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Ethos & Code of Behaviour


Our Mission Statement and Ethos

St. Mary’s National School is a co-educational school under Church of Ireland patronage. The school is part of the Church of Ireland's Dunleckney Group of Parishes.

In our school community we aspire to promote a nurturing inclusive environment where each child is encouraged and motivated personally, academically, socially, physically and spiritually to become a responsible, happy individual.

The school has developed a close working relationship between the community, parents, Board of Management, Church and teaching staff to form a happy, nurturing and inclusive environment for every child.

We work in partnership with parents and the community to empower students to live in and contribute to a rapidly changing society and to act as responsible, independent children and later, self sufficient adults who care about others and their environment.

Our school is part of the local church community and has strong links with the parish, including a worship dimension. At St. Mary’s we teach the Primary School Curriculum including Religious Education. The essentials of the Christian faith are explored and children are encouraged to think for themselves and to develop a personal faith by which they may later live.

For a printable version of our mission statement, please click here.

Code of Behaviour

The Code of Behaviour reflects the school's Mission and Ethos. This is a practical statement of the behaviour that is expected from each child, and stating it in an open manner helps to achieve consistency and improve communication between the adults who are responsible for the children (teachers, parents, bus drivers, auxiliary staff) and of course with the children themselves.

The aims of the code of behaviour are:

• To provide guidance for pupils, teachers and parents on behavioural expectations.

• To provide for the effective and safe operation of the school.

• To develop pupils’ self-esteem and to promote positive behaviour.

• To foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils based on respect, consideration and tolerance of others.

• To facilitate the education and development of every child.

• To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment.

• To enable teachers to teach without disruption.

• To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner.

For a full statement of the Code of Behaviour, click here.


Our school aims to provide a caring, learning environment which facilitates the nurturing of each pupil’s full, educational potential. The achievement of this aim informs all of the planning processes and activities which occur in our school.

We believe that teachers and parents are partners in the children’s education and that co-operation and communication between home and school is vital in the educational process. We share the same aim – the well-being of the children in our care. This article outlines information about St. Mary’s N.S. concerning school policies, rules and routines. Our school rules are kept to a minimum. We ask for your co-operation with these rules. They are designed for the effective, efficient running of the school and the safety of the children.

School Rules

School rules are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community to enable pupils to develop into mature and responsible individuals.

If a school is to function efficiently, it is necessary that rules and regulations are clearly stated and enforced consistently and fairly. School rules are discussed regularly in classrooms and at whole school assembly.

Our School Rules are as follows:


Co-operate with students and staff


Act safely and responsibly


Respect yourself, others and property


Encourage and help others

Our golden rule is

Treat others as you would like them to treat you.


School begins at 9.20 a.m. It is important that children develop the habit of being punctual for school. Pupils must go immediately to designated classrooms, where they will be supervised until the bell rings at 9:20 a.m.

There is a short break at 11:00 a.m. Lunch break is from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Junior and Senior Infant Classes finish at 2.00 p.m. Infants must be collected promptly, to allow the Infant teacher undertake other duties. Parents/guardians who are collecting children from the Infant Classes should arrive a few minutes before dismissal time so the children don’t experience unnecessary anxiety.

As from school year 2012/13, the school has an arrangement with the Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre whereby, for a small charge, Infant pupils will be collected from the school at 2.00, taken to an after-schools club and delivered back to the school in time for the 3.00pm collection by buses or parents.

All other classes are dismissed at 3.00p.m. Children are expected to leave the school grounds in an orderly, safe fashion. Pupils travelling by bus form ‘bus lines’ and those being collected by car, walk via the marked pathway to the area where cars are parked. Parents are requested to enter/exit the parking area with care.