Code of Behaviour and Discipline Policy

Statement of Ethos

St. Oliver Plunkett’s N.S. recognizes the importance of developing the full potential of the child and it seeks to develop and promote a moral and ethical sense to enable the child to contribute positively to the community in which they live.

The aim is to ensure that each child’s individuality is accommodated while acknowledging the right of every child to education in a relatively disruption-free environment.

It is our ambition to create a structured, warm, balanced stress free environment which will enable each child to develop academically, morally and socially.

Respect forms an integral part of any discipline policy and children are encouraged to show respect:

    for themselves
    for other children
    for teachers
    for parents
    for all other visitors to the school
    for property
    for the community in general.

We would expect from the children that by the time they leave our school they would have developed a well balanced attitude with a strong moral, ethical and respectful sense that would stand them in good stead throughout their future.

Code of Behaviour and Discipline

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 our school. The code offers a framework within which techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by teachers.

3. A high level of co-operation among the Partners is essential for a strong sense of community within the school.

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

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

6. The following strategies will be used to show approval for acceptable behaviour and disapproval for unacceptable behaviour:

    Reasoning with pupil
    Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
    Affirmation of good behaviour
    Temporary separation from peers, friends or others
    Loss of privileges
    Prescribed appropriate additional work
    Referral to Principal
    Communication with Parents
    Referral to Board of Management and possible suspension (temporary)

Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools(as amended by Circular 7/88)

School Discipline

1. The Board of Management has ultimate responsibility for discipline in the school under its management and a duty to ensure that a fair code of discipline applies therein. This code should be formulated by the Principal and the teaching staff in consultation with parents and be approved by the Board.

2. Teachers should have a lively regard for the improvement and general welfare of their pupils, treat them with kindness combined with firmness and should aim at governing them through their affections and reason and not by harshness and severity. Ridicule, sarcasm or remarks likely to undermine a pupil’s self-confidence should not be used in any circumstances.

3. The use of corporal punishment is forbidden.

4. Any teacher who contravenes sections (2) or (3) of this rule will be regarded as guilty of conduct unbefitting a teacher and will be subject to severe disciplinary action.

5. Where the Board of Management deems it necessary to make provision in the code of discipline to deal with continuously disruptive pupils or with a serious breach of discipline, by authorising the Chairperson or Principal to exclude a pupil or pupils from school, the maximum initial period of such exclusion shall be three school days. A special decision of the Board of Management necessary to authorise a further period of exclusion up to a maximum of 10 school days to allow for consultation with the pupil’s or pupils’ parents or guardians. In exceptional circumstances, the Board of Management may authorise a further period of exclusion in order to enable the matter to be reviewed.

6. No pupil shall be struck off the rolls for breaches of discipline without the prior consent of the Patron and unless alternative arrangements are made for the enrolment of the pupil at another suitable school.

Rules for Yard

1. Children should go to the toilet before they go to the yard.

2. Put on their coat if they think it’s going to be cold.

3. Go straight to the yard and not wait in the corridor, doorway or paths.

4. Children are not allowed on the grass at certain times of the year. These times will be announced.

5. When on the yard children are not allowed back into the school unless they have permission from the teacher on the yard.

6. No fighting or rough play is allowed on the yard.

7. All children must stay in their designated areas.

8. At the end of the yard time a bell will sound and the children should walk to their line.

9. When walking to their classroom children must walk in a straight line, they are not allowed to walk beside anyone else.

10. When children are back in their classroom they must sit in their chair.

11. Extra yard time will be given on Friday to the class who have lined up in an orderly fashion during the week and to the class deemed to have the tidiest room.

Behaviour in the Classroom General

1. Children on entering the classroom must go to their place and sit down.

2. They may not leave their place without permission from the teacher.

3. Children are expected to listen attentively at all times.

4. Children should not distract others by fidgeting, talking, etc.

5. Children should keep their classroom tidy at all times.

6. Good manners is expected from children at all times.

7. Respect must be shown at all times to peers and all adults.

8. Homework must be completed and signed.

Behaviour in the Classroom Specific

Each teacher especially in the senior classes will develop a set of classroom rules through discussion with their particular class.

Rules will be displayed in the classroom both general and specific

Behaviour in the School

1. Children are expected to wear their school uniform at all times and their school tracksuit on the days they are having P.E.

2. On entering the school from their lines the children should go straight to their classroom.

3. Running on the corridor is not allowed.

4. Good manners to be shown at all times, e.g. children should hold the door open and stand back to allow teachers, parents, visitors to pass through.

5. School should be kept tidy at all times.

6. No child may leave the school without permission.

Dea1ing with specific incidents, e.g. bullying

1. Every effort is made in St Oliver Plunkett N.S. to ensure that no child is bullied or that no child is a bully.

2. When an incident of this nature arises the following steps are taken:

a. The child/children involved are spoken to and the incident is fully investigated.

b. A general talk is given to the class reminding them of the importance of good behaviour and conduct. This would also involve the use of R.S.E. and S.P.H.E. programme.

c. Should there be a continuation of such incidents then the parents are informed.

d. Should such incidents persist, appropriate sanctions are taken (as per sanctions listed).

3. To resolve incidents of this nature, the co-operation of all the partners is vital.

4. School Anti-Bullying Policy is being reviewed at present.(Feb’06)

Possible Rewards and Sanctions

Rewards to encourage good behaviour:

1 Homework off

2 Praise

3 Prizes

4 Stickers

5 Stars

6 Stamps

7 Certificates

8 Special responsibilities

9 Treats

10 Extra Yard Time

Sanctions to discourage unacceptable behaviour:

1 Extra work

2 Time out within class or school

3 Reprimand

4 Referral to the Principal

5 Detention

6 Notification to Parents after 3 detentions

7 Conference between Principal Parents and Teacher

8 Referral to Board of Management

9 Anticipated use of suspension

10 Temporary Suspension

Summary of Types of Misbehaviour


(1) Inattentiveness

(2) Talking when should be working

(3) Lack of effort

(4) Homework not signed

(5) Failing to follow teacher’s instructions


(1) Stealing

(2) Homework not done persistently

(3) Verbal abuse of pupils

(4) Physical abuse of peers

(5) Constant defiance

6) Rudeness


(1) Persistent Bullying behaviour

(2) Vandalism

(3) Verbal and physical abuse of teacher

(4) Leaving school without permission


1. Each pupil is expected to treat every other person he meets in the school premises with courtesy and respect.

2. Each pupil is expected to be neat, punctual and to attend school regularly.

3. A high standard of loyalty and personal behaviour is expected from pupils at all times.

4. When moving through the school each pupil must do so quietly and in an orderly fashion.

5. If late or absent from school each pupil is expected to provide a written explanation from his or her parents.

6. No pupil is allowed to leave the school premises during school hours unless he/she has the permission of the Principal.

7 During playtime in the yard pupils are expected to avoid games that lead to unnecessary injuries.

8 A high standard of class work and homework is expected from all pupils in the school.

Acceptable Use Policy

An agreed Acceptable Use Policy for internet usage has been adopted and any misuse of this facility will result in sanctions as per that policy. It is important to note that the sanctions of the Internet Use Policy are consistent with the overall Discipline Policy of the School.

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