Code of Behaviour


St. Joseph’s Convent Primary School





Amended: September 2019

Code of Behaviour St Joseph’s GNS Skibbereen.

The overall responsibility for discipline in the school rests with the Principal. Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within the classroom, but the co-operative effort of each teacher is appreciated in all areas within the school premises.

Parental support and co-operation in matters of discipline are vital in ensuring that a harmonious and healthy atmosphere exists within the school.

Aims of the school:

To impart knowledge, skills

To develop the individuality of the child by encouraging their varied interests (child-centred education).

To inculcate in the children a respect for their teachers, others in authority, their peers and people in general

School Day

School begins at 9.20a.m sharp each morning, with prayers. Children will not be supervised until 9.00a.m and children who are here before that, are here at their own risk. Please try to have your children in school regularly and on time, as it delays the calling of the roll and the commencement of work.

School finishes at 3.00p.m. Junior and Senior Infants finish at 2p.m and the Special Class at 2.15p.m. Please make sure your children are collected on time. Children are not supervised after 3p.m.

School Uniform:

  1. Children should be dressed in full uniform. No variations are allowed. Please ensure that children’s shoes are suitable and sensible(i.e. dark in colour, not hazardous to child’s safety when playing in the yard and protective without being inhibitive to movement)for school with high wedge soles and heels are not allowed, because they are not safe.
  2. Runners must be worn for P.E. Children may wear their track – suits to school on their scheduled day for P.E. and Drama.

            ** “Heelies”are not allowed

  1. All clothes and shoes should be clearly marked. The school is not responsible for personal belongings that are lost in school.



  1. Sixth class may cycle to school.
  2. Fifth class may cycle to school once Cycle Sense training has successfully been completed.
  3. All bicycles must be stored near the basement until our new bicycle rack has been erected.
  4. Cycling helmets must be worn.
  5. The school does not accept responsibility for bicycles while o the school grounds.
  6. Cycling is not allowed on school grounds unless it forms part of a Cycle Sense lesson.

School absences and Illness

  1. Children who are sick should not be sent to school. If your child has a particular health problem, please notify the school. If medication is to be administered to a child in school, it must be accompanied by clear instructions in writing. Otherwise a teacher cannot take the responsibility for it. Medication cannot be stored in classrooms or school – bags.
  2. When children are absent for any reason or have to leave school early, it is imperative that they bring a note stating the reason. This is for insurance purposes. No child may leave school early without permission from the Principal. Please report to the office when you come to collect your child.
  3. If a child is absent for more than 20 school days in the year the Principal is obliged to notify the N.E.W.B.

Pupil Personal Accident Insurance

  1. Personal Insurance Policy is paid for your child through the classroom materials contribution. This is done through the school at the beginning of each school year.

Head lice.

  1. Please check your child’s hair regularly for head lice. If your child has contacted lice, you should inform the school and treat the hair immediately.



  1. There are two lunch-breaks each day. We have a “healthy lunch policy” (Nutrition policy) in the school and encourage the children to eat nutritious food. You can help us in this by encouraging them to include fruit and avoid junk food. We are now one of a number of Health Promoting Schools in the country. Our aim is to heighten awareness of the importance of healthy eating. Remains of lunch must be taken home in the lunch-box with the exception of apple cores, orange and banana peels etc. which may be placed in the compost bin.
  2. Chewing gum, peanuts, lollipops, fizzy drinks and crisps are not allowed in school.

Play area:

  1. For reasons of safety, junior classes have a separate play area from seniors. Pupils are expected to obey and respect those supervising yard duty.
  2. Running in the school corridor is not allowed.

Class room Safety.

  1. Needles, scissors, compass etc… are not to be used unless teachers are present. Only plastic spoons are allowed for lunch. Tippex is not to be used in the school at any time.

Communication Devices

  1. Pupils are not allowed to use any personal device capable of external communication with other devices. All such devices must be turned off when entering the school grounds and must be handed up to the class teacher on arrival in class.
  2. If you want to deliver a message to your child during the day, it may be left with the secretary, in the office. We are trying to avoid disruption of classes during teaching hours.

Parent Teacher Meetings

  1. Parent-Teacher meetings will be held during the Second Term. Parents are welcome to meet the teacher of their child at any time, but are advised to make an appointment. If however, the issue is urgent do not hesitate to contact us, but please try to make an appointment first.

Home Work

  1. Homework is given to all classes each night from Monday to Thursday. Fifth and sixth class only are asked to do written homework at week – ends. Homework not completed by any child during the week must be done at week – ends. ( See homework policy)
  2. It is school policy to give homework as an extension of schoolwork. Parents can help considerably in the following ways:-
  • Show interest in what your child is doing
  • Make sure she does her homework without the distraction of radio or television.
  • Hear your child read aloud from both English and Irish readers each night. Please try to have a positive attitude to the Irish language, check on spelling and memorisation.
  • Check that all homework is completed (Homework Notebook should be filled in each night).
  • If your child is repeatedly having difficulties with homework, contact the teacher and discuss the problem.

After School

  1. Persons, who enter the school grounds after school hours, do so at their own risk, except when on business or for meetings. The Board of Management will not be responsible for unauthorised entry.


  1. All Staff members are required to behave in an appropriate manner which befits their professional role within the school. Teachers are required to abide by the ‘Code of Professional Conduct as directed by the Teaching Council.
  2. Code of dress for the Staff of St Joseph’s is smart casual. Teachers may wear P.E clothes on the day of P.E. lessons. Runners must be worn for P.E. lessons in the Sports Centre.


In St Joseph’s GNS a high standard of good behaviour is expected at all times. It is good for relations within the school, both among the children themselves and between teacher and pupil. Good discipline in our school depends upon co-operation between parents and teachers and every effort is made by us to ensure that parents are kept well informed.

The code of good behaviour is based on respect for oneself and others. Aggressiveness, violent behaviour, bullying or absolute defiance of a teacher will generally be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.

 Bad language or spitting will not be tolerated.


All incidents will be reported to the Principal. If a pupil is guilty of serious misbehaviour, it will be recorded in the child’s file. When there are repeated instances of misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management may be informed and the parents shall be invited to meet the Principal and the Chairperson and the class teacher or any combination of the above as appropriate. If the parents and, where appropriate, the pupil, do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future the pupil may be suspended for a temporary period. Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 130(5) of the rules for National Schools. Expulsion will be considered, where appropriate, in accordance with Rule 130(6).

The following strategies may be used to register disapproval of unacceptable behaviour:

  1. Reasoning with the pupil.
  2. Reprimand (including advice on how to improve).
  3. Removal from the group (in class).
  4. Withdrawal from the particular lesson or peer group.
  5. Letter of apology by the child to children/staff.
  6. Prescribing additional work.
  7. Loss of privileges.
  8. Referral to the Principal.
  9. Use of individual reward systems, implemented on different occasions and when different situations arise.
  10. The school also has an anti-bullying policy in operation.
  11. All sanctions will be age appropriate.

Special Educational Needs:

If additional behavioural issues arise with a child with S.E.N. that impact on the health and safety of either themselves or others; an individual behavioural plan will need to be drawn up in conjunction with relevant school staff and other relevant professionals and implemented in conjunction with the child’s parents. These sanctions may include the introduction of a reduced school day.

Serious breaches of discipline

In the case of serious breaches of discipline, the following steps may be taken:-

  1. The teacher corrects the offender and records time and date of the offence.
  2. If the pupil fails to respond to the teacher’s warning the problem is reported to the Principal who then reprimands the pupil and warns her of the consequence of persisting with unruly behaviour.
  3. If the problem continues, the parents are contacted verbally or by letter, depending on the circumstances, and a discussion takes place between the child, parents, teacher and Principal.


The B.O.M. of St Joseph’s GN.S in conjunction with the Principal has the authority to suspend a student.

The decision to suspend a student will require the following serious grounds:-

  1. The student’s behaviour has a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students.
  2. The student’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety.
  3. The student is responsible for serious damage to property.
  4. A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension.

Suspensions will be part of an agreed plan to address the student’s behaviour. The suspension will:

  1. Enable the school to set behavioural goals with the student and their parents.
  2. Give school staff an opportunity to plan other interventions.
  3. Impress on a student and their parents the seriousness of the behaviour.

Procedures in respect of Suspension:

  1. Parents will be informed by phone or writing of the complaint, how it will be investigated & that it could result in suspension.
  2. Parents and students will be given an opportunity to respond before sanction is imposed.

Procedures in relation to immediate suspension:

Where an immediate suspension is considered by the Principal to be warranted for reasons of the safety of the student, other students, staff or others, a preliminary formal investigation should be conducted to establish the case for the imposition of the suspension.

The period of suspension:

  1. A student will not be suspended for more than 3 days except in exceptional circumstances. The Principal will notify in writing the parents of the decision to suspend, confirming dates, reasons for suspension and any study programme to be followed.


The B.O.M of St Joseph’s GNS has the authority to expel a student.

A proposal to expel a student requires serious grounds such as:

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

Where expulsion is considered, the school authorities will have tried a series of other interventions.

There may be exceptional circumstances where the B.O.M forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence.

Procedures in respect of Expulsion:

  1. A detailed investigation will be carried out under the direction of the Principal.
  2. A recommendation to the B.O.M by the Principal.
  3. Consideration by the B.O.M of the Principal’s recommendations and the holding of a hearing.

B.O.M deliberations and actions following the hearing:

  1. Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.
  2. Confirmation of the decision to appeal.

 A parent will have the right to appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education.

Our policy gives pupils the understanding of the need for respect for authority, respect for others and their feelings, self-control, as well as the need for honesty, fairness & a sense of community

Its 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.

It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of cooperation among the staff and between staff, parents and pupils.

Order and discipline are necessary for learning. Effective learning requires a high degree of attentiveness and participation on the part of pupils and an acceptance of the rules governing behaviour. General good manners and a high standard of behaviour are expected here.

While we endeavour to keep rules to a minimum, we find it necessary the following be adhered to:-

  1. Punctuality
  2. Homework to be completed each night Monday-Thursday
  3. A written note is expected for:-
  • Permission to leave the school grounds
  • When homework is not completed
  • To explain absenteeism

The following are unacceptable in the school:-

  • Disrespect towards their teachers.
  • Disobedience
  • Not accepting correction
  • Disrespect towards each other.
  • Derogatory remarks
  • Name calling
  • Consciously isolating another pupil
  • Intentionally damaging other people’s property
  • Intentionally physically hurting pupils and staff members

The above rules are not deemed to be a comprehensive list in relation to discipline. Matters may arise which require special consideration.

All members of staff and Board of Management have been involved in the formulation of this policy document.

A copy of the policy is available to all parents.

The policy will be reviewed at agreed intervals.

This policy was presented to the Board of Management on _______________.

Signed ________________________                                    Date ______________



Code of Good Behaviour




Please sign below and return


I have read the Code of Behaviour for St. Joseph’s Convent Primary School Skibbereen.

I am aware or the provisions of the code.

I accept that it is in accordance with the Department of Education Rules.

I will do my best to implement the code in co-operation with the Board of Management and the teachers.

I realise that this code will be reviewed in the future and may be amended.




Signed: ___________________________ 



             Parent / Guardian



Date: ____________________