Code of Behaviour

Code of Behaviour

A review of this policy took place in May/ June 2011. The following members of staff were present:

Mrs. Ring , Mrs. O’ Sullivan, Mrs. O’ Keeffe, Ms. Nagle, Ms. O’ Callaghan, Mrs. Bourke, Mrs. Flynn, Ms. O’ Riordan, Ms. Hynes



The school is a community consisting of pupils, staff, ancillary staff, Board of Management and parents. It is necessary to provide a framework which promotes positive behaviour and discourages unacceptable behaviour for the well-being of our school as a community. In devising this code, consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school. The purpose of this code is to achieve a happy, safe, secure and well-ordered environment for the whole school community which is conducive to the academic, personal, social and emotional development of each child.


  1. To provide a happy, safe, secure environment where each child can achieve his/her full potential in all areas of their development.
  2. To foster in each child a sense of care and respect for himself/herself and others and an appreciation of and responsibility towards the dignity of every human being.
  3. To enable each child to respect human and cultural diversity in the school.
  4. It is hoped to foster a sense of pride in our school and our community.


Every effort will be made by all members of both teaching and ancillary staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school. The code offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by teachers. The school places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will in the long term give the best results.

Methods of promoting positive behaviour will include the following strategies:

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval.
  • Monthly school assemblies are used to express expectation and to reward and acknowledge children’s good behaviour and achievements.
  • A visit to another member of staff or to the principal for commendation.
  • A word of praise in front of a group, a class or the whole school.
  • Delegating some special responsibilities or privilege.
  • A mention to a parent by written or verbal communication.
  • A star, sticker or a treat.
  • Golden time.
  • Pupil/ Group of the week.
  • Emphasis on the positive – catching children when good.
  • A token-reward system is used in each yard on a daily basis.
  • Various in-class strategies for promoting positive behaviour.
  • Provide opportunities for child to redeem himself/ herself i.e child starts every morning with a clean slate.


  • Disapproval of unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with as follows.The nature of the misbehaviour will determine the strategy. The list is not exhaustive:
  • The pupil is made aware of the fact that his/her behaviour is unacceptable.
  • The child may receive a verbal reprimand from the teacher.
  • The child may be asked to go to the time-out desk.
  • The teacher may discuss misbehaviour with pupil.
  • The seating arrangement in class may be changed.
  • A child may be temporarily separated from the class groupings.
  • A child may lose minor privileges i.e. lose a “job”.
  • Incomplete homework may have to be completed.
  • Poorly presented homework may have to be redone.
  • A pupil may be referred to the principal.
  • A note or a comment may be written in a child’s homework diary to be signed by parents/guardians or contact may be made by phone.
  • A pupil may be given a written assignment re his/her inappropriate behaviour to be signed at home.
  • If a pupil’s behaviour is a source of danger/disruption to him/herself or others, he/she may be removed from the activity in which the child is involved.
  • If the misdemeanour occurs in the playground, the teacher on duty will deal with the issue. If it is deemed serious, the class teacher/ principal will be notified.
  • The pupil may be asked to refer to the rules in the homework journal.
  • On occasions, for reasons of health and safety, parents may be requested to collect a child from the school.

Procedures for dealing with challenging behaviour:

Challenging behaviour is defined as:

“Behaviour, within the context of our school:

which prevents participation in appropriate educational activities;

often isolates children from their peers;

affects the learning and functioning of other pupils;

drastically reduces their opportunities for involvement in ordinary community activities;

makes excessive demands on teachers, staff and resources;

places the child or others in physical danger;

and makes the possibilities for future placement difficult.”

(Harris, Cook and Upton, 1996)

The degree of misdemeanours i.e. Minor, serious or gross will be judged by the principal and staff on a common sense approach with regard to the gravity/ frequency of such misdemeanours as follows:

Examples of minor misdemeanours:

  • Being discourteous/ unmannerly
  • Talking in class line.
  • Talking out of turn.
  • Running in the school building/ yard.
  • Interrupting class work.
  • Inattention in class.
  • Eating and drinking in class at inappropriate times.
  • Not wearing correct uniform.
  • Not completing homework without good reason.
  • Littering school environs.


  • Discussion
  • Apology
  • Verbal reprimand
  • Time out
  • If incident occurs in the yard it is dealt with there and/or referred to the class teacher/principal depending on the frequency of the incident.

Examples of serious misdemeanours:

  • Constantly disruptive in class.
  • Telling lies.
  • Writing inappropriate notes.
  • Using unacceptable language.
  • Back answering a teacher.
  • Physical aggression.
  • Hurting others.
  • Not working to full potential.
  • Spitting.
  • Repeated refusal to comply with the school rules.


  • Name in incident report.
  • Detention.
  • Refer to principal.
  • Parents phoned.
  • Child sent home.

Examples of gross misbehaviour:

  • Damaging school or other children’s property.
  • Stealing.
  • Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour (physical or verbal) towards a child, teacher, S.N.A. or any member of the school community.


  • Refer to principal
  • Parents notified
  • Child sent home
  • Parents meeting with principal and chairperson of B.O.M.

When a behaviour problem arises the following procedure is followed:

  1. The class teacher/ teacher on duty deals with it and may impose a sanction.
  2. If the problem is not solved the class teacher shall consult the principal and/ or parents/ guardians of the child with a view to helping the child overcome the difficulty.
  3. If the problem persists or in the case of serious misbehaviour it may be necessary to have on-going discussions between the parents/ guardians, teacher and principal to monitor the situation- always with the objective of helping the child. The school will endeavour to assist the parent in seekingthe support of outside agencies to help.
  4. Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour or in the case of gross misbehaviour, the Board of Management will be informed and the parents/guardians will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet with the chairperson and principal who will then suspend the pupil in accordance with Rule 130 (6) for National Schools.
  5. In the case of repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, it may be necessary to introduce a reduced timetable. This may mean the child attending school until 12.30p.m. each day. This will be reviewed periodically.

Review Framework

This policy will be reviewed in the school year 2012-2013 or at an earlier date should a problem arise or if there is a change in the Rules for National Schools or the Welfare Act 2000.

We hope that you, the parents of our children, will support us, and trust that you will take on board our school’s code of discipline and accept our decision in dealing with incidents both in the classroom and in the school yard. You are welcome to discuss any concerns you may have by making an appointment with your child’s teacher or the principal in relation to classroom or playground issues.

Ratification and communication

This policy has been ratified by the Board of Management, at a meeting held in Scoil Ghobnatan on _________. This policy will become part of our enrolment for all pupils to the school and can be viewed on our website and a copy will be available in all classrooms. New pupils will be requested to sign a form stating that they have viewed and accepted the policy. Parents of senior infants will be asked to sign a copy of the school rules every year.Parents of the children from 1st to 6th class will be requested to sign the school rules (in their journals) every September.