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St Patrick`s Primary School (Ballynahinch)
Main Street, BT24 8DN, UK Ballynahinch
Tel. 028 9756 2848



Our aim is to create a school in which each child is valued, where each will come to realise his/ her full potential and grow in the Catholic Faith. We aim to create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for all, where everyone, irrespective of ability, will realise that he/she has a valuable contribution to make.

We believe school should be a happy place for children, a welcome place for parents and visitors and a place where all staff will feel valued and appreciated.


Positive Behaviour is the system and ethos in a school which aims to cultivate in our children an acceptance of responsibility for their own decisions and behaviour and also to accept the consequences for their actions. It is normally a system of rules for good behaviour to be observed and followed by all pupils. Since discipline is about relationships between teacher and pupil and between pupil and pupil, our discipline policy accepts every child in the school as an important human person created by God and entrusted to our care by their parents. Likewise every teacher in our school is regarded as an important person, who has been entrusted with the care of these children and as such is entitled to the support and respect of parents.


1.      To develop a sense of self-discipline in our children which will enable them to take responsibility for their own actions.

2.      To create the conditions for an orderly community within the school in which effective learning can take place.

3.      To develop in our children responsible attitudes and Christian values for living.

4.      To encourage respect for oneself by developing each child’s self esteem.

5.      To encourage respect for all other people and their property, a proper concern for the environment and the general promotion of good citizenship.

6.      To moderate and improve behaviour both in school and in extra-curricular activities through the use of the positive approach of praise, encouragement, incentives and inducements.

7.      To only use the more negative approach of criticism and punishments as a last resort to encourage good behaviour.


The seven aims set out above will be best achieved within the framework of a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere in which all pupils are able to give of their best and are encouraged and stimulated to fulfil their potential both in the classroom and in any extra-curricular activities. Discipline is often considered only in the context of punishments or sanctions. It needs to be seen in the much wider framework which demands a positive policy of encouraging good attitudes, rewards and praise (where possible) and setting good example. In our school, we realise the need to put great emphasis on rewarding those pupils who behave well rather than punishing those who behave badly. Although sanctions will be used when necessary, our policy will concentrate on achieving the right framework for discipline and the right ethos in the school so that punishments and sanctions become increasingly unnecessary. Most pupils react well to praise and there is always something worthy of praise in all children.

As a Catholic school our aim will be to establish a community of prayer and worship where learning takes place in harmony. Our school must be a community of caring, of sympathy, understanding and tolerance. It must be a community which believes in the uniqueness of each individual as a cherished creation of God. In such a community there will be justice and generosity but there will also be guidelines to follow and rewards and sanctions to be given out. We will aim to establish caring and supportive relationships. It is in such a setting that children can experience dignity as persons and will come to appreciate the meaning of such virtues as honesty, truth, trust and responsibility.


We in the school would see unacceptable behaviour resulting from an extensive range of factors and influences. Generally acts of indiscipline can be put into the following categories and they would be regarded as totally unacceptable.


e.g. truancy, persistent lateness, not bringing notes, lack of respect for lunchtime supervisors, running in corridors, leaving school without permission, anti-social behaviour such as telling lies, cheating, stealing, spitting or rude language.


e.g. persistently untidy work; unfinished work; not doing homework; carelessness with work; laziness and wasting time.


e.g. bullying; fighting or quarrelling; calling names; dangerous or unruly behaviour; threatening another child; telling lies about another child; refusing to share things; showing a lack of respect for another pupil; distracting other children from their work; stealing; destroying or defacing another child’s books or property.


e.g. disobedience; disruptive behaviour in class or on out of school trips; showing insolence, rudeness in manner or language; not paying attention; time-wasting; telling lies; temper tantrums; lack of courtesy to teachers.


e.g. lack of care for or loss of, school books; lack of care for school equipment; defacing of school furniture or school buildings; destruction of school property - such as plants, trees etc.


e.g. stealing, damaging or destroying private property; bad behaviour on the street or on buses coming to or going home from school; showing a lack of respect or concern for other people and their property.


The emphasis will always be on giving encouragement and praise rather than criticism or punishments. Praise and encouragement will be given in many ways and, without any attempt to put them into a value order, will include the following:

-                     a quiet word of encouragement.

-                     a written comment on the child’s work pointing to the merit of the work.

-                     a visit to another teacher/Principal for commendation or other form of reward.

-                     a public word or praise for the child in front of the class or at assembly.

-                     a star/points award system

-                     public acknowledgement by presentation at assembly or by giving the child some special task or responsibility.

-                     the giving of marks, grades or assessments by the teacher for good behaviour as well as good work.

-                     special certificates for a each class, with a chosen focus,  presented formally at First Friday assemblies. Mother Teresa Cup for outstanding kindness and consideration for others and Headteacher Shield for outstanding work, presented monthly.

-                     using the school reports and Records of Achievements to highlight and comment favourably not only on good work but also on positive behaviour or actions or positive attitudes.

-                     short notes to parents informing them specifically of some action or achievement which deserves praise.

-                     head teacher award stickers as an ongoing acknowledgement of improvement, effort or achievement.


Short Tennis will continue on Thursday afternoons for Block 2 from January 11th till March 8th. There will be no tennis on 22nd February or 1st March
 Music club will continue on Wednesdays from 3.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. in Mrs. C. O’ Hare’s room.
Gaelic coaching will resume later in the term. You will be notified.


Our reward system to promote positive behaviour is still in full operation throughout the school. Children in all classes have been divided into teams namely, St.Patrick’s,  St. Brigid’s,  St Mary of the Gael’s, St.Colmcille’s and St. Oliver Plunkett’s.
Points or stars are awarded for such things as courtesy, good manners , effort , improvement, punctuality, showing initiative, helping others, good work, presentation of work etc. The whole idea is that children of all abilities will have an equal opportunity to experience success,  from the most able to the least able, and therefore will build self-confidence.

Certificates are awarded to pupils each month in each class for an area to be chosen by each class teacher.
Points or stars will be deducted for negative behaviour.

Two special awards are made each month . One will be for showing outstanding kindness and consideration and the other will be for outstanding work. One of these major awards will begin in P7 and work its way down through the classes while the other will begin in P1 and work its way up through the classes. The winners of these awards will have their photographs displayed and receive a cup and a shield for that month. They may bring the trophies home for a night and then the trophies will be on display in the school.

The winning teams in each class are taken to Coco’s  at the end of each term as a treat.

All awards will be presented at The First Friday Assembly each month.


We continue to highlight the development of Emotional Intelligence throughout the school and it is having a very positive effect on school life as a whole and on the children in particular. ‘Circle time’ is one of the ways through which we deliver the programme and this approach is steadily building confidence in the children especially in those who were a little reluctant to make contributions to discussions. This term we will be focusing on the qualities/virtues beginning with ‘Honesty’ in January, ‘Self-worth’ in February, ‘Tolerance’ in March and ‘Responsibility’ in April. I would continue to encourage parents/guardians to talk to your children about what is happening in this area in school and extend it to the home.
Personal Development, which is a major aspect of the ‘Revised Curriculum’ includes the whole area of Emotional Intelligence. We have assigned a specific room within the school this year for Emotional Intelligence and have received some funding from the South Eastern Education and Library Board under ‘The Dissemination of Good Practice’ to develop this ‘in school centre’

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