Code of Behaviour

Kilberry N.S.


Code of Behaviour




In all communities, behaviour means a willingness to share the environment peacefully.  In our school, we believe pupils and teachers have a right to work and learn in an atmosphere free from fear and intimidation.

Discipline means that each person recognises and acknowledges the rights of others.  The Code of Behaviour for Kilberry N.S.  is based on the following points of school policy.


  • The child is the chief agent in his/her education.


  • Teachers, parents and the B.O.M. are partners in education.


  •  Kilberry School is a Catholic School with a Catholic ethos


  • Kilberry School is a community and the members of that community will always try to accept and accommodate differences.


  • Kilberry School believes that each child should be valued and respected as unique and special to God.


  • All children are equal, regardless of gender, ability, creed or social background


  • Kilberry School is part of the wider school community and welcomes links between the school, its surrounds and St. Michaels Parish, Athy.



Aims of the Code:


In devising the Code, consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of Kilberry N.S.


We aim to:


  • 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 promote a sense of belonging to the school community
  • 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’s handbook, availability of policies and an ethos of open communication
  • To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy


Every effort will be made to ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner.  This code aims to help to help the children grow develop into healthy mature adults, capable of realising their full potential as human beings created in the image and likeness of God.


The school rules are based on respect for all individuals and property.


The following are the school Rules for Kilberry N.S.


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 in class
  • I should always show respect for my fellow pupils
  • Bring a note of explanation following absences (further details in Attendance Policy)
  • I should never leave the school grounds without the permission of the Principal or a Teacher.


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 the bell rings at 9.00a.m.
  • I should show respect for my school and be proud to wear the complete school uniform every day
  • I am allowed to wear one pair of small stud earings.
  • I am not allowed to wear any hooped earings
  • I am not allowed to have unnatural colours in my hair.
  • I am not allowed to wear any make up in school
  • I should always be aware of my personal cleanliness
  • I should always bring a sensible, nutritional lunch to school. Crisps, chocolate, 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 and getting my parents/guardians to check and sign my journal.
  • I will always respect the talents which God has given to me and to others.







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 play fairly and be considerate towards others on the yard, use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict
  • I should always play in the area of the playground assigned to my class
  • I should always keep my school clean by bringing unfinished food and drinks, cartons, wrappers etc home or by recycling 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
  • Respect the green Policy within my school
  • I should remember that we follow Jesus in His forgiveness and in His Love of others.



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.

It is our intention that Kilberry N.S. will be a “bully free zone”

(further details see Anti-bullying Policy)


Rewards Systems for Positive behaviour is an on-going measure in Kilberry N.S. as promoting good behaviour is the main goal of the Code.

(refer to p.42 N.E.W.B. guidelines)


We recognise that there are many different forms of intelligence and that similarly children use a variety of approaches to solve problems.  Reward systems which are based on academic merit or particular extrinsic goals continuously apply to only a limited number of children and undermine the individuality of children.  All children deserve encouragement to attain their own best.  Children will be encouraged, praised and listened to at by adults in the school. Praise is earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy personal achievements.  Rates of praise for behaviour should be as high as for work.

The following are some samples of how praise might be given;

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval
  • A comment in a pupil’s exercise book or home work journal
  • A visit to another member of Staff or to the Principal for commendation
  • A word of praise in front of a group or class or at assembly
  • A system of merit marks or stickers
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
  • A mention to parent, written or verbal communication.
  • Homework passes
  • Individual teachers may implement their own, age-appropriate strategies following the overall Code of Behaviour of Kilberry N.S.








School and Classrooms Rules:


Each Classroom has a set of classroom rules.  They describe in single terms how to behave in order to learn well and to develop into mature and responsible individuals.  Rules will reflect the age and stage of development of the students and can be drawn up in consultation with the pupils.  In keeping with our Catholic ethos we are always conscious that we can help children develop morally through exposing them to the love of Jesus


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 and the class teacher, learning support/ resource teacher, and or Principal will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given.   Cognitive, emotional and social development will be taken into account at all times.  Professional advice from psychological assessments will be invaluable.


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.


Methods of Communicating with Parents

Communicating with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers should develop a joint strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy which can be implemented at home and in school.


A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff, pupils and parents and B.O.M. have been established and are being reviewed regularly.


Communication between staff members is encouraged daily and at official staff meetings and by record keeping in incident book.


Parents are kept informed at formal, informal meetings, notes in journals or phone calls.


 Parents should be encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child’s life, in the past or present, which may affect the child’s behaviour.


Behaviour check lists in homework diaries will be used to keep parents informed about aspects of child’s behaviour  which needs attention


  • Phone calls where necessary.


  • Positive notes, stickers, rewards certificates are sent home to communicate news of good behaviour


  • Pupils are taught, reminded about our Code of Behaviour at assembly and during informal class discussion and formal Alive-O and S.P.H.E. Lessons.


  • B.O.M. will be regularly updated on our Code of Behaviour and its implementation.




Unacceptable Behaviour

Three levels of misbehaviour are recognised: Minor, Serious and Gross. All everyday instances of a minor nature are dealt with by the class teacher.  In cases of repeated serious misbehaviour or single instances of gross misbehaviour, the Principal will be informed immediately. Parents will be involved at an early stage and invited to meet the teacher and/or the Principal to discuss their child’s behaviour.


Examples of serious misbehaviour:

  • 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
  • Use of obscene, inappropriate or offensive language
  • Possession of a dangerous or harmful item e.g. penknife
  • Possession or offering illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco or other harmful substance including glue, nail varnish tippex. (P.V.A. and Pritt Stick are permitted)


Examples of gross misbehaviour:

  • Assault on a teacher or pupil
  • Serious theft
  • Serious damage to property



The use of sanctions or consequences should be characterised by certain features;

  • It must be clear why the sanction is being applied
  • The consequence must relate as closely as possible to the behaviour
  • It must be made clear what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions
  • There should be a clear distinction between minor and major offences
  • It should be the behaviour rather than the person that is the focus



The following steps will be taken when the children behave inappropriately.  They are listed in order of severity.  The list is by no means exhaustive.

Teachers may put in place alternative measures where necessary.  The aim of  the sanction is to prevent the behaviour occurring again and if necessary to help devise strategies for this.






  1. Reasoning with pupil
  2. Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve
  3. Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class
  4. Prescribing extra work/ writing out the story of what happened/lines
  5. Loss of privileges
  6. Detention during break
  7. Communication with parents
  8. Referral to Principal
  9. Principal communicating with parents

10. 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)

However sanctions should relate as closely as possible to the behaviour and the age and understanding of the pupil.


Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a Curricular Area, except on the grounds of Health and Safety.


When and Where Behaviour will be subject to the Code   


It is expected that the pupils of Kilberry N.S. will be subject to the Code of Behaviour at all times during the school day, on all occasions when the pupils leave the school on a school trip/tour or outing and on all school- linked activities organised by teachers. Behaviour on school bus, may be subject to sanction where necessary.


Suspension and Expulsion

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.  Before suspension, the school management will also consider the risk if any unwanted outcomes caused by suspending a pupil.


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, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved taking into consideration


  • Records of previous misbehaviour, their pattern and the context.


  • Sanctions and other interventions previously used


  • Any other relevant background information relating to the pupils situation



All decisions made on suspension will be in accordance with Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act. 2010 and with the N.E.W.B. Guidlines on Code of Behaviour p.72 & p.73.


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 and reinstatement


Following or during a period of suspension 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 consitute 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.  After suspension, the pupil will be given the opportunity and support of a fresh start.  Although a record is kept of the behaviour and any sanction imposed.  After the sanctions have been completed the school should expect the same behaviour of this student as of all other students.


Information regarding the right of appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act will be provided to parents/guardians/student with formal notification of suspension, applicable.


In the case of suspension for a period of six days or more the parents/guardians may if they wish appeal the suspension to the Board of Management.  The appeal must be made in writing to the Secretary of the Board and should state the grounds on which the appeal is being made.  However, the school may insist that the student remain at home until the appeal has been heard.


The Board will endeavour to hear any such appeal as quickly as possible.


If such an appeal is successful the Board may agree to an alternative sanction or to the lifting of the suspension or to the removal of the suspension from the students file.




A pupil may be expelled from Kilberry N.S. when the B.O.M. makes a decision to permanently exclude him/her from school.


Expulsion is a very serious step and will only be taken by the B.O.M. in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour.  Our school will take significant steps to address misbehaviour and to avoid expulsion of a student where possible.


However, there may be exceptional circumstances where the B.O.M. will expel a student on a first offence or a single major breach of the Code of Behaviour e.g.


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


  • Serious bodily harm resulting from physical assault.


  • Supply of illegal drugs/alcohol to other students in the school.


  • Sexual harassment /assault.


In the event of expulsion the Principal and B.O.M. will strictly follow the guidelines laid down by the N.E.W.B. pg. 82 – 89.

In accordance with Education Welfare Act Section 24, before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board will notify the Local Welfare Education Officer in writing.







A Whole – School approach to the Code of Behaviour


Our Catholic Ethos in Kilberry N.S. underpins our Code of Behaviour and is very important for personal and moral growth.  An atmosphere of love, inclusion, respect for others, sympathy and forgiveness contributes to the child’s self –confidence and

self – acceptance. This in turn develops their capacity to relate to others and to God.

Our long term goal is that each child will develop a sense of responsibility and

self – discipline; that each child will appreciate the rights of others and realise that there are limits to their freedom.



The success of our Code of Behaviour depends on the involvement of the entire school community, Boards of Management, Principal, teachers, other staff member, parents and students all have responsibilities at different levels for behaviour in school.


This means for example, that parents understand their commitment to, and their relationship with the school can impact on behaviour and learning. Parents are required to read and accept our Code of Behaviour at enrolment.  We encourage parents to contact us when difficulties arise.


Students are encouraged to realise that their behaviour and learning are closely linked.


The staff work as a team to ensure all aspects of the school day impact positively on students behaviour.


The Board of Management supports and advises the Principal and staff where necessary.


Thankfully, the vast majority of our pupils are very well behaved and co-operate on a daily basis to make our school a happy place for pupils and staff alike.


We are also fortunate enough in Kilberry N.S. to have the continued support of the parents in our school.


We hope that this positive atmosphere of co-operation will continue and that our future will be shaped by a sense of God’s presence in each other and in the world around us.



This policy was amended and adopted by B.O.M. on  ______________ 2012.




The overall responsibility for the every day implementation of this policy lies with the Principal and Teachers.  Our Code of Behaviour will be reviewed   ________ 2014




Ratified by the Board of Management on ________________


Signed: ___________________


(Fr. Gerard Tanham, Chairperson, Board of Management)






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