School Code of Positive Behaviour

In order to create a caring school community and to promote a positive teaching and learning environment students must abide by school rules. A good relationship between teachers and students makes it easier and more enjoyable for teachers to teach and for students to learn. As a school, we aim to promote a genuine interest in learning and we endeavour to create a positive learning environment where mistakes can be used as learning resources, without undermining confidence. This list of non-exhaustive rules ensures that the students’ right to learn and teachers’ right to teach in a caring, safe and respectful environment are safeguarded.

Role and Responsibilities:

St. Joseph’s College acknowledges the contribution of all members of the school community. It is everyone’s responsibility to promote good behaviour and minimise negative behaviour.

Students: Students are expected to uphold the code of behaviour at all times.

Parents: The central role of parents/guardians in the development and implementation of the code of behaviour is acknowledged. All parents are asked to sign that they have agreed with the code of behaviour before sending their son/daughter to our school and to further support the school by signing to the code in the school journal each year.

Staff: The teaching staff plays an essential role in the successful operation of our code. The important role played by the teaching and non-teaching staff particularly in relation to encouraging positive behaviour and reporting incidents of misbehaviour is also acknowledged.

Board of Management: The school acknowledges the role of the Board as a decision making body and its contribution to the continuous enrichment of the school. The Board is the body to whom parents and students over the age of 18 can appeal, in writing, in cases of suspension and expulsion.


Respect for Self & Others

Our school respects, values and accommodates diversity across all grounds named in the Equal Status Act. Anyone who studies in, works for or visits our school should be dealt with in a courteous manner. We aspire to work with parents to achieve these standards. Our school rules can be summed up in 3 simple phrases:

  • Respect Yourself
  • Respect Others
  • Respect Your Environment

The following are a non exhaustive list of the school rules:

Students are reminded:

  • To be mannerly and courteous at all times towards all members of staff, visitors to the school and fellow students.
  • Not to behave in a manner which endangers themselves or others in classrooms, on corridors, in the school yard, on the playing fields, specialist rooms or in any other place or venue where school related activities take place.
  • That insolence or disrespect of any kind is strictly forbidden.
  • Teachers have the right to teach and students have a right to be taught. These rights must not be impeded by the misbehaviour of any student.
  • That deliberate physical violence or verbal abuse is strictly forbidden, as are all forms of bullying, boisterous behaviour and harassment.
  • That vulgar or crude language is never acceptable from anyone.
  • No phones are allowed on the school premises unless they are switched off and secured in the student’s locked locker or under the instruction of a staff member for educational purposes.

The use of phones or the camera facility on the phone is forbidden on school grounds (8.30am-5.30pm) unless with the authority of a member of staff for educational purposes.

  • Any student found to be recording, circulating, publishing or distributing recorded footage associated with school, including material in relation to staff and students where such circulation undermines, humiliates or causes damage to another person is considered a serious breach of school discipline and will be dealt with accordingly.
  • Phones will be confiscated, given to appropriate Year Head and returned after 7 days. No exceptions. Repeat offenders may lead to longer periods of confiscation.
  • Sexting is the sharing of sexual text, video and photographic content using mobile phone, apps, social networking services and other internet technologies. The sharing of explicit text, images and/or video is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behaviour and will have serious consequences and sanctions for those involved in accordance with the school’s Code of Behaviour.

Please note that:

  • All incidents involving creating, storing or sharing of explicit text, images and/or video of children under the age of 17 years will be reported as an incident to the Gardaí and Túsla.

Care for School/Other People’s Property

Students are expected:

  • To be responsible for their own property. All property and books must be labelled. Those who carelessly mislay property should not subsequently claim it was ‘Stolen’.
  • Not to vandalise any property as it is a serious anti-social act which spoils the environment for everyone. Any act of vandalism against the property of the school or of any person in the school is regarded as a serious offence and will be dealt with accordingly.
  • Not damage, remove from the school premises or deface school property, including desks, chairs and walls, school equipment and school toilets.

Care for School Environment

Students are expected to:

  • Not be in possession of cigarettes, alcohol, fireworks, prank items, cigarette lighters, knives, penknives, weapons, replica weapons or any such items
  • Chewing gum on the school premises and grounds is not allowed
  • Dispose of litter in the relevant rubbish/recycling bins provided


  • Students are expected to eat their lunch/break in the canteen.
  • There is no eating on the corridors or in classrooms.
  • Students are expected to keep the canteen clean and clear their table after they have finished. It is your job to clear up after yourself.


Students are expected to:

  • Keep their locker locked at all times. The school cannot be held responsible for items which may go missing form unlocked lockers.
  • Keep lockers clean and tidy at all times.
  • Use the bag racks provided to store their school bags/TG folders etc. Books must be either stored in locker or taken home at the end of the day NOT left on the floor or in bag racks.
  • Only go to their lockers at the designated times, before and after school and at both break times.
  • Get books for 3 classes at the designated times.
  • Pay for the rental of the school locker annually.
  • Pay for the replacement/repair of damaged locks/lockers.

Books must be either stored in locker or taken home at the end of the day NOT left on the floor or in bag racks.

  • Only go to their lockers at the designated times, before and after school and at both break times.
  • Get books for 3 classes at the designated times.
  • Pay for the rental of the school locker annually.
  • Pay for the replacement/repair of damaged locks/lockers.

Attendance and Punctuality

Students are expected to:

  • Attend school regularly and punctually, and be on time for every class.
  • Report to the office if they are late in the mornings to explain lateness which will be recorded on VS ware. If there is no one in office they report to their Year Head.
  • Remain on the school premises at all times during the school day between 9.00a.m and 3.45p.m. unless permission is sought from and granted by the Year Head – office personnel cannot give permission to students to leave school.
  • Sign in and/or out in the School Office if leaving the school during school hours or toilet breaks with signed journal, during class time.
  • Bring a note of explanation for any absence, whether it partial or full day, to their Year Head for it to be recorded on VS ware.
  • Get permission from their Year Head for a call to be made home by the office in the event of illness.
  • Not contact parent and arrange for a lift home themselves, without going through the correct procedures.
  • Written permission from a teacher is required if a student is absent from any timetabled school activity.

Please note:  We are obliged under the Education Act 2000 to report to the NEWB (The National Education Welfare Board) any student who is absent for more than 20 school days.

School Uniform and General Dress

Students are expected to:

  • Wear the FULL correct school uniform every day in school, coming to and going from school and at all school functions, unless otherwise specified.
  • Wear the Full uniform during the State examinations

Girls: School jumper with crest, light blue blouse, navy skirt with two pleats to the front or navy school trousers. Skirts must be knee length or longer.

Boys: School jumper with crest, grey shirt and grey school trousers. A plain coloured t-shirt may be worn inside the shirt. No sportswear or jerseys are to be worn inside the school shirt. A plain coloured t-shirt may be worn inside the shirt. No sportswear or jerseys are to be worn inside the school shirt.

  • Wear appropriate navy, brown or black leather school shoes, e.g. Deck or AV8 style. Runners, boots or canvas shoes e.g. Converse, Vanns are NOT permitted.
  • Wear their uniform with pride and to remember that they are ambassadors of for the school.
  • Keep their uniform clean and in good repair. It is essential that students maintain a high standard of personal appearance when wearing the school uniform.
  • On school days during the year which are deemed non-uniform days or on trips away students are permitted to wear tracksuits, casual trousers, loose-fitting tee-shirts, sports jerseys and sweatshirts/hoodies. Casual clothing on such occasions must not bear offensive, prejudicial or inflammatory slogans, images or messages. Students must wear clothes appropriate to the activity involved. The school reserves the right to ask a student to change their clothing in such circumstances.
  • Appearance, including hairstyle and the wearing of jewellery, must be acceptable to the school authority and must comply with health and safety regulations at all times.
  • Remove facial piercings during school hours.
  • Not have unconventional or extreme hair colouring or styles, as determined by the school management – hair must be clean, neat and tidy and boys’ hairstyles must not be longer than shirt-collar length. Boys must also be clean shaven. Boys are not permitted to have earrings, bars or studs. It does not suffice to cover them.
  • Have suitable clothing for activity/training classes – students must change into their full school uniform once activity/training class finishes.


Students are expected to:

  • Have the school homework journal (which can be purchased in the office) in every class.
  • Get the diary signed each week by parent/guardian. The school journal is an important part of communication between home and school. Absence notes in the back of diary, at the end of each week there is a section for notes between teachers and parents.
  • Record homework for every subject in the homework diary  – teachers will regularly check students’ homework diaries.
  • If you are away on school business eg. a match, a competition etc or you are absent for a few days, it is your responsibility to catch up on both the work missed in class and the homework. Please ask a friend to collect handouts/notes for you and to keep you informed about the classwork/homework that you missed. If you are sick for a long period, please contact the school office to arrange for work to be e-mailed to you, if desired.

It is the responsibility of each student to ensure their diary is clean and graffiti free.

Prohibitive Substances

Students are expected to:

  • Not possess, consume, offer for sale or be under the influence of alcohol or banned substances while they are in the care of the school authorities.
  • Not smoke or use any vaping/nicotine based device on the school premises and grounds or during school activities.
  • Comply with teacher’s instructions to empty the contents of their pockets, if the teacher suspects the student of being in possession of a prohibited substance.

Safety Rules

School Rules cannot possibly cover all circumstance. The following list is of safety rules is not exhaustive and should be taken as examples.

  • Think Safety: Rough boisterous play anywhere on the school premises and running on the corridor is not allowed.
  • Safety equipment such as fire alarms, extinguishers, CCTV cameras and First Aid kits are in the school for your safety.Abuse of these items is a serious offence.
  • Disruptive or unsatisfactory behaviour on a bus or train either travelling to or from school or a school activity will be dealt with as a serious breach of school rules.
  • Students are not permitted to bring motorised vehicles onto the school property unless they have a full driving licence and furnish a copy of same to the office.
  • Laser pointers and laser pens are not allowed in the school.

The following are examples of some of the methods we use to reward and encourage good behaviour.

  • Extra points on the VS ware system and record of good behaviour.
  • Positive comments to the student by subject teachers, tutors and Year Heads.
  • Positive comments to the student by the Deputy Principal and Principal.
  • Display of students work.
  • Whole class trips with tutors.
  • Inter class competitions to reward student’s endeavours.
  • Positive references when they leave school.

Strategies for early intervention in response to inappropriate behaviour:

  • Discussing their behaviour after class.
  • A simple reprimand.
  • Changing student position in the classroom.
  • Extra school work.
  • Discussing the student’s behaviour with their tutor.
  • Detention as arranged by the school.
  • Note to parents in school journal which must be signed by parents.
  • Referral to Tutor, Year Head, Deputy Principal, Principal as per Ladder of Referral.

P.E. Participation

  • In order to address the growing concern over the fitness levels of adolescents we require that all students bring suitable gear in order to fully participate in their PE classes/Sports modules throughout the year.
  • Students are expected to take part in PE classes and cooperate fully with coaches / teachers.
  • Any student who is sick or injured will be required to have a note in their school journal from parent/guardian. Notes must be given to teacher before class.

VSware will be employed as an archive of behaviour both positive and negative.

Homework & Study

  • The school recognises that homework is an essential part of the learning process and that students who regularly do homework gain immeasurably from the experience.
  • Homework includes on-going and regular revision of course work and its purpose is to enable the student to develop the necessary and important skills required for written examinations and to be thoroughly familiar with the course content of various subjects.
  • All homework assignments should be recorded at the end of each class in the journal.
  • Homework, both written and oral, must be done to the best of one’s ability and presented on the prescribed day. Failure to do so may incur a sanction. Parents may be asked to an appointment at school to discuss student homework performance.
  • It is recommended that Junior Cycle students should devote at least two hours each evening to homework assignments and revision.
  • Senior Cycle students should devote three to four hours daily to homework assignments and revision.
  • Students following the Transition Year Programme are expected to adhere to deadlines set for the completion of projects, module tasks and work assigned by teachers.

Anti-bullying Policy

  • All students are requested to abide by the anti-bullying policy of the school. Bullying of any form is not tolerated. Parents are requested and expected to support the school in monitoring such activities and complying with the school anti-bullying policy.

Acceptable Use I.T.

Students will use the Internet in a responsible way and obey all the rules explained to them by the school. With prior authority from a teacher, students may be instructed to use personal devices in a classroom environment for educational purposes.

As the parent or legal guardian of the above student, understand that Internet access is intended for educational purposes. Also understand that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety but the school cannot be held responsible if students access unsuitable websites.

Parents can consent to the inclusion of my son/daughter in images to promote our school in various digital platforms.

In relation to the school website, parents can accept that, if the school considers it appropriate, the child’s schoolwork may be chosen for inclusion on the website. Parents must understand and accept the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy relating to publishing students’ work on the school website.

Student Support Services

Pastoral Care

Class tutors take a special interest in the progress and welfare of the students in their class. They serve as a link between school Administration and Year Head ensuring the observance of school discipline.

Year Heads oversee the welfare of Year Groups on behalf of the school community. They are intermediaries between Class Tutors and Principal and are part of the Ladder of Referral.

Learning Support

We have a learning support team who cater for the needs of students who may be experiencing learning difficulties. The Special Needs Co-ordinator, in liaison with parents and subject teachers, offers any necessary assistance and our Resource Teachers provide tuition to individuals and small groups.

Guidance Counseller Service

The Guidance Counsellor is available to meet all students on an individual, confidential basis to help out with any issue of concern e.g. study, subject choice, career and personal. You can arrange and appointment to meet with Guidance Counsellor in class or at the Staff Room.

There are four main areas of support:

  1. Personal/social guidance and counselling which involves personal counselling, referral within and outside the school and developing and teaching life skills, self esteem, anger management and mediation programmes throughout the school.
  2. Educational counselling which includes advice re: subject choices, information on courses, advice on study skills and exam technique and the administration of aptitude tests and giving results. Liaising with local primary schools, learning support, resource and subject teachers, Year Heads, tutors and parents is also an important part of this work.
  3. Vocational/Career counselling which involves careers classes explaining the points system and discussing 3rd level opportunities. Informing students of careers exhibitions, Open Days and guest speakers in the school.
  4. Each individual 6th Year student is given a career interview to discuss CAO/UCAS application, information and employment opportunity awareness.

Student Council

The Student’s Council represents the views of the student body and is a channel of communication between students and staff. It allows students to become actively involved within the school community and develops a sense of belonging and responsibility. Each year group elects two representatives onto the student council. More information.

Parent’s Role

Parents play a crucial role in shaping the attitude which produces good behaviour in our school. If a positive attitude towards the value of study is passed on by parents our students will be much more favourably disposed to meet the demands of courtesy, discipline and study. The favourable disposition will mean that the student has a much greater chance to maximise his/her potential.

St Joseph’s College seeks the active involvement and co-operation of the parents/guardians of all of our students. This active co-operation will be sought at an early stage. If a problem is arising parents will be given a fair hearing and will always be informed of their right to appeal. Our parents have two represents on the Board of Management.

Parents are asked to attend appropriate parent teacher meetings. Parents can arrange a meeting with any teacher provided that sufficient notice is given.

Parent’s Association

St Joseph’s College has an active Parents Association. We encourage all parents to play an active role in the future of the school by actively participating in Parents Association endeavours. More infomation.

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