
  • Awareness of right and wrong
  • Ownership of behaviour – self-discipline
  • Co-operative behaviour – actively
  • Other-centredness rather than self-centredness; service
  • Forgiveness and compassion
  • Truthfulness and the search for truth
  • Integrity
  • Willingness to stand up for the good of other people
  • Celebration of the good in individuals
  • Justice

At the level of community:

  • Active development of a sense of community
  • Creation of a safe, encouraging and effective teaching/learning environment
  • The holistic development of all who share that environment
  • An atmosphere of reconciliation and rebuilding
  • Care for the environment of our school as a gift from God
  • Celebration of the good in our community
  • Compassion and action on behalf of the poor (materially and/or spiritually poor)

Rights and Responsibilities of students at St Columba’s Catholic College

Every student has the right to a safe and effective learning environment. It is the responsibility of all students to ensure that our school environment is maintained at all times.

  • The right to feel safe
  • The responsibility to not threaten the physical or emotional comfort of others
  • The right to learn
  • The responsibility to behave in such a manner that promotes good learning and teaching
  • The right to be valued
  • The responsibility to value the qualities of myself and others
  • The right to be heard
  • The responsibility to listen

There are six steps in the Student Management Plan. The plan is designed to assist students in developing self-discipline and respect for others’ rights in accordance with the school Code of Conduct.

Step One

On occasion where minor breaches of the school’s Code of Conduct have occurred, teachers will issue a consequence.

Examples of inappropriate behaviour at this level include:

  • littering a classroom or the yard
  • lateness to class
  • inattention in class
  • not doing learning preparation
  • calling out
  • inappropriate language
  • uniform issues
  • eating in class
  • moving out of your seat
  • pushing in
  • put downs
  • little effort to participate in the lesson
  • failure to return notes promptly

Teachers will communicate this inappropriate behaviour to the parent via a note in the student’s diary and issue a consequence.

Step Two

Some behaviours are of a more serious nature than those outlined in Step One.

  • repeated behaviours from Step One
  • failure to attend a teacher’s detention
  • petty vandalism
  • persistent lack of effort
  • first incidence of smoking
  • second offence related to bullying
  • behaviour which brings the school’s name into disrepute (e.g. at sport, on transport)
  • truancy
  • dangerous behaviour (throwing rocks etc.)
  • any form of harassment
  • being out-of-bounds

At Step Two in-class incidents are reported to the relevant Leader of Learning; other matters are reported to the Leader of Mission, Head of Mission or College Assistant Principal.
All incidents of bullying are to be reported to the Year Co-ordinator.
Parents will be notified in writing of the student’s misbehaviour and the student will be required to attend a detention.

Step Three

A student will be at this level when there are ongoing concerns about a student’s non-commitment to the learning process.

  • ongoing classroom misbehaviour
  • bullying or harassment that is repeated - move to Step 4.
  • smoking
  • vandalism
  • theft
  • defiance

At this stage the Leader of Learning or the Leader of Mission will meet with the student and his/her parents. For subject class concerns, the subject teacher will also attend the meeting. The student may be placed on a monitoring system. Consequences will include detentions and in some cases, the student will not be permitted to attend classes or be in the yard at recess or lunch time.
In the case of rudeness to a staff member, a verbal or written apology is required.
In the case of destruction of property through reckless behaviour or deliberate actions, repair or recompense for damage will be required.

Step Four

This step involves the Head of Mission managing the student’s behaviour. It is implemented when:

  • a repeat of Step Three behaviour occurs
  • there are incidents involving extremely dangerous behaviour
  • swearing at or abuse of staff or a member of the wider community
  • serious incidence of bullying/harassment
  • major theft/vandalism and fighting

Parent and student are to attend an interview with the Student Care Co-ordinator.
The student’s behaviour will be monitored and a follow up report made to parents.
Consequences at this level may include in school supervised withdrawal from classes or the yard. Out of school suspension as determined by the Principal.

Steps Five & Six

The Assistant Principal and the Principal will be involved at this level. Incidents at this level may include:

  • a student whose behaviour has already been addressed at Steps 1-4
  • distribution, acquisition, or use of controlled or illegal substances
  • violent behaviour
  • possession of illegal weapons or dangerous goods

Consequences and follow up action is at the discretion of the Assistant Principal and / or the Principal, following a meeting with the student’s parents.

Other Requirements

  1. Lunch time detention
    Any teacher can issue a lunch time detention. Details of the behaviour and consequential detention will be recorded in the student’s diary. A lunch time detention from a teacher overrules any other planned activity that a student may have. A student who fails to attend a teacher’s lunch time detention will be referred to the Studies or Year Co-ordinator.

  2. Bag Duty
    Any teacher can issue a bag duty. A Bag Duty may be issues for any 'Step One' level incident, and will be recorded in the student's diary and Iris system.

  3. Hands off policy
    This policy exists to ensure that the school can provide a safe environment for all students whilst they are on the school premises. Students are not to: 1. have physical contact with each other i.e. fighting, pushing, shoving, tackling, hugging, kissing. 2. handle or deface another student’s property e.g. locker, bag, equipment.

  4. Misbehaviour at sport
    Students who misbehave while at sport or traveling to and from sport will be reported to the Head of PDHPE and Sport. Sports detention will be issued.

College Representation

St Columba’s strives for excellence in teaching and learning. In doing so we respond to the needs of all our students, encouraging and celebrating their contribution to the community.

Note: Students’ adherence to College policies and expectations affects their eligibility to represent the College.
Students, who have been referred for non-compliance with College expectations at Stage Three or above, will be ineligible to represent the College in activities such as sport, drama productions, musicals, debating, public speaking or special events. The type and length of exclusion from College representation will be determined by the Leader of Mission in consultation with a member of the school leadership team (refer to school policy on Student Representation).

Teachers at St Columba's have the authority and responsibility to lead, guide and encourage students to examine their behaviour and take ownership of it.

Teachers use their authority in such a way as to promote students' self-discipline, self-esteem, and respect for each other's rights and reverence for the God present among them.

Learning

The learning rules are ways of showing respect for the right to teach and learn.
  • We will be prepared for class and bring necessary equipment and completed learning preparation as requested
  • We will be on time.
  • We will not hinder the right to teach and learn.
  • We will show effort at all times.

Image and Presentation

These rules are ways of showing we uphold our school community's standard of dress and behaviour.
  • We will adhere to dress and grooming requirements.
  • We will not bring the College's name into disrepute by our actions or words.

Movement

The movement rules show we respect other's rights to move around the College safely and efficiently.
  • We will walk, not run inside the buildings and in areas such as verandas, corridors and walkways and in other places where it could be dangerous.
  • We will not be 'out of bounds'.
  • We will behave sensibly and responsibly when travelling to and from the College, and at College functions.
  • We will observe a 'hands off policy' in our interactions with other students.

Communication

The communication rules are ways of showing respect for each other by the way we speak and act
  • We will speak at appropriate times, respectfully, and respond respectfully to those in positions of authority.
  • We will use positive language. This means that swearing, put‑downs and aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated.
  • We will minimise disruptive noise in class, around the College and on transport.
  • We will show reverence during times of prayer and in sacred places.

Safety and health

These rules are ways of showing we are responsible for our own well‑being and that of others.
  • We will not have in our possession or use: cigarettes, alcohol or other illegal drugs at College, whilst travelling to or from College, at College functions or whilst wearing College uniform.
  • We will not have in our possession or use weapons or other dangerous items.
  • We will not engage in dangerous behaviour (rock throwing, spitting, climbing, tackles, brandings).
  • We will observe the safety rules specific to each subject area.

Care for property and surrounding areas

These rules are ways of showing our respect for the College environment and the property of others. It is everyone's responsibility to assist in making St Columba's a pleasant place to be.
  • We will keep the College neat and tidy.
  • We will not damage, misuse or steal school property, or that of others.
  • We will show care for furniture and property by not chewing gum, and not engaging in graffiti or other acts of vandalism.
  • We will look after the College's garden, animals and surrounding bush land.
  • We will only use personal music players, in the senior study.

In the classroom

We will

Respect learning by :
  • being punctual and lining up
  • bringing equipment and diary
  • doing our best work
Respect all students by:
  • respecting individual differences and opinions
  • respecting the rights of others to learn
  • respecting other's property
Respect all staff members by :
  • following instructions without argument
  • addressing teachers as Sir, Miss or their staff name
  • speaking in a respectful manner
Respect the learning spaces by:
  • treating equipment with respect
  • keeping the classroom and yard tidy
  • using technology responsibly

A large number of students have access to mobile telephones and/or personal music players. Under some circumstances, possessing a mobile telephone can be desirable as a safety measure. Indiscriminate use can, however, be disruptive to teaching and learning.

Inappropriate use of a phone:
  • disrupts, or is likely to disrupt, the learning environment
  • threatens, or is likely to threaten, the safety or wellbeing of any person, including any bullying, intimidation or other harassment
  • is in breach of any law
  • students are strictly forbidden to use cameras on mobile phones to take photographs or videos on College premises, College functions, or travelling to and from the College, unless instructed to do so for learning purposes
  • College students are strictly forbidden to upload photographs and/or videos onto file sharing or social networking sites.
The College uses the following guidelines:
  • Students whose parents/carers permit them to bring electronic devices (e.g. phones. iPods) to the College do so at their own risk. The College will not be responsible for the loss or damage and will not provide facilities for securing them.
  • If students are unwell at the College, they must present to sick bay and the child’s parent will be contacted if they are too sick to remain at College. Students are not to call/text and ask their parents to collect them.

The following items are banned from use at the school:

Alcohol Jailbroken iPods, iPhones or iPads Cigarettes
Drugs Weapons Knives
Steel rulers Sharp objects Permanent markers
Laser lights Cigarette lighters Chewing gum
Offensive materials Pet animals Soda bulbs

At St Columba’s:

  • We should Act Justly. We believe everyone has the right to feel a sense of belonging, safety and security.
  • We do not have to like everyone, but we must treat everyone with respect and dignity.
  • You do not have to be a victim of bullying.
  • Bullying will not be tolerated.

What is bullying?

It can be gossiping, name-calling, teasing, intimidating, excluding, writing nasty notes, humiliating, using stand-over tactics, throwing objects, hitting, pushing, fighting, sending harassing text or e-mails. Bullying can also take the form of placing photographs of students on internet sites.

Bullying and Harassment

It is an expectation at this College that every person will be able to spend the day, both in and out of the classroom, free from any form of verbal or physical bullying or harassment. This College will insist on positive relationships between all members of the St Columba's community.

Forms of bullying and harassment relate to behaviour which offends, humiliates or intimidates another person or psychologically harasses another person or causes physical harm to a person. Therefore the following forms of behaviour will not be tolerated:

  • abusive messages sent by e-mail, SMS, MSN, social networking websites or any other electronic means
  • name calling, teasing or ridiculing others. This also includes 'put downs'
  • physical violence, threats of violence, demands for money or possessions
  • damaging, hiding or taking another person's belongings
  • spreading rumours
  • verbal or harassing comments or gestures, rude and offensive language

Any of the above forms the behaviour displayed towards another person will not be tolerated.

We work together to create a school environment free of bullying by

  • being assertive, not aggressive about your rights and feelings
  • thinking before you speak and act
  • asking yourself: Is it good for me? Is it good for others?
  • not being a supportive bystander for bullying
  • supporting and caring for those who are victims of bullies
  • everyone, i.e. students, teachers and parents, working together to prevent bullying
  • report incidents of bullying

What can you do if you are being bullied?

Wherever possible, try to deal with situations yourself. Here are some helpful hints:

  • Be assertive, not aggressive.
  • Tell them to stop their behaviour or you will tell someone.
  • Look them in the eye when you speak to them, and use a firm voice.
  • Try to avoid situations which can lead to bullying.
  • If the above doesn’t improve or stop the bullying, you must seek help from your Homeroom teacher, Leader of Mission, or any staff member, your parents or the College counsellor.
  • You must report incidents of bullying to your Leader of Mission, or ask your parents to contact the College. Something will be done.
  • Doing nothing will only make the situation worse.

What will happen if you bully someone?

  • All reports of bullying will be investigated.
  • Confirmed cases of bullying will lead to the bully being suspended from the College.
Anti-Bullying Policy

Uniform and Grooming

The uniform and grooming policy and expectations for students can be found in the Parent Handbook under 'Uniform and Grooming'.

College Award System

Merits are issued by teachers in the classroom for sustained positive student application, attitude and attention to their studies. Merits can also be issued for positive behaviour outside the classroom, in all facets of College life. These awards are issued and recorded electronically on the Colleges Iris data base.


St Columba's Bronze Award

A St Columba’s Bronze Award is received when a student accumulates 10 merits.


St Columba's Silver Award

Students who receive 5 Bronze Awards are eligible to apply for the St Columba’s Silver Award. This award requires students to set academic goals and conduct College Community Service for a period of 10 weeks.


St Columba's Gold Award

Students who have received a Silver Award can then progress to the St Columba’s Gold Award. This award requires academic goals, College community service and broader community service, for a minimum period of two terms.


St Columba's Platinum Award

Students who have received a Gold Award can then progress to the St Columba’s Platinum Award. This award requires academic goals, College community service and broader community service for a minimum period of one year. College and Broader community service is specified as follows:

  • one term of College community service – tutoring junior students
  • one term of college community service – grounds maintenance
  • one term of wider community service – St Vincent de Paul
  • one term of wider community service – own choice

Cultural Awards

The St Columba’s Cultural White Award
This is the first level of acknowledging cultural success. For a student to receive this award they must be selected to represent the College in any of the cultural activities - e.g. public speaking, debating, dance, drama, music, singing.

The St Columba’s Cultural Yellow Award
This is the second level of acknowledging cultural success. For a student to receive this award they must move through to the finals of the cultural event – e.g. Finals in Mock Trial, debating, singing, dance, drama, music etc.

The St Columba’s Cultural Blue Award
This is the premier award for students who represent the College through selection into a state or national cultural event. This award is also presented to students who perform at a state and/or national level without being part of a College cultural event - e.g. State Dance Championships, State Public Speaking, Music, Choir etc.


Sporting Awards

The St Columba’s Sporting White Award
This is the first level of acknowledging sporting success. For a student to receive this award they must be selected to represent the College in the PDSSSC, in any of the representative sports and/or any Selection Days open to students at the College.

The St Columba’s Sporting Yellow Award
This is the second level of acknowledging sporting success. For a student to receive this award they must be selected to represent the Diocese and College in any of the NSWCCC sporting selection teams.

The St Columba’s Sporting Blue Award
This is the premier award for students who represent the College through selection into a state or national team as a result of the NSWCCC. This award is also presented to students who represent a sport at a state or national level without being part of the NSWCCC. E.g. selected to play baseball, motor cross etc. This award acknowledges exceptional talent and commitment to sport.


Yearly Awards for Academic Achievement

The following awards are made on a semester or yearly basis:

  • Academic Achievement Awards
  • Academic Excellence Awards

Awards for Effort and Leadership

St Columba Award
Awarded to students who have shown support for our Catholic College through their living out of the College motto. This is exemplified by their compassion, empathy and witness. They have made a significant contribution to the liturgical life of the College.

Iona Award
Awarded to students for their involvement in the life of the College across a variety of areas.

Act Justly Award
These students have committed themselves to love, justice and humility in their service to the broader community during their time at St Columba’s.