School Policies » Code of Behaviour

Code of Behaviour



We are kind – we use kind words, kind hands and kind feet.


We share. We play fairly. We look after each other. We always try our best.

“The Divine Word School strives to provide a well ordered, caring,happy and secure atmosphere and environment where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the children are developed….The school will endeavour to enhance the self esteem of everyone in the school community,to imbue in children the  respect for people and property and to encourage in them the the idea of being responsible”



                                                                 Divine Word NS Mission Statement


Divine Word N.S Code of Behaviour 2020

Introductory Statement


This Code has been drafted, following collaboration between principal, teachers, staff, pupils, parents and Board of Management of The Divine Word National School, Marley Grange, Dublin 16. The Code of Behaviour was initially formulated in October 2005 and was reviewed regularly in light of the increasing size of the school, as well as to adhere to DES guidelines. The revised Code has been formulated in order to provide a happy, effective and safe learning environment, where all the children can develop socially through living and co-operating with others, therefore contributing to the good of society. Whilst this Code outlines standards of behaviour to be maintained of pupils, it is an expectation that all adults, i.e. staff, visitors, parents/guardians would adhere to standards of respectful behaviour at all times.




The Divine Word  NS decided to review its Code of Behaviour at this time because:


  • It is a priority area identified in our school plan for regular
  • It is a requirement of the National Educational Welfare Board Education (Welfare) Act, 2000


A code of behaviour shall be prepared in accordance with such guidelines as may, following consultation by the Board with national associations of parents, recognised school management organisations and trade unions and staff associations representing teachers, be issued by the Board.


Education (Welfare) Act 2000, section 23(3)


  • The school board wishes to ensure compliance with legal requirements and good practice as set out in “Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, NEWB, 2008”.


Accordingly our school code of behaviour specifies:


  1. The standards of behaviour expected of pupils attending the school;
  2. The measures in place within the organisation and structure of school to create a positive school climate
  3. The measures that shall be taken when a pupil fails or refuses to observe those standards;
  4. The procedures to be followed in dealing with behaviour
  5. The procedures in place before a pupil may be suspended or expelled from the school;
  6. The grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a pupil; and
  7. The procedures to be followed in relation to a child’s absence from


Relationship to Characteristic Ethos of the school


The Divine Word NS is a Catholic primary school under the patronage of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin Our school ethos nurtures each child to develop his/her potential in a caring environment. This is achieved by a high level of respect and co- operation between staff, parents and pupil.


“The Divine Word School strives to provide a well ordered, caring,happy and secure atmosphere and environment where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the children are nurtured ….The school will endeavour to enhance the self esteem of everyone in the school community,to imbue in children the  respect for people and property and to encourage in them the the idea of being responsible”


Divine Word NS Mission Statement


Aims of Code of Behaviour


  • To ensure an educational environment that is guided by our Vision / Mission
  • To allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way by establishing the school’s expectations regarding behaviour and procedures that are
  • To ensure the safety and wellbeing of all members of the school
  • 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
  • To ensure fairness and promote
  • To promote positive
  • To recognise the differences between children and the need to accommodate these
  • To ensure that the system of contracts, rewards, and consequences are implemented in a fair and consistent
  • 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




Standards of behaviour expected of pupils:



The Divine Word NS enjoys a high standard of pupil behaviour and mutual respect. This stems from 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 is made to ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner. The limits of behaviour are clearly defined and children become familiar with the consequences of behaviour beyond these limits. The over-riding principle governing this code is respect – respect for ourselves, for others and for property.




In the Divine Word NS we have developed our Golden Rules


We are kind-


we use kind words, kind hands and kind feet.


We share. We play fairly. We look after each other.

We always try our best.




·       Each child is expected to be well behaved.


·       Each child is expected to be sensitive to the needs of others and show consideration for others.


·       Each child is expected to treat others, as they would like to be treated themselves.


·       Each child is expected to show respect for the school property and environment, their own and other people’s belongings.


·       Each situation is seen as unique. All antecedents, events and causalities are considered with the individual and their circumstances in mind. We subscribe to the notion that Fair is not giving each child the same; fair is giving each child what he/she needs.’


·       Each child is expected to attend school every day. Punctuality is of utmost importance.


·       Each child is expected to do his/her best both in school and for homework.


The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences.


We also recognise that clear protocols for teaching and learning as well as organising for learning are necessary to ensure an ethos that supports good behaviour.


The following outline of procedures for the classroom, yard and school environment set a positive atmosphere in relation to pupil learning, behaviour and achievement:




o    Pupils are in school, ready to commence class by 8.50am.


o    Pupils wear the school uniform each day. On PE days the school tracksuit is worn.


o    Pupils who cycle, scoot or skate to school must dismount outside the school premises and walk to the lining up line in their relevant yard.. No pupil may interfere with a bicycle or scooter belonging to another pupil.


At Break Times


o    Pupils walk in orderly fashion to the school yard on the instruction of class teacher/ teacher on duty.


o    Pupils are encouraged to play games during play times.


o    Rough play is not allowed.


o    Each class group play in their own area of the school yard.


o    Pupils are encouraged to be gentle, as per our  Golden Rules.


o    Our School is a bully-free zone. Pupils are encouraged to tell if they feel they are being bullied. (See Anti Bullying Policy)


o    Pupils are expected to line up orderly at the end of break.


o    The Divine Word NS is a Green School. Pupils help to keep their classrooms clean and tidy and put all waste in the correct bins. Uneaten food is taken home.No food is allowed in the school yards.


o    Name calling or bad language is not allowed in the school.


o    Pupils do not damage school property.


o    When children are playing on the yard, physical contact (e.g. pushing, pulling, and kicking) is not allowed.


o    Sharp objects that could cause injury to others are not brought to the yard.


Pupils are advised to go to the teacher or SNA’s on yard if there is a problem.





o    Pupils treat all toilet facilities in the school with respect and must not damage them in any way.


In Class:


Each pupil is expected to:


o    work to the best of his/her ability;


o    have materials necessary for class;


o    complete homework to the best of his/her ability;


o    bring a note in journal from parents if homework is not done;


o    treat all staff members, other pupils and visitors with respect;


o    participate in the development of the Class Contract and agree to abide by it;


o    ensure the smooth running of the class.


Going Home


o    Pupils leave the school in a safe and orderly fashion.


o    If a pupil has to leave early, a note must be given to the class teacher. Children leaving school early must be collected by a parent or guardian over the age of 18 years.


The Classroom



The Class Contract /Class rules are drafted in each class, following class discussion. The aim of these are to highlight the importance of a harmonious and effective learning environment. The practice is consistent and continuous throughout the school, with each class prominently displaying their agreed Class Contract/Rules. The Class Contract/Rules are brought to the attention of parents, through the Homework Journal.


Clear learning objectives help to motivate pupils. Positive reinforcement is favoured as a motivation tool for the children. Teachers reward and celebrate pupils’ success when and where appropriate.


Classroom Management Routines:


Clear, daily routines help support good school behaviour; to this end, pupils are aware of –


o    Timetable- the daily schedule.


o    How to make transitions between subjects and move around classroom and school.


o    Correct use of classroom materials; distribution and collection of classroom items.


o    Procedures around entering and leaving the classroom.


o    Practice of taking responsibilities for roles (i.e. group leader)


o    Expectations around behaviour for lunch-times when supervising teacher is in charge.


o    Appropriate responses to teacher and others.


o    Acceptable level of talk during learning activities.


o    How to get teacher’s attention.


o    Early finishers’ procedure.



o    Personal responsibility for materials, including school-bag and uniform items.





The Class Contract/Rules/Yard Procedures( See Appendix1) are consistently implemented during playtime. There is an age appropriate division of the yard. Pupils are reminded of specific areas they are allowed play in at break time.


There is open communication between SNAs and teachers regarding individual pupil behaviour of SEN children. Allocation of SNAs and ancillary staff is proportional to the needs and numbers of children on the yard. Pupils do not enter yard or return to classroom without teacher supervision. Pupils in senior classes have organised activities and games to help minimise misbehaviour eg Football, Basketball,Skipping


A Junior Buddy System is in place to support SNAs and teaching staff.



Junior Buddies are given clear instructions from their class teachers to ensure that they are effective in a supporting role (i.e. accompanying child to the toilet / incidents / accidents).


Two Junior Buddies are assigned to each class and tutored in their duties for wet day duty. Buddies are given clear guidelines on their duties as senior pupils to support the work of teachers and SNAs.


No-Yard Days



There is an established rota for teachers and SNAs regarding the supervision of all children on days when pupils are not allowed go to the play-yard. Wet day activities/Board games are organized on these occasions. Pupils who are taken ill during the school day, are sent to the area outside the staffroom.


Friday Assembly (Pupil of the week Assembly) and Monday Assembly



Friday Assembly is used to promote positive behaviour / reinforce Class Contracts / rules and encourage good pupil interaction awarding Pupil of the week awards.

Monday Assemblies reinforce school rules and promote The Merit Award Scheme


School tours / outside school environment activities



The Class Contract /Rules apply at all times in all places. Pupil and parents are made aware that behaviour expectations while outside of the school are always in line with our Code of Behaviour.

Measures to create a positive school climate:



Pupil behaviour is influenced by school climate, values, policies, practices and relationships. The staff of The Divine Word NS is aware of factors within school and from outside school that may affect behaviour and accepting that pupil behaviour can change, will look to influence positive behaviour changes. To this end, teachers will implement a programme of intervention for any pupil with ongoing difficulties.


Such intervention will include routine strategies in the course of the classroom situation and more active intervention for some pupils to help them manage their behaviour. For pupils who show particularly challenging behaviour, a sustained and systematic response involving the adults in their lives and local/ other support services will be provided as appropriate (Guidelines pg 50 and Continuum of Support Documents).


The foundation of positive learning behaviour is effective teaching and an inclusive and engaging curriculum. Classroom management and teaching methods have a strong influence on pupils’ behaviour. The classroom environment like the wider environment gives the pupils clear messages about teachers’ expectations and creates consistent boundaries. In this regard, a whole school approach giving clear guidelines and protocols for the smooth operation of classroom and school activities will be addressed at the beginning of each year by each class teacher and during school assembly time. Our school-wide promotion of SPHE principles seeks to cultivate in our pupils, a way of thinking and learning, which encourages them to embrace challenges and persist in the face of set-backs. Circle Time  and Mindfulness sessions help to enhance pupil self-esteem and to build positive social relationships within classes.


Parents have responsibilities for behaviour at school. Parents have the opportunities to learn how their commitment to, and their relationship with the school can impact on behaviour and learning. Pupils learn how their behaviour and learning, the learning of other pupils, and the wellbeing of pupils and staff are all linked together. At the beginning of each year, parents are familiarised with the classroom and school code of behaviour and reminded of their responsibilities at class teacher curriculum meetings. We value parental involvement in acknowledging positive behaviour and the support of parents in teaching responsibility for behaviour and an appreciation of consequences.





The Divine Word NS strives to provide a warm, safe, and stimulating learning environment, where all the children can develop socially through living and co-operating with others. We believe all children respond to attention and that a focus on positive behaviour will reinforce positive behaviour. A positive classroom and whole-school culture operates, with a high value placed on intrinsic reward for effort.


Effective use of Rewards


We believe that reward systems are more likely to motivate pupils when:


•  they are meaningful to the individual pupil or group


•  the pupil 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 Merit Award System and Token rewards, such as stars, stickers, pupil-highlighting are also used, particularly in the junior classes and the following feature throughout the school:


·       Positive Comment

·       Positive note to parents

·       Individual or Class treat

·       Outdoor Activity

·       Homework Pass

·       Additional free time for a chosen activity

·       Golden Time

·       Class Outing


We endeavour to ensure that rewards do not:


•  become the goal of learning


•  result in unhelpful competition


•  repeatedly reward the same pupils


•  seem unattainable to some pupils and, as a result, de-motivate them.


A problem solving approach will be engaged to enable staff respond to unwanted behaviour (Developing a Code of Behaviour; Túsla Guidelines p.46 – 47). This will involve the following steps:


1.        gathering information – to understand the context and the factors that may be affecting behaviour;

2.        generating ideas about possible solutions that take account of the reasons why behaviour may be unacceptable;

3.        setting of behaviour targets with the pupil and deciding on specific strategies;

4.        implementing the agreed strategy consistently;

5.        reviewing progress – evaluating the impact and effectiveness of interventions;

6.        maintaining a positive relationship with the pupil concerned;

7.        involving parents when appropriate.




The purpose of a sanction is to bring about a change in behaviour by:


•  helping pupils to learn that their behaviour is unacceptable


•  helping them to recognise the effect of their actions and behaviour on others


•  helping pupils (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 pupils 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 pupil, or other pupils or adults, safe. ( See Appendix 3 for types of misbehaviour and sanctions)


Examples of sanctions include:


·       verbal correction by Teacher

·       removal from the group (in class)

·       note to parents in Journal

·       Time Out in Yard

·       withdrawal of privileges

·       withdrawal from a particular activity

·       temporary transfer to partner class

·       referral to the Principal / senior staff


A Staged Procedure is followed in responding to inappropriate behaviour:

Responding to inappropriate behaviour: Stage 1.



In dealing with any incidents of misbehaviour, teachers take cognisance of the child’s age, level of understanding, severity and frequency of the misbehaviour. Teachers endeavour to understand causes of individual misbehaviour. Minor changes to classroom management may be sufficient to eliminate the cause of poor behaviour. Teacher will correct the child, indicating that the behaviour is unacceptable, referring to the Divine Word NS Golden Rules / Class Contract/class Rules


Stage 2.



If a pupil continues to misbehave, or if the behaviour is deemed by teacher to be more serious, the child is given a ‘Thinking about my Behaviour’ form. This encourages the child to think about their behaviour and invites a positive response from the child on improving their behaviour. The form is brought home for parents’ signature. An additional sanction may be given by class teacher or Principal.


Thinking about my Behaviour forms are retained by the Class Teacher.


Stage 3.



The teacher contacts child’s parents, giving a brief account of the incidents of misbehaviour. Parents are invited to meet with teacher and senior staff member, to try and establish causes for behaviour and how best to try improve the pupil’s behaviour through an Individual Behaviour Plan


Parents and teachers identify target behaviours that can be addressed in the plan at home and at school. A target is set. Intrinsic rewards are considered. The behaviour plan will be signed by parents and teacher. A review date is set. The contract should be written in such a way that it is focused on specific behavioural problems and offers accrued benefits for achieving the stated goals- in this way a balance can be seen to be kept between sanctions and rewards.


Stage 4.



If the unacceptable behaviour continues, or in the case of very serious misbehaviour, Principal and class teacher will meet with parents / guardians and discuss the situation. Advice may be sought from outside agencies and further sanctions may be applied


by the Principal. In extremely serious situations, it may become necessary to involve the Board of Management, who reserves the right to impose Suspension or Expulsion according to Department of Education Procedures.
Restorative Approach in Dealing with Misbehaviour (Restore = to make things as they were)



In dealing with certain cases of misbehaviour, involving pupils, Restorative Justice Approach may be considered appropriate. Restorative Justice approaches contrast with more traditional punitive approaches; they emphasise –

·       Who has been hurt?

·       What are their needs?

·       Who has an obligation regarding these needs?


Punishment alone for the offender offers little in the genuine way of accountability; does little to meet a victim’s needs and does little to address the causes of the wrongdoing.


Restorative Justice demands that we think about what happens to the victim, and how the victim’s needs might be met in the aftermath of the wrongdoing.


Contact with Parents


The staff at the Divine Word NS will intervene early and positively when pupil’s behaviour does not meet the standards of behaviour expected in the school. Early involvement of parents is considered important. Prior to enrolment all parents are presented with a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour.


Parents are given a report on pupil behaviour at parent teacher meeting in November. The end-of year report card also gives an account of pupil behaviour.


If a teacher considers that a pupil’s behaviour is inhibiting the child’s learning or the learning of class, the teacher will consider the following:


a.      have an informal word with child’s parent and seek parental support in addressing the misbehaviour;

b.      write a short note in the child’s journal requesting that parents have a talk with their child about their behaviour in class;

c.      invite parents to a meeting to discuss the behaviour and prepare a Behaviour Plan to support the pupil.


Teacher will seek to establish if any other factors may be affecting child’s behaviour. A subsequent review of behaviour within an agreed time-frame should be agreed, following the adoption of the Behaviour Plan.


We endorse a co-operative Home/School approach to addressing pupil behaviour. At all times parents and teachers should adopt a calm, dignified approach to any difficulty. Consistency is vital and we advise that parent response to misbehaviour is in line with the school approach of reasoning with the child and withdrawing privileges / treats, if appropriate.


Physical punishment at home is considered counter-productive and should NEVER be used.


If a parent is concerned about their child’s behaviour, an appointment can be made through the school office for one/both parents to see their child’s teacher. In situations where it is appropriate, pupils will participate in a portion of the meeting between parent(s) and teacher. As with all Parent/Teacher meetings, both parties may take notes at these meetings. If misbehaviour continues, teachers will discuss with Principal and a further meeting may be organised with parents, Principal, Teacher and child.


In the case of serious misbehaviour, the Principal may contact parents immediately and arrange an urgent meeting. It is the decision of the Principal to prevent a child from re-joining class before such a meeting takes place and behavioural contract is agreed. This decision will only be made if the child’s behaviour is considered a danger to himself or others in class.


A parent with a concern regarding the handling of a child’s misbehaviour can seek clarification from Class Teacher or Principal.

Note: Pupils with special needs:



Pupil with special needs will be required to follow the school’s ‘Code of Behaviour’ but teachers will use their professional judgement in relation to regularity and level of sanctions. Sanctions may be needed to help a student with special educational

needs to learn about appropriate behaviour and skills, as in the case of any pupil. However, teachers take particular care that they help the student with special needs to understand clearly the purpose of the sanction and the reason why their behaviour is


unacceptable. The school and classroom practices that support good learning behaviour are valid for all students, including those with identified special educational needs.
Managing aggressive/violent behaviour



·       In the case of an incident involving children who are emotionally disturbed, advice and assistance will be sought from outside agencies involved in the child’s care. Parents will be immediately involved.

·       In other cases, necessary steps will be taken by the school authorities to ensure no risk to the child him/herself, to other pupils, or to staff.

·       In all cases, such incidents may be referred to the Board of Management and, if necessary, to the Gardaí.




Class– Each teacher logs incidents of misbehaviour in teacher’s diary. Each teacher will record all incidents of serious misbehaviour by pupil and report this to the Principal.




Records of meetings with parents and Principal will be stored in the school office  A general report on pupil behaviour will be presented to the BoM each term. Incidents of a serious nature will be brought to the attention of the school board and minuted in board minutes.




All incidents of misbehaviour on yard are noted on the junior and senior yard book.


School Records. Record of pupil behaviour as reported in end-of-year report is retained in pupil’s file. Incidents of a serious nature are also kept on file in the pupil’s file. Any correspondence with outside agencies is also kept in pupil file.



The Board of Management and Staff of The Divine Word NS will follow the procedures for suspension and expulsion outlined in the Guidelines for School and Developing a Code of Behaviour (Chapters 10—12).


Fair procedures (i.e. the right to be heard and the right to impartiality) will be applied at all times. Accordingly, pupil and their parents will be fully informed about an allegation and the processes that will be used to investigate and decide the matter and they will be given an opportunity to respond to an allegation before a decision is made and before a serious sanction is imposed.


The Board of Management will also follow the factors to consider before suspending a pupil (p.72) and the factors to consider before proposing to expel a pupil (p.82).


In Relation to Suspension


o    Communication to parents regarding the suspension of a pupil or the possibility of suspension will be in writing and copies of all correspondence will be retained.

o    The parents/guardians and the pupil will be invited to meet with principal and or Board of Management to discuss the proposed suspension.

o    The Board of Management has delegated responsibility for suspension to the principal in the event that immediate suspension of 3 days maximum of a pupil is warranted (Guidelines p73). The parents /guardians and child will be invited to discuss the matter with the Principal and the procedures governing suspension will be applied.

o    A written statement of terms and date of the termination of a suspension will be given to parents/guardians. A suspension will not be for more than three days, except in exceptional circumstances where the principal considers that a period of suspension longer than three days is necessary in order to achieve a particular objective. The letter will confirm;


o    The period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end.

o    the reason for the suspension

o    any programme of study to be followed

o    the arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the pupil and the parents (for example: the pupil and parents might be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the Code of Behaviour)

o    The provision for an appeal to The Board of management

o    The right to appeal to the Secretary general of the Department of Education & Science (Education Act 1998 Section 29)


o    The suspension will be recorded on the NEWB ‘pupil absence report form’

o    When a period of suspension ends, the pupil will be re-admitted formally to the class by the principal.


o    Where a satisfactory resolution of a problem is achieved, a pupil may be readmitted to school within a suspension period at the discretion of the Principal and or the Chairperson of the Board of Management.


o    If a pupil continues to misbehave he may be suspended for a major fixed period (up to 10 days) to allow for consultation with both the pupil and the pupil’s parents to address the issues.

o    As outlined above, parents/guardians and pupil will be given the opportunity to discuss the issues with the Principal and or Board of Management.

o    The Education Welfare Officer will be informed when a pupil has been suspended for 6 days or more cumulatively.

o    Section 29 Appeal – when the total number of days for which the pupil has been suspended in the correct year reaches 20 days the parents may appeal the suspension under section 29 of the Educations Act and will be given information about how to appeal.






o    Subsequent to the above suspension procedures and meetings with parents/guardians, if serious/gross incidents of misbehaviour continue, the pupil will be recommended for permanent exclusion (expulsion) by the Board of Management.


o    Step 1—A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.


o    Step 2 – A recommendation to the Board of Management


o    Step 3 — Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing.


o    Step 4 – Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing.


o    Step 5 – Consultations arranged by the Education Welfare Officer.


o    Step 6 – Confirmation of the decision to expel


o    The parents/guardians will be informed of the Board’s decision and the reasons why in writing.

o    The parents/guardians and the pupil will be given the opportunity to meet the Board of Management to discuss the proposed expulsion.

o    The parents/guardians will be informed of their right of appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science (Section 29 of the Education Act 1998).

o    In the event that the Board of Management decides to expel a pupil, the NEWB will be notified immediately of both this decision and the reasons for the expulsion using a Notice of decision to Expel Form (Reporting of Pupil Absences and Expulsions for School Year 2005/2006: Section C – published by the NEWB).

o    This form will only be completed and returned after all appeals processes both external and internal have been exhausted.

o    The commencement date for the expulsion will be 20 days after the ‘notice of Decision to Expel’ form.

o    When all appeals processes have been exhausted and the school has expelled a pupil, the pupil’s expulsion will be reported on the Pupil absence Report Form.

Pupil absence procedures:



If a child is absent from school, parents are obliged to inform the school. Parents should do so by contacting the school office on the morning of the absence; a message may be left if the phone is unattended. Parents will receive a text message if their child is absent.


Following 20 recorded absences, parents will be advised on the number of days missed and that, in accordance with our school obligation, a report will be prepared for NEWB to inform this agency of school absences. Parents are invited to meet Principal to discuss absences and agree a plan to help improve school attendance. Parents are informed at the beginning of

each year of their obligations regarding school attendance.


Reference to other policies


  • School Mission Statement
  • School Anti-Bullying Policy
  • SPHE Policy
  • Child Protection Policy
  • School Attendance Policy
  • Health & Safety Policy
  • Record Keeping & Data Protection Policy


Success Criteria


Practical indicators of the success of the policy include:


  1. A happy and caring school environment
  2. Positive feedback from teachers, parents and
  3. Observation of behaviour in class rooms, corridors, outside-school activities and the


Roles and Responsibilities


The people who have particular responsibility for aspects of the policy are:


  • Board of Management
  • Principal and Staff
  • Parents
  • Pupils


Board of Management


The school Board of Management assumes ultimate responsibility for school practices regarding behaviour and will ensure the school is complying with our Behaviour Code. To ensure good practice and implementation the Principal reports on a regular basis to the BOM.


Principal and Staff


The Code of Behaviour is devised, reformulated and reviewed by the staff having consulted with the parent and pupil body. School staff contributes to and support the agreed school policy. New staff are given a copy of the policy and encouraged to respond and contribute to the document by the Deputy Principal. There is an acknowledgement that all staff are responsible for the well- being of all pupils. They recognise and are aware of each pupil’s individual needs, and where necessary take IEPs  (Individual Education Plans) into consideration for pupils with special needs. Each situation is seen as unique; all antecedents, events and consequences are considered with the individual and their circumstances in mind.




The parents of the Divine Word N.S. are included in devising the Code of Behaviour through the involvement of the Board of Management, Parent’s Association and by individually completing questionnaires regarding the satisfaction of the policy and its implementation. The Code of Behaviour is included with the enrolment form to bring parents’ attention to the expected behaviour of all pupils while attending school. This must be signed and returned to the office prior to enrolment. Parents are reminded at parent/teacher meetings and when necessary that their commitment, co-operation and relationship with the school and its Code of Behaviour can impact on the learning and behaviour of their child and the class as a whole.


Parents support the policy by ensuring their child attends school regularly and punctually with the correct books and materials. They encourage their child to do their best work both at home and at school. They support the children where necessary and ensure any given work in

completed. They attend curriculum meetings and parent / teacher meetings when

requested. Parents are also asked to sign their child’s class contract at the beginning of the year. Parents can bring any concern to the attention of their child’s teacher by contacting the school; this will ensure issues can be dealt with at the earliest opportunity.




Pupils are reminded of and encouraged to adhere to the behavioural policy from the start of the year with “Good Friend Week” and by their involvement in devising the Class Contract. Children’s participation in the weekly assembly encourages and acknowledges good practice throughout the year. In the classroom, the implementation of the SPHE curriculum also reinforces this good practice. In the yard, the presence of “Buddies” also encourages good behaviour.




Student Council


The Divine Word  N.S. has a school council. Two pupils from 2nd class up represent their peers on this council. The student council are invited to contribute to school behaviour initiatives each year.

Such initiatives include contributions to School Assemblies and Friendship Week. The Student Council arrange activities and  for lunch-time and year round awareness competitions under the direction of principal or designated teacher. When the policy is being reviewed, the student council is invited to contribute with suggestions on appropriate rewards and sanctions for dealing with pupil behaviour.


Note: Any external agency using the school premises for after-school activities, camps, breakfast club, extra-curricular activities etc. will be referred to our school Code of Behaviour and expected to honour this Code.


Implementation Date


This policy applies from September 2020.


Teachers will discuss the code with the pupil in the school and formally teach/revise the expectations for the behaviour each term so that pupils are aware of what is expected of them. Each teacher will ensure that their class develops classroom rules (Class Contract) and that children agree to follow these.


Parents will also be informed of the code by newsletter. A copy of the updated policy will be published on the school website. A hard-copy will be available in the school office.


Timetable for Review


The policy will be reviewed and, if necessary, amended in September 2021.


Ratification & Communication


The Board of management officially ratified this policy on                         .


The policy will be circulated to parents/guardians of applicants on enrolment for signature and acceptance.










Dr Daire Keogh, Chairperson BoM.











DES: Department of Education & Skills NEWB: National Educational Welfare Board SNA: Special Needs Assistant


IBP: Individual Behaviour Plan


IEP: Individual Education Plan



Appendix 1: Divine Word NS Golden Rules’

Appendix 2: References

Appendix 3:Types of Misbehavious and sanctions.


Appendix 1: Divine Word NS “Golden Rules”

We are Kind

We use kind  words, kind hands and kind feet

We share. We play fairly

We look after each other

We always try our best!

Appendix 2: Reference Section:

Main Reference “ Developing a Code of Behaviour:Guidelines for Schools.(2008 NEWB)

  • Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 Section 23(1 -5), 24 (1-5) (DES website)
  • Education Act, 1998 Section 15 (2(d)) (DES website)
  • Circular 20/90 on Discipline (DES web site Also as Appendix 54 CPSMA Handbook
  • Circular 22/02 Appeals Procedures under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998.

(DES website).  Deals with appeals under the following headings:

(1) Permanent exclusion from a school

  • Suspension
  • Refusal to enrol
    • Department of Education and Science Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour in Primary and Post Primary Schools (1993) available on DES website
    • Report to the Minister of Education Niamh Breathnach, T.D. on Discipline in Schools. Maeve Martin Spring 1997. Ch. 4 p.56-61 Recommendations for Schools
    • Stay Safe and Walk Tall Programmes
    • Management Board Members’ Handbook. Revised 2019. CPSMA.

*Appendix 42 p.171 Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools

*Appendix 54 p.192 Guidelines for School Behaviour and Discipline.

*Appendix 55 p.194 A suggested Code of Behaviour & Discipline for National Schools

*These references apply until new guidelines are issued by the Education Welfare Board…TUSLA.

  • Managing Challenging Behaviour: Guidelines for Teachers- INTO- 2004.
  • Towards Positive Behaviour in Primary Schools. INTO. 2006
  • Enhancing Self Esteem INTO 1995
  • The Education Act 1998. The Education Welfare Act 2000. Questions and Answers INTO
  • The Principal’s Legal Handbook Oliver Mahon B.L. IVEA 2002 Ch. 2 School Discipline
  • Responding to Bullying. First Steps for Teachers. The Cool School Programme. NE Health Board
  • Investigating and Resolving Bullying in Schools. The Cool School Programme. NE Health Board
  • Stop it! Steps to Address Bullying. Wexford Education Network. Wexford Area Partnership. Phone: 053 23994
  • Quality Circle Time in the primary school. Jenny Mosley. LDA 2000
  • Working towards a Whole School Policy on Self-Esteem and Positive Behaviour. Jenny Mosley. Positive Press 2001
  • Working Together – to promote positive behaviour in classrooms, CEDR, Mary Immaculate College of Education (due for publication Autumn 2006)
  • Achieving Positive Behaviour. A Practical Guide. Patricia Dwyer. Marino
  • Websites: NPC: ; IPPN:; INTO:; SDPS:; SESS:; PCSP:
  • Chaplain, R. Teaching without Disruption. Routledge 2003
  • Good, T.L. and J. Brophy, 1987. Looking in classrooms. 4th ed. New York: Harper and Row.
  • Good, T.L. and J. Brophy, 1995. Contemporary Educational Psychology. New York: Longman Publishers USA.
  • Gray, P., Miller, A. and J. Noakes, (eds). Challenging Behaviour in Schools. Macmillan
  • Humphreys, H., 1993 a. A Different Kind of Teacher. Cork: Carrig Print.
  • Humphreys, H., 1993 b. Self-esteem the Key to your Child’s Education. Cork: Carrig Print.
  • Westwood, P., 2004. Commonsense Methods for Children with Special Educational Needs. London and New York: Routledge Falmer.





Discussion Regarding Class Rewards



Junior/Senior Infants



Stars (individual)

Best Group Prizes



Raffle tickets

Reward DVD

Golden Time

Marble Jar



1st and 2nd Class



As before+


Points for groups

Treats on Friday for the best Group

Tick Charts

Golden cards

Yellow card Reminders


100 square reward scheme



3rd and 4th Class



As before+


Homework vouchers

Extra yard time

5th and 6th Class



As before +


Focus on 3 behaviours for the week and whole class reward

No written homework on a Wednesday


Extra soccer,GAA,Basketball etc




Whole School Reward Scheme


Pupil of the week Principal and class teacher Weekly class assembly Trophy



Good yard behaviour Principal Weekly Extra play time



Principal End-of-term Certificate
Merit award System All Staff Daily When card is completed(either 10 or 20 signatures) badge/prize awarded in assembly.
Classroom rewards Individual class teacher Daily Based on class teachers choice.
















Minor Misbehaviours



No homework.


Not following instructions.


Out of seat during breaktimes on wet days.

Breaking class rules

Not wearing proper uniform

Not lining up

Verbal warning


Time out(5mins within class)

Removal to another classroom.

Class teacher


Staff member must inform the class teacher who will deal with the incident.

More Serious Misbehaviours Repeated minor


Bad language

Body language

(Verbal or physical)

Bad attitude


Answering back

Questioning authority




Note home


Extra Homework

Class detention

Football detention

Lunch detention

Apology note

Discuss with parent and get feedback from parent

Sent to another class for time to calm down

Class teacher to parent


  • Signature in the journal
  • Note
  • One-to-one meetings if it is repeated



Major Misbehaviours Repeated more serious


Leaving the school without permission

Deliberate bad language

Intentional vandalism

Continuous rule breaking



Persistent rule breaking

Verbal abuse

Bullying…refer to bullying policy.




No external outings


Friday lunch/afternoon detention?

Withdraw child to principal and inform parent

Sent to another class for a longer period in school.












Chairperson BOM.