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Code of Conduct

The aim of our Code of Conduct is to establish guidelines of the school’s expectations of the behaviour and commitment of learners towards the school’s philosophy and ethos. We encourage each learner and parent to become familiar with the content of our Code. We will ask each learner to renew their pledge, during the first term of each year.

We endeavour to promote the unique individuality of each learner by ensuring their safety through these guidelines and encouraging a healthy self esteem in each child. We endeavour to ensure that each learner feels an integral part of Usutu Forest School and that their particular needs are met.
We have developed this Code as a ‘tool’ for all our learners to identify with and to use in order to develop self-discipline, independence, responsibility and respect for all. It will help to develop a caring attitude and empathy towards others in our school and the wider community, in this ever-changing society.
We encourage each learner and parent to become familiar with the content of this Code. As a parent, we would encourage you to read through the Code with your child/children and to discuss all the guidelines which will help us to inculcate the values and traditions at Usutu, as a caring school.

The guidelines are set out for all our learners, without exception, thereby ensuring consistency and fairness in the system. Should your child neglect to follow the guidelines we would ask you to support the sanctions imposed for his/her inappropriate behavior by accepting the consequences and speaking to your child. The support of your child’s education and choice of school is vitally important to you and we in turn will do our utmost to ensure enjoyable and rewarding years at our school.

In relation to general behaviour

  • Learners of Usutu Forest School are expected to show respect for their parents, teachers and seniors and display the utmost courtesy to the school at all times.
  • Learners must greet parents, teachers and adults along corridors or any vicinity of the school.
  • Courtesy should also be extended at all times to Administration, Grounds and Support staff.
  • Learners may not leave the school premises during school hours without permission from the Headmaster.
  • Medical or dental appointments should, whenever possible, be scheduled in the afternoon. Learners will be permitted to attend appointments during school hour, upon written notification from the parent or guardian.
  • No improper language will be tolerated.
  • Chewing gum and bubble gum are not allowed on school premises or whilst in school uniform/sporting events or on buses.
  • Dishonesty will not be tolerated nor will any kinds of anti-social or unacceptable behaviour.
  • Bullying is regarded as very serious offence and will not be tolerated at Usutu.
  • Each case of bullying, whether it is verbal or physical, will be treated with discretion and be dealt with on an individual basis.

In relation to scholastic behaviour

  • School commences at 07h45. All learners should be on the premises by 07h35. Learners must be punctual for all classes and must move smartly and quietly between classrooms.
  • Although the School strives to cater for the total education of the individual child, this is principally an academic school. High standards and good cycle test results are a prerequisite for entry to secondary education.
  • "Everyday Books” must be completed daily and shown to parents for signing. Homework should be completed carefully and neatly.
  • School books are the property of Usutu Forest School and must be treated with great care. Damaged or lost books will be replaced by the parents upon notification from the School. All books are numbered and should be handed in to the teacher at the end of the year.
  • Learners are responsible for keeping their desks, lockers and classrooms tidy.

In relation to school uniform

  • Learners are expected to wear full school uniform to and from school, at all official functions and in public places. No item of school uniform must be worn with casual clothes or without shoes.
  • All learners are to wear hats during break times and certain specified sporting and extramural activities.
  • All items of clothing must be clearly marked with the child’s name.
  • No jewellery, make up, nail polish or lip gloss may be worn.
  • Girls are permitted to wear studded earrings or sleepers (one in each earlobe).
  • Small and unobtrusive jewellery with religious symbols and medic-alert bracelets may be worn. A letter with a written explanation must be given to the Headmaster who will then give permission to the learner concerned.
  • Hair for boys should be kept above the collar, cut around the ears and is neat on the top, back and sides. No highlights, gel or fashion statement haircuts, will be allowed. If hair is highlighted during any holiday, it must be cut short in order to eradicate such highlights. No braiding will be allowed.
  • Hair for girls must be neat and tied away from the eyes. Hair touching the shoulder should be tied up. All hair accessories must be brown, yellow or white. No highlights or colouring of hair will be allowed. If hair is highlighted during any holidays, it should be dyed to the learner’s natural colour before the commencement of the following term. Braiding must be simple, neat and appropriate. Long braided hair must be tied back. No coloured extensions/ braiding will be allowed at school. Learners will be asked to redo such styles.

In relation to property

  • Learners are not permitted to bring pocket knives to school and must not mark school furniture and walls.
  • Learners must not interfere with other learner’s bicycles or anything belonging to someone else) property.
  • Learners must not tamper with trees, plants and shrubs, etc.
  • Toilets should be kept clean and tidy at all times.
  • Learners should not litter and endeavour to use the bins provided.
  • Learners should keep the school grounds and surrounding areas as tidy as possible.
  • Under no circumstances are learners allowed to bring or consume alcohol, cigarettes or illegal substances at school.
  • This rule also pertains to school related activities such as school trips or sporting events.
  • The common law of the land naturally applies to all pupils who attend this school. Instances of theft will be dealt with most severely.

In relation to sport and extramural activities

  • Every learner is expected to participate in at least two extramural activities per term. Provision is made for nearly all interests and talents. If a learner has to miss a session, a letter must be given to the coach concerned. It is considered good manners.
  • Learners must come to sports/activities correctly dressed.
  • Learners must not travel to and from school in bare feet, swimming costumes etc.
  • On the sports field we would like to encourage a healthy sportsmanship approach to all games. Sportsmanship is displayed through fair play, escorting opposition to and from tea and greeting visitors. When playing away from home, we expect polite behaviour.
  • The Interhouse Gala, Interhouse Athletics and Interhouse Cross Country are compulsory for all learners from Grade 2 onwards. (Grades 00 -1 also take part in fun events).
  • School activities must take precedence over private or club activities and if chosen to represent the school in a team, learners are expected to do so with pride. If any problems do occur in this area please plan well in advance and see the Headmaster for clarification.

In relation to out of bounds areas
The following areas are considered ‘out of bounds’ unless supervised by a teacher or authorized adult:

  • All store rooms
  • School Hall
  • Simming pool area
  • Library
  • Ground staff quarters
  • Science/Sports equipment rooms
  • Computer Room
  • Classrooms before school, during break or after 14h45

Discipline Policy

Introduction
The majority of disciplining that takes place in school is informal, and happens in the classroom on a daily basis. This informal discipline is the foundation of a well-disciplined school, and, when it is effective, the need to use more formal disciplinary structures is reduced.

Guidelines
Each learner receives an A5 Discipline and Reward Book. This book continues on to the next Grade and as the pupil receives positive and negative cards they are pasted into the book. The positive cards include the Bronze, Silver and Gold Cards and they will continue from Grade to Grade. The negative cards include the Blue, Yellow and Red Cards. They are only valid per year and each learner begins with a clean slate at the beginning of each Grade. Both Positive and Offence Cards are applicable to circumstances related to the classroom, sportsfield and travelling on the buses and all school functions and events.

Level 1 Positive Card: (Bronze)

  • Displays positive attributes and demonstrates school values in the classroom, on the sportsfield, at official functions and in public places.
  • Obtaining between 60% – 69% average for Cycle Tests 1,2 and 3
  • Academic Commitment and Progress in Grades 1, 2 and 3
  • Bronze Cards will result in a Silver Card

Level 2 Positive Card: (Silver)

  • As Above
  • Otaining between 70% - 79% for Cycle Tests 1,2 and 3
  • Above Average Academic Commitment and Progress in Grades 1, 2 and 3
  • Silver Cards will result in a Gold Card

Level 3 Positive Card: (Gold)

  • As Above
  • Obtaining between 80% - 100% average for Cycle Tests 1, 2 and 3
  • Exceptional Academic Commitment and Progress in Grades 1, 2 and 3
  • When a pupil achieves a Gold Card their names will appear in the Usutu Log, where they will be acknowledged and will receive a reward.

Level 1 Offence: (Blue Card)

  • Icorrect earrings
  • Hair not cut
  • No hat
  • Shirt not tucked in
  • Talking at line-up
  • Homework not done
  • “Everyday Book” not signed
  • Any uniform related offence
  • Inappropriate dress in public
  • Missing extramural activities without an excuse
  • Missing an interhouse activitiy after being selected
  • Poor sportsmanship on the field
  • Poor behaviour in the bathrooms
  • Walking around the school instead of being at an extramural activity
  • 5 Blue Cards will result in a Yellow Card

Level 2 Offence: (Yellow Card)

  • Accumulation of 5 Blue Cards in one year
  • Cheating in a test
  • Swearing / Derogatory language
  • Not attending an interschool activity after being selected
  • Rudeness/Bad manners/Playground scuffles
  • Bullying/Disrespect
  • Lack of responsibility towards Academic Programme
  • 5 Yellow Cards in one year will result in a Red Card
  • A Yellow Card will be accompanied by a letter/phone call/meeting with parents

Level 3 Offence (Red Card)

  • Stealing
  • Smoking on school premises
  • Drinking on school premises
  • Having consumed alcohol and then being on school premises
  • Fighting
  • Bringing a dangerous weapon to school
  • The Red Card when issued will result in a Disciplinary Hearing which could lead to suspension or expulsion

Bullying/Hurt Free Week

We, the teachers, pupils and parents of Usutu Forest School:

  • Do not tolerate bullying.
  • Respect each other’s rights to human dignity.
  • Pomise to promote a safe school environment.
  • Value and respect each person’s unique personality.

Each term we dedicate one week to “Hurt-free Week” which concentrates on the qualities of tolerance, friendship and understanding. Whilst this is emphasized during this week, it is an ongoing programme.

Early Departure

Should your child need to leave school early for any reason, it is necessary for the parent to contact the school office and/or class teacher. Telephonic arrangements can be made through the School office or parents may send a note with their child informing the School of early departure. Pupils leaving school early must be collected from the Reception area by a parent/guardian.

Homework

Homework in our school follows an alternate model and children are asked to be responsible, self-disciplined and show effective time management up to Grade 7. No written homework in content subjects is sent home however research and projects are expected to be worked on at home. Grade 5, 6 and 7 will be given a mathematics worksheet from Monday to Thursday in order to consolidate a section done in the classroom. Spelling lists are sent home every Monday in preparation of the Friday spelling tests. Reading is a vital component of our homework policy and all reading cards must be meticulously recorded and checked by parent’s everyday.
High School homework is sent home daily and a roster is issued to the learners at the start of each cycle.

Medical (Illness)

Heads of schools, matrons and school administrative staff are not health professionals and therefore are not in a position to determine what medication a sick child requires. We are therefore prohibited from dispensing any medication to a pupil. In cases where a pupil reports to the office ill, the parents will be contacted. At the discretion of the Head, pupils will be referred to the doctor indicated on the Enrolment Form.

Medical Clinic
A Medical Clinic is situated in Mhlambanyatsi which can be consulted in cases of emergency.

Medical Information
The medical information document forms part of the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. Please ensure that this document is completed and returned to the office.

Medication
Keeping the aforementioned paragraph in mind, should your child require any medication during the school day as prescribed by a medical doctor, the medication, with the dosage, must be clearly labeled and handed in at the office from where it will be dispensed. Medication will only be dispensed with the written permission of the parents.

Parent Consultations

Parents are encouraged to communicate with the teacher via the ‘Everyday Book’. Should further communication be necessary the parent may request a consultation with the teacher via the office. The parent may at any time phone the office to make an appointment with the Headmaster. Parents are requested to phone all teachers during office hours and not after hours.