Rules, policies and behavior

Code of conduct

The American School in London
Lower School Student Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct is based on the school’s Mission and the ASL Portrait of a Learner, and reflects our Core Values and all applicable UK laws and regulations. Students in the Lower School have the right to an excellent education that excites and challenges them in a safe learning environment, to engage actively and constructively in school-sponsored events and activities with other members of the community, to feel cared for and valued as individuals, and to respectfully express their beliefs and opinions. Students in the Lower School contribute to the learning and social environment and also have the responsibility of upholding the school’s values. ASL’s expectations for all lower school community members are outlined below.


ASL expects that LS parents will make every effort to understand and respect school policies, including the Code of Conduct. The School encourages parents to support their growing children in developing a deeper understanding of the purpose of the Code and its positive impact on their learning environment and that of other students as well. Students in the Lower School are expected to respect both school and individual classroom rules at all times. Individual classroom rules are developed each year through student-teacher discussions and joint decision-making, and are key to building positive relationships within the classroom. If rules are broken, logical consequences guide continued learning. All members of the school community share the responsibilities that come with the privilege of being part of our community. To that end, we expect parents/guardians to help their children, and other ASL students in their care, to make positive and healthy choices.

Please note that ASL’s expectations of student behavior apply to all school-sponsored events, whether on or off campus. ASL reserves the right to intervene or apply logical consequences for behaviors outside of school that potentially affect a student, another student, our greater community, or the school’s reputation.


We treat others the way we expect to be treated.
We appreciate our own cultures and personal histories.
We value diversity of thought and experience.

Respect for others

Members of the ASL community respectfully recognize, affirm and value people of all identities. ASL is an anti-bias school. ASL does not tolerate emotional, physical or sexual harassment, labeling, bullying, violence, discrimination, or hurtful behavior of any kind..Inappropriate language and gestures do not demonstrate respect for others and are therefore not allowed. We expect students to promote a positive learning environment in the classroom, across campus, and at all school-related events. We are a safe place to be one’s whole self with people who are not like us, and we welcome the whole selves of others. Please see ASL’s K-12 Statement on Harassment and the Anti-Bullying Policy for more details. These policies apply to all members of our community, including students, family members, caregivers, faculty and staff.

Respect for self

We expect students to respect their bodies and minds. We value and recognize healthy choices and promote a positive mindset. The School will offer support to families whose lower school children have been identified as engaging in self harm and/or who make consistently unhealthy choices.


Student attire should support a safe and positive learning environment. We expect students to dress for school in a way that is respectful of themselves, of others in our diverse community, and of the School as a learning environment. Students in the Lower School arrive to school in weather-appropriate clothing, and in appropriate shoes for PE and recess. Messaging on clothing that includes inappropriate language or gestures does not demonstrate respect for others and is therefore not allowed.

Respect for property

We expect students to clean up after themselves, and to recycle and reuse as appropriate. We also expect students to respect the property of others and the School. ASL does not permit vandalism, theft, or borrowing items from the classroom or others without prior consent.


We take ownership of our words, actions, and learning.
We fulfill our obligations to ourselves and to others.

Interactions with others

Students should be mindful of the feelings of others in the community, and treat everyone as they would like to be treated themselves. ASL students do not engage in disrespectful language, teasing or bullying.


It is critical for students to attend classes regularly and on time. Parents/guardians are required to inform the School in a timely manner of any absences.

Seeking help

Responsible students are active and engaged in their own learning. We encourage and expect students to advocate for themselves, seeking help from teachers and other trusted adults when necessary. Communicating with teachers about difficult tasks can help students to make good choices under pressure.


Responsible students use technology appropriately. Our values and rules extend beyond face-to-face interactions to include online communication and social media. Students are expected to adhere to the school’s Appropriate Use Document.

UK law

Responsible students abide by all UK laws.


We act with compassion.
We help others.

Kindness is at the heart of ASL’s values and the expectations we have for all students, families and employees. We are a welcoming school with a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Kind students act with compassion and help others. Students should remember that ASL is a K-12 school and to respect every student and adult in the building. Students should be particularly respectful of K-12 shared spaces within and around the building where classes and/or activities in the Middle or High schools may be taking place. ASL students are ambassadors for their school and their families, and they are kind and respectful to those outside our school community as well.


We are honest.
We make the right choice even when no one is watching.

Students at ASL act with integrity; they are honest with adults and peers and do the right thing whether or not anyone is watching. Lying, withholding information, and obstructing the truth are inconsistent with ASL’s values. Students are expected to exhibit integrity in all facets of their schoolwork.

Courage to Act

We have the courage to speak up for ourselves and for others.
We take positive action to make our community and world a better place.

If a student witnesses behaviors which are not in line with ASL’s values, we guide them to take positive action. While we know it can be hard, we encourage students to stand up for each other and themselves, which could include saying something in the moment, reporting the incident to an adult, and/or supporting those who have been impacted.

Overview of the Disciplinary Process

Most student misbehavior is addressed in the moment, by a faculty or staff member, when and where it occurs. In responding to misbehavior, other adults, including administrators and/or parents/guardians, may be included in the process as appropriate.

When more serious behavioral infractions occur, the School will use the following process to investigate and determine next steps.

First, there will be an initial assessment to determine the nature of the infraction(s), what information is available and what further information is needed, and who might be at risk.

Second, the information gathering stage will take place, which could include interviewing students and/or adults as appropriate. Parents/guardians will be notified in due course as appropriate. The School reserves the right to interview students prior to notifying parents of disciplinary incidents. In serious cases, students will be supported during an interview by the presence of a teacher, advisor or counselor who will serve as an advocate for the student. In rare circumstances, students may be asked to remain out of school during an investigatory process.

Third, the consequence(s) for the infraction will be determined by the lower school administration, reported to parents, and reported to appropriate faculty and staff.


As a school, we try to do what is best for each student and the community at-large, and in doing so, the full circumstances of each situation will be considered. In dealing with disciplinary incidents, ASL considers a variety of factors including precedent, a student’s age, past record and standing at ASL, and any and all other circumstances related to the incident or individual of which we are aware and deem relevant. However, ASL must also take into consideration the safety of the wider community and the overall values of the School. The needs of an individual must therefore be reasonably balanced with the school’s responsibility to the community.

Student behavioral problems vary in frequency and degree of seriousness, and corrective action must be a matter of judgment by the appropriate teacher or administrator. For most lower-level misbehavior, the philosophy of discipline at ASL is to foster the notion of “learning from mistakes,” while more serious or repeated behavioral infractions will result in more significant consequences. The process outlined below gives examples and is not exhaustive.

Logical consequences to support students’ self-regulation:

Students will be reminded of school or classroom rules.
A timeout may be implemented for students to reflect on their behavior.
Conflict resolution may be used among students.
A phone call may be made or an email sent to parents/guardians.
A parent/guardian conference may be held.
A student may be sent home if another child is physically harmed in a deliberate manner.
A student may be excluded from extracurricular activities or special trips.
A student may be suspended from school for one to three additional days in severe cases of misbehavior or for repeated disrespect, teasing, bullying or hurting others.

Lower school administration, faculty and staff are always available to support families in resolving disciplinary issues. The lower school counselor is often invited to support students and parents/guardians.
Severe misbehavior, which puts other students at risk or disrupts the learning program of the School, could result in the student being asked to leave the School. If such a circumstance were to arise, the following process will take place prior to a decision being made about expulsion. This process is followed in all three school divisions.
The student’s parents/guardians and the relevant school administrator(s), including the Head of School, will meet for a hearing. If appropriate, the student may also be invited to join. Prior to the hearing, the family will be made aware of the infraction(s), receive a written copy of the school’s findings, and be given time to respond. During the hearing, the Head of School will review the disciplinary process, findings, and possible consequences, and invite the student’s parents/guardians (and the student, if appropriate) to give additional input or feedback. Following the hearing, the Head of School will make a decision about the appropriate sanction(s) for the student, which may include permanent expulsion.

Following the Head of School’s decision, the family has the right to request an appeal in accordance with the guidelines of the 2014 Education Regulations for Independent School Standards. Full details of the Parental Complaints policy can be found on the ASL website in each of the three divisional Program areas.

Approved by the Board of Trustees,  28 November 2018

Lower school rules

In the Lower School, we believe in a moral education approach to discipline. Our goal is to help children develop self-discipline so that they have respect for rules and the rights of others, whether adults are present or not. We believe that all ASL employees help students develop respect and responsibility for our school community as well as the greater community. We believe in creating a strong classroom and divisional community where expectations for behavior and how we work together is understood. We believe that students can take ownership for their behavior and when mistakes are made, can make amends and continue to be a contributing member of the group.

Our ASL Core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Kindness, Integrity and the Courage to Act guide our beliefs of how the members of our community act and communicate with one another. The ASL Portrait of the Learner is a tool to reinforce these values along with other dispositions that we promote. In each classroom, the children and teacher develop mutually agreed upon rules. For both school and classroom rules, we establish logical consequences, which can serve as a moral teacher. Our philosophy can be summed up as “We expect you to follow the rules because that’s the right thing to do. These rules are there to help everybody in our school.”

Students are expected to behave in a way that demonstrates respect for each other, for adults, and for the resources and facilities at ASL.  As members of a dynamic and caring school community, all ASL employees are expected to help students develop responsibility and a deep appreciation for our multicultural community.  Each division has its own rules relating to discipline and student behavior.

We have three general school rules that guide our behavior, whether in class, in the corridor, at recess, on the bus, or on field trips. Specialists and classrooms share the same three general rules. Classroom agreements that further define these three rules should be made individually and with the children.

1. Be respectful

  • Act in a kind way to other children and adults. No teasing, name-calling, or “put down” statements will be allowed, e.g., making fun of a person’s name, appearance, background or abilities.
  • Respect yourself and others. When there is a conflict, resolve it peacefully by talking and listening to the other person. Keep your hands, feet and objects to yourself.

2. Be safe

  • Stay in sight of an adult on the school campus.
  • Play games in a safe way and allow others to join when they ask.
  • Move about the school in a safe way.

3. Be responsible

  • Come to school on time every day with all of your materials
  • Bring only appropriate play items. You may not bring any weapons either real or toy, e.g., toy guns, pocket knives, etc.
  • Accept consequences for behavior.

Procedures we will follow depending upon the circumstances:

  • The child will be reminded of the rule and may be asked “to talk it out” in cases where there is a conflict with another child.
  • An adult will talk with the child about the problem.
  • The child will be asked to take a “time out” to think about his/her behavior.
  • A phone call or note will be sent to parents.
  • A parent conference will be held.
  • The child may be sent home. Children should understand that this will occur if another child is physically harmed in a deliberate manner.
  • The child will be suspended from school for one to three additional days in severe cases of misbehavior or for repeated disrespect, teasing, bullying or hurting others.

Playground rules

  • Movement to playground should be done in a managed and quiet manner.
  • Students should remain quiet and respectful inside the building, particularly when moving through learning areas (i.e. gymnasium).
  • Upon returning to the building from the playground, students should observe the “SILENT TREE” sign and stop talking at that point.
  • If balls go out of the playground, the duty staff will supervise their retrieval. Balls that go on the roof will be thrown down periodically.
  • No running, tag, or ball games permitted in playground equipment area.
  • Take turns.
  • Jumping off equipment is not permitted.
  • Use common sense when making decisions.
  • Keep the playground clean by putting litter in the bins and by picking up any stray papers.
  • At the end of recess, the first whistle blown means "freeze" the second one means "line up."

Marlborough Place playground dismissal reminders

To help with dismissal, parents of students in Grades 3-4 should meet on the soccer pitch and not near the totem poles so that teachers can dismiss students easily. Please remember that there is no ball playing at dismissal time until 3:10 pm (2:10 pm on Wednesday).

The playground is open to supervised LS students after school throughout the year, with the exception of during IPoP terms. During IPoP, students not enrolled in IPoP must leave the playground by 3:05 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and by 2:05 pm on Wednesdays. The playground is open to supervised students every Friday throughout the year, as well as when IPoP is not taking place. Students may use the playground until 3:55 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and until 2:55 pm on Wednesdays. The kindergarten sandbox is not open before or after school. 

After-school Marlborough playground guidelines
  • All children are expected to follow ASL playground rules
  • Parents and guardians are asked to actively supervise the children in their care
  • If our IPoP “stay and play” supervisor feels it is necessary to speak to non-IPoP students about their behavior on the playground, parental support is encouraged
  • All children are responsible for tidying up any equipment they have used before vacating the playground
  • All non-IPoP students must return to their parents/guardians once the “stay and play” class has been called for dismissal at 3:55 pm (2:55 pm Wednesdays) and vacate the playground

Anti-bullying policy

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all students should be able to talk to an adult they trust and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.

ASL defines bullying as any type of verbal or physical abuse against another student, which is repeated and purposeful with the intention to humiliate or hurt. A bullied person is one who is repeatedly exposed to negative action by one or more persons.

Bullying can include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following categories and specific behaviors, whether in person, online, or by phone or text message: verbal bullying, threatening, social exclusion, physical bullying, vandalism, extortion/theft.

We expect anyone who knows that bullying is happening to tell a trusted adult in the School. This adult will, in turn, seek solutions from the assistant principals, school counselors or principal. Each division will determine individual responses and consequences of bullying.

A complete copy of the Anti-bullying Policy is available here.

Responsible use agreements

K1-Grade 2 students


  • I will wash my hands after eating and dry them before using the iPad. 
  • I will have fun learning with the iPad.
  • I will solve conflicts with partner while working in pairs on an iPad.


  • I will keep all foods/drinks away from an iPad.
  • I will not pull on the iPad or remove the case.
  • I will carry the iPad carefully in both hands, with it tucked under my arm or holding it like a book.
  • I will put my iPad apple up in my lap or lean it against my knee when sitting to listen for instructions. 
  • I will be careful with other’s writing or photos on the iPad.


  • I will share the iPads nicely and take turns.
  • I will learn from our mistakes.


  • I will follow the directions given by the teachers.
  • I will be careful to not press the wrong apps on the iPad.

Courage to act

  • I will tell the teacher if I damage the iPad.
  • I will speak up when someone is being mean or inappropriate.
  • I will recommend/suggest good apps to teachers.

Grades 3-4 students


  • Handle computer equipment carefully.
  • Leave the computer settings as you found them.
  • Get permission before recording someone (still photo, audio, video) at school or at home.  You are not permitted to take photos or record on school transport. 
  • Only create digital messages you would be proud for anyone to see.
  • Respect other’s point of view on the Internet. Accept what they say as meaningful and then explain why you disagree.


  • Use technology tools for learning.
  • Protect your privacy - don’t include your phone number, address, or schedule in posts.
  • Keep usernames and passwords private.
  • Visit web pages that are part of assigned class work.
  • Get permission before printing or downloading anything from the internet.
  • When posting, write in full sentences. Use good spelling and punctuation.
  • Only communicate with people you know or have adult permission to contact.


  • Use kind language in all your digital messages.
  • Be open to the ideas of others.
  • Treat others the way you would like to be treated.


  • Give credit for the words, pictures, and ideas of others
  • Work only on my own files, documents and accounts.
  • Respect the work of classmates.
  • Get permission before using the work of others.

Courage to act

  • Report inappropriate or unkind messages to an adult.
  • Stand up to bullies. Let a teacher know if someone is being mistreated.
  • Close the window or hit the back button if you see something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Tell your teacher or another adult immediately.