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Code of Behaviour

Introductory Statement

This policy was formulated by the staff of Sandford Parish National School and presented to and ratified by the Board of Management.


The maintenance of discipline within the school is based primarily on a concern for the well-being and safety of children both individually and collectively.



-              To ensure that the work of the school is conducted in accordance with the ethos of the Church of Ireland:

o   Sandford Parish National School is a co-educational Church of Ireland School under the patronage of the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin.  This means that the school reflects the ethos of the Church of Ireland, “ethos” being the doctrines, moral teachings, traditions, practices and customs of the Church of Ireland as defined by the General Synod.  The work of the school is conducted in an atmosphere of respect and tolerance.  The Board of Management is responsible for upholding the ethos of the school and is accountable to the Patron.

-              To ensure that the children’s behaviour is such as to allow the learning process to operate smoothly without disproportionate disruption from a particular child or group of children.

-              To ensure the smooth and efficient running of the school

-              To comply with Department circulars and rules for National schools and all current legislation.

Contents of the Policy

1.    In devising the code, consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school.  The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption-free environment.


2.    Every effort will be made by all members of 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 utilized by teachers.


3.     The school places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will, in the long run, give the best results.


4.     The school recognizes the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences.


5.     It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-operation among staff and between staff, pupils and parents.


6.     The rules are being kept to a minimum and are positively stated in terms of what pupils should do.  There is an expectation that all children attending Sandford Parish National School will:

-          Respect themselves and others

-          Show kindness and a willingness to help others

-          Demonstrate courtesy and good manners

-          Play fairly

-          Show a readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict

-          Attend school regularly and punctually

-          Try their best

-          Accept responsibility for their actions

-          Keep the rules

-          Respect staff and fellow pupils


All rules will reflect the above expectations.  These will be kept to a minimum, be clear and unambiguous, communicated and referred to regularly.


Classroom rules might include the following:

-          Work quietly and listen when others are specking

-          Respect everyone

-          Be fair, be kind and involve everyone

-          Work together

-          Compromise

-          Be on time

-          Treat others as you would like to be treated

-          Be prepared and organized (Homework in/have pencil case/delivering notes home etc.)

-          Only raise our voices when necessary

-          Sit safely and walk carefully in the line

-          Follow instructions from all teachers

-          Help to keep your classroom clean and tidy

-          Work hard and try your best

-          Respect other pupils and this property

-          No talking when the teacher is talking

-          Ask before leaving your desk

-          Put up your hand before speaking

-          Line up before leaving classroom for breaks/PE

-          Respect visitors, staff and other children who enter classroom


7.     All efforts will be made to match the curriculum to the abilities, aptitudes and interests of each pupil.  This should help to reduce boredom, lack of interest or lack of progress.


8.     The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the principal.  Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school premises.  A pupil will be referred to the principal for serious breaches of discipline and for repeated incidents of minor misbehaviour.


9.    The following strategies may be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour:-

a)      Verbal reprimand

b)      Removal from the group (in class)

c)      Withdrawal of privileges

d)      Withdrawal from the particular lesson or peer group

e)      Carrying out a useful task in the school

f)       Detention

g)      Formal report to the BOM


Teachers shall keep a written record of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils.  Before resorting to serious sanctions e.g., suspension, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilized.  Parents will be involved at an early stage, rather than as a last resort.


10.  Every effort will be made to have an emotionally disturbed child referred for psychological assessment without delay.  Help will be sought, also, from support services within the wider community, e.g., Community Care Services provided by Health Boards.


11.  In formulating this code, the Board of Management considered a submission relating to the possible content of a code received from, and discussed with, the body representing the parents of the pupils attending the school.

All members of the teaching staff have been involved in planning the code.

A copy of this code has been made available to all parents.


12.    In the belief that the most effective schools tend to be those with the best relationships with parents, every effort will be made by the principal and staff to ensure that parents are kept well informed, that the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents and that parents are not only told when their children are in trouble but when they have behaved particularly well.



13.   In accordance with the terms of the Education Welfare Act 2000, parents shall furnish the principal/class teacher with written notification of the reasons for the child’s absence.  The school shall notify the National Education Welfare Board when absenses total 20 days overall.  The principal may notify the National Education Welfare Board where a child is not attending regularly.


14.  The code will be reviewed at agreed intervals.



The school rules are taught to the children each September and it is expected that they are followed.


To reward children who follow the rules, stamps, prizes, certificates and homework passes are awarded.


Senior Infants, first and second class collect stamps in a gridbook.  A full page of stamps per 2 weeks is the optimum and encouragement works wonders!  Third, fourth, fifth and sixth class receive tokens and homework passes.

-          Meaningful to individual students or whole classes

-          They acknowledge behavior that is valued and wanted

-          Given for effort as well as achievement

-          Are consistent and used by all staff


Rewards which may be given include:

-          Verbal praise

-          Stamp book system

-          Group reward system

-          Tokens and homework passes

-          Periodic draw from submitted homework passes for small prize

-          Special certificates, for reading etc

-          Pupil of the Week badge

-          Send to Principal’s office for appreciation

-          Stars for tables

-          Table with highest monthly amount of stars overall gets a prize

-          Notify parents about good behavior (through homework journal)

-          Tickets for good behavior and for good and /or improved results

-          Star chart system for group cooperation

-          A night off homework for continued good behavior

-          Prizes/lucky dips/videos for particularly good behaviour


For persistent poor behaviour despite correction children are required to write lines.  In particular cases of misbehaviour, lines will be given immediately.  If a child receives lines on three occasions in any one term, their parents are called to a meeting with the class teacher in an effort to enlist their help in improving the child’s behaviour.  If the child gets lines on a further three occasions a meeting is held with the parents, teacher and principal and a 3-day suspension is mooted unless there is marked improvement. For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour suspension will be considered.  Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour, depending on circumstances.  Bullying (as defined in Department of Education and Science guidelines) may also be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour (see Sandford Parish National School Anti-Bullying Policy).


Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the principal.  If the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future the pupil may have to be suspended for a temporary period.  Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 130(5) of the Rules for National Schools.


 In the case of gross misbehaviour the Board shall authorize the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.  Notice of suspension is communicated by a letter from the Board of Management to the parents.  No suspension shall be for a period of more than three days.


Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with Rule 130(6).

Roles and Responsibility for development, implementation and reporting.
The Board of Management, through the principal and teaching staff, has overall responsibility for the implementation and development of this policy.

Success criteria (by which the policy will be judged)
The success of this policy will be judged by the successful implementation of its stated aims.

The policy to be reviewed bi-annually or as the Board of Management deem necessary.

Ratification and Communication
Presented to the Board of Management school year 2018/2019


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