Code of Behaviour

Bishop Foley Memorial National School, Carlow



The aims of the Code of Behaviour of Bishop Foley NS are:

  • To provide guidance for pupils, teachers and parents on behavioural expectations.
  • To provide for the effective and safe operation of the school.
  • To develop pupils’ self-esteem and to promote positive behaviour.
  • To foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils based on respect, consideration and tolerance of others.
  • To facilitate the education and development of every child.
  • To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment.
  • To enable teachers to teach without disruption.


Every member of the school community has a role to play in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour. Rules are kept to a minimum. The emphasis is on positive behaviour and rules are applied in a fair and consistent manner. Good behaviour is encouraged and rewarded. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.

General Guidelines for Positive Behaviour

  1. 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
  2. Pupils are expected to show respect for all school property and to keep the school environment clean and litter free.
  3. Pupils are expected to take pride in their appearance, to have all books and required materials and to be in the right place at the right time.
  4. Pupils are expected to obey a teacher’s instructions, to work to the best of their ability and to present assignments neatly.
  5. 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, stating the reason for absence.


Bullying is repeated verbal, psychological or physical aggression by an individual or group against others. The most common forms of bullying are aggressive physical contact, name-calling, intimidation, extortion, isolation and taunting. Bullying will not be tolerated and parents will be expected to cooperate with the school at all times in dealing with instances of bullying in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.


Affirming Positive Behaviour

Positive reinforcement of good behaviour leads to better self-discipline and we place a greater emphasis on rewards and incentives than on sanctions.



  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval.
  • A comment on a child’s exercise book.
  • A visit to another class or Principal for commendation.
  • Praise in front of class group.
  • Individual class merit awards, points awards or award stamps.
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege.
  • Written or verbal communication with parent.
  • Golden time
  • Homework Pass


Discouraging Misbehaviour

The purpose of sanctions and other strategies is to promote positive behavior and discourage misbehaviour. Sanctions will be applied according to the gravity of the misbehaviour, with due regard to age and emotional development. These may include

  • Reasoning with pupil.
  • Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve.
  • Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class.
  • Prescribing extra work e.g. lines
  • Loss of privileges.
  • Detention during break.
  • Communication with parents.
  • Referral to Principal.
  • Principal communicating with parents.
  • Exclusion (Suspension or Expulsion) from school (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular and Education Welfare Act 2000).

Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a Curricular Area, except on the grounds of health/safety



Before serious sanctions such as suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised.  Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances.


For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour suspension may be considered. Parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case.  Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or pupil will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.


Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the principal.  If the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future the pupil may be suspended for a period.  Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.

In the case of gross misbehaviour, where it is necessary to ensure that order and discipline are maintained and to secure the safety of the pupils, the Board may authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.

Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case (eg, in the case of repeated suspension) in accordance with the Rule for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.  When suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall notify the Local Welfare Education Officer in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act.


Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)

Following or during a period of suspension, the parent/s may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code and the Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class.


School Rules

School rules are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. If a school is to function efficiently, it is necessary that rules and regulations are clearly stated and enforced consistently and fairly.


The 5 B’s

Be Prompt

Be Prepared

Be Positive

Be Productive

Be Polite



Students are not permitted to wear any jewellery. Watches are allowed.

Mobile phones/IPods/Electronic Games

Mobile phones, iPods and electronic games are not allowed in school. Any infringement of this rule will involve the confiscation of the phone and any other electronic equipment and will only be returned to the parent or guardian of the pupil.


School Uniform

All pupils must wear the school uniform.

Before/After School

Parents are reminded that the staff of the school does not accept responsibility for pupils before official opening time of 8.40 a.m. or after the official closing time of   2.30 pm except where pupils are engaged in an extra-curricular activity organised by the school and approved by the Board of Management. Pupils involved in such activities are expected to behave in accordance with school behaviour policy during these times.


Board of Management’s Responsibilities

  • Provide a comfortable, safe environment.
  • Support the Principal and staff in implementing the code.
  • Ratify the code.


Principal’s Responsibilities

  • Promote a positive climate in the school.
  • Ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner.
  • Arrange for review of the Code, as required.


Teachers’ Responsibilities
Support and implement the school’s code of behaviour.

  • Create a safe working environment for each pupil.
  • Recognise and affirm good work.
  • Prepare school work and correct work done by pupils.
  • Recognise and provide for individual talents and differences among pupils.
  • Be courteous, consistent and fair.
  • Keep opportunities for disruptive behaviour to a minimum.
  • Deal appropriately with misbehaviour.
  • Keep a record of instances of serious misbehaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour.
  • Provide support for colleagues.
  • Communicate with parents when necessary and provide reports on matters of mutual concern.


Pupils’ Responsibilities

  • Attend school regularly and punctually.
  • Listen to their teachers and act on instructions/advice.
  • Show respect for all members of the school community.
  • Respect all school property and the property of other pupils.
  • Avoid behaving in any way which would endanger others.
  • Avoid all nasty remarks, swearing and name-calling.
  • Include other pupils in games and activities.
  • Bring correct materials/books to school.
  • Follow school and class rules.

Parents/Guardians’ Responsibilities

Encourage children to have a sense of respect for themselves and for property.

  • Ensure that children attend regularly and punctually.
  • Be interested in, support and encourage their children’s school work.
  • Be familiar with the code of behaviour and support its implementation.
  • Co-operate with teachers in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others.
  • Use the homework journal both for writing and receiving notes to/from the teacher.
  • Communicate with the school in relation to any problems which may affect the child’s progress/behaviour.
  • Please contact the office to make an appointment to meet your child’s teacher.
  • To comply with Child Protection procedures all entry to the school for parents/guardians is strictly via the main front door only.


Appendix 1

Sample Rules


Instructions given by teacher must be obeyed. (Do what teacher says.)

Pupils should work to the best of their ability and present exercises neatly. (Work hard.)

Pupils must stay seated in their places unless told otherwise. This is particularly important when teacher is called from the room. (Sit in your place.)

Pupils should keep unhelpful hands, feet, objects and comments to themselves. (Don’t interrupt the teacher or interfere with other pupils or their property.)


Sample Rules


Pupils must walk quietly in corridors, going to and from yard, hall, church etc.

Pupils must stay in designated area, and may leave the yard only with a teacher’s permission

Pupils must play safely at all times. Anti-social, dangerous or hurtful behaviour is forbidden, (e.g. wrestling, headlocks, jockey backs, bullying, intimidation, teasing, jeering, fighting, spitting, kicking, charging in groups, bad language, exclusion).

Pupils should walk to gates at going home time.


Appendix 2

Examples of minor misbehaviour include:

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

 Examples of serious misbehaviour include:

  • Behaviour that is hurtful (including bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation)
  • Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning
  • Threats or physical hurt to another person
  • Damage to property
  • Theft
  • Bringing dangerous equipment to school
  • Leaving school/school activities without permission.

 Examples of gross misbehaviour include:

  • Assault on a teacher or pupil
  • Serious Theft
  • Serious Damage to property
  • Serious bullying
  • Carrying drugs, alcohol, cigarettes

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

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


Appendix 3

Additional rules during the Covid -19 Pandemic period.


Pupils are required to follow all procedures around hand-washing and sanitizing and respiratory etiquette.

The following will be regarded as gross misbehavior:

  • Coughing or sneezing at another pupil.
  • Coughing or sneezing on a member of staff.
  • Pretending to cough or sneeze at a pupil/member of staff.
  • Playing with pupils from another Bubble (class).
  • Refusal to wash/sanitise hands at the request of a member of staff.