Thursday, February 12, 2015

Code of Behaviour

Code of Behaviour

Amended and Updated
2012 - 2013
This policy has been prepared in accordance with The Guidelines produced by the National Education Welfare Board as per The Education Welfare Act 2000- Section 23.

Be the best that you can be


This Code of Behaviour has been devised in consultation and collaboration with the school community of Scoil Chaitríona Junior. It was devised / reviewed over the course of the school year 2012/2013.
Affirmation and reward of good behaviour by school and home is a fundamental part of our Code of Behaviour.
The Code of Behaviour and the expectations set out in the Code are based on respect for others, a commitment to study and participation in the life of the school.
The Code applies to all aspects of school life and all school related activities before, during and after school.
Bullying: Bullying: The school has a very strong policy against bullying. The Anti-Bullying Policy is available on request. It is part of our Anti Bullying Code that:
  • A review of the Behaviour Policy was undertaken to ensure that it is in compliance with legal requirements and good practice as set out in Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, NEWB, 2008.
  • This Code has been developed in line with the principles of the Incredible Years Programme. Staff members have completed the Teacher Classroom Management Programme through by The Incredible Years Program and NEPS In-service.

Relationship to Characteristic Ethos
Scoil Chaitríona Junior seeks to enable each child to develop his/her potential in a caring environment where each child is nurtured and valued. We believe that the school climate and atmosphere are created by the actions and behaviour of everyone in the school. Therefore, the code will be most effective where there is a high level of openness and co-operation between staff, parents and pupils. A clear understanding among all the partners of the standards of behaviour required and the procedures to be adopted where there are breaches of the code will also help to ensure a harmonious environment where all can work effectively.

In devising this code, consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school. The aim is to create an orderly environment in which pupils can, through developing self-discipline, feel secure and make progress in all aspects of their development. This code of behaviour describes the school’s expectations about how each member of the school community will help to make the school a good place for teaching and learning. Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school and the over-riding aims will be –
  • To ensure an educational environment that is guided by our vision statement;
  • To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences;
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration of others;
  • To enhance the learning environment and allow the school to function in an orderly way where children can make progress in all aspects of their development;
  • To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community;
  • To assist the parents and children in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the Code 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.

Roles and Responsibilities of the School Community in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour.

Students/ Children:
Every child must give a commitment to accept the Code of Behaviour and to fulfill the expectations as set out in the Code. This will ensure the creation and maintenance of a good learning environment.

Parents/Guardians have a duty to support the school in implementing a fair and just code of behaviour. Acceptance of the Code of Behaviour by parents/guardians is required on enrolment of a student in the school. Parents undertake responsibility to educate their children on the Code of Behaviour.

Teachers :
Each Teacher has a responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her own class and share, with every other teacher, a common responsibility for good order within the school and school grounds and on all school related activities before, during and after school. Each teacher has the responsibility of teaching the Code of Behaviour to their class.

SNA’s and Ancillary Staff :
SNA’s and all ancillary staff have a common  responsibility along with the teachers to maintain  good discipline and  good order  within the school and school grounds and on all school related activities before, during and after school and to share responsibility to teach children the code by example.

Care Team:
The Care Team has a pastoral duty to act as support to children experiencing difficulty in maintaining the Code and to help or seek help for them to overcome any problem behaviours.

Principal :
The Principal has the overall responsibility for the day- to –day running of the school. The Principal ensures that implementing the code is done in a fair and just manner and that the implementation of sanctions is fair, equitable and appropriate.

The Board of Management :
The BOM formally approves the Code of Behaviour and supports the Principal and staff in the implementation of the Code. The Board of Management hears appeals by parents/guardians against the decision of the Principal to suspend or expel a student.


Every effort will be made to ensure that the code of behaviour is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner. The limits of behaviour are clearly defined and children become familiar with the consequences of behaviour beyond these limits. The over-riding principle governing this code is respect - respect for ourselves and others and their property.
The school expects the highest standard of behaviour from its pupils including the following:
  • Each pupil is expected to be well behaved and show consideration for other children and adults;
  • Each pupil is expected to show respect for the property of the school, other children’s and their own belongings;
  • Each pupil is expected to attend school on a regular basis and to be punctual;
  • Each pupil is expected to do his/her best both in school and for homework. Our school motto is “be the best that you can be”. 
Each class has developed their own class rules or charter, which promotes the principles of the Incredible Years programme. These rules have been developed to reflect the age and maturity levels of the students in the class. Rules are kept to a minimum, are recorded in simple language and are stated positively. The rules will be referred to regularly and will form part of SPHE lessons. A copy of all class rules is included in Appendix 1 of this code.

Whole School Approach to Promoting Positive Behaviour

The Board of Management and the Principal have overall responsibility for the implementation and on-going monitoring of this policy. However, all staff members have responsibility for their own classes and for the general school population when on yard duty or on any organised out-of-school activity. This code will be made available to parents and shall apply to all students during all school related activities.

It is the policy of this school to actively promote good behaviour. The principles of the Incredible Years Programme permeate the whole school approach to discipline. Children learn best by being rewarded. Teachers are encouraged to participate in Incredible Years training each year. This programme is being implemented in the junior end of the school.

To facilitate new members of staff become familiar with practices within the school, discussion regarding the implementation of the code will be encouraged. All documents relating to the code will be made available and communicated thoroughly. A copy of the code will be included in all teachers’ documents. The full copy of the code will be made available to parents. All parents will receive a shortened version of the code at the start each school year, which will be signed and stored for future referral. 

A copy of the code for parents is included in Appendix 2.


Ø  Class rules are clearly displayed in every classroom in the school.
Ø  Rules are stated positively and are designed to promote and encourage good behaviour
Ø  Specific rewards systems have been devised and are in use throughout the school
Ø  A post holder (Deputy Principal) has been given responsibility for co-ordinating the code of behaviour, developing resources and ensuring that all staff are kept informed
Ø  Regular meetings have been held to ensure that each staff member has had input into this code and the promotion of positive behaviour throughout the school.
Ø  Whole school approaches have been developed and communicated to ensure that the whole school community are aware of the importance of positive behaviour.

Promoting positive behaviour

The following is a list of strategies and programmes that are in place to promote and encourage positive behaviour

  • Show me 5
  • Continuity of class rules at each class level
  • Prominent display of class rules in all classes
  • Reward charts displayed in class
  • Green patrol (Appendix 3)
  • Treasure boxes
  • Golden Ticket
  • Golden time

As a school we believe in the rewarding of good behaviour through acknowledgment and recognition. We aim to praise pupils for effort whenever possible. We have established specific rewards systems throughout the school. Pupils are made aware of how these systems operate at each class level at the beginning of the school year. These systems are both fair and consistent and ensure that each individual takes personal responsibility for his/her behaviour. Where a pupil misbehaves and fails to adhere to the class rules there are specific interventions that are put in place.


Classification of Misbehaviours
Misbehaviour falls into one of four categories – minor, major, serious or gross. We believe that teacher’s professionalism will result in a common sense approach to misbehaviour, taking account of the age, vulnerability and personal circumstance of the pupil(s) involved in the misbehaviour. All teachers have met and have had the opportunity to discuss and classify misbehaviours. The outcome of these meetings is a document that suggests examples of the 4 categories of misbehaviour. The document also highlights the sanctions, which should be matched to the misbehaviour. The result is a ladder of intervention, which will be clearly communicated to all pupils and parents. The purpose of this is to provide clarity and consistency in dealing with misbehaviour. (See Appendix 1)

As per the NEPS Guidelines regular occurrences of Serious Misbehaviour will be dealt with as follows:
Parents will be invited to meet class teacher, the principal and/or the chairperson to discuss repeated serious incidents of misbehaviour;

Gross Misbehaviour
The following are examples of gross misbehaviour:
  • Bringing weapons or dangerous substances to school
  • Persistently engaging in activities which have been identified by members of staff as dangerous or inappropriate
  • Leaving school premises without permission
  • Deliberately injuring any member of the school community
  • Setting fire to school property
  • Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a member of staff or a pupil; (e.g. physical violence, striking, nipping, biting, spitting).
  • Persistent incidents of serious misbehaviour will be classified as gross misbehaviour.

Teachers will take the following steps when dealing with Gross Misbehaviour
Ø  Principal and Chairperson are informed immediately and suspension sanctioned. The Board of Management has deferred responsibility to the Principal to impose an initial sanction of up to three days. Further suspensions will require Board of Management approval. This approval may be obtained at a regular meeting of the Board or at an emergency meeting at which the Chairperson and Principal have outlined for the Board the reasons why they feel it is necessary to impose a further suspension. In line with the requirements of the Education Welfare Act (2000), the Board of Management will inform the Education Welfare Board when any pupil’s period of suspension equals or exceeds six school days.
Ø  When a student is suspended, the parents/guardians will be requested to remove the student from the school. The Principal will meet with the parents/guardian to outline the decision to implement the suspension and will present the parents/guardian with a written statement of the terms, duration and date of the termination of the suspension.

Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)
Following, or during a period of suspension, the parent/s may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code and the Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal in consultation with the parents, the class teacher and the student (if appropriate) will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil, if required, and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class. Where a satisfactory resolution of a problem is achieved, a pupil may be re-admitted to school within a suspension period at the discretion of the chairperson of the board and the principal.
The Board of Management has the authority to expel a student in an extreme case (see p.81, Developing a Code of Behaviour; Guidelines for Schools) or where repeated incidents of gross misbehaviour interfere with the educational opportunities of fellow students or where there is a threat to the health and safety of either students or staff. This sanction would be imposed under the terms of the Education Welfare Act (2000). Suspension/expulsion procedures are in accordance with the Education Act (1998).
Managing aggressive or violent behaviour
The school recognises that occasionally students may not respond positively to the usual interventions and that they may require extra support in an effort to manage aggressive or violent behaviour. A small minority of students may show particular challenging behaviour, because of educational need. These students will need a sustained and systematic response involving the important adults in their lives, in school and at home.

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 decisions of the Board of Management, including (1) permanent exclusion from a school and (2) suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year. Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent or student. (See Circular 22/02)

Included in Appendix 5 of this code is a copy of the yard policy. Pupils are expected to behave in a manner, which adheres to the school rules both on and off the yard. Misbehaviour on the yard will be dealt with in the same manner as outlined in the code above.

Parents/guardians are valued as partners in the school community and as such will be invited to participate in promoting positive behaviour both in school and in the wider community.
  • A copy of this code will be made available to all parents
  • All parents will be provided with a copy of the shortened code which outlines the 4 categories of misbehaviour and the sanctions to be imposed
  • Parents will sign this shortened code and a copy will be kept on file in the office
  • Parents will sign the pupils personal response sheet at 1st & 2nd class level
  • Parents at the junior end will be met informally on a regular basis, behaviour can be discussed with parents at these points
  • Incidents of serious misbehaviour will require the parent to come to the school for a formal meeting with the class teacher and the school principal
  • Parents are encouraged to make appointments to meet with class teachers and/or the principal at the earliest opportunity in an effort to prevent any escalation of inappropriate behaviour

In line with the school’s policy on record keeping, and data protection legislation, records in relation to pupils’ behaviour are kept in a secure filing cabinet. Copies of all communications with parents/guardians will be retained in the school. Records of more serious incidents are recorded in a specific journal and are retained until students reach 21 years.
Procedures for notification of pupil absences from school
Parents must notify the school in writing of a student’s absence and the reason for this absence.

The following plans and policies will also be considered in support of the code of behaviour
o        SPHE plan
o        Anti-bullying
o        Enrolment
o        Record keeping
o        Health & Safety
o        Equality
o        Special Educational Needs

This policy will be deemed to be successful when the following are observed:

§  Positive behaviour in class rooms, playground and school environment
§  Practices and procedures listed in this policy being consistently implemented by teachers
§  Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils.

This policy has been ratified and communicated to the Board of Management

Appendix 1 Class Rules

Junior Infants & Senior Infants
*      I will enter the classroom quietly                   
*      I will be polite and kind
*      I will put my quiet hand up
*      I will be safe at all times
*      I will listen
*      I will do my best
*      I will keep my hands to myself
1st Class:
*      I will listen
*      I will do my best
*      I will line up quietly
*      I will be polite and kind
*      I will put my quiet hand up
*      I will keep my hands to myself
*      I will use my walking feet inside

2nd Class:
*      I will listen carefully and follow instructions
*      I will do my best at all times
*      I will respect others and be kind with my words and actions
*      I will keep my hands, feet and objects to myself
*      I will use my walking feet inside
*      I will care for school property

 Appendix 2 Code of Behaviour – shortened  version
Ladder of Intervention

Disrupting class work
Arriving late to school
Running in the school building
Littering around the school
Being discourteous
Incomplete homework without good reason
Talking out of turn
Any breach of the agreed classroom rules

1)       Ignore/re-direct

2)       Verbal warning

3)       Implementation of class behaviour system
Persistent disruption of class work
Refusal to co-operate with school health and safety issues
Persistent display of discourtesy
Deliberate refusal to engage with homework
Use of inappropriate gestures
Name calling
Use of unacceptable language
Deliberate damage to others property
Answering back a teacher
Deliberate, continual disobedience
Repeated display of minor misbehaviours will be deemed as major misbehaviour

4)       Time out

5)       Loss of privilege
~ golden time
~ extra curricular activity
~ class responsibility

6)       Parents informed of the behaviour at collection
Physical action causing damage to self/others
Deliberate physical violence towards peers
Leaving school premises without permission
Persistently engaging in activities which have been identified by staff as dangerous/inappropriate
Repeated display of major  misbehaviours will be deemed as serious misbehaviour

7)       Temporary relocation to another class

8)       Formal contact made with parents

9)       Meeting with principal, teacher and parent
Deliberately injuring any member of the school community
Setting fire to school property
Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a member of staff

Principal will be notified. The BoM will convene and examine the issue. The Board will consider sanctions including immediate suspension pending discussion with the parents/guardians
Appendix 3            Green Patrol

Proximal Praise:
a technique in some approaches to behaviour management designed to generate compliance, where a positive comment on the behaviour of other (compliant) pupils nearby is used instead of a negative comment to the person whose behaviour is of concern. It is criticised by some as being morally dubious since the praise is not genuine but merely used as a strategic means to influence another person.

Appendix 5           


1.      Preparation and Equipment
  • Equipment, Yard Book and Bell are brought to yard by teacher on duty and returned at the end of the break
(Equipment kept in Room 4 for Junior Yard / Room 11 for Senior Yard)

2.      Line Up Procedures
  • Junior & Senior Infants: Each teacher lines up his/her class and brings them to the yard at 11am. Classes lines up in two in the yard after the bell rings.
  • First & Second: Class lines up in each classroom in an orderly manner, standing quietly until each class is led to the yard by the teacher on duty. First teacher ready goes to the yard. Second teacher stands at the door exiting to the yard. SNA follows at the end of the classes. Bell rings once children freeze, bell rings a second time children walk to their lines (lining up in twos). Bell rings a third time stand quietly ready to go into classrooms.

2.      Directions to be given to children
·         Look straight ahead and walk safely
·         Keep your hands to yourself
·         Be friendly and enjoy playtime

3.      Managing and responses to behaviours on yard during play
  • Praise (on yard and in class) - Good behaviour
  • Ignore - Minor whining/ telling tales and encourage children to do the same
  • Time Out (05 mins mainstream / 3 mins Sp Cl) – Non Compliance and Aggressive Behaviour 
·         Time Out area identified and marked for each yard. (In Mary Brownes Classroom for First & Seconds / time Out Chair for Junior Infants)
·         Only Time Out is recorded in Yard book. Details recorded are: Name of Student, Date and Time, Specific behaviour for which Time Out was used, Teacher Name
·         Nominated person to review Yard book, consult with teachers when necessary and identify students with specific difficulties
Teresa Carleton reviews books in Junior Yard
Bríd O Donnell & Patricia Coleman Reviews Book on Senior Yard
·         Principal reviews Time Out Yard book on a monthly basis
  • Referral to Principal – Serious Incident e.g. Leaving Premises, Extremely Aggressive Behaviours
·         Students are encouraged to use facilities prior to leaving classroom.   Students must remain on the yard for period of the break, exceptional cases must be agreed in advance of break between class teacher and teacher on duty.

4.      Instructions for end of break
·         Each class to line up in designated area of their yard
·         Children are called to line using a bell.
·         Teacher at head and end of line when leaving yard

5.      Health and Safety
  • Teachers are aware of the yard boundaries.  These boundaries are marked using fencing.  Students are informed of relevant boundaries annually.
  • Students are encouraged to use facilities prior to leaving classroom.   Students must remain on the yard for period of the break, exceptional cases must be agreed in advance of break between class teacher and teacher on duty.
  • Process for accidents/ emergencies on yard needs to be developed

6.      Review
  • Yard Policy is reviewed at the end of term in the academic year 2011/12

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