The Code of Behaviour of Lisvernane National School reflects the vision and values of our school, its patron and the National Education Welfare Board guidelines for schools. This code was developed in consultation with the staff, parents, pupils, our NEPS psychologist and the Board of Management, in compliance with Section 23 of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000. It translates the expectations of the school community into practical arrangements, routines and procedures which ensure that its aims are implemented and that the particular needs and circumstances of our school and community are met.
The aims of our Code of Behaviour are as follows:
- To create a climate that encourages and reinforces good behaviour.
- To foster an orderly, harmonious school where high standards of behaviour are expected, explained, understood and supported.
- To help create a positive learning environment in which all pupils can benefit from the education system and achieve their personal best.
- To ensure the safety and well-
being of all members of the school community as well as caring for the school and its environment.
- 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 throughout the school.
- To encourage students to take personal responsibility for their learning and their behaviour
- To help young people to mature into responsible participating citizens
- To build positive relationships of mutual respect and mutual support among students, staff and parents.
II. Principles Underlining Our Code:
Every effort will be made to ensure that our code is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner and that all members of staff adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school.
Differences amongst our pupils e.g. S.E.N. pupils will be acknowledged.
A whole school approach will be adopted. This requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-
Good behaviour will be encouraged and rewarded. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.
III. Whole school approach to Promoting Positive Behaviour
An effective Code of behaviour requires the co-
Our motto in Lisvernane N.S. is “kind hands, kind words, kind feet”.
Teachers are expected to adhere to the Code of Professional Behaviour and Practice for teachers as developed by the Teaching Council of Ireland.
As a staff we work together to devise reward/sanction programmes as necessary and we undergo any professional development necessary to ensure that there is a united front in dealing with behavioural matters.
The SPHE curriculum also supports our code of behaviour. This curriculum helps children to develop communication and problem-
For children with Special Educational Needs, who may present with behavioural difficulties arising from their needs, learning support and class teachers liaise regularly to develop behavioural targets for such children consulting with NEPS as necessary.
This behaviour policy is circulated to all teachers and staff members. All temporary or new staff are also made aware of the policy and its content. Through regular staff meetings and good communication, the policy is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis.
In Lisvernane N.S., this policy will be updated yearly.
It is the responsibility of the principal under the direction of the Board, to lead the work on the Code of Behaviour. The principal will lead the audit and review of the Code, and ensure that it is implemented in the school.
Board of Management
The Board of Management will formally record the adoption of the code of behaviour, the commencement date, and decisions about when the code will be reviewed.
Members of the Board of Management of Lisvernane N.S. were involved in drafting and ensuring implementation of this policy.
The Board of Management supports the code of behaviour in the school on an ongoing basis.
The Board of Management supports the staff in implementing the code of behaviour and provides as necessary professional development in behaviour management education and training.
The Board of Management gives authorisation for particular sanctions in the case of serious breaches of behaviour.
Parental involvement in formulating the Code of Behaviour will draw on their expectations, insights and experience. It will help to underline their responsibility for their children’s behaviour.
Positive relationships are built from the start with parents and they are encouraged to take an active role in the development of their child. Teachers work in collaboration with parents to develop any specific behaviour plans needed for their child. The code will give parents insight into what teachers need in order to be able to teach effectively.
There are clear channels through which parents can communicate any concerns they may have about a pupil (C.F: Parent/Teacher Communication Policy)
On the enrolment day, parents are given a copy of the Code of Behaviour in the school and the expectations of pupils are discussed, along with the role of parents in helping pupils to meet these expectations. Parents are obliged to share information about anything that might affect a pupil’s behaviour in school or any matter that may impact on their learning, and are informed how to go about doing this.
Parents are notified early if there is a concern about a pupil’s behaviour, so that ways of helping the pupils can be discussed and agreed.
The school has a Parents Association. Parents are encouraged to get involved in this association as a structure through which they can work together for the best possible education for their children.
Pupils in Lisvernane N.S. will assist in the development of the Code of Behaviour, working under the umbrella of the student council. Regular reports are presented at Assembly time.
Firstly, at the beginning of each academic year, the class teacher will introduce and revise a list of 8 class rules with the children which reflect and support the school rules, but are presented in a way that is accessible to the children. These rules will be displayed in each classroom. Individual teachers have supplementary rules to promote order and organisation relevant to the class. The 8 rules applicable throughout the school are as follows:
1. Be kind and fair to others
2. Raise your hand when you want to speak
3. Show respect: listen when others are speaking/respect others and their property
4. Keep our classroom clean and tidy
5. Walk when you are in the classroom and the corridors
6. Try your best
7. Always do your homework
8. Tell the truth, no matter what the situation
Through their involvement pupils can:
- Hear directly from teachers about what is needed for teaching and learning
- Experience being part of a collective effort to make sure Lisvernane N.S. is a good place to teach and learn
- Learn about taking personal responsibility for their behaviour and for each other’s wellbeing and the wellbeing of the teachers
- Learn essential skills of listening, negotiating and managing differences
The children attend regular assemblies where any behavioural concerns are raised and discussed by the principal.
V. Content of the Code of Behaviour
The Code of Behaviour covers the following areas:
a) General Standards of Behaviour
c) Classroom conduct
d)Expected Behaviour in the playground
e) Behaviour in the school environment
f) Behaviour on school trips/outings
g) Attendance and dismissal
h) Rules regarding misc. items
a) General Expected Behaviour
- Pupils are expected to treat all adults and fellow pupils with respect and courtesy at all times. Behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable.
- Pupils are expected to show respect for all school property and to keep the school environment clean and litter free.
- Pupils are expected to take pride in their appearance, to have the correct uniform, books and required materials and to be in the correct place at the correct time.
- Pupils are expected to obey teacher’s lawful instructions, to work to the best of their ability and to present assignments neatly.
Any form of bullying is unacceptable in Lisvernane N.S.
Bullying is a pattern of deliberate abuse – physical, verbal or emotional, by an individual or group that adversely affects a pupil’s well-
The most common forms of bullying are aggressive physical contact, name-
c) Classroom Conduct
- Pupils are expected to attend school regularly and punctually.
- Pupils are expected to respect the right of other pupils to learn and to avoid disrupting the work of the classroom. This commitment will involve keeping the rules.
- Pupils are expected to have respect for their teachers and follow instructions given by them.
- Pupils are expected to go to and from their classroom in an orderly manner, running is not allowed at any time in classrooms or corridor.
- Pupils are expected to show courtesy and respect towards other pupils.
- Visitors should be greeted politely and pupils should continue to work quietly.
- Pupils should have their own basic equipment, books, pens, pencils, rubbers, markers etc. Borrowing is not encouraged.
- No unnecessary money should be brought to school.
- Mobile phones should not be brought to school.
- Proactive strategies and supervision practices are in place to decrease yard problems.
- On wet days, children in classrooms are allowed to play with board games/cards etc.
- Lisvernane N.S. has a Healthy Eating Policy which must be followed.
- Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own work
- Chewing gum is not allowed.
- Pupils are expected to take part in school activities.
d) Expected Behaviour in the yard
- All pupils are encouraged to enjoy their games in the playground. It is expected that such activities will proceed without interference from other children.
- Bullying, rough play, foul or coarse language, spitting, teasing, name calling, fighting and intimidation shall not be tolerated.
- Pupils must play within their own designated area unless they have permission from the supervising teacher. The tennis court is for Juniors-
2nd during sos and for 3rd – 6th during lunch.
- The following behaviours are also forbidden: piggy backs, handstands, swinging out of railings and lifting other pupils and any other behaviour which the supervising teacher deems unsafe. Certain games may be prohibited by the teacher on duty at any given time and certain games may be deemed unsafe due to weather conditions.
- If a physical fight occurs in the yard, the participants are separated, brought by an SNA or staff member to the staffroom and the Principal /Deputy Principal will speak with them.
- Students are not permitted to bring lunch into the playground.
- Mock fighting and rough play is not allowed.
- Playing with sticks and throwing stones is forbidden.
- If at any time, a pupil is found to have an item that is considered dangerous to themselves or others, it will be taken from them.
- When the bell rings, pupils should stop and walk to their lines.
- In a case where a pupil persistently refuses to comply with the Code of Behaviour, in the yard, then the Board of Management recommends that the pupil’s parents be obliged to remove the pupil from the confines of the school yard for the duration of the school breaks, at 11:00 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. and on completion of the break periods return the pupil to the school.’ After a defined period and on receipt of assurances from the parents, the pupil would then be allowed to remain in the school grounds during break times.
e) Behaviour in General School Environment:
- Pupils should not be on school property until the first bell rings in the morning at 9:00am. They then assemble outside the main door, and wait for the teacher on duty to open the door.
- Pupils are expected to move about the school in an orderly manner.
- Pupils shall not remain on the school premises after school activities are finished.
- Pupils are expected to show respect for school property.
- Pupils are expected to come to and from school with due care for other pupils, for property, for traffic and pedestrians.
f) Expected Behaviour re. School Outings/School linked-
School tours, outings and school linked activities present particular challenges for the school. As well as the normal standard of behaviour expected from all our pupils, a specific policy regarding school outings will be used in conjunction with this Code of Behaviour. See also School Tour Policy.
g) Attendance and Dismissal
- School begins at 9.10am for all classes. Pupils should arrive to school between 9:00 and 9.10am. On entering school in the morning pupils are asked to line up in an orderly fashion outside the main door, the teacher on duty will come and open the main door when the bell rings at 9:00am. Any pupil arriving before 9:00am is not allowed on the premises. Pupils remain their parent’s responsibility until that time.
- Lunch break is from 12.30 to 1.00 p.m.
- Infants go home at 1.50pm. All other classes end at 2.50pm. Parents who wish to have their children escorted home should make their own arrangements to have them met no later than 1.50 or 2.50pm as the school cannot accept responsibility for looking after the children after this time. A written note must be presented if the child is being collected by a non-
- Pupils are expected to attend every day unless there is a genuine reason for absence, in which case the school must be informed in writing, clearly stating the reason for absence. This can be noted in their school diary. The Principal is required by law to report such absences to the TUSLA.
- Pupils are expected to be on time for school each day and, in the event of a late arrival, bring a note to the teacher. Please note that where a child attends school after attendance has been taken he / she will be marked absent.
- No child will be allowed to leave school during school hours without a signed letter stating time child is to be allowed home. Alternatively parents may call to the school and having consulted with the class teacher the principal or deputy principal, they may bring child home.
- If a child is sick during school hours we will endeavour to contact his/her home. It is important that every child has a phone number where his/her parents can be contacted. Parents who will be absent from home, or normal place of work, should arrange a contact phone number in case an emergency should arise.
- A child who is sick in the morning should not be sent to school unless there are strong indications that it is a minor matter that will not necessitate him/her being sent home.
h) Rules regarding Misc. items
- Pupils are expected to take pride in their appearance, to have the correct uniform, books and required materials each day.
- Tracksuits and runners are essential for physical education and should be worn only on the appropriate days
- Toys and other electronic devices are not permitted in the school
- Mobile Phones are not permitted in the school (under any circumstances).
V. Ladder of Intervention
- Consistent clear rules and routines in class and in school assist the majority of pupils to behave appropriately. Minor misbehaviour will be checked regularly by the class teacher.
- More active interventions will be used to help some students manage their behaviour including, Parental Involvement, setting targets for behaviour and monitoring them with the student in a supportive way, behaviour contracts and the involvement of another teacher/Principal/Deputy Principal.
- Interventions tried and how the pupil responded will be noted.
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.
In Lisvernane N.S. we believe that rewards are likely to motivate when
- They are meaningful to the individual student or group
- The student understands what the reward is given for
- They acknowledge behaviour that is valued and wanted
- They are closely linked in time to that specific behaviour
- They are given for effort and not only for achievement
- They are used consistently and by all staff
The following are some examples of how rewards might be given:
- A quiet word/gesture to show approval
- A comment/happy face in a pupils exercise book
- A visit to another member of staff or to the principal for commendation
- A word of praise in front of group or class
- A system of merit marks or stickers/stamps, each child has their own stamp sheet
- Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
- A mention to parent, written or verbal communication
- Golden time e.g. gardening, cooking, baking, homework pass, special treat, etc.
- Class dojo
Our policy is to promote and encourage good standards of behaviour. It is therefore essential that it be rewarded and be seen to be reinforced by the following:
Good behaviour is constantly acknowledged by teachers, principal, ancillary staff throughout the day.
Pupil’s journal is used to convey positive behaviour to parents through the use of the behaviour slips and/or a note in the journal.
Each teacher recognises and acknowledges good behaviour in their own class and have developed systems of rewarding individuals/groups of children on a regular basis, i.e stamp sheet.
At regular assemblies with principal, specific children and classes are praised for improvements in behaviour or exceptionally good behaviour. Student of the week is also awarded.
VII. Responding to Inappropriate Behaviour
When a student’s behaviour disrupts the teaching and learning of other students, school authorities will weigh the needs of that student with the needs of other students and staff.
In order to facilitate the smooth running of the school and to ensure the safety of all, and to maintain an orderly atmosphere for learning, sanctions/behaviour checks must and will be imposed where inappropriate behaviour occurs. Pupils will be made aware that when they have breached the code that the breach warrants a sanction. It must be clear why the sanction is being applied and what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions. When sanctions are used pupils should understand that what they have done is not acceptable and that it is the behaviour that is rejected not the child. Incidents of inappropriate behaviour are categorised according to age level and the nature of misbehaviour.
The following are samples of unacceptable behaviours:
- Behaviour that is hurtful ( including bullying, harassment, giving cheek to teachers, discrimination and victimisation)
- Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning
- Threats or physical hurt to another person
- Damage to property
3 levels of misbehaviour are recognised in Lisvernane N.S. : minor, serious and gross.
Minor misbehaviours will be checked regularly by the class teacher
Homework not done and no note, rudeness, borrowing items without asking, inattentiveness, answering out of turn, alienating friends, not wearing uniform. Disobedience, not carrying out instructions from teachers, disrupting class, not getting on with work set by teachers, leaving other children out of play, not following class rules, damaging school or other childrens property, marking tables with pens/pencils, marking other childrens property and/or library books, interrupting the teacher, wandering around the classroom, fidgeting and inattention, sulking, pushing, returning to classrooms during break without permission, lack of respect for all staff and other pupils.
This is not an exhaustive list.
Continuous minor misbehaviour automatically becomes a serious misbehaviour.
Any form of Bullying is unacceptable in Lisvernane N.S. (see Anti-
Fighting, bullying, mitching, bad abusive language, name calling, exclusion, rough play, disrespecting others, hitting, back talking, belittling personal comments, speaking in a negative way about other members of ones family, damaging play equipment or school property, stealing, leaving school premises without permission, climbing on walls, kicking, fighting, spitting, biting, throwing objects (that can harm), being insolent, giving cheek, telling lies, leaving school/school activities without permission.
This is not an exhaustive list.
Gross Misbehaviours are where a student’s behaviour has a seriously detrimental effect on the safe operation of the school. A single incident of gross misbehaviour may be grounds for suspension.
This is not an exhaustive list.
Examples of Gross Misbehaviour include:
- Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a pupil/staff member.
- Bringing dangerous weapons to school.
- Deliberately damaging school property.
- Being in possession of alcohol/drugs
- Serious physical violence which threatens safety of other pupils/staff
This is not an exhaustive list.
It should be noted that persistent misbehaviour may also warrant a period of suspension.
Sanctions are part of our plan in Lisvernane N.S. to change behaviour. They help students learn that their behaviour is unacceptable, and help them to recognise the effect of their actions and behaviours on others.
- The use of sanctions or consequences should be characterised by certain features;
- It must be clear why the sanction is being applied
- The consequence must relate as closely as possible to the behaviour
- It must be made clear what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions
- There should be a clear distinction between minor and major offences
- It should be the behaviour rather than the person that is the focus
- Sanctions will signal to other students and to staff that their wellbeing is being protected
The following steps will be taken in Lisvernane N.S. when the children behave inappropriately. They are listed in order of severity with one being for a minor misbehaviour and ten being for serious or gross misbehaviour. The aim of any sanction is to prevent the behaviour occurring again and if necessary to help the pupils devise strategies for this. The particular stage used will depend on the seriousness of the misbehaviour. Communication with parents / guardians through letters, phone call or meetings will occur where necessary so that parents / guardians are involved at an early stage rather than as a last resort.
The discretion of a teacher in conjunction with the principal/deputy principal will be used in order to determine if an offence is of a minor/serious nature.
Questioning: If the incident is not directly seen by a teacher then the teacher on duty or class teacher will question a pupil in order to clarify matters i.e. what happened? Who was there? When did this happen?etc.(CF Restorative Questions). It is at the teachers discretion to decide which is the appropriate setting in which to question the child or discuss an incident.
Step 1: Reasoning with the pupil/verbal cautioning/reprimand (including advice on how to improve).
Step 2: A stronger verbal caution will be given at this stage. Pupils may be asked to stay back at lunch time for 5-
3. If behaviour persists or is of a more serious nature then step 3 will be implemented. This may involve temporarily removing a student from the classroom/playground to a supervised location in the interest of classroom and playground management, in order to ensure the learning/safe play of that individual student and that of other students. This will give the student time to recognise and learn about the impact and consequences of their behaviour. It may involve temporarily sending the student to another classroom. On yard, the offending student may be asked to accompany teacher on duty until the bell goes. Step 3 also involves a child then completing a behaviour plan. If the child is in classes from juniors-
They will also receive a red card. If a child receives a red card, a note will be sent home in school diary or parents will be contacted by the class teacher. If a child receives 2 red cards in one month and is about to receive a 3rd then parents will be contacted and the child will receive a 2 day lunch suspension.
4. Temporary Loss/withdrawal of privileges.
5. Communication with parents
6. Referral to Principal
These sanctions may not always be applied in this particular order.
In cases of Health and Safety or Child Protection issues that arise, the staff of Lisvernane N.S. and/or the Board of Management can override some or all of these stages.
Before serious sanctions such as suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised.
Procedures in respect of Suspension (as per pg77 of the NEWB guidelines).
Section 21 (4) of the Education (Welfare) 2000 Act requires that if a pupil is suspended for a period of not less than 6 days The Education Welfare officer shall be informed, by notice in writing. While the BoM has the authority to suspend, they have delegated this authority to the Principal together with either the chairperson of the BOM or the Deputy Principal for periods of up to three days. Where the cumulative total of days suspension reaches 6, the TUSLA will be notified. The following procedures as outlined in the current TUSLA guidelines will apply:
- Investigation of the facts to confirm serious misbehaviour.
- Parents will be informed by phone or in writing about the incident.
- Parents will be given an opportunity to respond.
- If suspension is still decided upon the Principal notifies parent in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter should confirm.
a) The period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end.
b) The reasons for the suspension.
c) Any study programme to be followed.
d) The arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the parents.
e) The provision for appeal to the Board of management or secretary general of the DES. (Only where the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches 20 days.)
Factors which influence a decision to suspend are as follows:
- The nature, seriousness, impact and context of the behaviour.
- The interventions tried to date.
- Whether suspension is the appropriate response.
- Whether the pupil’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other pupils e.g. shouting at teacher, being disruptive, refusing to work, not allowing others to work, taking up teacher’s teaching time due to inappropriate behaviour.
- Whether the pupil’s continued presence in the school at the time constitutes a threat to the safety of pupils/staff e.g. physical fights in school yard, leaving school premises without permission, serious consistent incidents of bullying or racism, use of bad language to any member of school community and giving consistent cheek to staff of Lisvernane N.S.
Records and Reports: Formal written records will be kept of:
- The investigation (including notes of all interviews held)
- The decision making process
- The decision and rationale for the decision
- The duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension
X. Expulsion (as per pg. 82 of NEWB guidelines)
The decision to permanently exclude a pupil from Lisvernane National School will be made solely by the B.O.M. Expulsion is a very serious step and is only taken in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour and only after the school has taken significant steps to address the behaviour. These steps include the following:
- Meeting with parents and pupil to explore ways of helping pupil change his behaviour.
- Making sure that the pupil understands the possible consequences of the behaviour, (if it should persist).
- Ensuring that all other possible options have been tried.
- Seeking the assistance of support agencies e.g. National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), Health Service Executive Community Services (HSE), National Behavioural Support Service (NBSS).
The grounds for expulsion and the factors which need to be considered are similar to those for suspension, however where expulsion is concerned the school will already have tried a series of other interventions including suspension which unfortunately haven’t changed the pupil’s behaviour.
Expulsion for a first offence
The following kinds of behaviour may warrant such expulsion:
- A serious threat of violence against another pupil or staff member.
- Actual violence or physical assault.
- Supplying of alcohol / drugs.
Procedures in respect of expulsion
- A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the principal.
- Inform parents in writing of alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion.
- Give parents and students the opportunity to respond before a decision is made.
- A recommendation to the BOM by the principal (see page 84 NEWB guidelines)
- Consideration by the BOM of the principal’ recommendations and the holding of a hearing. (see page 84 NEWB Guidelines)
- BOM deliberations and actions following the hearing. (page 85 NEWB Guidelines)
- If BOM is of the opinion that the student should be expelled, the Board must notify the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) in writing, of its opinion and the reasons for this opinion. The intention to expel a student does not take effect until 20 school days have elapsed after NEWB have received written notification. The NEWB should be notified using a Notice of Intention to Expel form which is available on www.schoolreturn.ie or from their helpline (1890 36 3666). This form should be completed and sent to School Return Section, National Educational Welfare Board, 16-
22 Green St, Dublin 7.
- Consultations arranged by the EWO.
- Confirmation of the decision to expel.
Parents may appeal the decision to expel to the Secretary General of DES. The appeals process under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 begins with the appointment of a mediator. An appeal may also be brought by NEPS on behalf of the pupil.
Parents/guardians who apply to enrol their children will be given a copy of the schools’ Code of Behaviour. An agreement signed by the parents/guardians to abide by the Code of Behaviour must be returned in order to fully enrol their child/children in Lisvernane N.S.
The Board of Management of Lisvernane N.S. Primary School acknowledges the support of the pupils, teaching and ancillary Staff and the Parent’s Council in the formulation of this code:
The following policies should be read in conjunction with this policy:
- School Tour Policy • Parent/Staff Communication policy
Bullying Policy • Enrolment Policy
- Child Protection Policy
- Healthy Eating Policy