Behaviour Policy

Code of Behaviour for Scoil Mhuire 2022

Introduction and Rationale
The Board of Management of Scoil Mhuire is required by legislation to
prepare and make available a Code of Behaviour for its students. The
Education Welfare Act, 2000, stipulates that the school Code of
Behaviour must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines issued by
the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB).
Mission Statement & the Code of Behaviour
In line with our Mission Statement every individual is valued, encouraged
and respected for their uniqueness and facilitated to reach their full
potential in a positive and supportive atmosphere. We, as a staff,
believe our Code of Behaviour has an important role to play in fulfilling
these aims and objectives.
Scoil Mhuire aims to treat every child, irrespective of ability, creed, race
or gender, with dignity, fairness and respect.
Implementation of this Code of Behaviour is central to the provision of
effective teaching and learning in Scoil Mhuire. It is a reflection of our
school ethos and central to our Mission Statement.
Scoil Mhuire’s Mission Statement
Our school aims to provide a happy, secure, friendly learning
environment, where children, parents, teachers, support staff and
Board of Management work in partnership, where each individual is
valued, encouraged and respected for his/her uniqueness and
facilitated to reach his/her full potential in a positive, supportive
and Christian atmosphere.
Where and When the Code of Behaviour will apply
This Code of Behaviour will apply to all school activities, regardless of
timing and location. This will encompass the normal school day, activities
that may extend beyond normal opening and closing times and all
extra-curricular activities such as school tours, class walks, outings &
excursions, performances and sporting pursuits i.e. anywhere the
children are representing Scoil Mhuire.
Aims of the Code of Behaviour
Scoil Mhuire’s Code of Behaviour aims:
• to create a safe, secure and positive environment where teaching
and learning can occur
• to promote a friendly, happy atmosphere which will help every child
to reach their full potential
• to foster an atmosphere of acceptance, respect and consideration
for all
• to promote positive behaviour and self-discipline where the
children take ownership of their own behaviour
• to help our children to realise that they have choices about the
behaviours they exhibit
• to help our children to mature into responsible and full participants
in a learning community
• to assist Parents / Guardians in understanding the expectations
and procedures that underpin the Code of Behaviour
• to ensure that all procedures of reward or sanction are
implemented in a fair manner throughout the school
Responsibilities in Relation to Behaviour
The teachers and adults encountered by the children in Scoil Mhuire
have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour,
both in their dealings with the children and with each other. Our example
has an important influence on the children.
As Teachers and Adults we aim to:
• create a positive climate with realistic expectations
• promote, through example, honesty and courtesy
• model the good behaviour we expect from the children
• provide a caring and effective teaching and 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,
religion, ability or disability
• show appreciation for the efforts and contributions of all
The children in Scoil Mhuire can help enormously to make our school a
positive, happy and effective learning environment by adhering to the
school rules.
The Parents and Guardians of the children in Scoil Mhuire have the
responsibility to ensure that their children abide by the expectations
outlined in this Code of Discipline.
All Parents and Guardians should aim to:
• familiarise themselves with Scoil Mhuire’s Code of Behaviour and
discuss same with their child
• read Scoil Mhuire’s Code of behaviour on the Scoil Mhuire website
• encourage their child to abide by the school rules
• encourage punctuality every day
• encourage full attendance
• use the ‘drop and go’ system appropriately if dropping their child to
school by car and to refrain from parking in the spaces designated
for staff
• label their child’s belongings for easy identification
• support their child with their homework and sign their Homework
Journal from 1st Class to 6th Class
• inform their child’s class teacher about illnesses / school absences
in writing and/or on Aladdin
• ensure their child is wearing their full school uniform and tracksuit
on their designated day
• ensure their child is eating a healthy lunch in accordance with our
Healthy Eating Policy
• encourage good behaviour and respect for others at all times
• communicate with their child’s teacher about factors likely to affect
their child’s behaviour in school
• make an appointment to meet with a teacher / the Principal with
the Secretary / through school email or teachers’ own email
Guidelines for Positive School Behaviour
The following standards of behaviour are expected of all members of the
Scoil Mhuire community.
• Respect for self and others. Respect works both ways for
everyone. When we show respect we are also shown respect
in return.
• Respect for school property and buildings
• Respect for other children’s property
• Follow instructions from staff immediately
• Walk quietly in the school buildings
• Do their best in all activities
• Listen to those who are speaking, including visitors to their
• Be kind and show a willingness to help others
• Show courtesy and good manners at all times
Classroom Behaviour
Each teacher will have a set of expected classroom behaviours for
his/her class level. Some teachers, for example in the senior classes,
may draft a list of class rules with the help of the children in their class.
Class rules should be kept to a minimum of 4 or 5. Class rules should
emphasise positive behaviour e.g. ‘walk’ and not ‘don’t run’. The
following general behaviours apply to all classes.
• Co-operate fully with your Teachers / SNAs / Substitute Teachers /
GAA coaches / visiting instructors to Scoil Mhuire etc
• Complete your work to the best of your ability
• Present your work neatly in books and copies
• Get on with your work and let others get on with theirs
• Aim to be on time for school and enter by the correct gate and
door (between 8.45am and 9am)
• Go home promptly at 1.30 or 2.30pm after your class is brought to
the yard
• Always walk around the school with deference to the safety of
• Enter and leave your classroom quietly
• Ask permission before leaving your classroom
• Complete all Homework to the best of your ability
• Help to tidy up your classroom at hometime every day
• Wear your full school uniform / tracksuit when appropriate
• Bring a healthy lunch to school every day
Behaviour on the Yard at Break-Times
Children have the opportunity to play and socialise with each other at
morning and lunch break-times. The following points will help to keep the
children safe while playing in the yard.
• Children are encouraged to treat others as they would like to be
treated themselves
• All age groups have a designated play area and should remain in
that yard
• Children should never leave the school grounds
• Benches around the yards facilitate quiet play
• In good weather when the grass / pitch can be used the children
are prohibited from swinging on the crossbar of the goal posts
• Children eat their lunch in their classroom before / after yard times
• Children must ask permission from a supervising teacher / SNA to
leave the yard e.g. going to the toilet. 6
th Class helpers will
accompany children from JI, SI and 1
• Children with injuries will be treated in the Secretary’s office. Minor
cuts / grazes will be dealt with by the supervising teacher / SNA on
the yard with their 1st Aid kit
• Serious injuries (e.g. bangs to head, cuts, bruising) will be
recorded in the Incident Book (this is kept in the secretary’s office)
and the class teacher will be informed of such injuries at the end of
break. The parents/guardians of any child who sustains a head
bump/head injury will be informed immediately by phone.
• Teachers may write a note in the child’s Homework Journal to
inform Parents/Guardians, if the secretary has not already
contacted the parents by phone, if their child was hurt on the yard.
• It is the responsibility of the school secretary, to communicate all
incidents she has dealt with, to the class teachers at the end of
break times every day
• At the end of breaks the children will stop moving after the 1
st bell
and walk to their line after the 2
nd bell.
• When the class teachers collect their lines, the children should
walk in single file to their classroom
• Children are encouraged to be fair and inclusive when setting up
their games
• Rough play and bad language are not allowed at any time
Behaviour for Indoor Play
On wet days the children will remain in their classrooms during
break-times. The following points will help to keep the children safe on
these occasions.
• Children will stay in their classrooms at all times & remain seated.
• Children can play with games / activities provided by their teacher
• Teachers will be on corridor duty on wet days, old school building,
upstairs and downstairs in new building
• SNAs will help supervising the classes of the children they work
with on wet days
• Four SNAs continue their work in the two ASD classes
Promoting Positive Behaviour
“Mol an Óige agus Tiocfaidh sí”
Part of the vision of Scoil Mhuire 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 that
similarly children use a variety of approaches to solving problems. All
children deserve encouragement to attain their personal best. Our
reward systems seek to provide encouragement to all children of all
abilities and talents. Children will be encouraged, praised and listened to
by all adults in Scoil Mhuire. Praise for good behaviour should be as high
as for good work.
The following are examples of how praise will be given:
• A quiet word or gesture to show approval
• A comment in child’s copy / Homework Journal
• A visit to another teacher / Principal for commendation
• Words of praise in front of class / bualadh bos
• Words of praise at assembly once a month
• Student of the month awarded by the Principal
• Class of the month as observed by the Principal
• Words of praise after yard in front of whole school
• Delegating some special responsibility of privilege
• A mention to Parents/Guardians, written/verbal communication
Rewards and Incentives for Positive Behaviour
Greater emphasis is placed on rewards than on sanctions. This is not
an exhaustive list. Rewards may include the following.
• Stamps / stickers / points / dojos
• Traffic lights more commonly used in Junior classes
• Homework passes
• Golden time
• Class / group of the week / points systems
• Assembly / class of the month
• Certificates / prizes / rewards
Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Scoil Mhuire currently has 2 ASD Classes
All children are required to comply with the spirit of the Code of
Behaviour. Scoil Mhuire recognises that some children with SEN may
need extra time and help in understanding some rules. Specialised
Behaviour Plans may be necessary at times. Cognitive development
will be taken into account at all times. Behaviour Plans will be put in
place in consultation with the class teacher, Parent/Guardian, LS
teacher, Resource Teacher and Principal. All will work together to make
sure the children receive all the support they need. Any professional
advice from our NEPS Psychologist will be taken into consideration.
The children in a particular class may be taught strategies to assist a
child with SEN adhere to rules and thus provide peer support. This will
be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the
differences in all individuals. The class teacher will monitor peer support
Unacceptable Behaviour
Three levels of Misbehaviour are recognised: minor, serious and
gross. All everyday instances of minor misbehaviours will be dealt
with by the class teacher or the supervising teacher at break-times.
Minor Misbehaviours
Examples of Minor Misbehaviours include:
• Interrupting work in the classroom
• Lateness in the morning
• Being discourteous / unmannerly
• Running in the corridors
• Rough play on the yard
• Leaving the classroom without checking with the class teacher
• Leaving the yard to go indoors at break times without checking
with the supervising teacher / SNA
• Not wearing full school uniform
• Wearing make-up and / or false nails
• Not adhering to Healthy Lunch Policy
• Unfinished Homework
Class teachers will keep a running record of minor misbehaviours. If
a pattern of minor misbehaviours appear, the class teacher may need to
inform Parents/Guardians if there is no improvement over time.
Serious Misbehaviours
Single instances of serious misbehaviour will be dealt with by the
class teacher in conjunction with the Deputy Principal / Principal. Any
single incident may be brought to the Parent/Guardian’s attention at the
discretion of the Deputy Principal / Principal.
Class teachers will keep a running record of serious misbehaviours
on the school system Aladdin.
In cases of repeated serious misbehaviours Parents/Guardians will be
involved at an early stage and invited to meet the class teacher and
Deputy Principal / Principal to discuss their child’s behaviour.
Examples of Serious Misbehaviours include:
• Behaviour that is hurtful including threats, bullying, harassment,
discrimination, and victimisation
• Using violent and/or aggressive behaviour towards others
• Verbally abusing a teacher / adult
• Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning on a daily
• Damage to school property
• Theft
• Having a mobile phone (without the express permission of the
principal) or any device that can be used to record (audio or
video), take photographs or make and receive calls and messages
is not allowed in Scoil Mhuire
Gross Misbehaviours
Parents / Guardians will be informed immediately by the Principal if there
is one incident of gross misbehaviour.
Examples of Gross Misbehaviours include:
• Physical abuse of a teacher / adult / other child
• Serious aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a
teacher / adult / other child
• Bringing dangerous implements to school
• Leaving Scoil Mhuire without permission
• Serious damage to property e.g. structural damage to school
building, broken window
• Bullying over a prolonged period of time after earlier interventions
• Carrying drugs / alcohol / cigarettes / dangerous substances
• Non attendance at school unknown to Parents/Guardians
• Using a mobile phone at school / making or receiving calls or
messages / engaging with a social media platform and taking
pictures or recording (audio and video) on the school premises /
taking photographs in a classroom and/or on yard of other children
/ adults
Sanctions for Unacceptable Behaviour
The purpose of a sanction is to bring about a change in
behaviour by helping children to:
• learn that their behaviour is unacceptable
• see that their behaviour affects others
• understand that they have choices about their behaviour
• understand that their choices have consequences
• learn to take responsibility for their choices / behaviours
• discuss and devise strategies to prevent the behaviour occurring
Sanctions should:
• reinforce the Code of Behaviour
• signal to other children that their wellbeing is being protected
• prevent serious disruption of Teaching and Learning
• be clear so that the child understands why the sanction is being
• make it clear that changes in behaviour are needed to avoid
further sanctions
• make a clear distinction between minor, serious and major
• relate to an individual and not a group
• focus on the child’s behaviour not on the child himself/herself
The following steps will be taken when a child behaves inappropriately.
Individual teachers may put alternative measures in place depending on
the circumstances involved and the age of the child. This list is not
The Class Teacher will:
• ask the child to stop the behaviour
• discuss the behaviour and try reasoning with child
• advise the child how they can improve the behaviour
• ask the child to move away from his/her class group to consider
the behaviour
• ask the child go to a nearby class to consider his/her behaviour
• loss of privileges e.g. golden time / free play / activities /
representing the school / attendance on a school trip / tours
• ask the child to write down their account of behaviour
• the class teacher can keep a record of the child’s account of their
• inform the Principal / Deputy Principal about on-going behaviour
• communicate with Parents/Guardians in Journal / email
• make an appointment with Parents/Guardians
• make an appointment with the Principal and Parents/Guardians
Sanctions on the yard
• the supervising teacher or SNA will ask the child to stop the
• depending on the nature of the incident and / or the reaction of the
child, the teacher or SNA may ask the child to ‘take time out’ away
from other children and reflect on their behaviour
• if after the ‘time out’ strategy, the child misbehaves further, then the
supervising teacher or SNA will ask the child to leave the yard and
sit on a chair in the front lobby, where their class teacher or SNA
will meet them at the end of the break
• if there is persistent misbehaviour on the yard the Principal /
Deputy Principal will be informed and the child’s parents will be
• if the misbehaviours persist after the parents have been informed,
then the child will be kept off the yard for a stated number of
breaks / days and the parents will be informed
• an appointment will be made to meet the parents if the
misbehaviours persist after being kept off the yard
When all of the above has been exhausted then the matter will be
referred to the Board of Management where;
• BOM will consider Suspension
• BOM will consider Expulsion
This following 8 Step Approach will be used for on-going
disruptive behaviour when Teaching and Learning is disrupted
on a daily basis. The following list is not a staged /
step-by-step approach. Other measures, more appropriate to
the misbehaviour, may be introduced by the class teacher if
they are deemed necessary.
• Three verbal warnings (2 yellow + 1 red card) after particular
behaviour to be worked on is identified
• Removal to quiet area in his/her own classroom to consider his/her
• Removal to Resource Room to discuss behaviour with agreed
resource Teacher
• Removal to Principal’s office and name is recorded in Record Book
/ on Aladdin
• Three incidents in Record Book and/or Aladdin and Principal will
meet Parents
• If Parents are called a second time, suspension is discussed
• Parents are required to meet Principal after a week to review their
child’s behaviour
• If misbehaviour continues, the BOM will be consulted to suspend
child for 3 days
Suspension is defined as ‘requiring a student to absent himself / herself
from the school for a specified, limited period of school days’ (NEWB
Exclusion for part of a school day or asking Parents/Guardians to keep a
child from school, as a sanction, counts as suspension. Suspension will
be considered as part of a range of sanctions where a child has engaged
in a serious or gross misbehaviour. While suspension should be a
proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern, a single
instance of serious misbehaviour may be grounds for suspension. The
decision to suspend will be based on the following grounds:
• The seriously detrimental effect on the Education of the other
children of the child’s behaviour to date
• Whether the child’s continued presence in the school constitutes a
threat to Health and safety
• The child is responsible for serious damage to property
The purpose of the suspension is to give the child / Parent / Guardian /
Staff time to consider the child’s actions and to consider the implications
for the other children in the class group. It will also provide the school
with time to devise ways to help the child improve the child’s behaviour
in the future.
The Principal can suspend a child for periods of up to three days. If a
longer suspension is proposed, the Principal should refer to the Board of
Management for consideration and approval. Reports to the Board and
to the relevant authorities should be made in line with NEWB Guidelines.
The Board of Management has the authority to expel a child. This
authority will be exercised in line with the procedures outlined in the
Development of a Code of Behaviour Guidelines for Schools NEWB.
Under Section 29 of the Education Act, Parents / Guardians are entitled
to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and
Skills against some decisions of the BOM, including suspension and
Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)
Following or during a period of suspension, the Parents / Guardians may
apply to have their child reinstated to Scoil Mhuire. The Principal must
be satisfied that the child’s reinstatement will hold no safety risks to other
children or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of an
Individual Behaviour Plan for the child in conjunction with the Class
Teacher and Resource Teacher if required. The Principal will formally
re-admit the child to his/her class.
Please refer to Scoil Mhuire’s Anti-Bullying Policy
Communicating with Parents and Guardians
Communicating with Parents/Guardians is central to maintaining a
positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers should
develop a joint strategy which can be implemented at home and at
school. A high level of co-operation and open communication is an
important factor which encourages positive behaviour in the school.
Scoil Mhuire encourages Parents to talk in confidence to teachers and/or
Principal about any significant development in their child’s life which may
affect their child’s behaviour.
The following methods of Communication are used:
• Informal / formal Parent / Teacher Meetings
• Notes in Homework Journals (not Junior and Senior Infants)
• Letters / notes to and from Scoil Mhuire
• School notice board on the yard
• Scoil Mhuire website
• Email / text messaging
• Class Dojo and Seesaw
The Parents and Guardians of any new children starting in Scoil Mhuire
will be asked to read our Code of Behaviour. All Scoil Mhuire Policies are
on our website
Record Keeping
It is very important that all incidents of poor behaviour are recorded and
kept up to date. Patterns of poor behaviour can be spotted early and
interventions (e.g. an Individual Behaviour Plan ) can be put in place as
soon as possible. Any serious incidents of mis-behaviour will be
recorded on Aladdin.
Reference to Other Relevant Policies in Scoil Mhuire
• Child Safeguarding Statement
• Stay Safe
• Enrolment
• Safety Statement
• Special Educational Needs
• Healthy Eating
• Acceptable Use Policy
• Mobile Phones
Review and Approval of the Code of Behaviour for Scoil Mhuire by
the Board of Management
Signed:_____Thomas O’Connor________________________
(Chairperson Board of Management)
Date: Feb 28, 2022
Template for Review of Code of Behaviour

Date of Review:
Teachers Present:
Next Review Scheduled for: