Behaviour and Responsibilities – A Guide for Parents

We expect high standards from all students at Caroline Chisholm School. We encourage and reward students’ efforts and their participation in school activities. We also reward acts of kindness, charitable and community activities. In general, praise should outweigh censure by at least 4 to 1.

Where students do not follow our code of behaviour, however, it is important for the sake of all students that firm steps are taken. For minor school matters, we will normally take steps in school without informing parents. For major matters (level 3 and above) we will normally inform parents.

In all instances, we rely upon you for support. Parents who support the school’s approach to behaviour will enable their children to get the most from school life. Parents who challenge the school’s approach to behaviour will undermine their children’s trust in school and make repeated misbehaviour more likely.

Encouragement and rewards

All staff take a positive approach in working with students.  Praise should follow good efforts with work, progress, participation in activities, and charitable / community activities.  The merit system is our formal way of rewarding students:

1 merit : All staff can award merits and they are collected in students’ homework diaries.

3 merits: All students are encouraged to achieve 3 merits within the first half term of the year.

25 merits: Students who achieve this level can choose a reward from the prizes and vouchers in our Merits catalogue.

50 merits: Students who achieve this level can choose a higher value reward from the catalogue and they will also receive a special certificate.

There are also collective prizes for merits (eg. form with the most merits) and sometimes whole year groups will receive a reward (eg, trip, evening event) in return for collective progress / excellent behaviour.


All staff will challenge lateness, disruption, untidiness, rudeness and any other poor behaviour, particularly that which affects other students’ learning. Most sanctions are intended to give students a chance to put right what they have done wrong.  The sanction imposed depends on the seriousness of a particular incident. We group these as follows:

Level 1 Examples: lateness, untidy work, poor effort.  Usual sanctions include verbal warning, staying in at break, note to parents in homework diary.

Level 2 Examples: rudeness, rough behaviour, leaving litter, distracting behaviour in a lesson. Students who are rude or indulge in rough behaviour will normally write a letter of apology and lose free time. Litter or untidiness: students will put this right and do extra tidying. Year Head will be informed.

Level 3 Examples: refusal to follow staff instructions, disruption in lessons, missing a lesson, bringing cigarettes to school, damaging school property.  Possible actions: withdrawal from lessons, on-report, parents invited into school.  A level 3 incident can lead to a student being excluded from school.

Level 4  Examples: violence, bullying*, verbal abuse of a member of staff, bringing banned substances to school.  Parents will be informed.  Level 4 incidents are likely to result in an extended exclusion from school and, in particularly serious cases, permanent exclusion from school is possible.

*We define bullying as: persistent threats, unprovoked verbal abuse, intimidation or violent actions against another person.