A school’s discipline practice evolves from its Pastoral Care Policy in so far as each seeks to promote a respectful, secure and healthy environment in which students grow to be discerning self-disciplined and contributing members of society. However, occasionally, behaviours are exhibited that are disruptive to the teaching and learning process, show disregard for school code of discipline and conduct, and/or threaten safety. Such behaviour has consequences that affect the student, other students, their families, staff or the school itself.

– Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle policy Statement



Behaviour Management Policy


The Staff at Saint Joseph’s Primary School, Taree, is committed to providing a safe, caring and nurturing learning and play environment which promotes the development of independence, self-control, effective social skills, wise decision-making and concern and respect for self and others. By living and teaching the Gospel Values of Jesus, staff members are ongoing in their commitment, continually striving to equip students with skills that will enable them to contribute capably, confidently and positively to the wider community. With the cooperation and assistance of parents and carers we are preparing our students to be the citizens of tomorrow.


To assist us in our mission, this policy and associated procedures will guide, support and encourage the behaviours that will best prepare our students for life. Therefore, consistency from all staff is vital in

  • the modelling and reinforcement of positive behaviours;
  • providing simple, clear and explicit expectations;
  • ensuring fair, relevant and clear consequences;
  • acknowledging and rewarding effort for improvement in desired behaviours and attitudes.

We endeavour to ensure our student Behaviour Management Policy and associated procedures serve the best interests of all our students. All staff will exercise professional judgement and display flexibility to ensure that the individual circumstances of each student such as age, stage of development and special needs – including academic and personal, are taken into account.


All staff members are directed never to:

  • Deliberately humiliate a child; or
  • Use any form of physical punishment – Corporal Punishment does not form part of our Policy.

Positive Behaviours will be affirmed and acknowledged through:

  • General teaching practice;
  • A formal award system; and
  • Public acknowledgement at assemblies – by way of formal award system or special mention
  • St Joseph’s Reward System

Communicating the Behaviour Management Policy

  • At the commencement of each school year: on the first day of duty for the new school year, all staff will revisit the Behaviour Management Policy and discuss any changes that need to be made. These adjustments will be made accordingly;
  • Upon the appointment of a new member of staff: the Behaviour Management Policy will be discussed with an Executive Staff Member. The purpose of the discussion is to orientate the staff member to the policy, ensuring consistency in understanding and implementation;
  • Casual teachers: will be given a copy of the Behaviour Management Policy to keep as their own, by the Assistant Principal on their first day of duty at the school and be requested to refer to this in the first instance, for all issues relating to Behaviour Management;
  • All students will be orientated to school and classroom rules at the commencement of each school year and these will be revised at the commencement of each term within classrooms. Students will be informed of consequence/s of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour;
  • School rules will be revised with all students at the commencement of each school term at the first whole school assembly for that term. Students will be reminded of consequences of inappropriate behaviour;
  • School rules will be reinforced at assembly times as the need arises;
  • School rules and the Behaviour Management Policy will be regularly included in the school newsletter to inform parents and carers of the expected behaviours of their children while at school;
  • The Behaviour Management Policy will be posted on the School Website to inform the wider community and to be available for parent/carer reference as needed;
  • The Behaviour Management Policy will form part of the Parent Information Booklet.
  • A one page Behaviour Management Procedure will be placed in all classrooms and the Casual Information Booklet.

Establishing Classroom Rules:

  • At the commencement of the school year, every teacher will establish classroom rules that protect the rights of all individuals with their new class group and display the rules within the classroom;
  • Each classroom teacher will inform parents of the behaviour expectations via the class newsletter/KLA organisation sent home during Term 1 and/or parent/teacher information sessions (if applicable);
  • Teachers will revise rules with students as needed.

Dealing with Disruptive Behaviours in the Classroom:

Within the classroom, it is the responsibility of the class teacher:

  • to create a climate that is conducive to teaching and learning and
  • to be alert to disruptive students and be prepared to use the school behaviour management policy to consistently handle inappropriate behaviour

If the climate of the classroom is breached by inappropriate behaviour, suitable consequences should apply.



A consequence is a result of behaviour.  It is what happens when a child displays a type of behaviour.  Reasons for having consequences are to change inappropriate behaviour and to guide staff in consistent behaviour management strategies.

Why we have consequences?

  • To guide children towards ownership of their behaviour
  • Routines and discipline provide children with security
  • For fairness, consistency and equality for all in the school
  • For children to understand that consequences are a result of their actions
  • To build a positive climate within the school
  • For children to understand that positive behaviour is appropriate behaviour

Classroom Procedures for Inappropriate Behaviour

Step 1: Offer positive choices and explain positive consequences.

Non compliance will result in time-out area. (Time out area is a designated space within the classroom. Its purpose is to allow students time to refocus and adjust their behaviour in line with the established classroom rules)

Two warnings are given to students before they are moved to time-out, unless teacher feels the incident warrants being sent straight to the space.

While in the time out area, the student is not permitted to:

  • Engage with the class or the teacher. This is a time for reflection, calming down and refocusing of behaviour. A visual tool will be displayed.
  • A specified time is set (no longer than 10 minutes);
  • At the end of the time out, if the student is compliant, they return to the class with appropriate behaviour

If the student continues to be non-compliant then:

Step 2: Remove the student to a buddy classroom. (Not a classroom with a casual teacher. Choose a full time member of staff to ensure consistency).

Parent notification and interview is sought when the student is removed from the classroom on a regular basis.

While in the buddy classroom, the student is not permitted to:

  • Engage with the class or the teacher. This is a time for reflection, calming down and refocusing of behaviour As above, the student will be given two reflection questions, consistent K-6, laminated;
  • A specified time is set (no longer than 15 minutes);
  • At the end of the buddy classroom session, if the student is compliant, they return to their class with appropriate behaviour. If the student is still non-compliant then:

Step 3: Place the student on lunchtime detention.

  • Notify the Assistant Principal and the Executive Teacher on Detention Duty of the student on detention and the reason for detention.

Step 4: If the behaviour continues then remove the student to a member of the Executive, or the Principal.

  • Phone the Office and ask which Executive Member is available.
  • In the event of the Principal being absent and no Executive Member of staff is on release phone to the classroom of the nearest Executive Member for Assistance.
  • All staff will be provided with a staff timetable for Executive Staff.

Playground Behaviour Management Support Document

The following strategies can be used by teachers to promote positive and appropriate behaviour on the playground, and to also reinforce playground rules

  1. Rule Reminder -Teacher refers to the appropriate playground rule
  2. Time out – Suspended Playtime – if a child repeatedly misbehaves on the playground the teacher may choose to suspend their playing time for a short period and direct the child onto the blue seats. The teacher may decide to ask the child to walk with the teacher as they do playground duty or undertake a school community service. This will give the child some thinking time about the rule that they have broken
  3. No Hat, No play – If a child is not wearing a school hat, the duty teacher will direct the child to the blue seats, where they will remain until lunch bell has sounded
  4. Seriously unacceptable playground behaviour – Seriously unacceptable playground behaviour is to be reported by the duty teacher to the Assistant Principal on the day of the incident. The teacher is required to enter the incident on Student Tracker and advise the Assistant Principal via email for records purposes.

School Detention

Criteria for school detention

  • Violent, physical behaviour to persons and property
  • Bullying i.e. physical, emotional and verbal
  • Defiant behaviour towards adult members of the school community
  • Behaviour that is beyond reasoning
  • Deliberate and persistent breaking of the rules
  • Poor Bus behaviour
  • This can include outside of school buses, excursions, and camps.

In the event of lunchtime school detention, it is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to:

  • Inform the Assistant Principal and Executive Teacher who is responsible for administering Detention  (1.20 – 1.40pm) via email or the online proforma, (located on Gate 21/School Documents/Forms/Behavioural Management), of a child’s detention, no later than 1.15 p.m. on the day of detention;
  • Update Student Tracker with the details of the detention.

It is the responsibility of the Executive Teacher to:

  • Detention will be located in Executive Teacher’s classroom or in the Community Room if it is wet weather.  If the ET is absent it will be coordinated by the Assistant Principal
  • Supervise Detention and discuss the positive choices that could have been made.
  • Update the Behaviour Spreasdsheet monitoring for patterns of behaviour with students and distribute to staff on a weekly basis.
  • Inform the parents via writing why their child was on detention.
  • In the event of a child not showing up for detention on the designated day. The child will serve the detention the following day.
  • In the event of the child being absent on detention day, (because they were placed on detention after 1.20p.m. the previous day) the detention will be served on the first day of attendance.
  • Executive Teacher will upload the information onto school R drive in specific folder titled ‘Detention’

Lunchtime Detention Guidelines

  • Allow eating time between 1.20 – 1.30pm only
  • No canteen
  • 1 toilet visit only to Primary toilets – you can see from the window where they go. Do not publicise this – only upon request
  • Sitting with nothing at all to do
  • No speaking
  • Keep both doors closed to avoid the sticky-beaks
  • 1.20 – 1.40pm duty person let the staff member know who placed the student on detention if the student does not show up. It is the responsibility of that staff member to follow up and advise the student of their catch up detention the following day

When students are experiencing ongoing issues of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour within the classroom, all or some of the following strategies can be used by classroom teachers to help modify behaviour:

  • Referral to the Learning Support Teacher and/or Learning Support Panel
  • Discuss with ET in charge of behaviour
  • Development of an Individual Behaviour Plan (IBP) in consultation with the Class Teacher, Learning Support Teacher, Principal, relevant Catholic Schools Office Personnel and the child’s Parents/Carers
  • When all areas have been followed up and documented and the student’s behaviour has not improved the Executive Teacher, Principal and parents/carers will meet with student to discuss the suspension from privileges such as reward days, end of year celebrations, sports days, excursions, etc
  • The Executive Teacher/Principal will organise an interview with the parents/carers of the child to discuss the ongoing situation and to alert them to the possibility of temporary suspension, should the pattern of inappropriate behaviour continue. Diocesan Guidelines would be adhered to re temporary suspension

In the event of the above procedures failing to address the inappropriate behaviours:

  • When all disciplinary measures have been applied over a sustained period of time, with no effect and the needs of the child are such that our school has nothing further to offer but to arrange the placement of the child in a specialised environment, expulsion would be the appropriate course of action. Because this step is both final and irreversible, it can only happen after it is determined beyond doubt that all other avenues have been exhausted. Diocesan Guidelines on expulsion will be followed.

Whole School Detention Warning Systems – Levels


The levelled scale is to be used as a method to re-teach and re-direct students towards the correct behaviour as outlined in school rules, this will only be a guideline for staff as some students will be on Individual Behavioural Plans.  These plans will be given to staff at the start of each term and when a new student is placed on such a plan. The use of scale is to deter serial offenders and is under the discretion of the Principal/Assistant Principal.

Level 0

  • Students, at the school’s discretion and at the commencement of a school term, will begin on Level 0. This may not be the case for incidents of an extreme nature or a serious breach of the schools code of conduct.

Level 1

  • Students’ progress to Level 1 if they have demonstrated that they are experiencing difficulty modifying their behaviour.
  • They receive 1 detention slip
  • When they receive one detention slip they will attend a lunch time ‘Detention Room’ where the Executive teacher will sit down with each individual student and discuss the behaviour.  This will be recorded and saved. Students and the Executive Teacher will sit down and discuss the questions with the students. The Executive teacher will update the Behaviour Spreadsheet which is located on the R:\Assistant Principal\Behaviour.
  • When a student receives 3 detention slips in a ten day cycle they will move to the next level
  • After a five day cycle the student will return to Level 0

Level 2

  • When a student progresses to Level 2, they will be sent to the Assistant Principal and parents will be notified.
  • Students will be placed on a Behaviour Management Plan Contract for a period of 5 days (pro-forma is located in R:\AssistantPrincipal\Behaviour.
  • The contract will be signed by each teacher of the session and the contents communicated with parents, either by phone, email and sent after the 5 day period. Information is collected, scanned and placed in both hard and soft copy files by the Assistant Principal.
  • If the student does not modify their behaviour and and fails to meet their behaviour goals or receives further detention slips another 3 in a ten – day cycle they will move to Level 3.
  • When the Assistant Principal believes the behaviour has been modified the student can move to Level 1. If there are no further detentions in the next 10 day cycle the students can move back to Level 0.
  • If the student continues to demonstrate unacceptable behaviour, students may continue on another period/cycle of Level 2 and contract is continued. The LST will be notified and student behaviour plan may be implemented.
  • If the contract is lost, a new contract will be commenced

Level 3

  • If, after level 1 and 2, students do not provide evidence of behaviour modification, they will progress to Level 3
  • Parents will be notified by the Assistant Principal and a meeting will be arranged with the Principal, Teacher, LST, School Counsellor (where possible) and Psychologist (where possible) to discuss the students behaviour. All records will be presented to the parent.
  • Level 3 will include an in-school suspension – In the Time Out Room – located in the Executive Teachers Room. The duration will be determined by the Principal.
  • Behaviour Management Plan will be put in place by the Principal, AP and Learning Support Team.
  • The student will continue to be monitored. Teachers will be given a Behaviour Plan to be filled by the teacher of each lesson.  This will be collected after 5 days by Assistant Principal and the data is loaded as per previous explanation in Level 2.
  • Upon a completion of a Level 3 contract, the student will complete a Level 2 contract for five days
  • The student will be required to attend Detention Room until contract has completed, Executive Teacher will check contract.
  • All documents will be placed in the files as outlined in the previous levels.

Level 4

  • When a student is placed on Level 4, a student’s behaviour is considered UNACCEPTABLE for participation in class attendance, camp, excursions, concert attendance and representation in school team and sport
  • Parents/Principal notified by Assistant Principal
  • Student removed from class and placed in Time Out Room.
  • Learning Support Team notified
  • Period of in-school/out- of school suspension supervised by AP/Principal
  • Behaviour Plan is still in place
  • AD/CSO notified
  • If student’s behaviour has modified over 20 days, they may at the approval of Principal move to lower levels.

Level 5

  • Behaviour has not been modified.
  • All previous efforts exhausted
  • Clear paper trial of actions and consequences
  • Parents clearly informed of the child’s escalating behaviour
  • Consultation with the Learning Support Team
  • Suspension for a determined time

Level 6

  • CSO directly involved – as to course of action with student

Parents may contact either Executive Teacher or Assistant Principal in regards to behaviour of their child.

When a child is returning to a lower level they remain on this level for a period of 5 consecutive days as long as they have not received a detention notice during this time.

Email: melissa.hunt@mn.catholic.edu.au

Out of School Suspension

The Principal will suspend any student who commits the following offences:

  • Persistent disobedience by continually breaking school rules or verbally harassing and abusing others
  • Intentional violent behaviour against another student or teacher
  • Possession of prohibited weapon or threatening to use any item or instrument as a weapon
  • Criminal behaviour which will result in the Police being notified by the school.
  • Failure to respond to behaviour management plan while on Level 3

Award System

Rewards are consequences which promote and reinforce appropriate behaviour or attitudes.  They are also used to acknowledge positive efforts and achievements.  Rewards may be given to recognise both individual and group behaviour.

Staff members use a variety of ways to reinforce and encourage positive attitudes and values among our students. These include the use of praise, stamps, and stickers, showing work to a buddy class and/or member of the Executive team and displaying work in the classroom and at assembly.

In addition, Saint Joseph’s will trial a system formal awards in all classes Kindergarten to Year 6:

Merit Certificate

Merit Certificates recognising general academic achievements and/or positive behaviour will be given out at assembly each week.  Class teachers will choose two students per week and these will be presented by the Principal each Friday.

Positive Behaviour awards

Students will be rewarded for not being placed on detention during the year.  If students do not get on detention they will receive the following rewards.  These will be monitored by the Assistant Principal.

If a student does get on detention they will return to level 0 at the end of the five week block to be given the opportunity to attend the end of Semester ½ day picnic hosted by the Principal.

Term 1

Week 1 – 5      –           A certificate recognising 5 weeks of positive behaviour

Week 6 – 10    –           An ice block and a certificate recognising 5 or 10 weeks of positive behaviour

Term 2

Week 1 – 5      –           A certificate recognising 5, 10 or 15 weeks of positive behaviour

Week 6 – 10    –           ½ day picnic for all students who have not been on detention during the semester

and a certificate recognising 5, 10, 15 or 20 weeks of positive behaviour

Term 3

Week 1 – 5      –           A certificate recognising 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 weeks of positive behaviour

Week 6 – 10    –           An ice block and a certificate recognising 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 weeks of

positive behaviour

Term 4

Week 1 – 5      –           A certificate recognising 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 or 35 weeks of positive behaviour

Week 6 – 10    –           ½ day picnic for all students who have not been on detention during the semester

and a certificate recognising 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 weeks of positive



 Award System

Visit our Awards & Homework page for more information.