Our Approach to Good Behaviour

At St. John Vianney School & Children’s Centre two principles govern the conduct of all:

  • The freedom to be and to feel safe
  • The freedom to learn

We recognise that the gift of freedom given by God to all, brings with it arduous choices and grave responsibilities. Children must learn for themselves how the choices they make have consequences both good and ill. This social learning needs: time (not essentially as discrete lessons, rather taking the time when needed); tolerance (expecting many mistakes but always practising); explicit direction (a dialogical approach to the experience of learners); restorative justice (an opportunity to make amends).  And given time this brings about a growing realisation of the responsibility they have for all of their thoughts, words and actions. The acceptance of this responsibility is seen in mature and self-disciplined individuals.

We provide children with a framework of good behaviour in which they have space to learn self-dicipline by making mistakes in a safe and supportive environment. By encouraging children to reflect upon these mistakes we guide them to change their own behaviour for the better and offer space to put things right. For some this critical reflection is both new and challenging, but it is central to their moral formation and conscience. Although this can be a long and sometimes difficult process, we all persevere because the rewards are reaped in a caring, considerate and civil society.

All children, will experience the effects of behaviour, their own and others, both good and ill. With this experience they will recognise that all behaviour is a choice and these choices bring consequences. At St. John Vianney School & Children’s Centre good choices are reinforced by rewards, be they explicit or self-contained and wrong choices result in sanctions. This experiential social learning does not happen in a vacuum, but through the care, guidance and support of parents working in partnership with many other adults and practitioners. For a very small number of children, it is sometimes beneficial to suspend the rewards and sanctions system, replacing it with an individual behaviour plan, that helps the child improve their behaviour using small steps.

How children learn to be self-disciplined

A calm orderly environment is essential if children are to learn most effectively. It is our responsibility to provide that environment in order that children and practitioners can make the most use of learning time. Therefore, we spend time setting the ground rules, and asserting a code of discipline, listed below, that helps children to best avail themselves of the opportunities presented through the curriculum and extended activities.

Making the right choice

– Code of Discipline –


We expect our youngest children to . . .

  • Keep hands and feet to them self
  • Walk inside
  • Use classroom equipment safely
  • If hurt seek an adult’s support
  • Tidy-up when finished

In addition, we expect our children from 5 years-of-age to . . .

  • Understand routines of school, eg. Bells,
  • Ask permission before leaving supervised areas
  • At playtime speak only to children and adults in our setting
  • At home time, if no body is there to collect them come back and stay with an adult
  • Respect others, their belongings and their personal space

In addition, we expect our children from 8 years-of-age to. . .

  • Move around quietly and calmly
  • Show consideration for others in class or in corridors
  • Be aware of the appropriate use of equipment – scissors, compasses, craft knives, screw drivers etc – and use the equipment properly and when required.
  • Be role models for younger children, pointing-out, guiding and modelling appropriate behaviour in situations, such as knowing not to stay-in alone; knowing not to come in before the bell; knowing not to open doors to let in visitors, bur going to find an adult to let them in.
  • Be responsible for medicines, left with the admin officer, and those in class needed for immediate application, such as asthma relieving inhalers. . .


We expect our youngest children to . . .

  • Share and take turns
  • Stop and respond when an adult says their name
  • Listen carefully
  • Use appropriate voice to communicate with adults and peers
  • Allow peers to make their own choices and be independent

In addition, we expect our children from 5 years-of-age to . . .

  • Enjoy a book daily
  • Show they are ready to learn
  • Listen to each other and respond with appropriate voice
  • Make an active contribution
  • Concentrate on their learning

In addition, we expect our children from 8 years-of-age to. . .

  • Be ready to learn, accessing appropriate equipment independently, such as PE kit, reading book, compasss, scissors, sharpened pencil, and at appropriate times.
  • Actively listen and respond appropriately, such as raising hands . . .
  • Engage in home-learning, including home-reading, to achieve personal targets.
  • Make mistakes and learn from correction, accepting constructive criticism
  • Show tolerance of the learning needs of others and be willing to help them


We expect our youngest children to . . .

  • Wear uniform or other suitable clothing, all of which is labelled with their name
  • Style hair moderately, with long hair tied-back
  • Leave toys at home
  • Bring PE kit/change of clothes each week
  • Leave jewellery, including ear-rings,  at home (a wrist watch may be worn)

In addition, we expect our children from 5 years-of-age to . . .

  • Wear school uniform, labelled with name
  • Wear separate safe shoes/slippers indoors
  • Keep PE kit in school
  • Leave jewellery at home (a wrist-watch may be worn)
  • Tie-back long hair

In addition, we expect our children from 8 years-of-age to . . .

  • Wear school uniform, whenever representing school
  • Dress modestly
  • Keep appearance tidy with long hair tied-back and no extreme hairstyles
  • Not wear make-up
  • Wear appropriate footwear, avoiding high heels, strapless sandals, unsafe slippers


We expect our youngest children to . . .

  • Respect each other and be gentle
  • Always tell the truth
  • Learn to flush the chain and wash their hands, after visiting the toilet
  • Use please/thank you and begin to use ‘excuse me’
  • Celebrate each other’s achievements

In addition, we expect our children from 5 years-of-age to . . .

  • Be considerate of the feelings of others
  • Value the contributions of others
  • Speak appropriately to all
  • Be independent
  • Accept feedback

In addition, we expect our children from 8 years-of-age to . . .

  • Be models of politeness, opening doors, using courtesy titles, using appropriate body language
  • Enjoy humour respectfully
  • Be selfless, respecting others by putting others first
  • Reflected upon, and understand the implications of their actions
  • Support the common good and do no harm

Over time, this helps all to learn to. . .

Be Christ to others in all we do and think and say 

Anti-bullying: our school pledge

We are determined to do everything we can to tackle bullying in all forms in our school, our community and wherever we encounter it.

We believe:

  • that bullying in all forms is wrong and it is everyone’s responsibility to tackle it;
  • that bullying can be stopped if everyone works collaboratively towards a shared vision;
  • that everyone should be treated with respect, to ensure that they feel secure, safe and protected.

We will:

  • treat people how we would wish them to treat us;
  • take bullying seriously and always take appropriate action against it;
  • always report bullying to adults, to the school, the police, social services or council, as appropriate;
  • follow Internet and phone safety guidelines, keeping our personal details private at all times;
  • try our best to make sure that everyone feels that they belong.

You can view our Good Behaviour Policy as a PDF document here.