Preamble

The Providence Christian College Character Development Policy is based on the College’s:

Core Values

Learn for Eternity

Grow in Christ

Love Unconditionally

Live in Relationship

Strive for Excellence

Equip for service

Vision Statement

Providence Christian College seeks to develop people of influence who engage life from a Christian worldview, providing them with the skills to succeed in their life and calling.

Accordingly, this policy is intended to support our students as they grow and mature in the knowledge of Christ.

Learning

At Providence Christian College, students are expected to take ownership of their learning. Engaging with the learning process is imperative if our students are to develop their God given talents to the best of their ability. It is therefore important that our students should learn in an environment that is conducive to engagement with, and ownership of, their learning journey.

Our students are expected to:

  • show appropriate respect for teachers, support staff and their peers
  • cooperate and engage diligently with the learning opportunities provided by their teachers
  • be organised with all necessary equipment for each learning opportunity
  • be punctual for class and complete and submit homework and assignments on time
  • respect the right of other students to learn in a safe, supportive environment at the College
  • respect the equipment and facilities provided by the College so that all students can benefit from them

Relationships

Healthy, loving relationships based upon mutual trust and respect provide the ideal environment for children to thrive and learn effectively.

Accordingly Providence students are expected to be:

  • Honest, speaking the truth in love.
  • Relational, resolving conflict in a way that maintains gentleness, kindness and honour.
  • Compassionate, actively caring for and being supportive of their fellow students.
  • Self-controlled, both physically and emotionally.

Whenever we are faced with expectations, there are three ways that we can respond: Rebellion, Compliance or Ownership.

Rebellion happens when, in defiance, we decide that we will not meet those expectations. This is the most undesirable outcome for all concerned and usually leads to a breakdown of relationships and sabotages any possibility of success.

Compliance is a response that follows through with the expectation but only through fear of a consequence or because a perceived reward makes it seem worth the effort. While compliance does generally maintain cordial relationships and provide opportunity for success, as soon as there is no accountability or perceived reward, the desire to meet the expectation is generally avoided and a default to rebellion is the consequent response.

Ownership is the response that involves embracing the values and beliefs inherent within the expectation. We understand that it is the right thing to do because we have aligned our values with those underpinning the expectation. The end result is genuine success that is not reliant on external accountability or rewards.

When our students take ownership of their learning, personal development and behaviour they thrive and inspire others around them to do the same. They become ‘people of influence.’

Supporting Students

Providence Christian College provides support for students through pastoral care, mentoring, encouragement, responsibilities and leadership development, accountability and discipline.

Pastoral Care

Every staff member at Providence is required to practice and live out their Christian faith as an example to our students. Being human and fallible, we accept that we will get it wrong from time to time but this provides us with opportunities to reconcile and restore in a God‐honouring manner.

All staff members are committed to nurturing and supporting our students in all aspects of College life. This includes all of our Teachers, Support Staff, Chaplain, Councellor, Middle School Year Coordinators, Heads of School, Deputy Principal and Principal.

Mentoring

Provided primarily by Classroom Teachers, Form Teachers, Subject Teachers and Year Coordinators.

Encouragement

At Providence, we believe that every child has been uniquely created and gifted by God. We recognise how important the experiencing of success is to the personal well‐being of every student. We are also aware that ‘making praise cheap’ is counterproductive and that our students are well‐aware of when they have used their God‐given talents to the best of their ability ‐ and when they haven’t. We therefore seek opportunities to provide genuine, positive feedback to all students where it is merited. This may take the form of Verbal Affirmations, Certificates, Trophies and Awards. Some of this recognition will be in public, at Assemblies and Awards Ceremonies ‐ at other times it will be during the course of rich one‐on‐one conversations between staff members and students.

Accountability

At Providence, we set high expectations for all students to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects their developing Christian worldview. With high expectations come high levels of accountability.

Students at Providence will be held accountable when they engage in behaviours that are:

  • detrimental to the student’s own learning or the learning of others.
  • disrespectful to staff, students, property or facilities.
  • disobedient to teachers, support staff, College processes, procedures and expectations.
  • dishonest, either by word or action.
  • harmful or potentially harmful behaviours to themselves or others eg. substance abuse, violence or bullying.
  • damaging to the reputation of the College, its Christian standing and its community.

Discipline

Discipline at Providence is closely aligned with Discipling. We seek to develop in our students the ability to make good choices in life ‐ choices based on a firm foundation of Christian understanding and an authentic Christian worldview. Every choice has a consequence ‐ good choices will have good consequences and poor choices will result in consequences aimed at redressing the situation.

The Providence system of sanctions is intended to assist our students to learn about this philosophy in a manner that is caring, clear and effective. Our intention is not to be petty or pedantic but rather to prepare our students for life.

We require the support of parents to ensure that our students take this aspect of College life seriously. With this in mind the College has developed systems to communicate all Behaviour Management sanctions directly to parents so that issues at College can be discussed and reinforced at home.

Behaviour Management in our College is a community matter and all staff, students and parents are required to fully endorse and support the implementation of the policy if it is to be successful.

Meaningful conversations that are progressive and not dismissive will take place with the student whenever any disciplinary sanctions are imposed so that the character development of the student is maintained as the goal of discipline.

  • Discipline should always be administered in such a way as to ensure that relationships between staff and students are given every opportunity to flourish.
  • Students will always be treated with respect and dignity whenever any sanctions are administered.
  • Parents will always be informed.

When implementing this policy, staff will take into consideration any special needs that a student may have. Due consideration will be given based on advice from specialised staff (eg. College Psychologist, College Chaplain) and outside agencies. Special care will be taken in cases where there is a gender sensitivity – in such cases the incident may need to be dealt with by a member of the College Leadership Team of the same gender.

Most disciplinary issues will be dealt with by the classroom teacher. For issues of a more serious nature:

In the Secondary School, the student will be referred to the Head of Secondary School.

In the Middle School minor issues will be dealt with by the respective Year Coordinators.

More serious issues in the Middle School will be referred to the Head of Secondary School.

In the Primary School the student will be referred to the Head of Primary or the Student Development Coordinator.

The Principal will be involved in extremely serious situations that may involve Behaviour Concern Level 3, Final Warning or Expulsion.

Demerits

Warnings and counselling will first be given, where appropriate and taking into consideration the age and development of the student.

Note: A Detention will be served for each Demerit issued.

Demerits may be issued by the Class/Subject teacher for any incidences of the following:

  • Disobedience
  • Disrespect
  • Disruptive Behaviour
  • Inappropriate or unauthorised use of Digital Equipment/ Mobiles/Computers etc.
  • Interfering with or damaging staff/ student or College property
  • Dishonesty
  • Inappropriate Language
  • Other as deemed necessary by the teacher

And specifically for:

  • Late for School (Where no note is given – ­issued by the Deputy Principal)
  • Very Late for Class
  • Out of Class Without Permission
  • Trespassing Out of Bounds Areas
  • Littering
  • Uniform Infringements
  • Failure to attend Fast Track++

++Secondary School only: See Fast Track Policy & Procedures

The number of Demerits issued will be monitored continuously and students will be placed on Behaviour Concern Level 1 (or higher) where there is a pattern of behaviour giving serious cause for concern. Parents will be informed.

Incidents of a More Serious Nature

When the above mentioned incidents are of a more serious nature, the following sanctions may be applied by or in consultation with the Heads of School and/or the Principal. Parents will be informed.

  • Double Detention (Secondary Only)
  • Time Out – Either in class or Student Services
  • Supervision Class­ – Pre-arranged between teachers
  • Classroom Withdrawal
  • Suspensions­ – Either in or out of School (Parents will be informed prior to commencement)
  • Individual Behaviour Management Plan
  • Any combination of these

Bullying

Issues of Bullying will be dealt with according to the College Bullying Policy and any of the College sanctions may be applied including expulsion.

Personal Management Infringements (PMIs)

At the discretion of the teacher, PMIs will be recorded for the following reasons. (Secondary School ONLY)

  • Late to class
  • Diary not signed or not brought to class
  • Not prepared for class ie no books, equipment etc
  • Homework not attempted/completed/handed in
  • Other (eg padlock not locked on locker, minor uniform infringements)

PMIs serve the purpose of communicating with parents & Year Coordinators regarding students’ self-management issues. (There is no presumed punitive element to a PMI or series of PMIs. However a pattern of PMI’s could lead to an IBMP.) Year Coordinators will oversee this area in consultation with the teachers concerned and determine any action to be taken.

Secondary Teachers will enter their PMIs into SEQTA.

*If a teacher recognises a pattern of behaviour with PMIs that indicates an ongoing issue an appropriate response will be formulated – e.g. IBMP.

Detention

For each Demerit, the student will be required to attend a 20 minute Detention during the lunch break. Parents will be notified.

Detentions are reserved only for more serious issues and are only awarded once the teacher has exhausted all Cause-Effect-Restoration conversations.

Detentions and/or any other punitive measures will be reviewed at Pastoral Care Meetings and any inconsistencies, will be investigated by the respective Heads of School or their delegates. (Student Development Coordinator/Year Coordinators)

Double Detention (Secondary Only)

Failure to attend a Detention will result in a Double Detention (*40 minutes) the following day (This will include the missed detention & a Demerit for ‘Failure to Attend Detention).

*Double Detentions may also be issued directly for more serious offences. The Head of School will be responsible for the issuing of Double Detentions. Students will always be given the opportunity to eat lunch during this time and visit the ablutions.

Individual Behaviour Management Plan (IBMP)

When particular, unacceptable behaviours are identified, the student may be placed on an IBMP. These plans are put in place in order to help and support the student in developing acceptable behaviours. This is done in consultation with the teacher/s, parent/s, coordinators and the student in order to ensure a consistency of approach that assists the student to modify their behaviour.

IBMP’s are monitored on SEQTA and effected through a form that is signed by the student’s teacher(s), parents and either the applicable Middle School Year Coordinator/Primary Student Development Coordinator or the applicable Head of School. The IBMP will be regularly reviewed to determine progress.

Suspension

Maximum 5 days either In School or Out of School.

Note: In instances of a serious nature, students may be suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.

Behaviour Concern Levels

For serious breaches of Providence behaviour expectations (either specific or ongoing)

  • Behaviour Concern Level 1: Student’s behaviour is a serious cause for concern
  • Behaviour Concern Level 2: Student’s behaviour is a very serious cause for concern
  • Behaviour Concern Level 3: Student’s behaviour is given a final warning before expulsion

Behaviour Concern Level 3 – Final Warning

Issues that may lead to Behaviour Concern Level 3 or Expulsion include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Theft
  • Wilful or malicious property damage
  • Violence/Harassment/Threats
  • The use, distribution or inappropriate discussion of illicit substances including drugs, alcohol and tobacco
  • Bringing the College, its Christian Standing or its community into disrepute
  • The use, promotion or distribution of any material through any medium encouraging violence, bullying, hatred or pornography

Any Student on a Behaviour Concern Level is ineligible to be considered for a leadership position in the College eg. Student Councillor, Prefect in Training, Sports Captain, Year 12 Senior Status etc. If a student with a leadership position is placed on a Behaviour Concern Level they will be suspended or withdrawn from that leadership position.

Any student on Behaviour Concern Level 3 is ineligible to attend any incursion or excursion unless the activity will contribute directly to the student’s grade in a subject or course. Students on Behaviour Concern Level 1 or 2 may be excluded from incursions or excursions at the discretion of the organising teacher in consultation with the Head of School.

Behaviour Concern Level Review

After a maximum of 10 school weeks, students on a Behaviour Concern Level will be subject to a behaviour review to determine whether their current Behaviour Concern Level should be maintained, added to or reduced. Any Behaviour Concern Level carried over from the previous year will be reviewed at the commencement of the new school year.

Expulsion

Expulsion is determined by an Expulsion Committee consisting of the Head of School, Deputy Principal and the Principal. Parents may appeal the decision to the College Board or, if dissatisfied with the outcome, an independent mediator.

Providence Christian College takes serious its duty of care obligations to all students and its commitment to the prevention of child abuse in any form. At no time and in no instance will the College endorse or enforce corporal punishment or any other form of degrading punishment.

Definitions

Child abuse

Four forms of child abuse are covered by WA law and are defined by the Department of Communities:

  1. Physical abuse occurs when a child is severely and/or persistently hurt or injured by an adult or caregiver;
  2. Sexual abuse occurs when a child is exposed to, or involved in, sexual activity that is inappropriate to the child’s age and developmental level, and includes sexual behaviour in circumsetances where:
  1. The child is the subject of bribery, coercion, a threat, exploitation or violence;
  2. The child has less power than another person involved in the behaviour; or
  3. There is a significant disparity in the developmental function or maturity of the child and another person involved in the behaviour.
  1. Emotional abuse occurs when an adult harms a child’s development by repeatedly treating and speaking to a child in ways that damage the child’s ability to feel and express their feelings, and includes:

i) Psychological abuse – repetitive treatment resulting in damage to the child’s perceptions, memory, self-esteem, moral development and intelligence; and

ii) Being exposed to an act of family and domestic violence.

  1. Neglect is when children do not receive adequate food or shelter, medical treatment, supervision, care or nurturance to such an extent that their development is damaged or they are injured. Neglect may be acute, episodic or chronic.

(A more in-depth description can be found in the College Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy).

Corporal punishment

Any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light; typically involving hitting the child with the hand or with an implement; can also include, for example, forcing the child to stay in an uncomfortable position. It does not include the use of reasonable physical restraint to protect the child or others from harm (UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No. 8 [2006]).

Degrading punishment

Any punishment which is incompatible with respect for human dignity, including corporal punishment and non-physical punishment which belittles, humiliates, denigrates, scapegoats, threatens, scares or ridicules the child (UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No. 8 [2006]).

Rules of procedural fairness

  1. A hearing appropriate to the circumstances;
  2. Lack of bias;
  3. Evidence to support a decision; and
  4. Inquiry into matters in dispute.