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Code of Behaviour




  • In devising the code, consideration has to be given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school. The aim is to create an ordered and orderly environment in which pupils can, through developing self-discipline, feel secure and make progress in all aspects of their development

  • Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school




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

  • It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires 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 will be made to ensure that the code of discipline is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner


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.  Where necessary, specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and teachers. The school will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given. Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times.  Professional advice and psychological assessments will inform behaviour plans.

The children in the class or school may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with special needs adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support.  This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.


Responsibilities 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 should aim to:

  • Create a positive climate with realistic expectations.

  • Promote positive behavior, through example, honesty and courtesy.

  • 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 all.

  • To discourage physical aggression and encourage ‘Kind Hands, Kind Words, Kind Feet’.



School Rules


Safety: For my own safety and that of others;

  • I should be careful coming to and going from school 

  • I should always walk while in the school building

  • I should remain seated at all times in class and while eating lunch

  • I should always show respect for my fellow pupils

  • Bring a note of explanation following absences 

  • I should never leave the school grounds without the permission of the Principal


Caring for myself:

  • I should respect myself and my property, always keeping my school bag, books and copies in good order

  • I should always be in school before school starts at 9.10a.m.

  • I should show respect for my school and be proud to wear the complete school uniform every day

  • I should always be aware of my personal cleanliness

  • I should always bring a sensible, nutritional lunch to school. Crisps, minerals, sweets or chewing gum are not permitted

  • I should always do my best in school by listening carefully, working as hard as I can and by completing my homework carefully



Caring for others:


  • I should be kind and respectful to teachers and fellow pupils by being mannerly and polite, by taking turns and by remaining silent and orderly in my class line

  • I should behave well in class so that my fellow pupils and I can learn

  • I should always keep my school clean by bringing unfinished food and drinks, cartons, wrappers etc home or placing in the proper bin in school. I should show respect for the property of my fellow pupils, the school building and grounds  Be truthful and honest at all times



I should never bully others. I should never allow others to bully me and if it happens, I should tell my parents and my teacher. Bullying is always unacceptable.


Derryquay National School is a’ bully- free’ zone


Clár ama na Scoile:


  • School begins:  9.10a.m.

  • School Closes:  Junior Infants 2.00p.m.

       Senior Infants 2.00p.m.

       Other Classes 2:50pm and 3.00 p.m.


It is the policy of the school to assign homework on a regular basis. Parents are strongly advised to take an active interest in their child’s homework and to sign their homework journal each night (ensuring that it is done).




 Praise may be given by means of any one of the following;

  • 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

  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege

  • A mention to parent, written or verbal communication


 Disapproval of unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with as follows; (The nature of the behaviour will determine the strategy)


  • Reasoning with pupils encouraging them to accept responsibility and apologise

  • Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)

  • Prescribing extra work

  • Communication with Parents

  • Temporary separation from peers and/or loss of privileges.

  • Note to parents

  • Suspension/expulsion (in accordance with Education Welfare Act 2000 and Education Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2007)




The degree of misdemeanours i.e. minor, serious or gross will be judged by the teachers and/or Principal based on a common sense approach with regard to the gravity/frequency of such misdemeanours, as follows;


Examples of minor misdemeanours:

Interrupting class work/arriving late for school/running in the school building/talking in the class line /leaving litter around the school/not wearing the correct school uniform/being discourteous/unmannerly/not completing homework without good reason/endangering self/fellow pupils in the school yard at break time.


Examples of steps to be taken by teachers when dealing with minor misdemeanours:


  • Verbal reprimand/reasoning with the pupil

  • Noting serious instance of yard misbehaviour in yard book


Examples of steps to be taken when dealing with regular occurrences of minor misdemeanours


Within the classroom:


  • Issue of warning cards followed by sanction at Golden Time (Junior Classes)

  • Warning to pupils whose name appears in book more than three times

  • Send to the Principal

  • Class teacher meets one/both parents

  • Principal/Deputy Principal meets with one/both parents concerning behaviour


Examples of serious misdemeanours:

Constantly disruptive in class/telling lies/stealing/damaging other pupil’s property

Bullying/back answering a teacher/leaving school premises during school day without appropriate permission/Not working to full potential/using unacceptable language/bringing weapons to school/deliberately injuring a fellow pupil


Examples of steps to be taken when dealing with serious misdemeanours;


  • Send to the Principal

  • Principal sends note in Journal to be signed by parent

  • Principal meets with one/both parents

  • Chairperson of Board Of Management is informed and parents requested to meet with the Chairperson and Principal

  • Parents involved in finding a solution to the problem behaviour

  • Outside agencies asked for assistance (NEPS, Child and Adolescent Services).


Examples of Gross Misdemeanours

  • Setting fire to school property/aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher/pupil/ Discriminatory actions toward another person or group involving race, gender, religion, physical condition, disability, or ethnic origin 

  • It should be noted that these lists consist of examples only: It is not meant to be a totally comprehensive list of misdemeanours and procedural steps. 



Steps to be taken when dealing with gross misdemeanours


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 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. 


 3.3 Procedures in respect of Suspension 

This procedure is used in the case of gross misdemeanour and or health & safety grounds:


  1. 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 discussion of the matter with the parents.

  2. In certain circumstances the Principal with the approval of the Chairperson of the BOM may suspend a pupil for 5 school days 

  3. A meeting of the BOM may authorise further suspension up to a maximum of 10 days.  Suspension will be in accordance with Section 23 of the Education Welfare Act 2000.




Parents of a pupil who has been suspended for 20 school days or more are entitled under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 to appeal such a suspension.

Procedures in respect of Expulsion 

This procedure may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with Section 23 of the Education Welfare Act 2000. Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall notify the Education Welfare Officer in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Welfare Act 2000. 


Grounds for Expulsion 

  • The behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process

  • The continued presence of the pupil constitutes a real and significant threat to safety 

  • The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property. 



Automatic Expulsion 

BOM may sanction automatic expulsion for certain prescribed behaviours:

  • Sexual Assault 

  • Possession of illegal drugs

  • Supplying illegal drugs to other pupils in the school 

  • Actual violence or physical assault 

  • Serious threat of violence against another pupil or member of staff. 


Procedures in Respect of Expulsion 

  • Detailed investigation by school principal 

  • Recommendation by the principal to the BOM

  • BOM considers Principals recommendation and holds hearing 

  • The BOM decides if expulsion is appropriate. If the BoM recommends expulsion, the BOM will propose a date which will allow 20 school days from the date on which the EWO receives notification of expulsion 

  • The Education Welfare Officer is informed of the proposal to expel the pupil and the effective date of that proposal

  • Parents of the pupil are informed of their right to invoke a Section 29 appeal under the Education Act 1998

  • The Education Welfare Officer arranges consultations 

  • Confirmation of decision.


See Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools chapters 10, 11 and 12 for detailed procedures and rights to appeal. A copy is in the school office or may be downloaded at  


Infringements of the Code of Behaviour will be noted in the Incident Book.

Serious misbehaviour or repeated incidents will be reported to the Principal. Parents will be informed of behaviour which causes concern.

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