Code of Behaviour

Code of Behaviour 2018-2019 (PDF)

Mission Statement
Loreto Letterkenny is a Catholic school committed to the development of the whole person. The school endeavours to develop student responsibility for learning in a safe, caring and spiritual environment, where each individual experiences personal success and fulfilment.

1. The Standards of Behaviour Expected in Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny

Students given a place in Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny, must abide by the code of behaviour. Students must realise that they are ambassadors of the school at all times. The good name of the school depends on them and proper behaviour is expected.

This policy applies to all students during the school day and while on all school related activities.

The overall aim of our code of behaviour is to:

  •  facilitate learning, in a safe and positive environment within the school
  •  promote and acknowledge positive behaviour, respect and co-operation
  • encourage students to take responsibility for their behaviour and learning
  • ensure the health and safety of all in our school community.


  •  Students are expected to be courteous, respectful and well mannered to all staff and fellow students at all times.
  • Students are expected to work to the best of their ability at all times in order to reach their full potential.
  • Students must treat their own property and all school property and equipment with respect and care.

Student Journal

  • The Student Journal is an important form of communication between home and school.
  • Each student must have the Student Journal in her possession at all times.
  • The Student Journal should be treated with care and respect. It should not be defaced in any way. If this happens, the student will be requested to purchase a new journal.
  • Students are expected to record homework in the journal before the end of each class.
  • The class tutor will inspect and sign the journal at Tutorial Class.
  • Teachers may inspect Student Journals at any time.
  • Parents / guardians are requested to ispect and sign the Student Journal weekly.


  • Regular attendance is essential for the academic and personal development of the student.
  • Anseo Attendance System will record attendance, punctuality, absences and the reason for the absences.
    Each student must purchase a Swipe Card – cost €10.
    The card must be carried on the person at all times.
    It is the responsibility of each student to register attendance, using her Swipe Card, before 8.50am each day. Once students arrive in school, they may not leave the premises.
    If a student forgets/mislays her Swipe Card she must go to the main office to have her attendance recorded, and she must sign the register. The cost of replacing a swipe card is €10.
  • Students who fail to swipe are recorded as absent.


  • Parents / guardians must record absences and the reason for absences in the Student Journal on the day the student returns to school.
  • Absenting oneself from school or class without permission, or not going to the study hall when instructed to do so, is mitching.
  • The Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency will be informed once a student under sixteen years of age has missed 20 days, in accordance with the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.
  • When it is necessary for a student to leave school before 4.00pm (or 1.15pm on Friday) for an appointment it is important that:

    -the parent / guardian completes and signs the “permission to leave school” section of the Student Journal in advance
    -the student ensures that the “permission to leave school” section is also signed by the Deputy Principal / Designated Person before 8.50am
    -the student is collected from the main door entrance
    -the student presents the top copy of the “permission to leave school” slip and swipes her card in the main office, and swipes in again on return.
  • When a student becomes unwell at school
    (a) in class, she must:
    -get permission from the teacher to leave class
    -inform a member of staff and the school will then make contact with the parent / guardian
    -be collected from the main door entrance
    -swipe her card in the main office.
  • (b) at break time / lunchtime, she must:
    – contact the Principal / Deputy Principal / Designated Person and the school will then make contact with the parent / guardian
    -be collected from the main door entrance
    -swipe her card in the main office.
  • (c) in cases of serious illness / injury:
    the Principal / Deputy Principal will be contacted immediately
    -the parent / guardian will be contacted
    -the Emergency Services will be contacted where necessary.


  • Students are expected to be on the school premises from 8.50am to 4.00pm. (8.50am to 1.15pm on Friday). Swiping in after 8.50 am registers late on the official Roll Call on the ANSEO system.
  • When a student arrives in school after 8.50am, a note of explanation should be provided in the Student Journal on the following day, to be signed by the Deputy Principal before 8.50am.
  • All sixth-year students who go down town must return from lunch before 1.55pm.
  • Students are expected to be on time for each class.


  • It is compulsory that all first year, second year, third year, transition year and fifth-year students stay on the premises at lunchtime.
  • Permission to go down town at lunchtime will be withdrawn from any sixth-year student who gets involved in unacceptable behaviour / activities / lateness.


  • Students are expected to wear the official full school uniform at all times in school and when representing the school. It must also be worn coming to and going home from school.
  • Uniform items should be labelled clearly with the student’s name using indelible ink.

The uniform consists of:

  • Brown uniform skirt or uniform trousers. Only tailored trousers are acceptable – available from County Seat.
  • A check blouse for senior students and a shale coloured blouse for junior students.
  • Brown uniform jumper with the Loreto crest.
  • Brown tights or brown knee-length socks must be worn with the skirt.
  • Brown shoes must be worn with the uniform at all times. Runners, including brown runners, converse and vans are not acceptable.
  • Dark brown fleece or coat. Jackets worn to and from school must be dark brown. Only brown scarves may be worn with uniform.
  • Students wear the official school uniform without ornamentation. Only school badges, one ear stud in each ear and one ring on each hand are acceptable. Light facial make-up only is acceptable.
  • Facial and Tongue piercings of any type, flamboyant hairstyle / colour e.g. blue, green, pink, red etc are not permitted and will not be tolerated.



  • Each student, with the exception of Transition Year students, must have a locker and it is her responsibility to ensure that it is locked correctly at all times.
  • It is the responsibility of each student to keep her locker free of graffiti.
  • Students may only go to their lockers at the following times or when a teacher gives permission:
    -Before 8.55am
    -11.00am -11.15am
    – 1.15pm – 1.50pm
    – After 4.00 pm (after 1.15pm on Fridays)
    – Sharing of lockers is forbidden.


Health and Safety

  • In order to ensure ease of movement and for the safety of all, students are expected to walk in single file and on the left hand side of all corridors and stairs.
  • Students must follow the directions given when the fire alarm rings.


  • Strong / vulgar language will not be tolerated.



  • Bullying of any sort will not be tolerated. The school’s anti-bullying policy and procedures will be used to deal with bullying behaviour.


  • It is illegal to smoke inside any part of the school building and on the school grounds [Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004, Section 47].
  • Any student in breach of this regulation will face sanction and referral to the Environmental Health Officer.
  • Smoking is strictly forbidden while students are in school uniform.

Illegal Substances

  • The school operates a zero tolerance policy with regard to all illegal substances and alcohol.
  • Possession, selling or consumption of any illegal substances in school and during school related activities will warrant suspension from school and may warrant expulsion. The Board of Management and the Gardaí will be informed.
  • The school’s substance use policy outlines the procedures that will be followed for breaches of this section of the code of behaviour.Mobile Phones, Cameras, Recording and Musical Devices
  • Mobile phones must be turned off before students enter the school building. Mobile phones are not to be used at any time during the school day.
  • Parents / guardians should not communicate with a student via the student’s mobile phone between 8.50am and 4.00pm. If it is necessary for parents / guardians to contact the student, this should be done through the school office at 074 9121850.
  • Where a student brings a mobile phone to school, the phone must be switched off (unheard and unseen) during the school day (from 8.50am-4.00pm.) Mobile phones may not be used for any purpose on the school premises unless directed by a teacher.
  • No photographs may be taken or recordings (video or audio) made with mobile phones. Using phones in such a way can seriously infringe on people’s rights.
  • The school reserves the right to view the contents of the matter under investigation on the confiscated mobile phone in the presence of the student to ensure it contains no images or information which might compromise any member of the school community.
  • Students participating in school related activities (, extracurricular activities, school trips, tours and all school events) must abide by the mobile phone rules governing those activities.
  • Incidents where students use mobile phones to bully other students, will be treated as a serious breach of the code of behaviour and the anti-bullying policy.
  • The school accepts no responsibility for loss, theft or damage to mobile phones on the premises.
  • It is strongly advised that students do not share their passwords.
  • Failure to hand over a mobile phone when requested will be treated as a serious breach of discipline.

Litter and Graffiti

  • In order to maintain a pleasant and hygienic working and learning environment for all students and staff, the school must be kept litter free. The school must be kept graffiti free.
  • Chewing gum is not allowed in school.
  • During lunchtime and break time students are expected to return plates, cups, cutlery etc. to the canteen and place all litter in the bins provided throughout the school.

Personal Property

  • The school does not accept responsibility for items lost, mislaid or stolen.
  • All personal property must be labelled clearly.
  • Money and valuables must be kept on the person at all times or handed in to reception.

2. Strategies Used to Promote, Acknowledge and Affirm Good Behaviour

We are proud of the fact that the behaviour of the majority of students in Loreto Letterkenny is excellent. We believe that positive and respectful interactions work best with students in the promotion of good behaviour.

The following are examples of strategies that could be used to promote, acknowledge and affirm good behaviour:

  •  Words of praise from a subject teacher, Class Tutor, Year Head, Deputy Principal, Principal and / or positive comments recorded in the Student Journal.
  • Individual teachers may adopt an award system for his / her class.
  • A positive note / postcard / letter sent home to parents / guardians.
  • Public recognition of good behaviour / achievements through, for example, the intercom system, notice board, local papers.
  • Positive actions and achievements and improvements in behaviour are recognised and acknowledged by a positive referral of the student to the Year Head, Deputy Principal, or Principal.
  • If a student shows signs of improvement a negotiating system may be used to encourage the student to maintain improvement in their behaviour.
  • Class trip.
  • Lunch voucher.
  • Teachers give no homework for weekend if all students in group did homework really well Monday to Friday. If everyone does well in test, no homework may be given.
  • Certificates are awarded for excellent attendance.
  • An Awards’ Ceremony and a Celebration of Participation are held each school year. The talents and achievements of students are acknowledged and rewarded.
  • Senior students are given leadership roles through the fifth-year monitor and prefect systems.
  • Fifth-year and sixth-year students receive references at the end of that academic year, upon request from potential employers.

3. The Ways in Which the School Responds to Unacceptable Behaviour

 3.1 Breaches of the Code of Behaviour

Breaches of the code of behaviour are divided into two categories:
(i) Low-level unacceptable behaviour
(ii) High-level unacceptable behaviour.

Examples of Low Level Unacceptable Behaviour Include:
• Lateness to class
• Failure to bring correct materials to class
• Homework not completed
• Being disruptive in class
• Incorrect uniform.

Examples of High Level Unacceptable Behaviour Include:
• Bullying
• Consistent interference with fellow students’ right to learn
• Showing disrespect to other students and staff members
• Unruly, aggressive and defiant behaviour
• Strong, vulgar language
• Failure to swipe and register attendance
• Using another student’s Swipe Card or pin number
• Failure to produce Student Journal
• Use of mobile phones, cameras, recording and musical devices during school hours
• Failure to hand up mobile phone, camera, recording and musical devices when requested
• Smoking on the school premises, and when representing the school and when in school uniform
• Missing class/es and school without permission
• Copying at exams
• Failure to attend detention
• Possession, sale, use and abuse of alcohol and illegal substances
• Forging signatures of parents / guardians / teachers
• Defacement of and damage to school property
• Interfering with the fire alarm
• Theft
• Abuse of the Internet
• Persistent misconduct.

We are aware that a small number of students find it difficult at times to abide by the code of behaviour. When this occurs the key focus is on helping the student improve her behaviour and on preventing a reoccurrence of the offence. A range of strategies and sanctions is used in instances where breaches of the code of behaviour occur.

The code of behaviour is implemented through the ladder of referral which initially involves the subject teacher, followed by the Class Tutor, Year Head, Deputy Principal and Principal.

Sanctions for the Use of Mobile Phones, Cameras, Recording and Musical Devices
First offence:

  • The phone / iPod / Mp3 player/ camera / recording device is taken from the student, a Student Report Form is completed and the student is given a verbal warning.
  • The device and the completed Student Report Form are given to the Principal / Deputy Principal.
  • The Phone / iPod / Mp3 player, camera / recording device may be collected by a parent / guardian from the Principal / Deputy Principal at 4.00pm on the first day or any subsequent day. The parent / guardian must sign the Student Report Form.
  • The use of mobile phones and other electronic devices during examinations will result in the cancellation of the student’s answer paper.

Second offence:

  • As above, but the item will be kept for one week.
  • Parents are asked not to request the return of the phone / device as it undermines school policy.

Sanctions for Incorrect Uniform

  • Non-uniform items may be confiscated and retained for collection at 4.00pm.
  • Wearing incorrect uniform will be recorded in the Student Journal and after 3 infringements a student will be placed on lunchtime detention.
  • Further infringements may lead to students being placed on after-school detention

4 How the Code of Behaviour is Implemented Through the Ladder of Referral


Teachers will use the ladder of referral to help students reflect on and improve their behaviour when a misdemeanour occurs. The higher up the ladder of referral the student moves, the more serious the behaviour and hence the sanction. The emphasis at all stages of the ladder of referral is to support and help the student to improve her behaviour and to prevent re-offending. Extra supports may be put in place for students who find it difficult to abide by the code of behaviour. It is important that a student understands how her behaviour impacts on herself, her fellow students and teachers and on the process of teaching and learning. The student should also understand the purpose of the sanction.

1. Subject Teacher
• Each subject teacher is responsible for managing student behaviour in his / her classroom. Classroom rules are used to help students understand how they are expected to behave during lessons.
• Subject teachers may employ a number of strategies to help the student behave well and improve her behaviour. These may include:
o a one-to-one talk with the student or a verbal reprimand given in a supportive and respectful way
– a note to the parents / guardians in the Student Journal
– an opportunity for the student to reflect on her behaviour
– moving the seating arrangements in the classroom
– time out in the classroom of another teacher for a short time, by prior arrangement with the teacher.

• A Student Report Form may be completed by an individual subject teacher for:

– 3 similar low-level complaints
– any 3 low-level complaints
– one high-level complaint.
• The Subject Teacher records the action that has been taken and the Student Report Form will then be passed on to the Year Head. The Subject Teacher will indicate if any further action needs to be taken by the Year Head.
• The Student Report Form will be stored in the individual student’s file in a locked filing cabinet.

2. Class Tutor
• The Class Tutor has a pastoral, encouraging and supportive role.

3. Year Head
Persistent misbehaviour and high-level unacceptable behaviour will be reported to the Year Head using the Student Report Form. The following are examples of strategies and sanctions that the Year Head may use to help the student reflect on and improve her behaviour:

Contact home

  • Conduct a one-to-one interview with the student and if necessary with the student, her parents / guardians and the Deputy Principal
  • Provide the student with the opportunity to reflect on the causes and impact of her behaviour and to make a plan for improvement. This written piece of work may be used as part of the discussion between the Year Head and the student in helping the student develop and maintain high standards with regard to her behaviour.
  • Sixth-year students may lose the privilege of going down town at lunchtime.
  • The student may not be allowed to represent the school in extracurricular activities or to participate in school trips / events
  • Place the student on:
    -Attendance report
    -Behaviour report
    -Lunchtime Detention
    -After-School Detention (parents / guardians will be informed by letter in advance).
  • In consultation with parents / guardians the student may also be referred to the Guidance Counsellor or to an outside agency for specific support.

4. Deputy Principal / Principal

  •  If the student’s behaviour has not improved she may then be referred to the Deputy Principal / Principal.
  • In extreme cases suspension or expulsion may be warranted.

I agree to abide by the Code of Behaviour of Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny.

Signature of Student: _________________________________________ Date: _______________