Code of Behaviour

Dromore N.S.




Title:- Code of Behaviour Policy (2003-2019)

Latest Review December 2019





  1. Introductory Statement

This policy was formulated by the whole school staff in conjunction with the Board of Management.



  1. Rationale
A Code of Behaviour is necessary so that the school community is aware of the standards of behaviour required to ensure the smooth running of the school.  A Code of Behaviour is required by the DES.


  1. Relationship to Characteristic Spirit of the School

Our school cherishes all pupils equally and, to aid them in achieving their true potential we hope to promote positive attitudes and to help them to appreciate the value of good behaviour towards the smooth running of the school.


  1. Aims


  • To allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way.
  • To enhance the learning environment where children can make progress in all aspects of their development.
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others.
  • To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences.
  • To ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the school community.
  • To assist parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the Code of Behaviour and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures.
  • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner.




  1. Guidelines (content of policy)


Our Code of Behaviour policy requires a strong sense of community and cooperation from staff, pupils and parents.

We recognise the differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences.

Our Code of Behaviour is based on the characteristic spirit of the school whereby good behaviour is rewarded and pupils are made aware when their behaviour does not live up to expectations.


In general pupils are expected to:

  • to be well behaved and to show consideration for other children and adults.
  • to show respect for the property of the school, other children's and their own belongings.
  • to attend school on a regular basis and to be punctual.
  • to do his/her best both in school and for homework.


In school

  • pupils are not allowed to run, shout or behave inappropriately.
  • when sent on messages to other classrooms, pupils are expected to knock on the door and wait to be invited in.
  • each teacher will draw up a list of rules pertaining to her/his classroom.
  • Pupils are expected to adhere to individual teacher's classroom rules. Changing circumstances within the school or classroom may require a teacher to apply rules beyond those stated.
  • all visitors to the school should be treated in a respectful manner.


On the yard:

  • pupils are expected to walk behind their teacher from their classrooms in an orderly fashion under the direction of their teacher.
  • On hearing the bell, pupils line up in their allocated areas to await class teachers to take them inside.
  • pupils are not permitted to climb or sit on the boundary walls.
  • pupils are expected to play safely within the confines of the yard.
  • pupils must only re-enter the building during break-time with the permission of the yard duty teacher.
  • pupils must never attempt to leave the school grounds during school hours.
  • pupils must seek a teacher's assistance should play equipment fall beyond the school boundary.


On school outings:

  • pupils are encouraged to behave in the same way as is expected of them in school.
  • pupils are encouraged to present themselves in a manner that reflects well on the school.
  • in competition situations pupils are encouraged to be gracious in both winning and losing.


Strategies to encourage positive behaviour

Teachers employ a variety of strategies to encourage good behaviour in their classrooms Examples are:

  • verbal praise
  • star of the week
  • rewards eg. stars, stickers, sweets etc.
  • table of the week
  • traffic lights
  • Golden Time
  • Class dojo
  • exemption from homework
  • Positive behaviour is promoted at all times and is reinforced on a whole school basis at our weekly “Teacht le Chéile
  • Line of the week


Unacceptable Behaviour

Three levels of misbehaviour are recognised: Minor, Serious and Gross. 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:-

  • Bringing electronic equipment or mobile-phones to school
  • Not wearing appropriate uniform; bringing in chewing-gum
  • Not following instructions.


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
  • Serious bullying
  • Carrying drugs, alcohol, cigarettes


Bullying is repeated aggression – physical, verbal or emotional - conducted by an individual or group against another or others.


  • PHYSICAL: includes pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking, tripping, etc.
  • VERBAL: name calling which hurts, insults or humiliates.
  • EMOTIONAL: threats or persistent hurtful remarks regarding sensitive areas e.g. appearance, dress, progress, colour, culture and disability. Isolating or shunning a child. Threats to extort money or possessions. “Cyber/text” bullying.


The school takes particular care to intervene early in responding to the needs, fears or anxieties of individual members in a sensitive manner.


Issues in relation to Bullying are explored continually during SPHE lessons and using Circle Time, Drama etc.


Should a parent/guardian have any concerns which need to be discussed with a teacher, all staff members are more than willing to facilitate a meeting, made through the proper channels i.e. a phone call to the office, or a note to the class teacher to arrange a convenient time for both parties. The first person to be informed should be the class teacher.


This arrangement ensures that all concerns are dealt with in a dignified, meaningful manner, without infringing on valuable teaching time.


Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while not to be condoned, cannot be described as bullying.


Incidents of bullying will be dealt with in the same manner as breaches of discipline – already outlined in our Code of Behaviour.


In the case where a parent reports a bullying incident, the school reserves the right to inform the relevant parties of the identity of the person making the complaint, when this is deemed necessary.



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.



Strategies for dealing with unacceptable behaviour (Appendix 55 CPSMA Handbook)

  1. Reasoning with the pupil
  2. Reprimand (including advice on how to improve. More senior pupils may be required to write an account of their misbehaviour and have it signed by their parents at a teachers discretion and depending on the seriousness of the misbehaviour)
  3. Card system- White card(minor incidents)/Yellow (serious incident or after 4 white cards) /Red card (serious incidents)
  4. Temporary separation from peers, friends or others
  5. Loss of privileges
  6. Prescribing additional work
  7. Referral to Principal Teacher
  8. Classroom support/School support plan
  9. Communication with parents
  10. School support
  11. Suspension (temporary)


Methods for the recording of breaches of behaviour

Where (a) to (f) above prove ineffectual, a record of misbehaviour is kept by the class

teacher before referral to the principal and/or Board of Management


Procedures for contacting parents in the case of a behavioural problem

Parents   are  informed   by   letter  or  phone call  depending  on   the  seriousness  of the misbehaviour


Education Welfare Act (1998)

Suspension/expulsion procedures in accordance with the Education Welfare Act. Under Section 29 of the Education Act (1998), parents (or pupils who have reached the age of 18) are entitled to appeal to the Secretary General of the Dept of Education and Science against some decisions of the Board of Management, including (1) permanent exclusion from a school and (2) suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year (See Circular 22/02). Accordingly, schools should advise parents of this right of appeal and associated timeframe if it has been decided to suspend or permanently exclude a pupil. Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent or student.


Dromore N.S. Anti-Bullying Policy

Due reference to the above policy has been made in relation to the Code of Behaviour.


Children with Special Needs

All children are required to comply with the code of behaviour.  However, the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules. Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the class teacher, learning support/ resource 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 special 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

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/Classroom support plans
  • Through children’s homework journal
  • White/Yellow/Red cards
  • Letters/notes from school to home and from home to school
  • Newsletters/school web-site/e-mails/facebook
  • TextaParent service.


  1. Success Criteria

The success of the Code of Behaviour will be judged under the following :

  • positive feedback from teachers, parents, pupils
  • observation of behaviour in classrooms, corridors, yard
  • the general atmosphere of the school
  1. Roles ad Responsibility


  • The policy will be supported, developed and implemented by the whole school staff.


  1. Timeframe for Implementation


This policy was implemented in the school year commencing September 2019



  1. Timeframe for Review


The policy will be reviewed in December 2020


  1. Responsibility for Review


This policy and its criteria for success will be kept under review, Catriona Brennan, , on a two yearly basis or as may be deemed necessary from time to time.

  1. Ratification and Communication


The Board of Management of Dromore N.S. has ratified the policy.
The Dromore N.S. Code of behaviour will be included in The Plean-Scoile and will be available on request to parents, staff, Board of Management and DES representatives and through the school website.




Ratified by Board of Management on:     December 2019


Signed :_____________________

 Fr. Patsy Arkinson                                             

Chairperson, B.O.M.






Contact Info

Dromore National School, Donegal
Address: An Droim Mor, Killygordon, Co Donegal, Donegal F93A275

Phone: 074-9149455