Drimnagh Castle Primary School


Mission Phrase:           “To strive to help our pupils to develop and learn in a happy caring and Christian atmosphere”



Code of Behaviour


In Drimnagh Castle Primary School we aim to achieve standards of behaviour that are based on the principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility. This Code of Behaviour was drawn up as a way of achieving these standards. In drawing up this Behaviour Code extensive consultation took place between teaching staff, Board of Management members, Parent Council members, and other education stake holders.


The primary objective in drawing up this policy was to create a system that would be known to all, would be similar in each class, would involve parents, would have an easily understood recording system, and would incur the same sanctions in cases of unacceptable behaviour. This system is designed to reward positive behaviour and discourage negative behaviour. It is also designed to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated, while at the same time acknowledging the right of every child to be educated in a relatively disruption-free environment.


Aims of the Code:

  • To create a positive learning environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour
  • To promote self-esteem and positive relationships
  • To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour
  • To foster a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils and to support good behaviour patterns based on consideration and respect for the rights 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
  • To ensure that the school’s expectations and strategies are widely known and understood through the Parent Information Booklet, School Newsletter, availability of policies, and an ethos of open communication
  • To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy.

Responsibility of Adults:

The adults encountered by the children at school have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour, both in their dealings with the children and with each other, as their example has an important influence on the children.

As adults we aim to:

  • Create a positive climate with realistic expectations
  • Promote, through example, honesty and courtesy
  • Promote the use of inclusive and respectful language
  • Provide a healthy physical environment
  • Provide a caring and effective learning environment
  • Encourage relationships based on kindness, respect, and understanding of the needs of others
  • Ensure fair treatment for all regardless of age, gender, race, ability and disability
  • Show appreciation of the efforts and contribution of everyone.


School Rules: (Appendix 1)


Our school rules emphasise the following:


  • Respect for ourselves.
  • Respect for staff and fellow pupils
  • Respect for property and the environment
  • Kindness and willingness to help others
  • Doing one’s best in class
  • Taking responsibility for our own work and behaviour
  • Walking quietly in the school building
  • Playing safely in the yard.
  • Eating a healthy lunch.


The school rules are displayed prominently in every classroom and pupils’ attention is drawn to them at the beginning of the school year and at other times as the need arises.


Class Rules:


At the beginning of each school year, the class teacher will draft a list of class rules with the children. These reflect and support the school rules, but are presented in a way that is accessible to the children. Class rules are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. They emphasise positive behaviour. Rules are applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.


Our class rules focus on the following:

  • Raising one’s hand and waiting to be asked to participate in class.
  • Listening to and appreciating others’ opinions.
  • Valuing others’ private property and personal space.
  • Allowing each other work to the best of their ability
  • Having one’s own stationery and books.


Incentives/Rewards: (Appendix 2)


In our school children are encouraged, praised and listened to at all times by adults in the school. Praise and rewards are earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy personal achievements. Rates of praise for behaviour are on equal par with those for work. We also ensure that once a reward has been granted it will not be withdrawn for any reason.


The following are examples of how we praise/reward our pupils:

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval
  • A comment in a pupil’s exercise book
  • A visit to another member of staff or to the principal for commendation
  • A word of praise in front of a group or class
  • A system of merit marks or stickers
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
  • Written or verbal communication to parent/guardian
  • Inclusion in end-of-term draw.
  • A “Pupil of the Month” certificate


Unacceptable Behaviour: (Appendix 3, 3a)


Four levels of misbehaviour are identified:

  • Minor Misbehaviour
  • Repeated Minor Misbehaviour
  • Serious Misbehaviour
  • Gross Misbehaviour


Examples are listed in each category along with the corresponding sanctions .All everyday instances of a minor nature are dealt with by the class teacher. In cases of serious and gross misbehaviour, parents will be involved at an early stage and invited to meet the teacher and/or principal to discuss the child’s behaviour.



Our use of sanctions are characterised by the following features:

  • It is clear why the sanction is being applied
  • It is made clear to the pupil what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions
  • Group punishment is avoided at all times
  • A clear distinction is made between minor and major offences
  • The focus is always on the behaviour rather then the person
  • Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a school-based curricular area, except on the grounds of health and safety.


The following strategies will be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour.

  1. Reasoning with pupil.
  2. Verbal reprimand, including advice on how to improve.
  3. Time out – appropriate to each class level. (Appendix 4)
  4. Recording of incident of misbehaviour by means of a misbehaviour mark or by a loss of credits.
  5. Communication with parents.
  6. Behaviour Think Sheet.( Appendix 5)
  7. Referral to Principal.
  8. Pupils who misbehave frequently may not be allowed to participate in school outings for their own safety and that of the other pupils.


Suspension of a pupil will only be considered for gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour. In such cases, both the pupil and parents/guardians concerned will be informed about the complaint, the parents/guardians will be invited to the school to discuss the child’s case and will be given the opportunity to respond. If the parents/guardians 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 relevant parties with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions, interventions used and their outcomes,  and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the NEWB Guidelines 2008.

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.

Removal of Suspension

Following or during a period of suspension, the parents/guardians may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parents/guardians must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school discipline 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.


Children with Special Needs:


All children are required to comply with the code of behaviour. However, the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules. Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents/guardians, the class teacher, learning support/resource teacher and Principal. Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times. Professional advice from psychological assessments will inform our approach in all such cases.


An opportunity to appeal a decision to suspend a pupil will be available by means of a process provided by the Board of Management and/ or Patron.

Records and Reports:

Formal written records will be kept of:

  • The investigation (including notes of all interviews held)
  • The decision-making process
  • The decision and the rationale for the decision
  • The duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension.

The Principal will report all suspensions to the Board of Management, with the reasons for, and the duration of, each suspension.

The Principal will also report suspensions in accordance with the NEWB reporting guidelines (Education (Welfare) Act, 2000.


Review of use of suspension


The Board of Management shall review the use of suspension in the school at regular intervals to ensure that its 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 the use of suspension is appropriate and effective.



Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education & Welfare Act 2000. Before expelling a pupil, the Board of Management shall notify the Education Welfare Office (E.W.O.) in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act and will outline the reasons for the proposed expulsion. An opportunity will be provided to the EWO to find a solution/ suitable alternative placement and the pupil will not be expelled until 20 days after the EWO has been notified about the case.

Right of Appeal:

The Board of Management recognises that under Section 29 of the Education Act, the parents/guardians of an expelled student may appeal the decision to the Secretary General of the DES.

Special needs:


While all children are required to comply with the code of behaviour, the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules. Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and class teacher, learning support/resource teacher, and principal. Professional advice from psychological assessments will be followed.


Roles and Responsibilities:


All members of staff are responsible for communicating and implementing the Behaviour Code in a fair and consistent manner. It is the overall responsibility of the Principal and Board of Management to ensure that procedures are followed as laid out in this policy.


Information and Communication:


Communicating with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with behaviour issues. Parents are encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child’s life which may affect the child’s behaviour.

The Behaviour code is communicated to parents by means of:

  • Information for Parents Booklet
  • Pupil’s Homework Journal
  • School Newsletter
  • Informal and Formal Parent-Teacher meetings



Ratification and Communication


This policy was ratified by the Board of Management of Drimnagh Castle Primary School. A copy of the policy is available on the school server for viewing by school staff and policy contents will be communicated to parents by way of the school newsletter A hard copy of the policy is available for inspection in the principal’s office.


Signed: ____________________ (Chairperson Board of Management)


Date: ___________________



Code of Discipline: Appendices


Appendix 1: School Rules


  1. School Yard opens at 8.40 am; All pupils are expected to be in the yard by 9.00 a. m.
  2. Classes finish at 2.45p.m. Lunch break is from 1. 00p.m.- l.30p.m. for all classes,
  3. Entrance and exit is by the Kokonut gate only.
  4. Pupils may not leave the school premises without the written consent of their parents.
  5. A permit, available at the school office, is required by those who wish to take a bicycle to school. Cycling in the yard is not permitted at any time.
  6. It is school policy that all absences be explained by a note on the pupils return to school
  7. Wearing of jewellery of any kind is forbidden (rings, earrings, ear studs etc.).
  8. Full uniform shall be worn at all times except on P.E. day when school track suit may be worn.
  9. Each pupil is responsible for his own property.
  10. Pupils are expected to behave in a responsible manner at all times, showing respect, courtesy and consideration to all in their actions and in their language. Such behaviour is also expected from pupils on the way to and from school.
  11. Don’t be a litter bug. Keep the yard, your room and your desk free from litter.
  12. Pupils are encouraged to eat healthy food and avoid junk food. Lunch shall be taken in the classroom. Pupils shall not eat in the yard. Chewing gum is prohibited on the school premises.
  13. It would be helpful if parents would give notice when they wish to discuss any matter with the teacher.
  14. Keep all Exit areas clear.
  15. Line up quietly and quickly in yard when bell rings.
  16. Never climb over railings in the yard.
  17. Walk quietly in single file on right hand side of corridors and stairs.
  18.  Corrector fluid is prohibited e.g. Tippex etc.
  19. Pupil’s Journal : Teachers may use it to record marks and comments. It must be kept neat and tidy. Notes from parents may be recorded in it. Above all, pupils use the journal to record homework.
  20. Mobile Phones:  Making and receiving calls is forbidden. Phone switched off at all times. No phone to be seen on premises. Violation of above and phone will be confiscated until parents collect same from office.


Appendix 2: Steps towards positive behaviour


Recommendations For Class Rewards


RANG 1/2
  • Stickers
  • Stars
  • Sweets
  • Homework pass
  • Jobs
  • DVD
  • Story
  • Golden time
  • Group stars
  • Praise
  • Positive notes home
RANG 3/4
  • Stickers/stars
  • Homework pass
  • Jobs
  • Golden time
  • Group stars
  • DVD
  • Team building activities
  • Praise
  • Positive notes home
RANG 5/6
  • Sweets
  • Homework pass
  • Group rewards
  • DVD
  • Extra P.E.
  • Praise
  • Positive notes home
  • Sweets
  • Praise
  • Stickers
  • Extra stories
  • Positive note home
  • Extra computer time
  • Jobs


  • Once a reward has been granted, it will not be withdrawn for any reason.
  • Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a school based Curricular Area, except on the grounds of health & safety.

Whole school reward scheme



All Classes

  • Pupil of the month : certificate and healthy food
  • End of term raffle incorporating prizes such as ; bicycles, computer games, etc.

Appendix 3: Discipline in the classroom


                                                  MINOR MISBEHAVIOUR





·         Talking out of turn

·         Regularly out of their seat

·         Distracting others

·         Constant talking

·         Not making an effort

·         Fidgeting

  • Reason with pupil
  • Verbal reprimand







  • As above

  • Docking of behaviour points
  • Note in journal to inform parents
                                               SERIOUS MISBEHAVIOUR

  • Homework not completed on a regular basis
  • Speaking disrespectfully to a member of the school community
  • Telling lies
  • Verbal abuse towards other pupils
  • Physical abuse towards other pupils
  • Intentional use of bad language
  • Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning.

  • Loss of more than one behaviour point
  • Make contact with parents
  • Think sheet
  • Time out
  • Involve Principal



  • Verbally abusing a teacher, i.e. the

use of bad language

  • Stealing
  • Truancy
  • Fighting in the classroom
  • Destruction of school property
  • Engaging in any action that could injure another pupil, including cyber-bullying.
  • Assault on a member of staff
  • Refusal to comply with instructions
  • Extreme non-compliance

  • Sent to Principal
  • Think sheet/Pass card
  • Meet with parents
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

                                                GROSS MISBEHAVIOUR


NB: Group punishment will be avoided.


Appendix 3a: The Yard: Rules & Discipline

Rules for the yard


  • When the bell rings after break, lunch, etc., the pupils stop what they are doing and walk to their line
  • The pupils are not allowed engage in games that may harm themselves or other children. We encourage safe play.
  • When a pupil has a problem in the yard they are encouraged to approach a staff member and explain the situation
  • The pupils are discouraged from bringing food to the yard
  • Incidents of unacceptable behaviour are recorded in the “Yard Book” and the class teacher is made aware of same.


Discipline in the yard




  • Breaking up of other pupils games
  • Using bad language
  • Verbally abusing other children

  • Verbal reprimand
  • Reason with child
  • Entry in Yard Incident Book





  • As above

  • Time-out
  • Docking of behaviour point
  • Entry in Yard Incident Book




  • Intentional verbal or physical abuse towards another pupil
  • Climbing onto the shed roof
  • Giving cheek to the teacher
  • Use of foul language.

  • Docking of behaviour points
  • Sent to the office
  • Think sheet
  • Entry in Yard Incident Book
  • Restricted use of yard.



·   Physical abuse towards a teacher

·   Using/carrying a dangerous implement;

i.e. guns, knives, etc.

·   Serious physical abuse towards other pupils

with intent to injure

·         Entry in Yard Incident Book

·         Sent to the Principal

·         Think sheet

·         Exclusion from normal yard breaks

·         Involvement of parents

·         Suspension

·         Expulsion