November 2021

Phone Number

(028) 3085 1294


The promotion of ‘Positive Behaviour’ is set within the context of the School’s Pastoral Care Programme, the approach being caring, constructive and encouraging. It is the policy of the St. Patrick’s Primary & Nursery School to create a secure and happy environment, conducive to effective learning and personal development. We believe that our commitment to RESPECT as a core value provides a solid foundation for establishing and maintaining appropriately high standards of Behaviour. Our ultimate goal is that our children develop responsible attitudes and values, enabling them to grow into mature and caring adults with a respect for and tolerance of others in society. This Policy has been drawn up, reviewed and agreed by all members of staff and Governors, taking account of the ‘Children’s Voice’. It takes account of the legal requirements as outlined in the Special Education Needs and Disability Order (SENDO) and related legislation regarding Safeguarding & Child Protection and Inclusion & Diversity. It is compliant with Department of Education and Education Authority directives.


Positive Behaviour practices create the conditions for effective teaching and learning and engender in children responsible attitudes and values for life.
In St Patrick’s our aim is therefore to create a calm, caring community where teachers teach and facilitate thinking and learning for all our children.


The school’s ethos underpins the establishing and maintaining of high standards of Behaviour and Discipline. This positive environment and pleasant atmosphere in St. Patrick’s is based on the unique quality of the relationships at all levels. Our positive approach permeates all activities, helping to form the strong sense of school community which is enjoyed by everyone.

Underlying principles of the policy

Positive Behaviour is about relationships within the classroom and at whole school level throughout the school day i.e. within the school community as a whole

  • Staff and Children
  • Children with each other
  • As members of the wider school community

Every child in our school is a valued person, created by God, entrusted to us by parents and society and worthy of unconditional respect for her/his dignity.

Every teacher in our school is a valued person and a valued professional, entrusted with the education and care of our children and entitled to the support and respect of children, parents, school management, community and society.

Every member of our auxiliary/ancillary staff/visitor who assists in the care and nurturing of our children is valued.

The school acknowledges the influence of the home and society on the behaviour of our children. Consequently, we continually strive to achieve a shared understanding with parents regarding high standards of behaviour. Parental acceptance of the school’s expectations and active cooperation with the staff is deemed essential.

Aims of Policy

  • To promote the acceptance of the school as a model where social learning is developed and individuals work collectively for the greater good.
  • To encourage in children, the development of self discipline, self respect and regard for fairness.
  • To manage a system which promotes the welfare and safety of all our children and staff at all times.
  • To encourage values such as honesty, justice and forgiveness in keeping with our school ethos.
  • To encourage a strong sense of self awareness.
  • To treat children fairly and be consistent in our approach.
  • To promote the development of positive relationships where children and staff have respect for each other and the opinions of others.
  • To offer our pupils opportunities for curricular and extracurricular experiences.
  • To encourage respect for personal property, the property of others and for the local environment.

Method and Application

All staff are committed to building good relationships, among and with our learners, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to thrive in our school. A positive approach is used in a calm, consistent and compassionate atmosphere.

There is a clear focus on self-awareness and self-discipline.

In Saint Patrick’s we strive to encourage positive behaviour as a priority for learning. A variety of approaches is utilised as reinforcement and enhancement, with a clear focus on the Positive aspect of daily behaviour in school. Great emphasis is placed on enabling the child to move on from a situation and start afresh. This reinforces the ‘restorative’ approach we promote within our ‘Anti-Bullying Policy. EA and DE Health & Safety policies are fully adhered to and all strategies are in accordance with those recommended by the EA. taking account of children with particular educational/behavioural needs.

Within Nursery and Foundation Stage a range of strategies and techniques are used consistently which are age appropriate for the children.

As our children move into Key Stages 1 & 2 i.e. P3-7 they adhere to our Code of Conduct based on four key concepts.

1. Always aim to stay safe
2. Give of your very best
3. Help others in school
4. Care for the school and its grounds

Copies of the agreed Code of Conduct are shared with the children and signed by parents annually in September. The Code of Conduct is displayed prominently around the school building as appropriate. The School Council assist in promoting this Code of Conduct. (See Appendix 1)


  • Governors have overall responsibility for ensuring the Positive Behaviour policy is in place and support the Principal in its implementation.
  • The Principal has overall responsibility for the day to day implementation of the Positive Behaviour policy within the school and supporting staff who face challenging behaviour.
  • Each teacher is responsible for the discipline within her/his classroom. Teachers have a shared responsibility for the general discipline of the children in the school e.g. on corridors, in the playground, lining up/dismissal times etc. Teachers are ably supported by the school’s Ancillary staff in this regard.
  • Parents should support their children and the school by accepting the school’s expectations regarding behaviour. The accepted standards of behaviour will vary from home to home and family to family, however conflict can arise when the expectations vary between home and school. Active parental cooperation with staff is essential if an acceptable standard of discipline is to be achieved and maintained. Parents can support the school by:

a) encouraging their children to adhere to the terms of this policy on a day to day basis.
b) accepting that the school will seek always to establish an accurate account of events when dealing with matters relating to
breaches of discipline in the best interests of all parties.
c) bringing any behavioural/potential behavioural issues relating to their child to the attention of the class teacher.
Furthermore, parents have a duty to ensure that their children do not cause injury or damage to others or to other people’s property.
They are, therefore, obliged to promote the general policy and rules of discipline as laid down by the school

Behaviour Procedures

Children are therefore expected to:

1. Take responsibility for their own behaviour both on and off the school site.
2 Arrive at school on time, prepared and ready for the day ahead.
3 Walk in a quiet and orderly manner throughout the school as directed to ensure safety.
4 Show courtesy and respect to each other and to persons they meet inside and around the school premises.
5 Be responsive and obedient at all times, never using any form of vulgar or obscene language and refrain from any form of potential bullying, reporting any instance of perceived unacceptable behaviour/potential bullying immediately using the school’s TELL approach.
6 Wear the correct school uniform as directed. This includes the wearing of the P.E. Uniform by all classes ONLY on the days on which they have P.E. Footwear should be black or brown shoes i.e. no excessively high platforms or heels. It is deemed appropriate that children dress in full school uniform when representing the school at external events e.g. Feis, Competitions, etc. Children’s hair should be their natural colour. Shaved patterns are not permissible.
7 The wearing of jewellery – e.g. a watch/medal/stud earring is permitted. Any other earrings are forbidden in keeping with the school’s Health & Safety Policy.
8 Be responsible for their own property and money. They must treat
school property and the property of others with respect and care at all times, refraining from defacing walls, tables, chairs and equipment.
9 Co-operate with all adults and adhere to class and whole school rules.

Chewing Gum, Tipp Ex, Mobile Phones and any device capable of taking images/capturing sounds are strictly forbidden in school at all times in keeping with Safeguarding & Child Protection requirements.

Strategies for promoting positive behaviour

Through our Curriculum, we endeavour to equip our learners with the knowledge and understanding of the building blocks of positive relationships. We believe a relevant and robust curriculum contributes to health and wellbeing by supporting children and young people’s ability to learn achieve and flourish.

Strategies Used at Whole School Level

  • The School Code of Conduct is prominently displayed and referred to throughout the school day.
  • Targets – Children are afforded the opportunity to reflect on achievable targets within the area of pastoral care. These are set and reviewed termly. (See appendix 2)
  • School Council – We have a thriving school council which comprises of elected representatives from each of the P4 – P7 classes. The tasks undertaken by the Council are linked closely to the annual School Forum and to the outworking sin the SDP as appropriate.
  • Our Eco Council works in a similar way, having led the school in achieving green flag status. Its members strive to be role models in exemplifying good behavioural practices throughout the school.
  • Weekly Assembly – Assembly is held each Monday morning. It is a time when we come together to pray, sing and celebrate as a school community. We recognise particularly good behaviour that was observed during the previous week e.g. politeness to visitors,kindness in the play-ground etc. is highlighted. Achievements both inside and outside of school are celebrated. Furthermore, feedback from outside the school regarding notable courtesy/behaviour is celebrated.
  • Mid and End of Year awards – Children who have demonstrated excellence within curriculum and Pastoral Care are awarded specific trophies and cups in February/March and June annually.

Strategies used at class / playground level:

Staff and children have identified effective strategies to be used in the promotion of good behaviour

  • Class contract/ negotiated class Code of Conduct – This is collaboratively drawn up at the start of each new school year. The children commit to do their best to adhere to the Code of Conduct which is revisited on a regular basis throughout the year and amended/updated appropriately.
  • Visual strategies in class e.g. visual timetable, clear display of ‘learning intentions’ and ‘success criteria’ are used proactively to explicitly remind the children of what is expected from them.
  • Providing an appropriately pitched curriculum with well-planned differentiation and extension activities.
  • Using Formative Assessment strategies appropriately.
  • Staff acknowledging and praising good behaviour regularly and appropriately
  • Circle time (group discussion opportunities).
  • Role play/ puppet story boxes/social stories to model good behaviour.
  • Activities which support Anti – Bullying ethos e.g. Anti-Bullying Assembly, Grow in Love, E Safety Activities.

Rewarding positive behaviour

In Saint Patrick’s we strive to encourage positive behaviour as a priority for learning. A variety of approaches is utilised as reinforcement and enhancement, with a clear focus on the Positive aspect of daily behaviour in school. Great emphasis is placed on enabling the child to move on from a situation and start afresh. This reinforces the ‘restorative’ approach we promote within our ‘Anti-Bullying Policy. EA and DE Health & Safety policies are fully adhered to and all strategies are in accordance with those recommended by the EA. taking account of children with particular educational/behavioural needs.

Some of the methods used to reward good behaviour are identified below but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Rewards may include:

  • Positive verbal praise
  • A public / word of praise in front a group, class or assembly
  • Stickers /Points system– as appropriate to year group
  • Class and school jobs
  • Stickers /Points system– as appropriate to year group
  • Occasional treats such as extended break time / free play
  • Visit to principal / vice principal / a member of the SLT or another teacher for commendation
  • Treasure box i.e. material rewards issued by teacher
  • Praise communicated to parents
  • Good work and comments relayed at parent teacher meeting /report


Great emphasis is placed on enabling the child to move from the situation and start afresh when the matter has been addressed and the sanction has ‘run its’ course’. Therefore, sanctions must be ‘time bound’ and allow ample time for the child to amend his/her inappropriate behaviour. This links closely with the ‘restorative’ approach we promote within our ‘Anti Bullying Policy.’ Care is also taken to ensure that there will be no public humiliation or comment by others. When an accurate account of a behavioural issue has been established and agreed, an appropriate sanction will be considered, agreed and applied. Sanctions will always ensure that EA and DENI Health and Safety policies are fully adhered to and all strategies will be in accordance with those recommended by Special Education’s Behaviour Support Team and the Special Educational Needs resource file.
Furthermore, good communication at all levels will underpin practice when addressing instances of unacceptable behaviour. Staff are mindful of the need to separate the child from the inappropriate behaviour and recognise that different strategies work best with different children. Staff will therefore use their knowledge of each child to establish and implement the best way of dealing with a particular situation, working always towards resolution. The following strategies are used meaningfully to restore harmony for the child and all concerned:

1 Oral discussion: coming to an understanding/agreement.
An adult will speak to the child reminding him/her that this is unacceptable behaviour and asking him/her to explain what happened and how he/she should have handled the situation. The child is given the opportunity to reflect and take responsibility where appropriate.
Where there are whole class issues to be addressed ‘circle time’ and class discussion are used as opportunities for talking about issues and consequences.

2 Taking responsibility: apology, agreement to move forward i.e. resolution/acceptance.
In instances of significant inappropriate behaviour, (as defined below) the Senior Leadership Team become actively involved. Parents may also be requested to come to the school where they will be informed of the nature and seriousness of the misbehaviour and become actively involved in agreeing strategies to improve behaviour.

  • Persistent disruptive behaviour
  • Blatant disrespect/ disregard for school rules
  • Serious physical/emotional harm to another pupil
  • Theft
  • Vandalism, including books and equipment
  • Leaving school premises during the school day.

Mrs McKinley (VP) /Mrs Power/ Mrs Loughran (SENCO) will address the inappropriate behaviour. The following strategies will be used to promote self-regulation:

1. Withdrawal from class into the senior teacher’s class
2. Organise withdrawal from Break/Lunchtime play/After School Club
3. Withdrawal of positions of responsibility held by child
4. Child placed in an alternative year group
5. Arrange other reparatory measure relevant to the incident
6. Contact parents to inform them of the behaviour and discuss the way forward. This may involve agreeing a home/school sanction.

If deemed appropriate, further action will include:

• Implementation of EA Behaviour Support and Provisions strategies e.g. The Calm Plan.

• Implementation of a ‘behaviour contract’ signed by parents and child.

• Introduction and use of a Behaviour Diary.

• Risk Assessment procedure agreed and enacted.

N.B. Sanctions will be applied which are deemed to be age and situation appropriate and in consultation with parents where deemed necessary.

If the inappropriate behaviour persists the matter will be referred to the Principal and ultimately to the Board of Governors as necessary. Suspension/Expulsion will ultimately be considered in line with CCMS Scheme 2002.

Documentation will be compiled appropriately at all stages and placed in the school records

Managing Children with Social, Behavioural, Emotional and Well Being

Needs If a child is identified as having a particular emotional or behavioural need, then that child’s specific needs will be addressed through the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice.
Advice will also be sought from the appropriate outside agencies e.g. the school’s nominated
Education Psychologist, EA’s Behaviour Support and Provisions or the Child Protection Support Service. A Social & Emotional Wellbeing Plan and a risk Management Plan will be implemented appropriately.

Continuing Professional Development

This policy is kept under review and is in line with all current recommendations. The school’s management will proactively seek out and avail of any appropriate training being offered by EA or other outside agencies. This may take the form of either whole school staff training such as Calm Plan Training May 2021 or specific upskilling of individual teacher’s/teaching assistants as/when required. Ongoing dissemination following staff training will ensure ‘best practice’ is embedded into everyday practice.

Physical Restraint

Staff may on occasion have to restrain a child who is intent on deliberately hurting others or themselves. In any such instance, the schools ‘Use of Reasonable Force’ policy will be followed. Those involved in an incident may be removed from the situation/school premises in the interests of Health & Safety and in line with most recent DENI Guidance May 2021.

Links with other Policies

Anti-Bullying Policy
Special Educational Needs Policy
Health & Safety Policy

Online Safety Policy
Reasonable Force/Safe Handling Policy
Marking Policy


his positive Behaviour Policy forms part of the overall Pastoral Care Policies and links closely with the Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy in which the school outlines the steps it will take to protect all children from harm. It also links with the school’s Anti Bullying, Use of Reasonable Force and Drugs & Substance Education Policies which further promote the welfare of the children in our care.

Implementation of this Policy will be monitored by the Principal and Senior Leadership Team, in consultation with staff, parents and children. Feedback from ongoing monitoring will inform amendments. New ideas and strategies will be incorporated accordingly. This policy will be formally evaluated and reviewed every two years i.e. November 2023.


Margaret Ryan (Principal)

Mrs Nuala Lynchehaun (Chairperson, Board of Governors)

Date : November 2021