Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying

St. Patrick’s B.N.S.


Code of Behaviour & Anti-Bullying Policy.

The ethos of our school establishes and supports a strong sense of community within the school between School staff, Board of Management and Parents/Guardians.

A mutual relationship of respect should be cultivated between staff, children and parents/guardians.

As a staff, our aim is to create a happy, secure environment for all our pupils, within which there is a sense of good order, effective teaching and an agreed approach to discipline. We aim to ensure that we accommodate the individuality of each child while at the same time acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption free environment.

These sentiments are contained in our General School Rules listed as follows:

  1. I will be gentle – I will not hurt anyone.
  2. I will be kind and helpful – I will not hurt people’s feelings.
  3. I will be honest – I will not hide the truth.
  4. I will listen – I will not interrupt.
  5. I will look after property – I will not waste or damage things.
  6. I will work hard – I will not waste time.
  7. I will be on time – I will not be late for school.
  8. I will wear my uniform.
  9. I will be responsible for my personal hygiene.
  10. I will always treat people with respect.

The emphasis in our school is always on the positive. Our catch phrase is: Catch them when they’re being good!

Our Code of Discipline aims to achieve the efficient operation of our school and create a stimulating environment for the children in our care. With this in mind the following rules and sanctions have been put in place to cover the areas of: 

  • Classroom and School Building.
  • Yard.

Classroom Rules:

  • I will sit on my chair when requested to do so and do my work to the best of my ability.
  • I will listen and I will let others speak.
  • I will walk and not run.
  • I will help keep the room tidy.
  • I will use the toilet properly and always wash my hands.
  • I will be kind and helpful and not hurt other people’s feelings.
  • I will listen to and obey the teacher. 

Good behaviour will be rewarded and praised. Unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated.

The following are the sanctions which may be used to show disapproval of and discourage unacceptable behaviour.

  • Verbal warning.
  • Gestural warning: a look, nod or whisper.
  • Written reprimand: Note home.
  • Time out: Removal to another classroom.
  • Loss of privileges.
  • Detention.
  • Written punishment to be done at break-time or at home.

Yard Rules:

  • I will walk quietly in my line to and from yard.
  • I will let others join in games.
  • I will be gentle. I will not kick, push, or punch.
  • I will not use bad language or call people hurtful names.
  • I will be fair.
  • I will stay in view of the teacher at all times.
  • I will not retrieve balls without teacher’s permission.
  • I will not climb on walls or basketball hoops.
  • I will ‘freeze’ when I hear the bell.
  • I will walk quietly to my line when instructed to do so by the teacher on yard.

Corridor Rules:

  • I will always walk quietly and never run.
  • I will let adults pass.
  • I will always hold the railing when walking on the stairs.
  • I will not push or shove when in line.

Classroom Discipline:

Positive attitudes must be constantly encouraged by all teachers.

  • Teachers promote models of good behaviour.
  • Remind children of the rules and rationale behind them.
  • Reward good behaviour.
  • Reward children who have difficulty behaving well when they are good.
  • Assemblies to reiterate rules and praise good behaviour.


  • Assembly prizes.
  • Boy of the week/month.
  • Feedback to parents.
  • Class privileges such as screen time, extra football, quiz, extra computer time.
  • School trips/hikes.

Minor misbehaviour:

  • Continuous talking.
  • Fidgeting.
  • Inattention.
  • Pushing in line.
  • Spitting.
  • Telling tales.

Serious misbehaviour:

  • All minor misdemeanours when on a continuous basis.
  • Rough play causing injury.
  • Serious fighting.
  • Stealing.
  • Lying, dishonesty.
  • Disrespect.
  • Refusal to do work.
  • Foul and abusive language.
  • Bullying (see below).
  • Uncontrolled behaviour.
  • Biting.
  • Jeering or hurtful name-calling.

Our ideal is that our pupils acquire the skills of self-discipline.

Sanctions for serious misbehaviour:

  • Verbal warning.
  • Loss of privileges.
  • Note home.
  • Detention.
  • Circle Time/ Class Assembly to address issues and resolve conflict.
  • Child seen by Principal.
  • Parents are called in for meeting.
  • Relevant assessments may be sought.
  • A shortened day may be decided upon.
  • Board of Management may be informed.
  • Where these steps have been carried out and the problem still remains, the Principal, in consultation with the B.O.M. and Staff, may take a decision to suspend a child. This would be carried out under Rule 130 (5) of the Rules for National Schools. Outside agencies such as NEPS, The Health Board or the Gardai may also be contacted.
  • Where there is a serious/grave problem and should the welfare of other children or staff be at issue, placement in another school, more appropriate to his needs, may be sought/recommended.

Anti-Bullying Information

(Some helpful information for parents, pupils and staff).

  • All pupils are expected to treat each other with respect.
  • All pupils are expected to treat teachers and ancillary staff with respect.
  • Bullying in any form will not be tolerated.
  • Parents are very welcome to approach your child’s teacher or Principal if you have any worries regarding bullying.

What is bullying?

Bullying can mean many different things. Bullying can take many forms, but its aim is always to make a person feel upset, intimidated or afraid and if this happens again and again it is bullying. Bullying is not a one-off event. It is something which occurs more than once and is repeated in a systematic way.

These are some ways children and young people have described bullying:

  • being called names
  • being teased
  • being pushed or pulled about
  • being hit or attacked
  • having your bag and other possessions taken and thrown around
  • having rumours spread about you
  • being ignored and left out
  • being forced to hand over money or possessions.

Children get bullied

  • at school – in the playground, in class or in the toilets
  • on their way to and from school
  • on the bus
  • online

What does it feel like to be bullied?

Bullying hurts.  It makes you scared and upset.  It can make you feel embarrassed in front of others. It can make you feel that you are all alone and that you have no friends.  It can make you so worried that you can’t work well at school.  Some children have told us they have skipped school to get away from it.  It can make you feel that you are no good, that there is something wrong with you.  People who bully you can make you feel that it’s your fault but it is not your fault – it is their fault. (The label ‘bully’ for a bullying child is problematic.  The word ‘bully’ as a verb for the action is better, e.g. a child who bullies.)

Why do some people bully?

There are a lot of reasons why some people bully. They may see it as a way of being popular, or making themselves look tough and in charge.

Some bullies do it to get attention or to get something, or to make other people afraid of them.  Others might be jealous of the person they are bullying.  They may even be getting bullied themselves.

Some people who bully may not even understand how wrong their behaviour is or how it makes the person being bullied feel.

Why are some young people bullied?

Some young people are bullied for no particular reason, but sometimes it’s because they are different in some way – perhaps it’s the way they talk, their size, their looks, their name or just because they are very good at something.

Sometimes young people are bullied because the bullying person thinks they won’t stand up for themselves.

If you’re being bullied what can you do?

Always remember – It’s not your fault!  It’s the bullying person who has the problem, not you. Don’t put up with bullying. Ask for help.

  • Believe in yourself.  Don’t believe what the bullying person says of you.  You know that’s not true.
  • Say ‘no’ emphatically, then walk away
  • Check out your body language.  Practise walking with confidence, standing straight with head held high and taking deep breaths.
  • Practice assertiveness.  Stand tall, look the bully in the eye, breathe steadily, speak calmly and firmly.  This can help you to feel stronger, and also makes you look more confident.
  • Don’t suffer in silence – talk to someone you trust. It always helps to share a problem and to know that you are not alone.  In schools and clubs, adults in charge have to pay attention to any complaints you make about being bullied.
  • If an adult is bullying you, then look for help from another adult you can trust.  You have rights, and you must insist on them.  There are rules and procedures to deal with adults who bully at home, in school, in sport clubs and where people work. If you are too nervous, take along a friend.
  • Choose when to resist.  Sometimes the only sensible thing to do is to give in.  Just get away and tell someone.
  • Try not to use violence.  It never solves anything, and usually just makes the situation worse.
  • Keep a diary.  Keep a record of details – who, where, when, how – as this will make it easier for you when you tell your story.
  • Have an answer ready.  Well-chosen words can often make a bullying person look foolish, and that’s the last thing they want!
  • Try not to show you are upset or angry (even if you are).  Reacting to the bullying person is only giving them what they want.
  • If there’s a gang involved try to approach each person on their own, rather than when they’re together.  If you talk straight to them, you’ll probably find that they’re not so confident without the protection of the group.
  • Ask your friends to support you. People who bully don’t like being outnumbered or isolated.
  • Try to make new friends if the ones you have at the moment seem to enjoy trying to make you feel bad.
  • Change your routine.  Try to avoid being on your own in places where you are likely to be picked on.

Do you bully others?

  • Have you ever hurt someone on purpose?
  • Have you ever used your size or strength to win against someone weaker?
  • Do you repeat rumours, even if you’re not sure they’re true?
  • Have you ever tried to turn your friends against someone?
  • Have you ever watched others bullying someone without doing anything to stop it?
  • Have you ever used the excuse ‘I was only messing’ when you knew you weren’t ‘only messing’?

If answering these questions made you feel uneasy, maybe you should look at the way you treat other people.

Talking to someone always helps.

Choose a trusted friend or maybe one of the organisations listed in this booklet.

Remember that bullying is always wrong – feeling good shouldn’t mean having to make someone else feel bad.

Signs of bullying

As an adult, what are the signs I should look out for?

One of the most terrible effects of bullying is that the bullied child will very often deny that it’s happening.

It’s important that you don’t put even more pressure on a child who may be bullied.  Forcing someone to tell when they don’t want to can itself be a form of bullying. But there are certain signs to look out for if you have suspicions. 

These can include:

  • A change in behaviour, such as suffering a lack of concentration and/or becoming withdrawn, excessively clingy, depressed, fearful, emotionally up and down
  • Afraid and anxious when going to or coming from school
  • Happy at the weekend but not during the week.  A drop in performance in school.
  • Physical signs:  stomach aches, headaches, sleep difficulties, bedwetting, bruising
  • Bingeing on food
  • Unexplained bruises
  • School performance steadily getting worse
  • Being generally nervous, tense, unhappy
  • Not explaining suspicious incidents
  • Signs of being isolated from others of the same age
  • Signs of regular interference with personal property, books, etc.
  • Frequently asking for (or perhaps stealing) money.

Although these can also indicate problems other than bullying, it’s important that you don’t ignore them.  Try to encourage the child to talk about what’s going on, either to you or to another trusted adult.

How to approach the subject

  • Broach the subject obliquely, giving the victim the option to talk about it or not
  • Let them know that you are willing to listen at any time
  • When they start to talk, listen carefully to what they have to say
  • Once they begin to discuss the bullying, it may seem to be all they can talk about.  Be patient and let them go on – it’s better for them to let it all out than to bottle it up.

What to do next

  • Don’t over-react – victims need rational advice and help, not emotional overload
  • Believe the victim.  No one should have to put up with bullying.
  • Ask victims if they have any suggestions about changing the situation
  • Contact the school as soon as your satisfied that the allegation is well founded
  • Seek advice from an individual or a support group with experience in this area.

What should I do if my child is being bullied?

  • Discuss bullying openly and regularly with your children – don’t wait for them to raise the issue.
  • Thank the child for disclosing the problem.  Confidence is the first casualty of bullying, so let your child know you believe them and will support them.  Tell them it’s not their fault.
  • Listen carefully.  Don’t rush the story.  Show you are concerned and sympathetic.
  • Get all the details – what, who, when, where, etc.
  • Write down the details and check the information with your child.  This will be important for any meetings which may come later.
  • Take action.  Don’t wait to see if it all blows over.
  • Make appropriate changes that may help prevent your child being singled out and to build their confidence at the same time (e.g. new clothes, different hairstyle, etc.)
  • Seek professional help if necessary (e.g. speech therapy, dental work, etc.)
  • Bring your information to the relevant authority, and insist on getting an adequate response.

How do I approach the School?

  • Make an appointment
  • Speak to an appropriate teacher as soon as possible.
  • Think about asking someone to accompany you for support.
  • Don’t exaggerate.  Be honest and stick to the facts as you understand them.
  • Use your notes to make sure you don’t forget to mention any important points.
  • Recognise that you may be upset when you speak to the teacher.
  • Accept that your child may not have told you all the facts, and that there may be another side to the story.
  • Ask for a copy of the school’s policy on bullying.
  • Find out what action the school intends to take.
  • Arrange for a follow-up meeting with the teacher to measure any improvement in the situation.
  • After the meeting, you may wish to make a note of what was agreed and send a copy to the teacher.
  • If you are not happy with the teacher’s response, make an appointment to see the principal.
  • If you still feel dissatisfied having talked to the principal, contact members of the Board of Management who are there to represent your interests.  Remember to keep copies of all letters you send and receive.
  • If your child is happy to have you attend, you can request that all interviews with him or her on this issue are conducted in your presence.
  • If the problem persists, then you should consider moving your child to another class or even another school if this is possible.
  • You should consider carefully whether further aftercare is needed following a move to another class or school.

How can I tell if my child bullies others?

Here are some indicators of bullying behaviour:

  • a tendency to bully family members
  • being a victim of bullying
  • regularly witnessing bullying behaviour in their environment
  • being frequently short-tempered and/or aggressive
  • having past experiences which can still cause negative feelings
  • bringing home items that you know weren’t bought
  • speaking of others in a negative way, perhaps on the basis of their appearance or beliefs of social status
  • showing an interest in violent behaviour
  • showing little sensitivity towards others
  • having low self esteem
  • being the subject of previous complaints or suggestions of bullying behaviour

Although these can also indicate problems other than bullying, it’s important that you don’t ignore them.  Try to encourage the child to talk about what’s going on, either to you or another trusted adult.

Directory of Support Services

Anti-Bullying Centre                                                                                       (01) 6082573

CAB – Campaign Against Bullying                                                               (01) 2887976

Childline Freephone                                                                                       1800 666660

Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy         (01) 2300061

ISPCC                                                                                                                   (01) 6794944

The National Association for Parents Support (NAPS)       (0502) 20598

Parentline (Parents under Stress)                                                            (01) 8733500

Samaritans (Callsave)                                                                     1850 609090

Sticks and Stones Theatre Company                                        (01) 2807065

Trinity College Dublin – Anti-Bullying Research Centre     (01) 6601011

Victim Support                                                                                  1800 661771

Some Useful Websites

Bullying @ school information –

Bullying information on Bullying Child/Parents/Teachers

Bullying in schools

What Parents should know about Bullying –

Anti-Bullying Campaign Tools for Teachers –


ABC Bullying at School, the Anti-Bullying Research & Resource Centre

Trinity College, Dublin

You Can Beat Bullying – A Guide for Young People, Kidscape

The abc of Bullying, Marie Murray & Colm Keane, 1998 – Mercier Press

What do You know about Bullying, Pete Sanders, 2000 – Aladdin Books Ltd.

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace, Lucy Costigan, 1998 – Columba Press

Bullying – don’t let them suffer in silence, Save the Children (Resource Pack)

St. Patrick’s Boys’ National School Ringsend.

Anti-Bullying Policy

In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools (NEWB 2008) and Antibullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (September 2013), the Board of Management of St Patrick’s Boys’ National School has adopted, as required by the Department of Education and Skills, the following procedures within the framework for the school’s overall Code of Behaviour. They should be read in conjunction with the school’s Mission Statement and the following policy documents from St Patrick’s BNS:

• Safeguarding Statement

• Risk Assessment

 • Code of Behaviour

• Dignity in the Workplace


 • RSE

• Mobile Phone Policy 

• Internet Acceptable Use Policy

Key Principles of Best Practice

The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and their families and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

A positive school culture and climate which

• is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;

 • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a nonthreatening environment; 

• promotes respectful relationships across the whole school community

 • The school acknowledges the right of each member of the school community to enjoy school in a secure environment. 

• The school acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual and his/her worth as a human being.

  • The school promotes positive habits of self-respect, self-discipline and responsibility among all its members.

 • The school prohibits vulgar, offensive, sectarian or other aggressive behaviour or language by any of its members.

 • The school has a clear commitment to promoting equity in general and gender equity in particular in all aspects of its functioning. 

• The school has the capacity to change in response to pupils’ needs.

 • The school identifies aspects of curriculum through which positive and lasting influences can be exerted towards forming pupils’ attitudes and values.

 • The school takes particular care of “at risk” pupils and uses its monitoring systems to facilitate early intervention where necessary and it responds to the needs, fears or anxieties of individual members in a sensitive manner.

  • The school recognises the need to work in partnership with and keep parents informed, on procedures to improve relationships on a school-wide basis.

  • The school recognises the role of parents in equipping the pupil with a range of life skills.

 • The school recognises the role of other community agencies in preventing and dealing with bullying. 

• The school promotes habits of mutual respect, courtesy and an awareness of the interdependence of people in groups and communities. 

• The school promotes qualities of social responsibility, tolerance and understanding among all its members both in school and out of school. 

• Staff members share a collegiate responsibility, under the direction of the Principal, to act in preventing bullying/aggressive behaviour by any member of the school community. 

Effective leadership

• A school wide approach

 • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact

• Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that:

• Build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils and explicitly address the issues of cyber bullying and identity -based bullying including homophobic and transphobic bullying

Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;

• Supports for staff

• Consistent recording, investigating and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and

• Ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti- bullying policy

Definition of Bullying

In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (2013) bullying is defined as follows:

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (2013).

Operation of Policy/Procedures

  • The Board of Management will ensure that members of school staff have sufficient familiarity with the school’s anti-bullying policy to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy, when required. Supports for staff will be appropriate to the individual’s role and will enable staff to recognize bullying, implement effective strategies for preventing bullying and where appropriate, intervene effectively in bullying cases.
  • The Principal, on behalf of the Board of Management will also make appropriate arrangements to ensure that temporary and substitute staff have access to and awareness of the school’s Code of Behaviour and Excellence Policy and Anti-Bullying policy. Hard copies of these policies will be in each classroom.
  • The relevant teacher for investigating and dealing with bullying is the class teacher. A pupil or parent may bring a bullying concern to any teacher in the school. Individual teachers must take appropriate measures regarding reports of bullying behaviour in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying policy. In these procedures, the member of teaching staff who has responsibility for investigating and dealing with the bullying, is referred to as “the relevant teacher”
  • In the school’s daily and routine life, the ways in which people interact with each other significantly affect each person’s sense of self-worth, belonging and well-being. The fostering of high-quality interpersonal relationships among teachers, students’ parents and ancillary staff is a responsibility shared by everyone. 
  • All members of the school community have a role to play in the prevention of bullying. 

Responsibilities of the Board of Management

The Board of Management is responsible for ensuring that all members of the school community are enabled to deal effectively with bullying. The Board is committed to providing time and resources for the implementation of the policy. The Board will ensure that proper supervisory and monitoring measures are in place to prevent bullying and to deal with incidents appropriately as they arise. 

Responsibilities of School Staff

• To acknowledge that bullying is a shared responsibility within the school.

• To implement prevention and intervention strategies which build and maintain a safe learning environment for the whole school community.

 • To empower students to deal with conflict in constructive ways.

 • To take all reports of bullying seriously and to report them to the Principal, if warranted.

 • To document any serious bullying incidents using the Bullying Incident Report Form. (Appendix)

Responsibilities of Pupils

• To show consideration, respect and support towards others.

• To be able to identify bullying behaviour.

• To not bully others.

• To tell if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied.

• To engage in responsible reporting when witnessing or experiencing bullying behaviour.

• To develop a sense of empathy for targeted members of the school community and as a result take safe and sensible action as a bystander.                                                                                                     

Responsibilities of Parents

• To support the school in the implementation of the policy.

• To watch out for signs that their child may be being bullied.

• To speak to the class teacher if their child is being bullied or they suspect that this is happening.

• To speak to the class teachers as soon as they are aware that issues are arising which are affecting their child. 

• To instruct their children to tell if they are being bullied or if they have seen other pupils being bullied.

• To notify the school if they think that their child is displaying bullying behaviour and to work with the school in addressing this problem. They should not defer letting the school know of any issue, in the hope that the problem will go away.  

• To ensure that if their children are online that they are using social media in a safe and responsible manner; parental supervision is very important in this area as there are risks associated with internet/website access.

• Never to directly approach a student, or the parent of a student, at the school to intervene in behavioural issues.

Education and Prevention Strategies 

(see Section 6.5 of the Antibullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools for further detail)

A school-wide approach (involving school management, staff, parents and pupils) to dealing with the problem of bullying behaviour is a key element of effective practice. Bullying behaviour affects not only those immediately involved. It can affect everyone in the classroom, in the school and, ultimately, in the wider community. The school, as appropriate, will seek to involve and receive support from the other partners in community education, i.e. those members of the wider community who come directly in daily contact with pupils. This could include the wider parent body, the Parents Association, traffic wardens, ancillary staff, local shopkeepers and local library staff. In certain cases, however, it may be necessary for the school to seek the assistance of other local persons and formal agencies such as NEPS, HSE social workers, community workers, Gardaí etc.

The following strategies will be used in St Patrick’s BNS: –

The school will aim to build a positive learning, inclusive climate and ethos through use of the following steps:

  • Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times
  • Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school
  •  Notice and acknowledge pupils being good and displaying respectful behaviour
  •  Use a system of Pupil of the Week
  • Constantly tackle any discriminatory or derogatory language in the school
  • Explicitly teach the children about appropriate use of social media
  • Positively encourage pupils to comply with school rules on mobile phones and the use of the internet. 
  • Actively involve parents and Parents’ Association in the life of the school
  •  All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour
  • Ensure that there is adequate supervision in the playground/yard
  • Consistent recording and treatment of bullying
  • Immediate affirmation of children who report incidents of bullying which they have witnessed
  • Pupils made aware that the consequences of bullying behaviour are always bead, even if this is not obvious at the time
  •  Creating a culture of “telling”; Teachers should repeatedly reinforce the message that if anyone is the victim of bullying behaviour, they should not retaliate in any way, but they should tell an adult. Victims should be reassured that if they tell, something will be done about the bullying in a safe manner and all reported incidents will be dealt with.
  • Class lessons to be provided to enable pupils “how to tell” and the difference between “telling tales” and “reporting”
  •  Bystanders can be the key to resolving bullying and if anyone witnesses bullying behaviour, they should always tell a teacher. This is not telling tales but a means of protecting victims.
  • As self-esteem is a major factor in determining behaviour, St Patrick’s BNS, through both its curricular and extra-curricular programmes, will endeavour to provide pupils with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth.
  • Teachers can influence attitudes to bullying behaviour in a positive manner through a range of curricular initiatives e.g. SPHE & Stay Safe Programme. 
  • Across the Curriculum, there is space within the teaching of all subjects to foster an attitude of respect for all: to promote the value of diversity; to address prejudice and stereotyping and to highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour. 
  • The school’s approach to tackling and preventing bullying takes particular account of the needs of pupils with disabilities or with SEN, joins up with other relevant school policies and supports and tries to ensure that all the services that provide for such pupils, work together. Approaches to decreasing the likelihood of bullying for pupils with SEN include improving inclusion, focusing on developing social skills, paying attention to key moments such as transitioning from primary to post-primary and cultivating a good school culture which has respect for all and helping one another as central.
  • Each staff member will receive a copy of the up-dated policy and the changes and new recommendations will be ratified by the B.O.M. Copies of this new policy will be posted on the school website. The Parents’ Association will be given a copy of the policy and will be informed of any amendments. The principal will have a copy of this policy to present to members of The Inspectorate, if required.

Procedures for Investigation and Follow-up of bullying behaviour (ref;Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools)

It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset. Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents. Any interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way. When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher will seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This will be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a nonaggressive manner. If a group is involved, each member will be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved will be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements. Each member of a group will be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher.

For some children, it may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s) in line with our Code of Discipline. S.E.N. children can be accompanied by their support-teacher, if they are involved directly/indirectly in an investigation.

 In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved will be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy). 

The school will give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils. Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him how he is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied.

Procedures for Recording bullying behaviour

  • All records must be maintained in accordance with relevant data protection legislation. The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour onto each child’s Log of Actions on our Aladdin computer system. 
  • Bullying behaviour must always also be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.


Where a pupil has been found to be engaged in bullying behaviour any of the following sanctions may be imposed:

  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) may be contacted by the ‘Relevant Teacher’ or Principal and informed of the nature and extent of the bullying behaviour with a view to agreeing a strategy whereby a promise to end the bullying behaviour would be honoured.
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) may be invited to a meeting with the ‘Relevant Teacher’ and the Principal and the pupil may be suspended from school. 
  • The case may be referred to the Board of Management and the pupil may be suspended or expelled from the school.

Supports for pupils affected by bullying

Supervision and Monitoring of pupils.

The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.


This policy was reviewed by St Patrick’s BNS Board of Management on 24/9/2019 

The evaluation of the policy will happen on both an informal (through teacher observation) and formal basis (use of surveys and questionnaires).

Success Criteria:

✓ Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils

✓ Well-being and happiness of the whole school community in the light of incidents of bullying behaviour encountered and fewer problems in the yard.

✓ Increase in numbers of children reporting

Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website, readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the Patron and the Department of Education and Skills.

Appendix: Recording bullying behaviour

1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

Name _________________________________________Class__________________

2. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour

_________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________  
3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es))*     4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*    
Pupil concerned     Playground    
Other Pupil     Classroom    
Parent     Corridor    
Teacher     Toilets    
Other     School Bus    

5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern


6. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *

Physical Aggression   Cyber-bullying  
Damage to Property   Intimidation  
Isolation/Exclusion   Malicious Gossip   
Name Calling   Other (specify)  

7.  Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:

Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller community Other (specify)  

8. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact

  1. Details of actions taken

Signed ______________________________ (Relevant Teacher)   Date ___________________________

Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal ___________________

* Note: The categories listed in the tables 3, 4 & 6 are suggested and schools may add to or amend these to suit their own circumstances.

Appendix Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation

The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose. The checklist is an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list.  In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the school’s anti-bullying policy will be required.

                                                                                                                                                                                     Yes /No

Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools? Y
Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents’ association? Y
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)? Y
Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work? Y
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?   Y
Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?   Y
Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?   Y
Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined? Y
Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy? Y
Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?   Y
Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board? Y
Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents? N
Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation? N
Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed? N
Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour? N/A
Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement? N
Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?   N/A

Signed _____________________________________                      Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________                  Date ________________


*This document will be reviewed yearly and is subject to change

Reviewed: September 2019

Signed: Msgr Dan O’Connor

              Ian Lane

Appendix  Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour.

  • Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.
  • Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.
  • Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.
  • Catch them being good – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.
  • Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.
  • Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.
  • Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines.
  • Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.
  • Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use.
  • Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.
  1. Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media.
  1. Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.
  • Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas.
  1. All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.
  • Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision.
  • School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying “hot spots” and “hot times” for bullying in the school.
  • Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision.
  • Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/school yard or moving classrooms.
  • Support the establishment and work of student councils.