Code of Behaviour - StBodensNS

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Code of Behaviour

School Policies
Code of Behaviour
St. Boden’s National School 2016


Rational: The review of our Code of Behaviour Policy took place as we were appointed a new Principal on September 2016.

Relationship to Characteristic Spirit of the School:
In our school we aim to allow children to develop positive self-esteem and self discipline and feel secure and make progress on all aspects of their development. Through our Code of Behaviour we hope to foster this. Through work between staff, parents and children we hope to foster a sense of community towards promoting positive behaviour.

Our Aims include:
  • To ensure an educational environment that is guided by our vision statement.
  • To allow the school to function in an orderly way where children can make progress in all aspects of their development.
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others.
  • To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline, recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences.
  • To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community.
  • To assist parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the code of behaviour and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures.
  • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner throughout the school.


Content of Policy
The policy is addressed under the following headings:

  1. Guidelines for behaviour in the school

  1. Whole school approach to promoting positive behaviour
  • Staff
  • Board of Management
  • Parents
  • Pupils


    1. Positive strategies for managing behaviour
    • Classroom
  • Playground
  • Other areas of the school

    1. Rewards and Sanctions
    • Rewards and acknowledgement of good behaviour
  • Strategies for dealing with unacceptable behaviour
  • Involving parents in management of problem behaviour
  • Managing aggressive or violent behaviour

    1. Suspension/Expulsion
    • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Appeals

    1. Keeping Records
    • Class
  • Playground
  • School records

    1. Procedure for notification of a pupils absence from school

    1. Reference to other pupils


    Guidelines for Behaviour in the School
    The following are agreed standard of behaviour that we strive towards.
    • Each child is expected to be well behaved and to show consideration for other children and adults
  • Each child is expected to show respect for the property of the school, other children and their own belongings
  • Each child is expected to attend school on a regular basis as per school calendar
  • Each child is expected to do his/her best in both school and for homework

    When registering a pupil in St. Boden’s N.S all new parents are given our school booklet which contains our Code of Behaviour.
    When parent’s signs school registration forms they pledge to encourage their child to adhere to all school plans and policies.

    Whole School Approach in Promoting Positive Behaviour

    • All staff participated in the review of our document
  • Staff promotes positive behaviour through a variety of strategies
  • Newly appointed teachers are informed of our codes and procedures to promote positive behaviour
  • Staff discuss behaviour at staff meetings and on planning days as necessary
  • Appropriate work is provided for pupils to promote a work ethos
  • SPHE programme is used to help us promote positive behaviour. Programmes such as Walk Tall and Stay safe support the programme. The RE Alive O programme also supports positive behaviour.
  • Class teachers discuss class rules with children at the beginning of each year/term
  • Teachers support children with SEN in interpreting the code

    Board of Management
    The principal reviewed policy with staff members on Staff Meeting November 2016.

    The principal presented the work to the staff at a staff meeting. This policy was discussed at the staff meeting.

    The principal outlined policy review at the Parents Association Meeting November 2016.

    The Board of Management will discuss ratification of the plan at December 2016 meeting.

    The Board of Management will authorise the distribution of the policy to the school parents.


    Children will co-operate with the Code of Behaviour fully when parents and teachers work together to implement the code.

    Parents are given a booklet containing school rules/code of behaviour at enrolment. This booklet will be reviewed in Term 2 to include new developments in Garda Vetting, new school details and schools Acceptable Usage Policy.

    Parents can support the plan by the following methods
    • Please ensure their children attend school regularly and punctually as per school calendar year.
  • Parents encourage their children to do their best and to take responsibility for their work
  • Parents are aware of and co-operate with school rules and system of rewards and sanctions
  • Parents attend meetings at the school if requested
  • Parents help their children with homework
  • Parents ensure their children have the necessary books and materials for school


    • Pupils have also an important role in the schools Code of Behaviour.
  • Teachers work with children in discussing class rules
  • Children take part in assemblies. Assemblies are used to promote positive behaviour and to communicate school rules.
  • All pupils are expected to adhere to guidelines in our school Anti-Bullying Policy.


    Strategies for Managing Behaviour

    The following strategies are used to promote positive behaviour in the classroom, yard or school outings.

    • Children sit in their assigned seats
  • Children raise hand to speak
  • Children ask permission to go to the bin, toilet etc and are encouraged to do so ‘As Gaeilge’ if possible.
  • Children pay attention at prayer time
  • Children keep their places tidy
  • Children eat only at designated times
  • Children always do their best
  • Children show respect when teacher is talking to a visitor
  • Children respect efforts of others and listen to speaker
  • Children respect property of others
  • Children respect school property at all times
  • At wet playtimes, children play board games, read, draw or watch DVD’s in classroom

    Code of Behaviour for Yard
    • School day starts at 9.20am. Morning supervision is provided from 9:15am.
  • Children enter their respective classrooms on arrival
  • Children have ten minute break at 11.00am
  • Children have 30 minute break at 12.30pm
  • Children all exit classrooms at break times and are not allowed in without permission and supervision.
  • If a child is ill or injured with a doctors certificate, they are allowed to sit in the hallway at school main entrance where they will be supervised by a member of staff.
  • One of the pupils from rang 1 -3 rings the bell at end of break times. Children then line up in single file outside their classroom. Children do not enter the classroom without a teachers supervision.

    At break times children in junior classes play in a seperate yard and children in senior classes play in the other yard.

    Children are encouraged to report any incidents of misbehaviour to teacher on yard. If this is a minor incident the teacher on yard duty will deal with this. If more serious, the yard teacher will report to class teacher/principal and the matter is recorded in the incident book which is stored in the metal filing cabinet in the secretary’s office.

    In the junior yard, the stationery yard equipment is alternated between the two younger classes.
    Children don’t engage in name calling, teasing, taunting especially with children from younger classes.
    If children are called names they report immediately to teacher on yard duty.
    Physical contact with other children, kicking, punching, head locking or knocking to the ground is absolutely not allowed.

    Bus trips organised by the school school to swimming, school tours etc
    • Children wait at gate before entering bus
  • Children sit in their seats, no standing or kneeling on seats etc
  • Children must wear their seatbelts.
  • Children don’t shout
  • Children are not allowed DS, mobiles, i-pods etc on the bus
  • Children wait in their seats until bus is stopped and get out in order

    Other Areas in the School

    Assembly: Assembly is held every 2nd Friday in Assembly Hall. Each teacher accompanies their class to assembly. Children sit in assigned seats.
    After assembly each teacher accompanies respective class back to classroom.

    House Points
    ‘House Points’ were introduced on a trial basis in the summer term 2003 to encourage positive reinforcement. It proved to be very successful and they were fully implemented in September 2003. It ceased from 2010 – 2016. Upon appointment of Newly Appointed Principal it was provisionally reinstated for Term1.  The system is to be reviewed after this probationary term.
    Children in the school are divided into teams which are selected at random. Sixth class children are leaders of these teams.
    Children are rewarded for positive behaviour i.e. they are awarded house points for all good behaviour.
    Consideration for others and hard work are also considered in the reward system.
    It is also possible to lose points for continued misbehaviour.
    Every two weeks at assembly, points are calculated, individual children are praised; small rewards are presented to winning team.
    The underlying philosophy is to encourage, praise and reward positive behaviour and to promote importance of team work.
    Any teacher can award house points to any child.
    Sanctions are attached to minus house points as a deterrent at the senior end of school and also positive behaviour is rewarded.
    Each child is expected to show respect for the property of the school, other children’s and their own belongings.

    In changing rooms, children put their socks into shoes and put shoes into bags and hang bags on hangers.
    Aerosols, shampoo, conditioner and shower gels are not allowed.
    After swim, everybody has a quick shower to wash off chlorine.
    Chewing gum is strictly not allowed.
    Mobiles are not permitted to be switched on during school time. If children have to bring a mobile to school they should place in class teacher’s drawer in the morning and taken from there at the end of the school day.
    Sometimes an individual behaviour programme may be needed to meet individual needs of a child.

    Rewards and Sanctions
    We use the following rewards and sanctions to promote good behaviour.
    • Positive everyday interactions between teachers and students
  • Good school and class routines
  • Clear boundaries and rules for students
  • Helping students themselves to recognise and affirm good learning behaviour
  • Recognising and giving positive feedback about behaviour
  • Exploring with students how people should treat each other
  • Involving students in the preparation of the school and classroom rules


    Every class has its own reward system which is age appropriate.
    Good behaviour is also rewarded as part of our ‘House Points’ system.
    Any teacher can reward house points at any time to any child.
    Assemblies on Friday are a special occasion when good positive behaviour is praised, encouraged and rewarded.
    Every winning team is given special rewards – stationery sets, calculator, pens etc.

    There are also ‘Star Prizes’ awarded for effort towards good effort.
    Good behaviour is at all times praised and encouraged and rewarded.

    Strategies for dealing with unacceptable behaviour
    • Reasoning with pupil
  • Verbal reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
  • Temporary separation from peers
  • Loss of privileges
    • Referral to principal teacher
  • Communication with parents
  • Referral to Board of Management (every effort is made in as positive a way as possible to sort out problem)
  • Suspension

    Involving Parents in Management of Problem Behaviour
    If a class teacher has a concern about a child’s behaviour the principal is informed.
    The class teacher will contact the parent by note in diary and/or by telephone. Through this contact the parent is made aware of issue.
    If misbehaviour persists the class teacher requests a meeting with parent. At this meeting a parent may be referred to school rules as per Code of Behaviour.
    If the matter is still unresolved a meeting is arranged with parent and principal. Sometimes the class teacher may attend this meeting.
    Every effort is made in as positive a manner as possible to support the child to improve behaviour.
    If matter is still unresolved the matter is referred to Board of Management.
    Parents are informed.
    The Board of Management then deals with matter in accordance with Board of Management guidelines.

    The Board of Management of a school has the authority to suspend a pupil.
    A single incident of misconduct may be grounds for suspension.
    Suspension is defined as ‘requiring a pupil to absent himself/herself from school for a specified limited period of school days’.
    The decision to suspend a pupil requires serious grounds such as

    • The students behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students
  • The students continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property
  • A student is found in possession of a dangerous weapon threatening safety

    A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension.

    Implementing the Suspension

    The principal will notify the parents in writing of the decision to suspend their child and the letter will confirm:

    • The period of suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end
  • The reason for the suspension
  • The arrangements for returning to school including any commitment to be entered into by the pupil
  • The Right of Appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998

    The School Management reserve the right to modify and apply sanctions in response to individual incidents.

    The Board of Management has the authority to expel a pupil.
    Before expelling a pupil, the school will have taken significant steps to address the misbehaviour and to avoid expulsion of a pupil including as appropriate:
    Meeting with parents and the pupil to try to find ways of helping the pupil to change their behaviour
  • Making sure that the pupil understands the possible consequences of their behaviour, if it should persist
  • Ensuring that all other possible options have been tried


    Expulsion for a First Time Offence

    Examples of behaviour that might result in expulsion
    A serious threat of violence against another student or a member of staff
  • Supplying illegal drugs to other students in the school
  • Sexual assault

    Procedures for Expulsion
    A detailed investigation shall be carried out under the direction of the principal
  • A recommendation to the Board of Management shall be made by principal (parents are informed)
  • Consideration by the Board of Management of principal’s recommendation and the holding of a hearing
  • Board of Management take action following the hearing
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel (letter to parents, information on right to appeal)

    Under section 29 of the Education Act 1998 parents (or pupils who have reached the age of 18) are entitled to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science against some decision of the Board of Management including permanent expulsion and suspension. Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent.

    Keeping Records
    Records of incidents of misbehaviour are kept in the Schools Incident Book. Records of any investigations into serious incidents are kept in the principals office. Notification of suspension/expulsion and communication with N.E.W.B (National Education Welfare Board) are kept.

    Procedures for Notification of Pupil Absences from School
    This can be done over the phone or in writing.
    The principal of the school, as laid out in Education Welfare Act, must inform the N.E.W.B of absences exceeding 20 days.

    References to other Policies
    Other school policies that have a bearing on Code of Behaviour include the following:
  • Enrolment
  • Health and Safety
  • Special Educational Needs

    Success Criteria
    The success of this Code of Behaviour will be evaluated through
    Observation of positive behaviour in classrooms, playground and school environment
  • Practices and procedures listed in this policy being consistently implemented by teachers
  • Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils

    Roles and Responsibilities
    The Board of Management is expected to support the principal, the staff and parents in implementing this code.
    The staff of the school is expected to consistently implement the code.
    Parents are expected to support their children in implementing the code.
    Pupils will be encouraged to keep school rules and take responsibility for their own actions.

    Implemented – September 2009
    Ratified – December 2016.


    Chairperson of Board of Management





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