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School Discipline

  1. Bad behaviour - Before you read

    a) Look at these examples of bad behaviour in school. How would you classify them?

      Very serious / serious / quite bad / not bad behaviour

      Chewing gum or eating sweets in class
      Playing truant (not coming to school/not telling parents)
      Smoking in the school building (in the toilets?)
      Swearing (using bad language)
      Swearing at a teacher or insulting a teacher
      Not doing homework
      Cheating in exams (copying from secret notes or another pupil)
      Shouting and making noise during lessons
      Running in the corridors
      Writing on walls, desks and other school property
      Stealing from other pupils pockets or bags
      Calling a teacher or another pupil bad names (bullying)
      Carrying a dangerous weapon (gun, knife, penknife)
      Hitting other pupils or teachers
      Not listening/paying attention in lessons
      Wearing unsuitable clothes for school
      Kissing boys/girls during the lesson or in the corridor
      Leaving the classroom without permission

    b) Who deals with bad behaviour in your school? The teachers? The head?
    Are there any school rules?
    Are there any special punishments for very bad behaviour?

    c) Have you ever broken a school rule or been badly behaved in school?
    What happened? What did your parents say or do?

  2. Punishments

    a. What is the worst punishment you can get in your school? What is the least serious?

    b. What is the worst punishment you can get in a UK school? What is the least serious?

    c. How does your school compare to a British school? Is it stricter? Not as strict?

  3. Read and find out

    What is detention?
    What did Freya do when the school gave her detention?
    What two reasons does Freya give for her actions?
    What is a home school contract?
    Why do you think schools give these contracts to parents?

  4. School rules

    Every school in the UK must have a code of conduct. This is a written document with guidelines for good behaviour and school rules to make sure pupils behave well. For example:

      Pupil code of conduct: 1. Get to school on time 2. Move about the school quietly

      School rules: 1. Everyone must walk in the school corridors 2. Pupils are not allowed to leave the school during lessons without a written letter from a parent.

    a. Write or explain three rules that are important in your school.

    b. Invent four rules for teachers in schools: e.g. Teachers are not allowed to shout during lessons.

  5. Group decision making - Make the punishment fit the crime.

    You are a teacher in a UK school and you must decide how to punish pupils who are behaving badly. Look at the list of bad behaviour in exercise (1). Choose a punishment for each example. All members of your group must agree.

  6. Detention: What do you think?

    Some pupils from UK schools give their opinion on detention. Is it a useful punishment? Is it fair? What do you think? Do you agree with them?

      I have had a lot of detentions for not doing my homework. It isn't fair and it wastes teachers' time. Kelly Watson 14.

      It is not really a punishment. We used to spend half an hour copying words from a dictionary. What's the point in that? It didn't make me behave any better! Mark Summers 17.

      We get detention for swearing or fighting and I agree with that. But we also get it for not doing homework. That's stupid! Lisa Brown 13.

      I had detention once last year and it made me think again. My parents were mad at me and I missed the last bus home. I am very careful now. Detention is a good thing and more pupils should be given detention! Barry Shapiro 15.

  7. Role play

    The school has telephoned your parents to complain about bad behaviour. You do not think it is that serious. Now you go home and your father/mother are waiting to speak to you. How do you explain your behaviour? Is your father/mother angry or understanding? Imagine the conversation. Act it out.

  8. Discussion: the reasons for bad behaviour

    The numbers of pupils being excluded or playing truant is increasing every year in the UK. Teachers complain that bullying is a serious problem and that pupils are becoming more and more violent. Here are some opinions from a nationwide opinion poll on the internet. Do you agree? Is your country facing similar problems? What are the solutions? Is exclusion a good thing? Is corporal punishment a bad or useful thing?

    1. Badly behaved children have an effect on class performance in exams. They should be excluded after 1 warning, not 3 or 4. Schools are not strict enough.
    2. Schools need special police type assistants who can deal with discipline. This means teachers can concentrate on teaching.
    3. Parents are the key. Discipline begins at home. Parents of badly behaved pupils should do a parenting course to teach them how to control their children. Then the parents should be arrested if their child continues to behave badly.
    4. Teachers need to start using the cane (a big stick). We certainly stopped our stupid behaviour if we knew we were going to get a good whack (hit).
    5. Excluding pupils only makes the problem worse for society. All the badly behaved pupils then meet up in special schools! It is like a training camp for crime. Badly behaved pupils should be allowed to continue in their school. They need help and patience.

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