Code of Behaviour

For any organisation to work effectively there must be in place a code of conduct which is understood and valued by all interested parties. Our code emphasises the importance of a positive approach to the prevention and management of children’s behaviour in the school. It is recognised that there will be times when children will misbehave and that there must be a system of appropriate guidelines and sanctions in place.

Vision/Mission Statement:

All of the partners in the school community, parents, teachers, support staff, pupils and management will work together to ensure that we create the optimum learning/teaching atmosphere in our school. Working together we will support all of our pupils to develop their full potential and to use their diverse talents. We will create an inclusive atmosphere where all of the partners in the school community will treat each other with respect and dignity, as partners and as equals.

Aims of the Code of Behaviour:

The aims of the code of behaviour are to:

  • Provide clear guidance to children, teachers, parents and the Board of Management about expected behaviours so that our school will run smoothly and effectively.
  • Develop children’s self esteem and promote positive behaviour.
  • Foster discipline and a sense of responsibility in every child.
  • Foster respect and a positive caring attitude to one another and the environment.
  • Ensure a safe and happy school environment for the whole school community.
  • Enable teachers to teach without disruption.
  • Ensure the right of every child to be educated and to be able to learn.
  • Acknowledge that every child and every person in the school community has a personal part to play in upholding the principles of the Code of Behaviour.

Rights and Responsibilities:

Children’s Rights:

Children have the right to:

  • Have a smile on their face.
  • Be safe from bullying and all forms of abuse whether physical, emotional, mental or sexual.
  • Be looked after when they are unwell and have a parent/guardian called.
  • Be helped and supported to work to the best of their ability.
  • Be able to work without others bothering them.
  • Not have people take or use their things without asking or have anything taken from the school.
  • A safe and happy playtime.
  • Be taken care of when they fall or are injured.
  • Have a teacher/adult to talk to them and to talk to people who may hurt them.
  • Be kept safe from rough play in the yard, in the lines, in the corridors and in the classroom.
  • Express their emotions, rights and beliefs in a respectful manner.
  • Be listened to.

Children’s Responsibilities:

Children are Responsible for:

  • Being nice to people in their own class and those in other classes.
  • Asking other children to play in their games and to offer them help when needed.
  • Telling the teacher on duty if they see fighting, anything dangerous, unfair or against the school rules going on.
  • Keeping the school tidy and clean.
  • For each child to do their best to arrive at school on time.
  • Keeping the class rules.
  • Listening to the teacher and helping him/her.
  • Taking care of their own property.
  • Doing their best at home and in school.
  • Being nice to others.
  • Obeying school yard rules.
  • Helping others who fall/hurt themselves and bring them to the teacher on duty.
  • Telling the teacher if they feel in danger or unsafe.
  • Take pride in their uniform.

Golden Rules for Class:

  • We listen to the teacher.
  • We raise our hand when we wish to speak or need help.
  • We sit safely at all times and only leave our seats with teacher’s permission.
  • We respect our belongings, others belongings and school property.
  • We are kind and helpful to each other.
  • We work quietly and always do our best.

Teachers Rights:

Teachers have the right to:

  • Personal and professional respect and courtesy.
  • Teach in an environment free from disruption.
  • A safe and well-maintained physical environment.
  • A pleasant, caring, peaceful environment, to be free from all forms of abuse, whether physical, emotional, mental or sexual from children, parents, colleagues or visitors to the school.
  • Expect that children will work and behave to their potential.
  • Full and open respectful communication with parents in relation to their child’s physical, social, emotional and academic progress.
  • View concerns, in a professional manner, concerning a child’s physical, social, emotional and academic progress.
  • Expect back-up, support and cooperation from management and parents in relation to the child’s physical, emotional, social and learning needs.
  • Their full break and lunchtimes.
  • Confidentiality
  • To be listened to.
  • Moral and emotional support from their colleagues and other personnel.
  • Support from ancillary staff, school management, social services, INTO and the Department of Education and Science.
  • Consultation in decision making in relation to matters that affects their own classroom and the school in general.
  • Appeal to a higher authority, for example the Board of Management, Department of Education and Science, INTO etc.

Teachers Responsibilities:

Teachers are responsible for:

  • Building the self esteem of the children in their care and giving each child a sense of self esteem.
  • Creating a happy, welcoming environment.
  • Ensuring that children in their care work to reach their full academic potential.
  • Recognising and providing for individual talents – academic, creative, sporting and others.
  • Ensuring that each child is valued and respected irrespective of religious, cultural, social and family circumstances.
  • The physical safety of the children in their care.
  • Being punctual throughout the day.
  • Ensuring that opportunities for disruption are minimised.
  • Being prepared for school work.
  • Checking and correcting school and homework.
  • Being fair and just at all times. Treat all children equally.
  • Communicating with parents and informing them of issues of concern at the earliest possible time with professional confidentiality.
  • Provide practical, emotional and moral support to colleagues.
  • Uphold the ethos of the school.
  • Uphold the religious ethos of the school while, at the same time, accommodate different religions within the school community.

Parents/Guardians Rights:

Parents/Guardians have the right to:

  • Feel that they can approach the school.
  • Give an opinion, say how they feel, express their needs and be listened to respectfully.
  • Get regular updates on the progress of their children.
  • Have access to progress reports.
  • Be consulted immediately if there is a concern with their child’s academic, social or physical progress.
  • Be afforded respectful listening, acceptance and confidentiality from all staff.
  • Information to be available on school policies and procedures.
  • Communication with Principal/teacher – by appointment if necessary.
  • The right to appeal to a higher authority – Board of Management, Department of Education and Science.

Parents/Guardians Responsibilities:

Parents/Guardians are responsible for:

  • Giving their children a sense of self-worth.
  • Giving their children a sense of respect for themselves, for other people, for their property and that of others.
  • Looking after their children’s physical needs, ensuring that children get adequate sleep, food and clothing.
  • Looking after their children’s health and hygiene needs.
  • Becoming involved in their children’s learning.
  • Ensuring that their children attend school regularly (unless they are ill)
  • Ensuring that their children arrive at school on time.
  • Ensuring that their children wear their school uniform.
  • Ensure that their children come to school with equipment needed for school for example, books and pencils.
  • Cooperating with the school in relation to the upkeep of the Code of Behaviour.
  • Taking an interest in and communicating with the school in relation to all aspects of their child’s learning ie: progress, behaviour, school work and homework.
  • Being open with the school in relation to a problem in a child’s life that may affect their happiness, well-being and progress/learning.

The Code of Behaviour for St John’s National School is a very positive one where pupils are recognised, praised and rewarded for good behaviour, manners and positive social interaction. We have high expectations of our pupils. This is supported by our SPHE programme, Circle time and teaching of Social Skills. Appropriate supervision of pupils is also maintained at all times.

School Rules:

There are six school rules which are taught to children in every class.

  1. Walk, don’t run, inside the school building.
  2. Be polite to all in school. Respect for yourself and others is cool.

No bullying allowed.

  1. Obey school rules immediately when asked by all staff.
  2. School uniform or tracksuit to be worn every day. Jewellery will get in the way. 
  3. Be on time in your line. Have all your books and your homework signed.
  4. While on the yard gently and fairly play. In your own area is where you should stay. 

The above rules are taught in a very thorough way. The emphasis is on why, where, when, what and to whom the rule applies.

Reward System:

  1. Children receive two stickers, of the appropriate colour, each day they are in school.
  2. Two stickers are awarded if the rules are observed and are recorded in their merit card.
  3. Extra stickers can be given by other teachers if they witness a kind act or particularly good piece of work.
  4. When the merit card is complete (100 stickers) the child will be awarded with a corresponding Merit Certificate and a wristband.
  5. There are six levels of attainment – Sapphire, Amethyst, Ruby, Silver, Gold and Platinum.


It is important to remember that children are reminded that they can get two stickers each day for following the school rules. 

The good behaviour of 2 children must be acknowledged before the misbehaving child is reprimanded – except in extreme cases.

At the discretion of the teacher a child may need time out, possibly with a Support teacher to prevent a situation occurring (ie: a child with apparent signs of beginning a bad day or a child with special behavioural needs).

Note keeping is essential for children with Special Needs.

  1. Verbal Warning – No loss of points.
  2. Written warning – Record name and incident and yellow card on desk.

Children must be reminded that only one sticker is now available to them.

  1. If a child continues to misbehave s/he must be isolated in class for 30 minutes.

Explain Isolation     All stickers gone     Slip home to explain behaviour

Child continues work at the back of the class but cannot participate orally. If s/he misbehaves at the back of the class move to step 4 immediately.

  • Child is sent to another class for the first full period after misbehaviour. Record.

A set of worksheets at a ‘do-able’ level is given to the child. A meeting with parents/guardians may be desirable at this stage. An explanatory note is sent home and work missed is sent home with the child that evening.

Work must be done neatly.

Child is warned that s/he will automatically go onto step 5 (In School Suspension) if the task is not completed at home. 

  • In School Suspension

This can be given if the child fails to complete step 4 or

Step 5 may be used straight away in cases of serious misbehaviour. 

The child will be removed from the class for one day with ‘do-able’ work and a Good Choices Page.

The child will be required to discuss their behaviour with the Support teacher or the Principal.

An apology note will be sent home with the child and must be signed by the Parent/Guardian.

  • Out of School Suspension

This can be given if the child engages in persistent gross misbehaviour ie: abusive language to teachers, school personnel or classmates or

Physical abuse of others.

If this behaviour happens on a regular basis with no effort to improve in spite of meeting with Parents/Guardians and child and school personnel. 

Child will be suspended for 2 days. S/he will have work to be completed and an apology note to be properly written by the child and signed by the child’s Parents/Guardians.

If this task is not completed, this is regarded as gross misbehaviour and the child will continue to be suspended until both are fulfilled. On returning to school the child must be accompanied by Parents/Guardians.

Suspension must be recorded. Details of suspensions will be stored in locked files in the Principal’s office and forwarded to the National Educational Welfare Board.

  • Expulsion

Expulsion of a student is a serious step and one that should only be taken by the Board of Management in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour. A proposal to expel a student requires serious grounds such as that:

  • The student’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.
  • The student’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to the safety of themselves and others.
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property.

Expulsion for a first offence

There may be exceptional circumstances where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence. The kinds of behaviour that might result in a proposal to expel on the basis of a single breach of the Code of Behaviour could include:

  • A serious threat of violence against another student or member of staff.
  • Actual violence or physical assault.
  • Supplying illegal drugs to other students in the school.
  • Sexual assault.

If a child is expelled from St Johns NS then the parents/Guardians will be informed of their right to appeal the decision through a Section 29 to the Department of Education and Skills.

Policy Ratification 

In drafting this policy, the Board of Management of the school has consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents / guardians of children attending the school. The Board of Management reserves the right to review, amend and append this policy to maintain the ethos of the school.

St. John's National School © 2021