Code of Behaviour and Discipline


  • In devising the code, consideration has to be given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school. The aim is to create an ordered and orderly environment in which pupils can, through developing self-discipline, feel secure and make progress in all aspects of their development
  • Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school


  • The focus of this code is to promote a positive approach to discipline. It applies to all aspects of school life
  • The school recognises differences that exist between children and the need for a differentiated approach to discipline where necessary
  • 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, parents and pupils
  • Every effort will be made to ensure that the code of discipline is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner

School Rules

Outlined below are the Core Principles and Practices for Discipline for our school. These practices and principles are communicated to the pupils and parents in this policy, through classroom instruction and through communications from the school when necessary. For simplicity the principles and practices are reduced down to a concise set of school rules; General Rules & Yard Rules. These rules are taught to children in an age appropriate manner and will be displayed throughout the school.

Core Principles and Practices for School Discipline

Around the School

  • Exercise care when coming to and going from school particularly passing through the car park; walk in and walk out of school.
  • Walk while in the school building
  • Never leave the school grounds without the permission of a teacher or the principal
  • Arrive at school before the bell rings at 8.55a.m. Line up with class when the bell rings.
  • Show respect for the property of fellow pupils, the school building and grounds
  • Mobile devices are not to be used in school. If a child has a device in school it must be powered off and remain in their school bag until they leave school grounds.

In Class

  • Bring a note of explanation following absences
  • Remain seated at all times in class unless instructed otherwise
  • Come equipped for school, keep school bag, books and copies in good order
  • Wear the complete school uniform every day, tracksuit can be worn on PE days or as advised by the class teacher
  • Bring a sensible, nutritional lunch to school. As outlined in the school’s Healthy Eating Policy; crisps, minerals, sweets or chewing gum are not permitted
  • Pupils are asked to always do their best in school by listening carefully, working hard and by completing homework
  • Behave well in class. Do not interfere with other pupils learning
  • Be kind and respectful to teachers and fellow pupils by being mannerly and polite, by taking turns, including others, lining up quickly and quietly and in an orderly manner.
  • Keep the school clean by bringing unfinished food and drinks, cartons, wrappers etc. home.
  • Be truthful and honest at all times

Bullying: Holy Family is a bully free zone

  • Children should never bully others.
  • If a child is the victim of bullying in school it is vital that it is brought to the attention of the class teacher (and parents) in the first instance.
  • Children are asked to always tell teacher (and/or parents) if they are aware of another child being the victim of bullying.
  • Bullying is always unacceptable. 

School Day Timetable:

  • School begins at 8.55am
  • School ends at 1.35pm for Infants and at 2.35pm for all other class.
  • Sos beag at 10.30am -10.40am
  • Am lón at 12.30pm – 1.00pm
  • Parents and children are advised of PE/Computer/Library timetable in September

As part of maintaining the roll the class teacher records children’s late arrivals and early collections from school. Unless it is absolutely necessary children are to remain in class until they are dismissed from their line by the class teacher


It is the policy of the school to assign homework on a regular basis. Parents are strongly advised to take an active interest in their child’s homework and to sign their homework journal each night (ensuring that it is done).

Set of General School Rules (for Instruction and Display)   

  1. Treat others with respect. Keep hands, feet and comments to yourself
  2. Respect school property and the property of others
  3. No Bullying
  4. No mobile phones or tablets in school
  5. Be in line on time 

Yard Rules (for Instruction and Display)

  1. No rough play, no hurtful comments
  2. Seek permission to use bathroom
  3. Keep the yard litter free
  4. Line up quickly and quietly
  5. Tell the teacher on duty if something happens to you or someone else 



Behaviour Passport System: Positive reinforcement

  • Each child is given a behaviour passport in September
  • Teachers stamp the passports to reward good behaviour and achievement
  • Once a page is filled with stamps children are given a ticket for a monthly draw
  • Passports are divided into bronze, silver, gold and platinum sections. When a section is completed children receive a certificate of achievement. Children are also entered into a termly draw to spin the wheel
  • In addition to the passport system the principal will operate a ‘Golden Book’ to record exceptional achievements and behaviour


Yard: Yellow Cards & Time-out Zones

  • Children are given a verbal warning to encourage them to behave appropriately on yard
  • If a verbal warning is not heeded then a visual warning of a yellow card is shown to the child and they are warned verbally for a second time
  • Where misbehaviour is continued the behaviour is recorded in the Yard Book and children are asked to stand off yard in a Time-out Zone.

Depending on the behaviour in which a child is engaged in the teacher on duty may deem it necessary to skip a step or to reissue either a verbal warning or a visual warning. Dangerous behaviour will result in time off yard.


Dealing with unacceptable behaviour

Misbehaviour will be dealt with on 3 levels; informally at level 1 and formally at level 2 & 3. The degree of misdemeanours i.e. minor, serious or gross, will be judged by the teachers and/or Principal based on a common sense approach with regard to the gravity/frequency of such behaviour


Level 1: Teachers use many informal strategies when dealing with informally with misbehaviour and misdemeanours; these include but are not limited to:

  • Eye contact and other non-verbal cues
  • Reasoning with pupils
  • Verbal reprimand/warning (including advice on how to improve)
  • Time out from activities


Level 2: When there is serious misbehaviour or when informal measures fail to have a positive effect the following strategies will be employed by teachers:

  • Standard note sent home by teacher
  • Extra work e.g. Written/drawn report of event(s), letter of apology, writing school rules
  • Loss of privileges (additional sports, library visits after school clubs, class trips, school tours etc.)
  • Meeting with parents
  • Referral to principal – Name entered in ‘Red Book’
  • Meeting with principal, parents, teacher and pupil (where appropriate)


Level 3: When actions at level 1 & 2 do not prove effective the following strategies will be employed. It is envisaged that very few pupils will require interventions at this level:

  • White Report Card: Card given by teacher. Behaviour monitored by teachers 3 times daily. Signed by parent each night. Monitoring takes place for 1 week but if no improvement is evident this period maybe extended by the class teacher
  • Yellow Report Card: Card given by principal. Behaviour monitored by teachers 3 times daily. Signed by parent each night and presented to principal each morning. Monitoring takes place for 2 weeks but if no improvement is evident this period may be extended by the class teacher and principal
  • Suspension/expulsion (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular 7/88). Expulsion will be considered in an extreme case in accordance with Rule 130 (6) “No pupil can be struck off the rolls for breaches of discipline without prior consent of patron and until alternative arrangements are made for enrolment of pupil at another suitable school in the locality”.


  1. Examples of misdemeanours:

Interrupting class work/late arrival for school/running in the school building/interfering with others in the class line/leaving assigned seat without permission at lunch time on wet days/placing unfinished lunch waste in class bin/leaving litter around the school/not wearing the correct school uniform/being discourteous/unmannerly/not completing homework without good reason/endangering self or fellow pupils in the school yard at break time.


  1. Examples of serious misconduct:

Constantly disruptive in class/telling lies/stealing/damaging other pupil’s property/ bullying/back answering a teacher/frequenting school premises after school hours without appropriate permission/leaving school premises during school day without appropriate permission/Not working to full potential/using unacceptable language/bringing weapons to school/deliberately injuring a fellow pupil


2.2 Examples of gross misconduct:

Setting fire to school property/deliberately leaving taps/fire hose turned on/aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher/pupil


It should be noted that these lists consist of examples only: It is not meant to be a totally comprehensive list of misdemeanours and procedural steps.


School Policy on Bullying:

Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others. The school has a separate Anti-bullying Policy which outlines procedures and practices relating to instances of bullying in the school in greater detail than contained in this policy.


Indications of Bullying / Behaviour:

  • Anxiety about travelling to/from school
  • Unwillingness to go to school
  • Deterioration in educational performance
  • Pattern of physical illnesses
  • Unexplained changes in either mood/behaviour
  • Visible signs of anxiety/distress
  • Possessions missing
  • Increased requests for money
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Reluctance and/or refusal to say what is troubling him/her


Procedures for noting and reporting incidents:

  • All reports of bullying should be noted, investigated and dealt with by the class teacher so that pupils will gain confidence in telling. A special incident book will be kept in the office for this purpose only
  • Serious cases should be referred immediately to the Deputy Principal or Principal
  • Parents should be informed by the Deputy Principal/Principal earlier rather than later
  • Parents must be informed of the appropriate person to whom they can make their enquiries regarding bullying
  • Pupils must understand that reporting is not ‘telling tales’
  • Individual teachers should record and take appropriate measures in accordance with policy
  • Non-teaching staff should be encouraged to report incidents. Discretion is important


Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying:

  • Calm, unemotional problem-solving approach
  • Incidents best investigated outside the classroom situation
  • Teacher should speak separately to the pupils involved
  • Answers should be sought to questions of What, Where, When, Who and Why
  • Members of a gang should be met individually and as a group
  • Meet parents of parties involved
  • Record of incident(s) maintained by relevant teacher and provided to principal


Programme for work with pupils:

Learning strategies should allow for the enhancement of each pupil’s self-worth –  Stay Safe Lessons, Roots of Empathy. It is proposed to run the Friends for Life Programme in senior classes from 2016.