Code of Behaviour 2023

We have adopted a positive code of behaviour with emphasis on encouragement and reward so that good behaviour can prevail in our school.

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Good behaviour is based on good relations between parents/guardians, child and school.

In Scoil Naomh Buithe we hope to foster this ideal in co-operation with our parents/guardians. We have adopted a positive code of behaviour with emphasis on encouragement and reward so that good behaviour can prevail in our school.

The Board of Management of the school has ultimate responsibility for behaviour in the school. Within the school, the overall day to day responsibility for behaviour rests with the principal. Each teacher has the responsibility for the maintenance of good behaviour and good order within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good behaviour within the school premises.

Parents/guardians can support the school by encouraging their children to understand the need for school rules, and by communicating any relevant concerns to the school. rights of all are upheld.

Aims of the code

  • To create a positive learning environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour
  • To promote self-esteem and positive relationships
  • To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour
  • To foster a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils and to support good behaviour patterns based on consideration and respect for the rights of others
  • To facilitate the education and development of every child
  • To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment
  • To enable teachers to teach without disruption
  • To ensure that the school's expectations and strategies are widely known and understood through the availability and sharing of policies and an ethos of open communication
  • To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy

A Code of Conduct for staff, pupils, parents and volunteers ensures that the rights of all are upheld.

Responsibility Of Adults (Staff, Volunteers And Parents)

The adults encountered by the children at school have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour, both in their dealings with the children and with each other, as their example has an important influence on the children.

As adults we should aim to:

  • Create a positive climate with realistic expectations.
  • Promote positive behaviour, through example, honesty and courtesy.
  • Provide a caring and effective learning environment.
  • Encourage relationships based on kindness, respect and understanding of the needs of others.
  • Ensure fair treatment for all regardless of age, gender, race, ability/disability.
  • Show appreciation of the efforts and contribution of all.
  • Discourage physical aggression and encourage 'Kind Hands, Kind Words, Kind Feet'.

School Roles / Expectations

  1. We help school to be a "bully-free" zone. We never bully and if we see bullying behaviour we tell an adult.
  2. We show respect for our own property and the property of others.
  3. We behave well in class so that everyone can learn.
  4. We do our best in class and we take responsibility for our own work.
  5. We get our homework journal/sheet signed each night.
  6. We are kind, and willing to help others.
  7. We follow instructions from staff as quickly as we are able to.
  8. We ask permission to leave the classroom/school.
  9. We walk quietly in the school building.
  10. We play safely and fairly and we line up when the bell rings.
  11. We remember and use our good manners.
  12. We try our best to resolve difficulties and conflict.
  13. We wear the appropriate uniform -tracksuit only on PE days.
  14. We don't wear earrings (other than stud earrings) or long chains.
  15. We follow our Healthy Eating policy.
  16. We agree that mobile phones, I-pods, electronic games and smart . watches/devices are not allowed in school.

These can be summed up as 6 Golden Rules/Expectations:

  1. We listen. We don't interrupt.
  2. We work hard and we always try our best.
  3. We are kind. We let others play our games. 4.
  4. We are gentle. We don't hurt others.
  5. We are honest. We tell the truth.
  6. We look after property. We don't damage things.

These 6 "Golden Rules" will be the main ones used for Infant and Junior classes. Rules apply during school-time, and also during all school related activities.

Class Rules/Expectations

At the beginning of each academic year, the class teacher will draft a list of class rules with the children, based closely on the "Golden Rules". Class rules will be kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. Where possible they emphasise positive behaviour (e.g. 'Walk' and not 'Don't run'). Rules will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.

Incentives/Reward System

Part of the vision of Scoil Naomh Buithe is to help children achieve their personal best and thus prepare them for further education, life and work. We recognise that there are many different forms of intelligence and similarly that children use a variety of approaches to solve problems. Group reward systems based on effort and positive dispositions have a place in schools as positive reinforcement. However, mindful of the individuality of children, all children deserve encouragement to attain their own best and our reward systems seek to provide encouragement to all children of all abilities and talents. Children will be encouraged, praised and listened to by adults in the school. Praise is earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy personal achievements. Rates of praise for behaviour should be as high as for work.

The following are some samples of how praise might be given:

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval
  • A comment in a pupil's copy or homework journal
  • A visit to another member of staff or to the principal for commendation
  • A word of praise in front of a group or class
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
  • A mention to parent, written or verbal communication
  • 'Bualadh Bos' in class or special mention at assembly.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Three levels of misbehaviour are recognised: Minor, Serious and Gross. Note that the list of examples given below is not exhaustive. All everyday instances of a minor nature are dealt with by the class teacher, or the supervising teacher at break-times. In cases of repeated serious misbehaviour or single instances of gross misbehaviour parents will be involved at an early stage and invited to meet the teacher and/or the principal to discuss their child's behaviour.

Examples of minor misbehaviour include:

  • Homework not done and no note from a parent
  • Inattentiveness and not following instructions
  • Answering out of turn
  • Rudeness
  • Alienating a friend
  • Borrowing items without permission
  • Not wearing uniform
  • Chewing gum
  • Bringing electronic equipment or mobile phones to school

Examples of serious misbehaviour include:

  • Behaviour that is hurtful (including bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation)
  • Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning
  • Threats or physical hurt to another person
  • Damage to property
  • Theft
  • Bringing dangerous equipment to school
  • Leaving school/school activities without permission.

Examples of gross misbehaviour include:

  • Assault on a teacher or pupil
  • Serious theft
  • Serious damage to property
  • Continuing to bully
  • Carrying drugs, alcohol, cigarettes

Bullying is repeated aggression – physical, verbal or emotional – conducted by an individual or group against another or others. See the accompanying Anti-Bullying policy for full details.


The use of sanctions or consequences should be characterised by certain features;

  • It must be clear why the sanction is being applied.
  • The consequence must relate as closely as possible to the behaviour.
  • It must be made clear what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions. • Group sanction should be avoided as it breeds resentment. Group sanctions should only be imposed if all members of the group are involved in the misbehavior. There should be a clear distinction between minor and major offences.
  • It should be the behaviour rather than the person that is the focus.
  • The purpose of a sanction is to bring about a change in behaviour by:
  • helping students to learn that their behaviour is unacceptable,
  • helping them to recognise the effect of their actions and behaviour on others,
  • helping students (in ways appropriate to their age and development) to understand that they have choices about their own behaviour and that all choices have consequences,
  • helping them to learn to take responsibility for their behaviour.

A sanction may also:

  • reinforce the boundaries set out in the Code of Behaviour,
  • signal to other students and to staff that their wellbeing is being protected.

In instances of more serious breaches of school standards, sanctions may be needed to:

  • prevent serious disruption of teaching and learning,
  • keep the student, or other students or adults, safe.

The following steps will be taken when a child behaves inappropriately. The list is by no means exhaustive. Teachers may put in place alternative measures bearing in mind the circumstances involved. The aim of any sanction is to prevent the behaviour occurring again and, if necessary, to help the pupil devise strategies for this.

  1. Reasoning with pupil
  2. Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve
  3. Temporary separation from peers within class
  4. Detention and separation from peers at break-time
  5. Prescribing extra work/ writing out the story of what happened
  6. Loss of privileges
  7. Verbal communication with parents
  8. Written communication with parents
  9. Referral to the principal
  10. Principal communicating with parents
  11. Exclusion (Suspension or Expulsion) from school (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular and Education Welfare Act 2000)

Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a core curricular area, except on the grounds of Health & Safety.

Suspension And Expulsion

Before serious sanctions such as detention, suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances.

For gross misbehaviour, or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, suspension may be considered. The parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child's case. Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or pupil will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.

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 be suspended for a period. Prior to suspension, where possible, the principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes, and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.

In the case of gross misbehaviour, where it is necessary to ensure that order and discipline are maintained and to secure the safety of the pupils, the Board may authorise the Chairperson or principal to sanction an immediate suspension for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.

Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall notify the Education Welfare Officer in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act.

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 the 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 will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil if required, and will readmit the pupil formally to the class.

Restorative Practice

Restorative Practice in our school provides a focus on developing positive relationships between all members of the school community. It gives opportunities for pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour and learning.

Restorative Practice is a process whereby children are given the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour and how they and others have been affected by it so as to help heal broken relationships and prevent reoccurrence. Where suspension occurs, the school will use restorative practice involving all parties affected to help repair the harm done.

Restorative Questions to respond to Challenging Behaviour

  1. What happened?
  2. What were you thinking about at the time?
  3. What have your thoughts been since?
  4. Who has been affected by what you did?
  5. In what way have they been affected?
  6. What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

To help those harmed by other actions

  1. What did you think when you realised what had happened?
  2. What have your thoughts been since?
  3. How has this affected others?
  4. What has been the hardest thing for you?
  5. What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

Children With Additional Needs

All children are required to comply with the Code of Behaviour. However, the school recognises that children with additional needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules. Where necessary, specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the class teacher, special education teacher and/or principal will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given. Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times. Professional advice from psychological assessments will be invaluable.

The children in the class or school may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with additional needs adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support. This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.

Behaviours Of Concern

In our school, behaviours of concern are serious behaviours that interfere with the child's learning and/or that of others. Possible underlying causes of behaviours of concern include:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Communication difficulties
  • Sensory issues
  • Social understanding
  • Inflexible Thinking

If appropriate a Positive Behaviour Plan will be put in place. It is essential that any adult interacting with the child knows the language to use and response to make should an incident occur. Every step of the plan should be done with the knowledge and permission of the parent/guardian. The issue should be referred to NEPS if there is no improvement in the short term.

Communicating With Parents

Communicating with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers should develop a joint strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy which can be implemented at home and in school.

A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff, pupils and parents have been established and are being reviewed regularly.

Parents are encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child's life (in the past or present) which may affect the child's behaviour.

The following methods of communication are to be used within the school:

  • Informal/formal parent/teacher meetings
  • Children's homework journal (Infants do not have a homework journal, please check bags and/or homework folders for notes)
  • Notes/emails from school to home and from home to school
  • Letters/e-mails from principal
  • School web-site
  • TextaParent service
  • Aladdin app and/or notice board

Ratification And Review Of Policy

This policy was ratified at a Board of Management meeting on 30 th March 2023. It will be communicated to staff by email and saved on the staff server. It will also be posted on the school website, and it will be available to parents and the school community in the school on request. It will be reviewed annually

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