Presentation Primary School Waterford

A great tradition of education in Waterford since 1798

Code of Behaviour

The following includes the relevant sections from our Code of Behaviour Policy. This policy review was formulated following a talk given by Clare Ryan from the LDS Team on May 1st 2009. The complete document is available in both the Parents Room and the School Office.


Presentation Primary School staff deemed it necessary to audit and review our existing Code of Behaviour for the following reasons:

  • Following the publication of the NEWB Guidelines for schools 2008.
  • This policy will help to promote positive behaviour and to allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way. It will enhance the learning environment where the children can make progress in all aspects of their development.
  • It is a requirement under the Education Welfare Act 2000, Section 23

Relationship to Characteristic Spirit of the School

The education of the children at Presentation Primary School is a task shared between the partners who are elements of the school community. This comprises of Board of Management, school staff, parents and pupils, parish community and appropriate outside agencies. All of these partners are committed to creating in our school a caring environment where the talents of each child are valued, and each child is nurtured to develop his or her potential both spiritual and temporal. We place a strong emphasis on a close spirit of co-operation between home, school and parish. The purposes of education are many. The school aims at promoting the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, including his or her relationship with God, with other people and with the environment.


  • To allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious environment.
  • To promote positive behaviour and self discipline recognising the differences between pupils and the need to accommodate these differences.
  • To enhance the learning environment where pupils can make progress in all aspects of their development.
  • To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community by encouraging an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others.
  • To enable parents /guardians and pupils to understand the systems and procedures that form our Code of Behaviour and to ensure their co-operation and support 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.

Content of Policy

1. Guidelines for behaviour in the school

We believe that good behaviour is very important in our school. It enables the children to learn, be self-confident and to enjoy their time in school. It also enables the teachers to teach effectively and to try and cater for all needs of our pupils. It is very important that all of our pupils have the best opportunity available to learn.

The Education Welfare Act 2000, Section 23, states that the Code of Behaviour shall specify “the standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each student attending the school.”

2. Whole school approach to promoting positive behaviour

Staff members, supported by the Board of Management, adopt a positive approach to discipline within the school. Children are encouraged and praised for their efforts in maintaining discipline. The elements of a whole school approach to behaviour include:

  • An ethos, policies and practices that are in harmony.
  • A teamwork approach to behaviour.
  • A whole-school approach to curriculum and classroom management.
  • An inclusive and involved school community.
  • A systematic process for planning and reviewing behaviour policy.

Board of Management

The Board should make sure that all members of the school community have the opportunity to be involved in work on the Code of Behaviour. The Board of Management should formally record the adoption of the code of behaviour, the commencement date and decisions about when the code will be reviewed.

  • The Board of Management will establish a sub committee to deal quickly with arising matters related to the Code of Behaviour.
  • The Board of Management will have a consistent and supportive approach to aiding Principal and staff in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour.


  • At the beginning of the school year all teachers will discuss the Code of Behaviour and devise a set of positive class rules.
  • A positive and consistent approach will be adopted by all staff to rewards and sanctions.
  • The Code of Behaviour will be discussed/reviewed annually.
  • An “all you need to know” booklet is available to all teachers and substitutes.
  • The Code of Behaviour may be modified for children with special needs.
  • The school’s SPHE curriculum is used to support the Code of Behaviour.


  • Parents working through the Parent’s Association will discuss and review the Code of Behaviour.
  • Parents must read the code and sign in agreement.
  • Parents are asked to support the rules by:
    • providing the materials needed
    • ensuring their children wear the school uniform
    • ensuring homework is completed
    • ensuring their children are on time for school
    • ensuring parents collect their child on time School hours:
      9.00 a.m. – 1.40 p.m. (Infant Classes)
      9.00 a.m. – 2.40 p.m. (1st to 6th Classes)
  • Parents must not allow their daughter to wear dangling earrings
  • Mobile phones are not to be brought to school only in the case of an emergency. Children must give their phone to the teacher to mind for the day.
  • Responding quickly to communications from the school.
  • Parents will be made aware of the Code of Behaviour by:
    • Enrolment Policy
    • Homework Journal
    • Class Meetings
    • Parent/Teacher meetings
    • Newsletter
    • The school is not responsible for personal property.
    • Absences must be notified in writing.
    • Any infectious illness should be notified to the school immediately.


Pupils play a role in the ongoing implementation of the Code of Behaviour by:

  • Being involved in discussing and choosing class rules.
  • Understanding the need for these rules.
  • Discussing, monitoring and reviewing aspects of the Code of Behaviour at assembly.

2. Positive Strategies for Managing Behaviour

In our Code of Behaviour we have 10 rules for keeping our school a safe place – rules of which the pupils are reminded on a regular basis.

Our motto is:

  • I will treat everyone with courtesy and respect and co-operate with all members of the school community.
  • I will show respect for school and personal property.
  • I will do nothing to prevent a teacher from teaching, or anyone, myself included from learning.

Standards signal positive behaviour

  • Each pupil is expected to be well behaved and to show respect and consideration for other children and adults.
  • Each pupil is expected to show respect for the property of the school, other children’s and their own belongings.
  • Each pupil is expected to do his or her best both in school and for homework, and to obey the instructions of school staff.
  • Classroom

    • Teacher and class discuss and implement class rules at class level.
    • All teachers will display 12 rules for keeping our school a safe place.

    Classroom Rules

    1. Walk, never run. Be courteous at all times.
    2. Always use handrails going up and down stairways – take one step at a time.
    3. Tricks and rough play are never allowed .
    4. When sitting on a chair keep all chair legs on the floor.
    5. Never climb on chairs, desks, boxes or any piece of furniture or equipment.
    6. Remain in your seat if a teacher has to leave the room.
    7. Do not leave bags, coats etc. in passageways or corridors or in any place where others could trip over them.
    8. Report any spillages as soon as possible.
    9. For safety reasons, only stud earrings, 1 small ring and a watch are allowed. No jewellery on P.E. Days
    10. Always wear shoes that give good support and are properly fastened. Runners must be worn for P.E.
    11. Be considerate and careful of others always and never do anything careless that could cause injury to you or to another person.
    12. In the interest of hygiene, long hair should be tied back or worn back from the face Playground

    • Play safely at all times.
    • Follow staff instructions.
    • Tricks and horseplay are never allowed and neither is any kind of rough play.
    • Move about the yard with due care for others


    Standards that signal unacceptable behaviour

    Standards are also a way of signaling to members of the school community the kinds of behaviour that are not acceptable in the school, for example:-·                     Behaviour that interferes with learning and teaching·                     Damage to property·                     OtherThe following are examples of unacceptable behaviour:-·                     Bullying – both physical and verbal·                     Verbal abuse – towards another pupil or a member of staff Behaviour that interferes with learning and teaching·                     Continuous and deliberate interference with another pupilThreats or physical hurt to another person·                     Threats or physical hurt to a member of staff·                     Damage to property belonging to another pupil/staff/school·                     Theft of another pupil/staff/school’s property·                     Lists are not exhaustive and there may be other areas of misbehaviour here that could be deemed inappropriate.

    Strategies for dealing with unacceptable behaviour

    ·                     Reasoning with the pupil·                     Extra written work·                     Withdrawal of privileges·                     Formal letter to parents (LETTER1 to parents – Yellow Card to pupils)The decision to suspend a pupil will be considered as a last resort when other possibilities have been tried or immediately after incidences of serious unacceptable behaviour.  During the period of a suspension, the pupil retains their place in the school.  The decision to suspend a pupil requires serious grounds such as that:·                     The pupil’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety.·                     A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension. In exceptional circumstances, the principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of pupils or staff of the school or any other person.  Fair procedures will be applied at all times. In the case of serious unacceptable behaviour, the Board of Management shall authorize the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension, pending a discussion of the matter with the parent(s).  Behaviour that is persistently disruptive to learning or potentially dangerous can be a serious matter.  Behaviour must be examined in context to understand both the behaviour itself and the response or sanction that is most appropriate.  At the final stage parent(s) will be informed by phone and in writing.  Informing parent(s) in writing has the benefit of ensuring that there is a formal and permanent record of having informed parents.  It also ensures that parents are clear about what their daughter is alleged to have done.  It serves the important function of underlining to parents the seriousness with which the school views the alleged misbehaviour.  If a pupil and their parent(s) fail to attend a meeting, the Principal will write advising the gravity of the matter, the importance of attending a re-scheduled meeting and failing that, the duty of the school authorities to make a decision to respond to the negative behaviour.  The school will record the invitations made to parents and their response. The Board of Management should offer an opportunity to appeal a Principal’s decision to suspend a pupil.  In the case of decisions made by the Board of Management, an appeals process may be provided by the patron. Where the total number of days for which the pupil has been suspended in the current school year reaches twenty days, the parents or a student aged over 18 years may appeal the suspension under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, as amended by the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007.  Written Notification                      The period of suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end.·                     Any pupil programme to be followed. Engaging with the pupil and parents Grounds for removing suspension Records and reports·                     the investigation (including all notes of all interviews held)·                     the decision and the rationale for the decision Report to the Board of Management Report to NEWB


    A pupil may be expelled from the school when the Board of Management makes a decision to permanently exclude a child from the school, having complied with the provisions of Section 24 of The Education (Welfare) Act 2000.  The authority to expel will be reserved to the Board of Management.  Expulsion will be a proportionate response to the pupil’s behaviour. ·                    the student’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.·                     the student is responsible for serious damage to property. Expulsion for a first offence                      a serious threat of violence against another pupil or a member of staff.·                     supplying illegal drugs to other pupils in the school. 1.            The nature and seriousness of the behaviour.3.            The impact of the behaviour.5.            The possible impact of expulsion. 1.            A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.3.            Consideration by the Board of Management or the Principal’s recommendation and the holding of a hearing.5.            Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.Appeals The Appeals Process For further details about the appeals process, including requirements for documentation and the steps in the process, refer to the DES guidelines.The Board of Management will review the use of expulsion in the school at regular intervals to ensure that it’s use is consistent with school policies, that patterns of use are examined to identify factors that may be influencing behaviour in the school and to ensure that expulsion is used appropriately.·                     Teachers are expected to maintain a behaviour tracker for each child using the six letter system where appropriate (formal). Serious misbehaviour should be reported to the principal after classroom strategies have been exhausted or the safety of a pupil or staff member is threatened.·                     Pupils will be told when a record is being made about their behaviour.No written record of behaviour is kept by the teacher on yard duty but any negative/positive behaviour regarding a child is communicated to class teacher on the child’s return to the yard and recorded on a tracker if necessary. School RecordsEach teacher keeps individual records of the pupil’s behaviour and he/she manages the storage of and access of these records. End of year school reports and 6 letter system are stored by the Principal.·                    Pupil attendance is recorded daily in the class roll book.This note can be in the form of a letter, a doctor’s note or recorded in the pupil’s homework journal.  These notes should be signed and dated by the teacher.·                    For strategies that are used to encourage school attendance, please refer to our school’s attendance policy, pg. 2, “Whole School Strategies to Promote Attendance”.·                     S.P.H.E.·                     Record Keeping·                     Health & Safety


    This policy will be reviewed when deemed necessary

  • ·                     Attendance
  • ·                     Home/School links
  • ·                     Enrolment
  •  Reference to other policies
  • ·                    Absence notes are retained by the class teacher throughout the year.  The are referred to when the teacher is recording the standard forms to report on pupil absences to the NEWB.
  • ·                    A note should always follow any absence providing reasons for the absence.
  •  Procedures for notification of pupil absences from school
  •  Formal Records of Behaviour
  •  We encourage consistency for good behaviour by picking “líne of the week”.
  •  Playground
  •  ·                  Parent(s) are to be kept up to date regarding behaviour throughout the year by homework journal, school report, parent teacher meetings and informal encounters with parents prior to or after school.
  • ·                     Positive behaviour is also tracked in the homework journal by way of homework passes, notes to parent(s) etc. (informal)
  •  Keeping records
  •  Review of use of expulsion
  • The appeals process under Section 29 of The Education Act 1998 begins with the provision of mediation by a mediator nominated by The Appeals Committee (Department of Education and Science).
  •  A parent may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of The Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998 Section 29).  An appeal may also be brought by the National Educational Welfare Board on behalf of a student.
  • 6.            Confirmation of the decision to expel.
  • 4.            Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing.
  • 2.            A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal.
  •  Procedures in respect of expulsion in accordance with the Education Welfare Act 2000.  (Refer to pg. 83-86 of NEWB Guidelines)
  • 4.            The interventions tried to date.
  • 2.            The context of the behaviour.
  •  Factors to consider before proposing to expel a pupil (refer to pg. 82 of NEWB guidelines)
  • ·                     actual violence or physical assault
  •  There may be exceptional circumstances where The Board of Management forms the opinion that a pupil 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 could include (this list is not exhausting):
  •  The grounds for expulsion are similar to the grounds of suspension.  In addition to factors such as the degree of seriousness and the persistence of the behaviour, a key difference is that where expulsion is considered, the school authorities will have tried a series of other interventions and believe they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the pupil’s behaviour.
  • ·                     the student’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to the safety of other pupils or to his/herself.
  •  A proposal to expel a pupil requires serious grounds such as that:
  • The Principal is required to report suspensions in accordance with the NEWB reporting guidelines (Education Welfare Act, Section 21(4a) )
  • The Principal will report all suspensions to the Board of Management with the reasons for and the duration of each suspension.
  • ·                     the duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension.
  • ·                     the decision making process
  • Records of investigation and decision making, formal written records will be kept of:
  • A suspension may be removed if the Board of Management decides to remove the suspension for any reason or if the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science directs that it be removed following an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.
  • Where a decision to suspend has been made, it can maximize the impact and value of suspension if the Principal or another staff member delegated by the Principal meets with the parents to emphasise their responsibility in helping the pupil to behave well when the pupil returns to school and to offer help and guidance in this.
  • ·                     The arrangements for returning to school and any commitments to be entered into by the pupil and the parents.  (Pupil and parents will have the support of the HSCL)  Parent(s) might be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the code of behaviour.
  • ·                     The reasons for the suspension.
  •  The letter will confirm:-
  • At the time when parents are being formally notified of such a suspension, they and the student will be told about their right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 and will be given information about how to appeal.
  •  Section 29 Appeal
  • Appeals
  •  Parent(s) will be involved in discussions with their child, the principal and their teacher.
  •  A first suspension will be up to 3 days duration.  Once a pupil has been suspended other suspensions may follow should inappropriate behaviour continue.
  •  Immediate suspension
  • ·                     The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property.
  •  ·                     The student’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students.
  •  Suspension/Expulsion
  • ·                     Informal contact to parents informing them of inappropriate behaviour
  • ·                     Separation from peers within the classroom (timeout)
  • ·                     Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
  • The Education Welfare Act 2000, Section 23, states that a school must outline the measures that may be taken if a student fails to observe the standards of behaviour that the school has outlined.  If the unacceptable behaviour is occasional/seldom, the following strategies may be applied:-
  •  Other
  •  Theft
  • Damage to property
  • ·                     Threats or physical hurt to another pupil
  • ·                     Continuous and deliberate interference with class work
  • ·                     Failure to obey classroom and playground safety procedures etc.
  • ·                     Harassment/Discrimination
  •  Behaviour that is hurtful
  • ·                     Theft
  • ·                     Threats or physical hurt to another person
  •  Behaviour that is hurtful
  • Yard Rules