Commons N.S. Code of Behaviour

 The aims of the Code of Behaviour of the Commons N.S. 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 will be kept to a minimum, emphasise positive behaviour and will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference.  Good behaviour will be 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.


The Code of Behaviour as detailed below covers the following areas:

 1)    Behaviour in class                                      

 2)    Behaviour during break times                   

 3)    Bullying                                                   

 4)    Affirming Positive Behaviour                   

 5)    Strategies / Incentives                            

 6)    Discouraging Misbehaviour                       

 7)    Suspension / Expulsion                           

 8)    Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)

 9)  School Rules

10)  School Property

11)  Attendance

12)  Homework

13)  General

14)  Hygiene

15)  Responsibilities    


1.  Behaviour in Class

Courtesy and respect are fundamental to classroom behaviour.  Disrespectful behaviour towards other pupils or towards a teacher, e.g. – cheek and insolence will not be tolerated.  Pupils must respect the right of other pupils to learn.  Any behaviour that interferes with this right is considered unacceptable.  In order that pupils benefit from work in class, full co-operation is required from pupils at all times.  Pupils must co-operate with instructions given by the teacher.


2.  Behaviour during break times

Pupils must treat others, as they would like to be treated themselves.  Behaviour that endangers others in not permitted.  Bullying and rough behaviour, games or activities considered being dangerous and any behaviour that interferes with the play of others is forbidden.  Pupils may not leave the playground for any reason during breaks without the permission of the supervising teacher.  This includes re-entering the school building.  On wet days pupils may not leave their seats without the permission of the supervising teacher.


3.  Bullying

Bullying is repeated verbal, psychological or physical aggression by an individual or group against others.  The most commons 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 co-operate with the school at all times in dealing with instances of bullying in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.


4.  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.


5.  Strategies/Incentives.

  • 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.


6.  Discouraging Misbehaviour.

The purpose of sanctions and other strategies is to promote positive behaviour 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.
  • Loss of privileges.
  • Detention during break
  • Communication with parents.
  • Referral to Principal.
  • Principal communicating with parentsExclusion (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.


7.  Suspension/Expulsion

Before serious sanctions such as detention, suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilized.  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 authorize 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, in accordance with the Rule for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.  Before 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.


8.  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.

9.  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.

10.  School Property

Damage to school property is a serious offence.  Library books should not be abused.  Pupils who maliciously damage school or another’s property will be required to make good the damage.  Mark all property / clothes with pupil’s names.


11.  Attendance

Pupils are required to attend school regularly.  If a pupil has been absent a note from the parent/guardian should be sent in by the parent on the child’s return.  The school is part of the local school attendance scheme, which is monitored by the National Education Welfare Board.  In any given school year, any child who is absent from school, no matter what the reason, for 20 days or more, must by law, be reported in writing to the Education Welfare Board.  School opens at 9.20a.m. to receive pupils and closes at 3.00p.m.

In case of Infants, school closure is 2.00p.m.  All Infants must be collected at 2.00p.m.  No responsibility is accepted for pupils arriving before opening time or remaining after closing time.  The school is not responsible for the school transport system and the fact that children are conveyed by school bus does not impose any additional obligations on the school or the staff.  When a pupil has to leave class early a note must be brought to the teacher or a parent or legal guardian must call to the class teacher.  On no account will a child be given permission to leave the grounds without the express permission of the parent.  Mitching school is a serious offence and is reported to the parent/guardians.


12.  Homework

Homework is given on a regular basis from Junior Infants upwards and pupils are expected to complete it neatly and carefully.  It must be written in a homework notebook or diary each day.  Homework is generally not given at weekends.  If, for any reason, the homework (or any part of it) cannot be completed, a short note to the teacher will suffice.  Children need not spend any longer per day at homework than recommended hereunder.


                             Junior / Senior Infants ……………………… up to10mins

                             1st and 2nd Class ……………………………... up to 30 max

                             3rd and 4th Class ………………………………up to  40 max

                             5th and 6th Class ……………………………… up to1hour max


13.  General

v We encourage parents with a complaint or grievance (issue or concern) to contact the school immediately to process their complaint.  Complaints by or through third parties will not be entertained by any school authority.  Please make an appointment by ringing the school, phone no. (074) 9731919.

  • Mark your child’s property clearly especially his/her coat and jumper with full name.
  • Parents who may be absent from home (both working) should ensure that work phone numbers and mobile numbers are available to the school.
  • In keeping with our Healthy Eating Policy sweets, crisps, fizzy drinks and chewing gum are banned.
  • In the interests of Health and Safety glass bottles and all dangerous toys are forbidden.

14.  Hygiene

Every year we have outbreaks of head-lice.  Please check your children’s hair on a regular basis (weekly) and treat in accordance with medical advice, if necessary.  Inform the school immediately if the condition is observed.


15.  Responsibilities

 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 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.
  • Recognize and affirm good work.
  • Prepare school work and correct work done by pupils.
  • Recognize 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.
  • Communicate with the school in relation to any problems which may affect child’s progress / behaviour.










Declaration (please, return this section to the school with enrolment forms).


I / We (parents’ signature/s) _____________________________________________


The parents of, (child’s name) _______________________________________

will be availing of the place offered.  We/I have read the code of behaviour above on

(dates)____________________ and are familiar with and agree with its contents.



Appendix 1

Classroom 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.)


  • Do not interrupt the teacher.


  • Do not interfere with other pupils or their property


Rules around the School


  • Pupils must walk quietly in the hallway, going to and from yard.


  • Pupils must follow the “two bell” instructions, 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 home time and wait inside school grounds until their lift arrives.


  • Infants to be collected at front door of school.


Ratified by the B.O.M. on 11th February 2020