Code of Conduct

ST THOMAS AQUINAS SCHOOL

CODE OF CONDUCT

FOR HIGH SCHOOL LEARNERS

2016

 

This “Code of Conduct” Document (hereafter referred to as the “Code”) consists of 26 pages and includes:

  • Cellphone & electronic devices policy
  • Test & Exam policy
  • Plagiarism Policy
  • Uniform & appearance regulations
  • Terms and conditions for use of computer facilities and internet usage
  • other information with regard to the expectations of learners.

Each learner and his/her parents/guardians are required to familiarise themselves with this document.  A separate page with contact information is required to be completed, signed and returned to the register teacher within one week of having received this document.

This document should be kept in a safe place by the learner for reference purposes.

 

 

1. PREAMBLE

1.1    St Thomas Aquinas School is committed to the holistic development of its learners within the Gospel values of justice, truth and love.

1.2   The principle of the dignity of each individual is fundamental in all areas of school life.

1.3   This requires that the above values are lived out in the behaviour and conduct of each learner.

2. RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF LEARNERS

2.1   All learners will enjoy equal treatment and protection and no learner may be unfairly discriminated against.

2.2  Every learner has the right to have his/her dignity respected and the right not to be treated in a cruel or degrading manner.  Corporal punishment cannot be employed by educators and learners are to seek non-violent solutions to conflict and differences.

2.3  Every learner has the right to privacy.  However, the principal or educator may search a learner and seize his/her possessions, on the grounds of reasonable suspicions.

2.4  All learners have the freedom of expression.  This, however, will be limited to freedom of speech and freedom to present petitions.  Freedom of speech is not absolute and vulgarity, insubordination and insults will not be tolerated.

2.5  All learners have the right to agreed procedures for expressing and resolving school-related grievances, including an appeal method.  Problems or issues should, as far as possible, be resolved at the school.

2.6  Learners have the right to a clean and safe environment conducive to sound education.

2.7  Learners are expected to know the contents of this document.  Ignorance will not be accepted as an excuse.

2.8  Learners must at all times abide by the rules set out in the Code, whether at school or outside the school grounds.

2.9  Learners have a responsibility to learn and develop their full potential.

2.10      At all times, common sense should prevail.

3. RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS/GUARDIANS WITH RESPECT TO THE CODE

The ultimate responsibility for learners’ behaviour rests with the parents or guardians.  To this end the parents/guardians are required to:

  • Sign a document as evidence that they have knowledge of the Code and agree to abide by its content.
  • Support the school, require learners to comply with the Code and accept responsibility for any misbehaviour by their children.
  • Replace or pay for any property or damage caused through the intentional misuse of property by their children.
  • Take an active interest in their children’s schoolwork.
  • Ensure their children arrive at school on the first day (or at the latest, within the first week), with all the required books (covered) and stationery.  It is very difficult for teachers to begin teaching if not all the learners are in possession of the required items.  (If BT Books has run out of a particular book, they inform the school).  You are advised to buy these in December, or very early in January, as there are some schools that make use of the same books, and although we order the number required, they are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.

4. THE LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR THE CONTROL AND DISCIPLINE OF LEARNERS

4.1   The South African School’s Act, Act No. 84 of 1996 section 8(1) empowers the Board of Governors to maintain discipline.

4.2  The Code will be displayed at the school and a copy must be given to each learner.

4.3  Learners must understand that action may be taken against them if they contravene the Code.  The punishment will suit the offence.

4.4  An educator at the school has the same rights as a parent/guardian to control and discipline the learner according to the Code during the time the learner is in attendance at the school i.e. in a classroom, at a school function, on a school excursion or during school-related activities.

5. BEHAVIOUR GOALS OF THE SCHOOL

The following points form the Code:

5.1   Learners must attend school regularly. (Absentee letters written by parents/doctors’ notes are required in the case of absence from school)

5.2  Learners must be punctual.

5.3  Learners are to treat educators, peers and visitors with dignity and respect.

5.4  Learners must be polite and good manners are expected at all times.

5.5  Learners are expected to be honest and truthful in all matters.

5.6  Learners are expected to work diligently and conscientiously, to complete homework as required, including special projects.  (Projects must be typed)  All work submitted must be the learners’ original work.

5.7  Learners are expected to participate in at least one extra-mural activity per term.

5.8  Learners are to wear the correct uniform at the correct time and in the correct place.  When the school uniform is worn outside of the school, it must also be worn correctly.

5.9  When leaving school and making use of public transport, learners must be fully dressed in uniform (This may be school uniform, or sports uniform BUT at no point may school and sports uniform by combined.)  This rule does not apply on civvies days – so long as the learner does not combine civvies with any part of the uniform.

5.10      Learners should show good sportsmanship.

5.11As the school has been developed for the use of all the learners attending the school, it is the privilege and obligation of every learner to protect and carefully use all the facilities and equipment so that others who come after them can also enjoy the privilege.

5.12      Learners will respect the environment.

5.13      Inappropriate displays of affection are unacceptable.

5.14      Excessive requests to go to the toilet during class time could result in a request from the school for a doctor’s letter.

6. MISCONDUCT – Categories & Disciplinary Measures

Discipline must be maintained in the school and in the classrooms to ensure that the education of learners proceeds without disruptive behaviour and offences.  Its goal is to teach and to lead children to self-discipline.

 

INCIDENT SLIPS:

Incident slips for failure to adhere to ANY of the school rules will be issued by teachers or prefects.  Incident slips will be sent to the HOD, who will administer and keep a record of the demerits issued as a result.

In most cases, a learner will receive a detention after having received 5 demerits.  In some cases, however, a straight detention will be given (depending on the specific incident).

Once a learner has received a 4th detention, a disciplinary hearing will be held.

Disciplinary hearings may be held sooner, depending on the seriousness of the incident.

Once a learner has been required to attend a first disciplinary hearing, has served the punishment, and continues to break the school rules, further disciplinary action may take place at the discretion of Management.

 

6.1 CATEGORY 1

  • Bad manners/impolite behaviour
  • Late arrival at classes (A “latecomers” record is kept.  Should a learner arrive late twice, a demerit will be issued.)
  • Being late for register class as a result of going to the tuckshop/chatting to friends, etc. before school. (Only one such incident is required in order to obtain a demerit)
  • Arriving late for lines after break (Learners must go to the toilet during break, not only when the bell rings for the end of break).
  • Negligent behaviour (not completing homework/books not at school/not returning reply slips, forms on time, etc.)
  • Eating/drinking in class (except plain water).
  • Walking around between classes with an open bottle/can of cooldrink or flavoured water.
  • Failure to bring correct materials required within the first week of school.
  • Not wearing the correct PT/sports uniform.
  • Disobeying uniform rule (including hair/nails/jewellery/shaving).
  • Littering.
  • Chewing gum whilst in uniform or at school.
  • Talking when silence is requested.
  • Inappropriate displays of affection (cuddling, hugging, kissing, etc.)
  • Going to the tuckshop during lesson time or between periods (even for a teacher).
  • Misconduct in assembly.
  • Entering an out of bounds area, classroom or passage without permission.
  • Loitering.
  • Misconduct or poor sportsmanship during an extra-mural activity practice, intra- or inter-school completion or league fixture.
  • Failure to attend an extra-mural activity/academic extra lessons without excusing oneself.
  • Failure to submit an absentee note written by the parent/guardian/doctor.
  • Failure to complete and hand in the required leaving early form when necessary.
  • Failure to return a library book by the due date.
  • Minor infringements of uniform regulations. (See “Appearance of high School Learners”)
  • Wearing clothing with offensive/inappropriate words/images).
  • Failure to wear the correct sports kit for a match or practice.
  • Spitting.
  • Use of offensive material to cover books or files.
  • Consumption of and drinks/eats at formal functions – mass, assembly, etc.
  • Spending break time in the school building or a classroom.  Should learners wish to go to their lockers to collect or put away items, they must do so right at the start of break.

 

Category 1 offences will result in the disciplinary measures listed below.

The educator will take care of these misbehaviours and may apply one or a combination of the following corrective measures:

6.1.1 Counselling

The learner can be verbally counselled and corrected by any designated

authority.

6.1.2 Work assignments

A learner can be given a work assignment in line with his/her studies.


6.1.3 Detention

Detention may take the form of written work and/or manual labour and is given by the HOD: After school, on a given afternoon, for 2 hours.

Learners and parents/guardians will be informed of the date and time.  The school will not be responsible for transport home.

Any learner who copies work from another learner (or any other source), will receive 0 and an immediate detention.  The learner who is aware that their work is being copied and permits it, will receive the same punishment.

Demerits received up to and including the last school day of a term will result in a detention.  Should the last detention of the term already have taken place, the learner will do their detention the following term.  In the case of the last term, the learner will be required to do a detention in the week after school has closed, when teachers are still on duty.

Failure to attend the last day of school of a term (without PRIOR written excuse from parents/guardians/doctors) will result in a detention the first Friday of the following term. (This includes the fourth term).  The same rule applies to compulsory events that take place on a Saturday.

Should a learner fail to return the detention letter, signed by his/her parent, within 2 days of receipt thereof, another demerit will be given.

Should a learner fail to attend a detention class, he/she will be required to attend 2 more detention classes.

Demerits will not be carried over from one term to another, however, should a learner be required to attend a disciplinary hearing, ALL demerits and incidents will be taken into consideration.

  • DETENTION TAKES PREFERENCE OVER ALL OTHER ACTIVITIES.

6.1.4 Loss of privileges

A learner can have privileges such as sport, tuckshop, school outing, etc. removed.

 

Repetition of category 1 offences may lead to categorisation of a “Category 2 or 3 Offence.”  The HOD will be required to keep records of all punishment meted out.

 

6.2 CATEGORY 2 (punishable with possible immediate expulsion)

  • Truancy (including leaving the classroom/school premises without permission)
  • Smoking or possession of cigarettes (or nicotine-containing devices, including opium pipes/hubbly bubbly, etc.) on school premises or in school uniform.
  • Disruption of classes.
  • Misuse of cell phone and other electronic devices as per cell phone policy.  (These items must be turned off – not on silent – during the school day and may not be made visible)
  • Interfering with another person’s possessions/property/locker without the owner’s consent.
  • Insubordination.
  • Forgery.
  • Gambling.
  • Unacceptable hairstyles. (see “Appearance of High School Learners”)
  • Display of visible tattoos (including during sporting activities).
  • Possession or use of fire crackers.
  • Possession or use of Tarot Cards/Ouija boards or any other materials that do not uphold the ethos of the school.

 

The following disciplinary measures may be enforced at the discretion of the HOD/Deputy Principal/Principal, who may refer the matter back to the educator to be dealt with as a Category 1 offence, ensuring fairness and that the punishment fits the offence. These may include (and are not listed in sequential order):

 

6.2.1 Parental/Guardian Intervention – requested by the school authorities.

6.2.2 Community Service

Repetition of Category 2 offences may lead to categorisation as a “Category 3 offence”.

6.3 CATEGORY 3 (punishable with possible immediate expulsion)

  • Inappropriate behaviour (including offensive language).
  • Dishonesty (including cheating in tests and exams/plagiarism/lying/cheating/fraud).
  • Possession of/dealing in/taking of drugs.
  • Possession of/drinking alcohol. (Including on school trips or outings)
  • Possession or use of weapons or items that can cause physical injury.
  • Arson/Burglary/Theft.
  • Immoral behaviour/possession/copying/distributing/displaying of pornographic material.
  • Bullying/harassment (verbal, virtual, physical).
  • Intimidation/threatening behaviour.
  • Assault and intention to cause grievous bodily harm.
  • Rape, attempted rape, physical or sexual abuse, indecent assault, indecent exposure.
  • Vandalism – misuse / abuse of school property.
  • Taking part in any illegal strike action/meeting/campaign on school premises.
  • Intentionally conducting oneself in a manner which is or could be seriously detrimental to the maintenance of order or discipline at the school.
  • Violating the rights of other learners to receive education by disrupting classes, preventing other learners from attending classes or preventing teachers from teaching adequately, or in any other manner.
  • Driving on or near the school premises without the required licence. (Whether in school uniform or not).  The school reserves the right to contact traffic officials.
  • Constant repetition of Category 1 and 2 offences.

 

The Disciplinary Team, at its discretion and depending on the severity of the misconduct, may proceed as follows:

 

6.3.1 Refer back to the Principal for punishment as a Category 2 offence.

 

6.3.2 Call a Disciplinary Hearing which could result in one of the following:

 

6.3.2.1 Issue Final Written Warning

A Final Written Warning will be on school stationery and kept on the learner’s file.

A copy will be sent to the parents/guardians.  The warning will include the following:

* personal details, misconduct details, reason (s) the behaviour is

unacceptable,

* possible consequences of any further unacceptable behaviour.

6.3.2.2 Suspension

A learner can be suspended from school for a  period of up to 5

school days.

Although the suspension can be a penalty in itself, it can also be

appropriate under the following circumstances:

* Protection of learner (s); Protection of school property;

* Isolation pending further enquiry; Protection of witness.

A learner may be required to complete community service whilst on suspension.  The onus is on the parents/learner to contact the recommended institution to arrange this.

A learner will receive zero for any work/tests done or due during the suspension period.

 

 


6.3.2.3          Expulsion

A learner can be expelled from the school for the following reasons:

* Any behaviour where the continued presence of the learner becomes unacceptable.

* Any repeated and unacceptable behaviours, although of a less

serious nature, if it has become clear that a lesser penalty will not

prevent further negative behaviour.

6.3.3.2 Police Intervention (in the case of an unlawful act)

 

6.4 DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS

Any learner who has committed an extremely serious offence or who repeatedly breaks the school rules, has to appear before a disciplinary committee.

The committee will hear the evidence and then decide on the action to be

taken.

The action must include the following:

  • The parents/guardians must be informed in writing of the proposed action.
  • A Disciplinary Committee will be formed and the offender will receive a fair hearing.
  • The parents/guardians will be informed of the outcome (in writing) within 48 hours (school days).  The document must be collected by the parent/guardian.

Learners’ rights with regard to a disciplinary hearing:

6.4.1     The right to a formal hearing.

6.4.2    The right to be present at the hearing.

6.4.3    The right to be given time to prepare for the case.

6.4.4    The right to be given advance notice of charges.

6.4.5    The right to be assisted at the hearing by parents/guardians if under age.

6.4.6    The right to ask questions on any evidence produced, or on statements of witnesses.

6.4.7    The right to an interpreter (to be requested in writing by the learner, 24 hours prior to the hearing).

6.4.8    The right to appeal within five school days against any penalty by the Disciplinary Committee.

6.4.9    Should the learner and/or his/her parents/guardians not attend the hearing, the hearing will be conducted in their absence.

6.4.10 Be informed in writing of the decision on whether or not he/she is guilty of serious misconduct and of the penalty that is being imposed on him/her.

 

6.5  The above disciplinary procedure will be followed in all cases where there has been unacceptable conduct by a learner or group of learners.  Any behaviour off school property that can be associated with the school or has the potential to harm the school image will also be covered by the Code.

7. APPEALS AGAINST DISCIPLINE

 

7.1 Counselling, Work Assignment, Loss of Privilege, Detention

In all cases where a learner feels that a punishment has been unjust, the learner has the right to query the penalty and to put forward his/her side of the story.  This must be done with the person applying the discipline, but the final decision of the authority figure is binding and must be complied with by the learner.  The learner may, however, if still aggrieved, seek an appointment with the principal to discuss his/her point of view.

7.2 Written Warning, Suspension and Expulsion

Learners, with the aid of their parents/guardians, may formally lodge an appeal against any disciplinary action of this nature.  This appeal must be in writing and signed by the parent/guardian and be received by the school within 5 days.  It must include the reason for the appeal.

Any appeal will result in a full hearing presided over by a member of the Governing Body and will include the following people:

  • The appellant (learner)
  • The Principal
  • The parent or guardian
  • A scribe

No legal representation will be permitted.

The chairperson, together with the principal, will make the final decision in this matter.  All parties will abide by this decision.

 

Note: The process of an appeal, the leading of witnesses and the rights and duties of the various parties must be spelled out at the beginning of a hearing.

LOCKERS

  • Lockers are made available for hire by Gr 8 – 12 learners.  Preference is given to Gr 8 & 9 learners. A locker number will be allocated to a learner.  No learner may make use of another locker without the express permission of the teacher in charge of lockers.
  • Should there be a problem with the locker, this must be reported to the teacher in charge of the lockers immediately.
  • No vandalism of lockers (including removing the doors) will be tolerated.
  • No learner may request any of the groundstaff to remove a lock from their locker – this must be done via the teacher in charge of the lockers.
  • The amount payable for the year will be debited to the school account after the permission slip has been signed by parents/guardian.  This amount must be paid into the school account.  NO CASH WILL BE ACCEPTED BY THE TEACHER.
  • Lockers must be kept neat and tidy and cleared out by the end of October.  Failure to do so will result in locks being cut off and the contents disposed of.  Lockers must be kept locked with a COMBINATION LOCK (to prevent loss of keys) at all times.  No learner may tamper with the lock on another learner’s locker.
  • Each learner must have his/her own locker – sharing is not permitted.
  • No learner may make use of a locker unless they lock it.  Failure to lock the locker at any time will result in the contents being confiscated without warning.
  • Learners may not keep food or any perishable items in their lockers for longer than 2 days.

BREAK TIME/BEFORE SCHOOL/AFTER SCHOOL

  • At no time may learners play with a ball on the school grounds (tennis balls, cricket balls, soccer balls, rugby balls, golf balls, hockey balls, etc).  These may only be used on the field at the designated times.
  • Any learner found with a ball in their possession will have it confiscated until the end of term and demerits will be given (unless they are on their way to or from the field with the ball).  Should a ball be brought to school, it must be kept in a bag or in a locker during lesson times.

CONFISCATED JEWELLERY POLICY

  • Jewellery which is not allowed but is worn to school will be confiscated without warning and sent to the office.
  • It may be collected immediately after a fine of R10 per item is paid (each earring is one item).
  • If the fine is not paid, the jewellery may be collected at the end of the term (without a fine being paid).

MANNERS & GREETING

  • The library and computer rooms are places of work.  Silence must be maintained in these areas at all times.  The library is not a place for socialising at break.
  • Some enrichment activities (such as chess, Scrabble, etc.) must also be conducted in as much silence as possible.
  • Boys must allow girls to enter a building/classroom first.
  • Learners should step aside to allow staff to pass/enter a building or classroom first.
  • Visitors should be greeted politely.
  • The acceptable greeting at St Thomas Aquinas School is:  “Good morning/afternoon/evening, Mr/Mrs…/Sir/Mam”.  “Hello” or “Hi” are not considered acceptable forms of greeting between learners and adults at school or school functions.  Teachers are not to be referred to as “guys”.
  • When entering a classroom:

–          Learners may enter and MUST sit down.

–          Learners will be greeted by the teacher and then respond with the appropriate greeting.

  • When a staff member enters the classroom:

–          If they do not cross the threshold (doorway), there is no need to greet them.

–          If the staff member crosses the threshold, he/she may greet the class first, and the class must greet the teacher.  The learners should remain seated.

–          Should the staff member not greet the class for any reason (during a test/has seen them already that day, or any other reason), the class need not greet the teacher.

NOTE:  This rule ONLY applies inside the classroom, during lesson time.

–          Learners should greet ALL staff members outside of the classroom – office, playground, sportsfield, etc.  Not doing so is considered bad manners.

–          It is not necessary to greet the same staff member more than once on the same day.

PLAGIARISM POLICY

  1. Plagiarism (in any form) will not be tolerated.
  2. If plagiarism is detected, the learner will receive zero for the piece of work. No opportunity will be given to resubmit work.
  3. According to the Code for learners, plagiarism is a category 3 offence. It may result in a disciplinary hearing. Possible suspension and expulsion could occur.

WHAT IS PLAGIARISM?

According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary the following can be considered plagiarism:

  • To steal or borrow another person’s work.
  • To pay another person to do your assignment.
  • To copy directly from a source and simply reference it in a bibliography.
  • To use another person’s ideas and build on them without giving credit to the original idea.
  • To paraphrase another person’s work word for word.
  • To present false data (fabricated, altered or borrowed without permission).


HOW CAN PLAGIARISM BE AVOIDED?

 

  • Learners must use source document/s for reading up on a topic and make notes.
  • Once thorough reading has taken place, the learner writes the piece of work in his / her own words.
  • Learners must also provide a complete reference list of all source documents that have been used. The Shorter Harvard Method of referencing is to be used.  (See “How to compile a bibliography/reference list” below)

Learners can submit the work to a plagiarism website for checking. The following websites may be used:

http://www.plagiarism-detect.com

http://www.duplichecker.com

http://www.plagiarismchecker.com/help-teachers.php

http://searchenginereports.net/articlecheck.aspx

  • An acceptable percentage for plagiarism is between 6% and 8%. (Based on IEB practice).

 

HOW TO COMPILE A BIBLIOGRAPHY / REFERENCE LIST:

 

  1. A Bibliography lists all the works/sites read up from (whether quoted from or not.)  It appears at the end of an assignment.
  2. A Reference list lists all the works/sites directly quoted from. It appears at the end of an assignment, arranged alphabetically by authors’ names.
  3. A Citation or in-text-citation backs up a statement or quotation in the text.  It gives the author’s name and the date of a publication in brackets in the text directly after a quote.

a) Referencing a Book:

Record the full bibliographical details including the page number(s) from which the information is taken.  Write it in a specific order and take note of punctuation rules and what appears in upper case and what appears in Italics and Title Case:

AUTHOR’S SURNAME (upper case) , INITIAL. Date. Title in Title-Case or Underlined if

Handwritten. Place published: Publisher’s name.

Example:

ADAM-SMITH, P. 1978. Art of the Aborigines. Melbourne: Thomas Nelson.

b) Publications compiled by an editor – use the name of the editor.

Example:

WALTHER, I. F. (ed.), 2005. Art of the 20th Century. Köln: Taschen.


c) Newspaper and magazine articles:

Author of article. Year of Publication. Article title. Title of magazine/newspaper. Volume number

(If available), (Issue number) (If available) or date: Page numbers.

d) Referring to an Internet Site:

To cite a document from a website, follow the author, date, etc. format.

Providing just a search engine ‘Google ‘or a URL ‘ http: quotes.com ‘ is not

acceptable.

Websites:

Author. Date or update. Title of item or page. Title of Home page (Online). Available: URL of item. Date Accessed.

Example:

BECKLEHEIMER, J., 1994. How do you cite URLs in a bibliography? [Online], Available:<http://www.nrlssc.navy.mil/meta/bibliography.html>. Accessed on: 12 August 2007.

 

Example for online images – give the artist’s name:

Fig 13. SALVADOR DALI, The Persistence of Memory. (1931). Oil on canvas, 24 x 33cm. Museum of Modern Art, New York.(Source: ww.virtualdali.com/assets/paintings/31Persis> …) [Accessed 10 January 2008].

 

World Wide Web page with no publication date

Prizker, T. J. n. d., An early fragment from central Nepal//. [Online] Available:

http://library.regencystudent.com/referencing.html>. Accessed on: 12 August

2007.

e) Citing:

‘Fish are born alive.’ (Buchanan, 1998).

No further referencing detail, such as footnotes, is expected. However in Visual Art for quotations, we can simply use quotation marks and a footnote which will appear at the bottom of the page.

All citations must be backed up by a full reference in the Reference list.

 

 

Gr 10 – 12 learners may be required to submit their work to a plagiarism website for checking.


WORK NOT HANDED IN ON TIME

If the learner fails to submit work on time (for reasons other than absenteeism), marks will be deducted as follows: (demerits are also given)

  • 1 day late:           5% of the possible total is deducted
  • 2 days late:       10% of the possible total is deducted
  • 3 days late:       15% of the possible total is deducted

More than 3 days late – no marks are awarded.

This is, however, at the teacher’s discretion.  Should it not suit to teacher to wait another day for the work, (for any reason, e.g. as marking will commence on that day, zero may be given.)

Incomplete homework / homework left at home & homework not done all fall under the same category.

 

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL TEST/EXAM POLICY & PROCEDURE

  • As far as possible, learners and their parents should avoid making personal plans during exam time.  Should there, however, be an emergency, the HOD must be contacted immediately.  Learners who arrive late for a test/exam will not be given any additional time in which to complete it.
  • At least 1 week’s notice must be given to the learners for cycle tests.  Learners are required to ask the teacher what to learn if that have not been notified timeously.
  • As far as possible, and when the timetable permits, no more than 1 test will be written per day and no more than 3 per week  (Excl. vocabulary & spelling tests or other tests not requiring learning)
  • Formal test timetables are provided by the Deputy Principal for terms 1, 2 & 3.  During the fourth term, learners should ask their teachers if a test in their particular subject has been scheduled for them, as no formal timetable is provided due to the brief period before examinations begin.
  • Gr 8 & 9 learners have a formal test period once every 6-day cycle.
  • These tests are to be written on the exam pads/books which are left in the classroom.
  • There must be absolute silence.  No communication with other learners whatsoever!
  • Bags to be left at the front/back of the classroom or outside on the lockers.
  • Learners may not wear their blazers during tests/exams.
  • Learners may not have ANYTHING in their pockets during a test/exam.
  • Learners may not have cellphones, electronic devices or earphones on their person during any test/exam.
  • Teachers have the right to conduct searches of learners/pencil cases/calculators, etc. at random.
  • Learners may not go to the toilet during the first hour or last half hour of any test/exam.
  • Calculators (if they may be used in the test/exam) may not have their covers on.
  • Learners may not have any notes/books/incriminating evidence in their possession.
  • Should a learner neglect to hand in any part of his/her answer script, it will not be taken in afterwards for marking at any time after the answer scripts have been collected.
  • Learners must staple their own tests/exams.
  • A doctor’s letter must be provided if a test/exam is missed.  Failure to do so can result in a learner obtaining zero for the test/exam.
  • If the learner was absent on the day of a test, it is the learner’s responsibility to see the HOD early in the morning on the day that he/she returns to school to arrange to write the test.
  • The test will be written after school on the day the learner returns to school, except in extenuating circumstances, (at the discretion of the HOD.)
  • Planned absenteeism:  the learner will write the test the following day after school.  (A letter must be provided).
  • If a learner must write a test that has already been written by other learners no communication whatsoever regarding the test is permitted between learners!  Any such communication will result in serious consequences for learners!
  • Corrections will be done verbally by the teacher and learners must record correct answers in pencil.
  • Learners are not required to have tests signed, but parents/guardians will be informed by SMS if their child has performed poorly or failed the test.
  • The following procedure will be followed when cheating is suspected:

i)   The test will be taken from the learner & the time recorded.

ii) The learner must start again (from the beginning or continue where they left off).

iii) No additional time is given.

  • The HOD will investigate the matter.  Disciplinary procedures may follow.

In addition to the above, the following will apply during examinations:

EXAMINATIONS:

  • In the study venues, learners must sit in alphabetical order.  They may not talk or “teach” each other.
  • Learners must have their stationery in clear plastic containers and may not have the covers on their calculators.  Learners may take water into the exam venues in clear plastic bottles.
  • If the learners have a break, they must go to the rose garden area.
  • All bags to be placed in the front or at the back of the class (or in the foyer of the hall).
  • As per IEB procedure, learners are given an extra 10 minutes’ reading time at the start of each exam. No writing or highlighting may take place during this time.
  • If learners finish an exam early, they may hand in the exam and then read a book.  Books to be placed on teacher’s desk or at back of hall on the table at the start of the exam.  Once handed in, the learner may not be given their answer script back.
  • At the end of the exam, learners must stop writing and put down their pens.
  • Learners must leave the school premises within half an hour after the end of their exam.

 

APPEARANCE OF HIGH SCHOOL LEARNERS

The school reserves the right to contact parents/guardians in the event of any infringements.  The parents/guardians of any learner whose appearance is totally unacceptable may be required to collect the learner from school immediately.  In such cases, the learner may only return once their appearance is in accordance with the requirements.  Catching up any work missed will be the learner’s responsibility.

 

1. HAIR

 

Girls

–          All hair longer than the bottom of the collar must be tied back (including braids/dreadlocks).

–          Fringes must be short and neat and no hair may hang in the eyes.  Fringes may not extend beyond the eyebrows.

–          NO strands of hair may hang loose about the face.  It is not sufficient to simply place the loose hair behind the ears, it MUST be held back securely with clips or bands.

–          The colour of the hair must remain natural-looking at all times.

–          No gel, mousse, wax or other hair care products are permitted.

–          Only PLAIN white, navy, black or royal blue accessories (clips, bands, ribbons) may be worn.  (No turquoise/silver/gold/brown).  No diamanté or fancy hair accessories (including flowers) are permitted.  Hair accessories may not be patterned.

–          Hair extensions/braids must be thin (no thicker than 1cm in diameter).  They must lie flat against the head (not on top of one another) and be neatly tied in the neck.  The length of the braids may not extend beyond the middle of the back.  No bushy hairstyles or elaborate hairstyles are permitted.  Learners may not incorporate more than one particular style (i.e. shaved in one part & braided in another)

–          Excessively large “buns” are not permitted.

–          No afros are permitted.

–          Any hairpiece (weave) worn must comply with the above rules and must be properly attached and kept neat and clean.  Hairpieces/braids must be the natural colour of the learners’ hair.  Only the following colours are permitted:  #1, #1B, #4.  Burgundy shades are forbidden.

–          Dreadlocks are discouraged, however, if a learner does have dreadlocks, they must comply with the above rules.

–          Should a girl’s weave/braids/extensions become untidy, the HOD reserves the right to instruct her to remove them.

–          Permission will not be given for any specialised hairstyles for any events.

–          Facial hair must (lips, chin) be removed.

–          Eyebrows may not be shaved or have patterns shaved into them.

 

Boys

–          The entire head of hair must be kept short, in particular the fringe and hair on the top of the head.  Hair should be short enough that it is not able to be fastened with an elastic band.  This rule is to be applied at the discretion of management.

–          Hair may not touch the collar at the back.

–          The sides may not touch the ear when combed down.

–          Fringes may not touch the eyebrows.

–          Sideburns must be thin and must end 15 mm above the bottom of the earlobe.

–          Boys must be clean-shaven at all times.  (It is recommended that boys who have facial hair and are not yet ready to shave use depilatories or an electric razor).  Boys who are unshaven will be given a new, disposable razor and will have to shave at school.

–          The colour of the hair must remain natural at all times.  No colouring of the hair is permitted.

–          No gel, mousse, wax or other hair care products are permitted.

–          Mohawks are not permitted.  The hair must lie flat against the head.

–          Afros are not permitted.

–          “Steps” are not permitted in the hair, however “fade”/“faze” / ”combover”/”undercut” styles will be permitted, so long as there is not a very significant difference between the shorter part and the longer part.  The hair is required to be “blended”.

–          No patterns or lines may be shaved into the hair or eyebrows.

–          Neat, flat “corn rows” are permissible and must be neatly tied.  No “tails” permitted.

–          Short, thin, neat “mini dreads” are permissible, but must comply with the above rules.

–          Permission will not be given for any specialised hairstyles for any events.

2. UNIFORM

 

GIRLS & BOYS (GR 8 – 11)

–          Black leather school shoes. (Lace-ups only, not slip-ons)  Girls may wear buckle-up school shoes.

–          Summer:

Short-sleeved, open neck white school shirt (no top button), school badge.  (Witbank Outfitters)

–          Winter:

Long-sleeved, button-up collar white school shirt

School tie

A Plain black scarf may be worn (no stripes, not fluffy or elaborate)

–          Plain black beanies & gloves may be worn to school, but not in the classroom.

–          Should any learner wear incorrect beanies/scarves/gloves, etc. the item/s will be confiscated and donated to charity OR the learner will receive a demerit.  Confiscated items will not be exchanged for demerits (or vice versa). If a demerit is given, the item must be removed immediately.

–          Royal blue jersey or pullover with school badge.

–          Should the learner choose the wear both the pullover and the jersey, the pullover must be worn underneath the jersey.

–          No vests may be visible at the neckline or sleeves.

–          School blazer: compulsory for terms 2 & 3.  Must also be worn on assembly days or special celebrations in summer.  Blazer sleeves may NEVER be pushed up. House badges MUST be worn on the blazer.  (These can be purchased from the office).  New learners will be allocated to a house within their first week of school.

–          At times when school tracksuits may be worn the following rules apply:

The “Big Badge” T-shirt must be worn with the tracksuit.  This is currently being phased out and replaced by the new golf shirt.

WHITE sports takkies must be worn.  (No fashion/canvas shoes or sneakers).  We are aware that it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy plain white takkies, but they must be PREDOMINANTLY white and have white laces.

Tracksuit top sleeves may never be pushed/rolled up.

Summer: (Term 1 & 4)

No pullover or jersey may be worn with the tracksuit.

PT shorts (from Witbank Outfitters) may be worn instead of tracksuit pants – NOT match kit shorts.

Winter: (Term 2 & 3)

The “Big Badge” T-shirt must be worn with the tracksuit.  This is currently being phased out and replaced by the new golf shirt.

A pullover or jersey may be worn, but only if the tracksuit top is worn as the outer garment.

No coloured tops to be worn under the white shirt.  If a vest is worn it may not stick out at the neckline.

Should the T-shirt become stretched, faded or sloppy-looking, the learner is expected to purchase a new one.

 

Girls (Gr 8 – 11)

–          Summer:

White ankle school socks, folded over neatly.

Prescribed royal blue school skirt.  The skirt may not be too short (HODs should be consulted).  (When the standing, the skirt must be the same length in the front and the back.)  When kneeling, and the girl’s back is straight, at no point may the skirt be shorter than 4 fingers from the floor. HODs have the right to conduct this test when deemed necessary.

The skirt may not be rolled up or pinned to make it tighter.

When wearing the white school shirt without a pullover, only plain bras, as close to the skin colour of the girl as possible, may be worn.

If ski pants are worn, they must not be visible below the skirt.

The blazer must be shorter than the skirt.

–          Winter:

Black tights or black long socks.

Black pants obtainable from Woolworths.  Only the approved style – code 501651918.

The blazer MUST be worn at all times, should a girl choose to wear pants instead of a skirt.

 

Matric girls

Same skirt/pants and shirt as Gr 8 – 11.  The skirt may not be too short – HODs should be consulted.  (When standing, the skirt must be the same length in the front and the back.)  The skirt may not be rolled up or pinned to make it tighter.

–          Prescribed navy blue court shoes

–          White school pullover or jersey with badge.

–          Winter:  matric tie & skin-tone pantihose.

–          Plain white scarves (not cream & no stripes & not elaborate)

 

Boys (Gr 8 – 11)

–          Grey school socks.

–          Summer:

Long grey school pants.

COMPULSORY: Black leather belt with a plain buckle (no large or elaborate buckles).


Matric boys

–          Same shirt as Gr 8 – 11

–          Prescribed black pants

–          Black socks

–          Smart black shoes (lace-up or slip-ons).  Pointed shoes, suede, patent leather (very shiny) shoes not permitted.

–          Matric tie

–          White school pullover or jersey with badge.

–          Winter: Long-sleeved button-up shirt

–          Matric tie

–          Plain white scarves (not cream & no stripes & not elaborate)

 

PT UNIFORM (See “Uniform – Boys & Girls)

–          Gr 8 & 9 learners must come to school in their PT uniform on the days they have PT.

–          Gr 10 – 12 learners must bring their PT uniform to school to change into on the days they have PT (as part of LO)

 

AT NO TIME may learners wear headphones or earphones whilst in school uniform.

School clothing must be clean at all times! (Including blazers & jerseys)

NAILS, MAKE-UP & JEWELLERY

Girls

–          Nails may not be visible from the inside of the palm.  Nails must be clean at all times.

–          Only clear nail polish may be worn.  False nails/tips are not permitted.

–          No make-up may be worn. Eyelashes and eyebrows may not be tinted. False eyelashes are not permitted.

–          The only earrings permitted are either a small silver or gold stud (only plain, round ones – no stars or stones) or regular-sized gold or silver sleepers.  They must be worn in the lowest hole in the ear.  Only one earring per ear.  No diamanté/pearls/coloured stones.

–          Toenails may not be painted with coloured nail polish.

 

Boys

–          Nails must be short and clean.

–          No rings or earrings are permitted.

 


Boys & Girls

–          Watches:  Only plain watches with plain gold, silver, black, white or navy straps may be worn.  No elaborate or ornate links or straps.  Watch faces should not be larger than a R5 coin and must be plain (no diamanté, charms, etc).

–          Only Medic Alert bracelets may be worn.

–          No armbands/bracelets/bangles are permitted.

–          The rubber-type bands that are issued by some institutions (although possibly religious), may not be worn. These are not considered jewellery and will thus be confiscated/destroyed, but not sold back to the learner.

–          Elastic bands / hair bands may not be worn on the wrist at any time.

–          No tongue rings/nose studs/belly rings or tattoos are permitted.

–          A religious symbol (of your own religion) may be worn on a long chain that is not visible at the neck line.

–          No colour contact lenses are permitted whatsoever as these are considered cosmetic.  Learners who are required to wear contact lenses must ensure that they are clear.

–          Eyelash extensions are not permitted.

THE SCHOOL RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEND THE LEARNER HOME IF INAPPROPRIATELY DRESSED.

5.  CIVVIES DAYS

 

Civvies are awarded at the discretion of the school.

Learners may wear civvies on their birthday (without requesting permission).  Should the birthday fall over a weekend, civvies may be worn on the following Monday.  Should the birthday fall in the school holidays, civvies may be worn on the first day back at school, with the exception of the first term.  In this instance, learners will be given a date on which they may wear civvies.  (They should ask the HOD for a date).  Should the birthday fall in the December holidays, the learner should ask the HOD for a suitable date during exams to wear civvies.

 

Civvies: Girls

–          Clothing must be tasteful and not revealing.  (No crop-tops)

–          Underwear may not show.  (Not even bra straps)

–          No tops with thin straps.  (Shoulders should be covered)

–          Necklines may not be too low (cleavage may not show).

–          Very short mini-skirts and very short shorts are not permitted.

–          Fish net stockings are not permitted.

–          Very high heels are discouraged, as they are impractical for a school day.

–          Jewellery may be worn.  (Excluding excessively large earrings & tongue rings or nose rings)

–          Make-up is not permitted.

–          Hair may be left loose, but kept tidy.  (It may not hang in the eyes)

Civvies: Boys

–          Boys must be clean-shaven.

–          “Wife-beaters” (vest-type shirts) are permitted, but must be tasteful (the armholes should not be very low).

–          Clothing must be tasteful, underwear may not stick out above the pants

–          Hair gel/wax/mousse may be worn, mohawks are permitted.

–          Earrings/nose rings/tongue rings are NOT permitted.

THE SCHOOL RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEND THE LEARNER HOME IF INAPPROPRIATELY DRESSED.

 

SCHOOL COMPUTERS & INTERNET ACCESS: TERMS & CONDITIONS

At St Thomas Aquinas School, computer access and educational internet privileges are available to all staff and high school learners.

Optimal use of the Internet and other ICT resources provided by the school is dependent on the proper conduct of both staff and learners, who are expected to adhere to certain guidelines of acceptable usage, as determined by the appropriate school structures. The guidelines provided here are to make you aware of your responsibilities and accountability for your actions.

In general this requires the efficient, ethical and legal utilisation of all network resources. If any user violates any of these provisions, the privilege will be revoked and future access may be denied. The signatures at the end of this document are binding and indicate that the signatories have read the terms and conditions carefully and that they understand their significance.

  1. Acceptable Use: Use of the school computers must be in support of education and research that is consistent with the educational objectives of the school.

2. Unacceptable Use: Transmission or receipt or storage of any material in violation of any South African or school regulation is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to the following: copyrighted material, threatening, harassing or obscene material, or material protected by trade secret. Use of school computers for commercial activities is not acceptable. Any transmission or receipt of pornographic material is expressly prohibited and will result in the cancellation of computer privileges, as well as further disciplinary action. The same applies to any learner found guilty of cyber-bullying or cyber-harassment.

 

3. Privileges: Theuse of school computers and the Internetis a privilege, not a right, and unacceptable use will result in a cancellation of those privileges and the taking of appropriate school disciplinary action.

 

4. Rules:

a. No food or drink allowed in the computer room.

b. No software may be installed on or deleted from the computers. This includes games which

may not be installed or played at any time as well as any form of software.

c. Do not alter or remove any computer files that do not belong to you.

d. All copyright laws are to be observed.

e. No computer or peripheral devices may be moved, opened, disconnected or used without consent. This could lead to disciplinary action.

f. Learners should report any computer problems to their teachers immediately. This includes all hardware and software problems, as well as any logon/password and malware issues such as spyware, viruses etc.

g. Appropriate behaviour, language and common courtesy are expected at all times. There is to be no running, shouting or loud noise in or around the computer room.

h. Anyone found attempting to breach security will immediately forfeit their computer usage privileges.

i. Learners may not access inappropriate Internet sites. These include sites that contain elements of nudity, pornography, foul language, racism, violence and any other material that may be deemed offensive.

j. Learners may not upload or save files onto a local C: drive, or onto any other unauthorised drive or folder. The school’s network is reserved for bona fide school work and projects, and any ‘private’ files found on the network (e.g.: games, video clips, music, pictures) will be removed immediately.

k. There is to be no loitering in or around the computer room. This is a place for serious learning and not a venue for non-computer related socialising.

l. No Internet chat facilities and or social network sites may be used at all.

m. Memory sticks/flash drives are to remain in class at all times. Removal of these will constitute disciplinary action.

n. Learners will be assigned seats and a record will be kept of their station number. Learners may not sit at another station without the express permission of the computer teacher. Failure to adhere to this will result in disciplinary action.

o. Assignments need to be completed by the due date. Failure to do so will be dealt with according to the Code.


p.        Under no circumstances will a learner be permitted to use the computer room for printing or other purposes during lesson times or break.  An AFTERNOON appointment must be scheduled IN ADVANCE on the appropriate booking sheet in the computer room.  Any learner who requests to use or uses the computer room during unscheduled times will be subject to disciplinary procedures.

5. Network Etiquette: You are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. These include (but are not limited to) the following:

a. Be polite at all times

b. Use appropriate language

  1. c. Do not reveal your personal address or contact details, or those of any learner or staff member, to anyone on the Internet

d. Do not use the network in any way that is obstructive or disruptive for others

e. All communications and information accessible via the network should be assumed to be the private property of the school or of the originator of the specific document, file or communication

 

6. The school will not be held responsible for any damages or inconvenience that you may suffer as a result of your use of the computers, such as data loss resulting from delays, non-deliveries or service interruptions.

 

7. Security: Security on any computer system is a high priority, especially when the system involves many users. If you identify a security problem on the Internet or network, please notify the teacher immediately.

 

8. Vandalism: Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy the data of another user, the local or network operating system, the hardware or software of the computers themselves, or the wider network or Internet. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading or creation of computer viruses or any other type of malware. Anyone found guilty of vandalism will have his or her computer privileges revoked.

 

9. Duration of Agreement: The Contract Agreement for Learner and Parent/Guardian comes into force upon signing of the contract and ends when the learner leaves St Thomas Aquinas School. This agreement is binding on all parties.

 


CELL PHONE & ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT POLICY

Since cell phones are no longer used for phone calls only and since St Thomas Aquinas School is not prepared to tolerate the misuse of the phone by some learners at the expense of the moral values we uphold, the following policy has been implemented:

  • If learners bring their cell phones to school, they must be switched off (not on silent) during school hours, i.e. from the moment the learners enter the school grounds until the school closes or the learners are leaving the school grounds again.  Neither may the phones be activated during sport sessions.
  • If a learner is caught breaking this rule, teachers and/or prefects have the right and the duty to confiscate the cell phone and to take it to the office.
  • The sim card and memory card may not be removed or exchanged.
  • The confiscated cell phone can only be collected (from the office) after three weeks OR after paying a fine of R200 (whichever comes first).
  • Under no circumstances will the confiscated cell phone be exchanged for another cell phone.
  • Should the cellphone “accidentally” ring or an alarm sound during lessons, the same will apply.
  • Learners may not sms or phone their parents to collect them during school time if they are sick.  They must collect a “Leaving Early form” from the HOD, complete it, and then take it to the office.  The admin staff will contact the parent to collect the learner.
  • Should other electronic equipment be brought to school, it should be for the purposes of education only.
  • The school will not take responsibility for a lost or stolen cell phone, headphones/earphones or other electronic equipment (e.g. i-Pods, MP3 players, i-Pads, laptops, Kindles, etc.).

 

By completing and signing the “HIGH SCHOOL LEARNER INFORMATION FORM & CODE OF CONDUCT CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT 2016” learners & parents/guardians indicate that they have read and understood this document and agree to adhere it.  (Should there be any points that require clarification, parents/guardians and learners are welcome to contact one of the HODs or the Deputy Principal)

The completed form must be returned to the register teacher within the first week of school.

In signing the document, the learner accepts the following:

  1. Education is a right, and the learner has responsibilities that accompany this right.
  2. Teaching or learning activities may not be disrupted, nor may others be distracted while they are engaged in these activities.
  3. Learners must be punctual for all activities and classes and in completing assignments and homework.
  4. Learners are not to malinger (pretend to be ill in order to get out of work/duties).
  5. Learners must strive to improve their personal organisation and time management skills (e.g. having the correct books and equipment for classes and activities) in respect of academics and sporting activities.
  6. Learners are expected to make new members of the community and visitors welcome by being polite and helpful towards them.
  7. Learners must display good manners towards all members of the school community at all times.
  8. Uncouth and rowdy behaviour, and in particular avoid foul language, must be avoided at all times.
  9. Learners may not insult anyone.
  10. Graffiti of any kind will not be tolerated.
  11. Different areas and rooms within the school are governed by their own sets of rules and learners will familiarise themselves with these and comply with them.
  12. Learners understand that smoking, the use of alcohol, possession and/or use of illegal drugs, bullying, obscenity, theft, dishonesty and vandalism are all serious, punishable offences which could result in expulsion from the school.
  13. Learners must adhere to the dress code at all times and not chew gum.
  14. Learners will remain within bounds at all times unless they have special permission to break bounds.
  15. Neither weapons nor dangerous objects may be in the possession of any learner at any time.
  16. Learners will recognise the authority of the Educators and the prefect body.
  17. Learners will recognise the authority of the Disciplinary Committee and ultimately the Head to hear and judge cases of serious misconduct (those which may lead to expulsion) and to assign punishments to offenders.
  18. Learners will not engage in any physical contact which others might regard offensive or sexual in nature.
  19. Learners will not make themselves guilty of discrimination (racial, gender, or otherwise).

20.  Learners will not make themselves guilty of plagiarism or forgery.  (All work presented will be the learner’s own)

  1. Learners are expected to report any contravention of school rules to an educator.

22.  Learners will hand in all reply slips, forms and items as required ON TIME.

23.  Learners will adhere to ALL the rules laid out in the various policies covered by the Code.

Grade 8 learners will be required to write a test on the contents of this document within the first two weeks of the new school year.  (It is not necessary to LEARN the document, but to read it thoroughly and make sure it is understood.  Boys/girls need only know about the uniform/appearance regulations that apply to their gender.)

The marks will form part of the Life Orientation mark for the first term.

Kindly complete & sign the form (to be provided separately) & return it to your register teacher within the first week of school.  Both parents and learner must sign that they have read & understood the contents.