Roxboro National School

Policy on Supervision of Pupils


This policy was originally formulated in the early 2000s. It is reviewed by the teaching staff and S.N.A.s every three years or more frequently if the need arises. This review was carried out during the 2018/2019 school year.  It applies to all staff and children during school hours, break times, and on all school related activities. Updates to this policy have been made in Term 1 2020/2021 in light of the Covid-19 Global Pandemic – See ‘Arrangements for Covid-19’

In our school policy we will endeavour to organise and participate in the effective supervision of pupils during school hours, 09.20 to 15.10.  Before the official start of school, from 09.10, the principal will organise a rota for teachers to supervise: one will circulate at regular intervals through corridors and classrooms as the other supervises the playground. The rota is a weekly one for all teachers, except the principal, to supervise for a week at a time. Current practice is that the principal supervises every day with a teacher from the rota. This amounts to 2.5 hours per annum of ‘Croke Park Hours’ per teacher.


The rules for National Schools 121(4) and 124(1) obliges teachers to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of pupils and to participate in supervising pupils during school time and during all school related activities.

Legislation such as the Health Safety and Welfare at Work Act and relevant Court judgments have placed a “duty of care” and accountability on schools that must be underpinned by a policy covering all possible eventualities.

Relationship to the Characteristic Ethos of the School

This policy is in keeping with the school ethos of providing a safe and secure environment for learning for all pupils and the wider school community.


Aims and Objectives

  • To develop a framework that effectively ensures, as far as is practicable, the safety of children while engaged in school activities
  • To observe and monitor behavioural patterns outside the confines of the classroom
  • To contribute to effective school management and comply with relevant legislation.

School Procedures

  • It is the policy of the school to supervise the school yard at all times during regular school breaks i.e. 11.00 to 11.10, 12.30 to 13.00 and 14.00 to 14.10.  Teachers assume a duty of care at 09.20.  The Board of Management informs parents that the school does not accept responsibility for pupils who arrive early or children who are not collected promptly at 15.10. The school provides supervision from 09.10 to 09.20, one teacher in the school yard and one internally. This is organised by the principal – the rota is displayed on the staffroom notice board.
  • A separate rota for break-time supervision is drawn up by the principal and this is also displayed on the staff room notice board.
  • Three teachers supervise at all break times with one responsible for each of the play areas.
  • Rules of the school yard are reviewed and revised continually and communicated to children regularly.
  • If parents indicate a worry about a particular child on the yard all teachers rostered for yard duty are informed of the concern so that the particular concerns can be addressed satisfactorily
  • Teachers on yard duty remain with the classes until the class teacher returns from break. Alternatively, they can accompany the classes into the school and remain with the class until the class teacher arrives.
  • Teachers taking an E.P.V. day must swap supervision duties with a willing colleague.  If a teacher is unexpectedly absent a volunteer colleague will assume his/her duties in a reciprocal arrangement
  • Special Needs Assistant/s are on duty during all breaks.  The number of S.N.A.’s required is decided by the principal in consultation with the staff, taking into account the care needs of the children. While the S.N.A.’s provide individual supervision and support for designated children, they can act in an observing and reporting capacity, bringing instances of misbehaviour to the attention of the teacher on yard duty.  The school’s anti-bullying/discipline policy covers incidents of misbehaviour.
  • Children with injuries/complaints are dealt with directly by the teacher on yard duty.  Children are not permitted to report directly to the staff room if there is an incident on the yard, unless in emergency situations. Procedures for dealing with an injured child are outlined in the Accident/Injury Policy and below in ‘Good Practice’ section.
  • A First Aid box and an Accident Report Folder are kept as a matter of procedure (See Accident / Injury Policy). All accidents where there is an injury of consequence should be noted in the Accident Report Book by the teacher on supervision. Where teachers suspect that a child is unwell, parents/guardians are alerted, usually by phone. Parents/Guardians should always be informed of a head injury even if the child appears unaffected.
  • If children remain uncollected after 15.10, the school ensures that a duty of care is provided until a parent/guardian calls. If a parent/guardian is late collecting their child after school, the class teacher has a duty to remain at the school until the child is collected. However, this responsibility can be passed on to a willing colleague.
  • At all other times each teacher is responsible for the supervision of all children under their care.
  • No supervision is provided outside the school grounds, except on school-related activities.
  • Unless unavoidable, teachers should never leave their classroom unsupervised. Teachers may however, take a fifteen minute lunch break from 12.15 on the days they are doing lunchtime supervision. When leaving the classroom, the teacher informs the teacher next-door and he/she will supervise, leaving the doors to both rooms open and making regular visits to the other classroom.
  • The teacher on supervision duty will inform the class teacher or any incident or injury relating to children in their class.
  • Children who are withdrawn from their mainstream classroom for special education or for any other purpose are collected at the classroom door by the relevant teacher and supervised until they re-enter the classroom.

Special Provisions

  1. a)   Out of school activities such as games, swimming, tours, etc

Back up provisions are put in place to ensure adequate levels of supervision are provided.  The level of supervision is determined by the principal in consultation with the staff taking into account the particular activities involved and the needs of the children taking part.

  1. b)  Teacher out of the Classroom

In the unlikely event that a teacher must leave his/her classroom, another member of staff may be released to cover. (This will usually be a Special Education Teacher or the principal). However, it is school policy to request parents/guardians and others to make an appointment for outside of teaching time in order to minimize the disruption to classroom teaching and learning.

  1. c)   On wet days
  • Children remain in their classrooms unless it is organised to bring a class or classes to the G.P. hall or main corridor.
  • The normal supervision rota will apply for all breaks. One teacher will supervise Rooms 1, 2 and 3; one will supervise Rooms 4, 5 and 6 and the other teacher supervises Rooms 7 and 8. S.N.A.’s remain with children with special needs.
  • Children may play with board games/toys, draw, read, watch DVD or any other activity suited to the confines of the classroom. These are organised by the class teacher.
  1. d)   When visiting teachers, speakers, students on teaching practice, etc are in the classroom, the class teacher maintains a presence. S.N.A.’s are not left in sole charge of a class.
  2. e)   If hazards are identified that may lead to accidents or encourage misbehaviour, the children must not be allowed to be there.
  3. f)   Child in the school at break time
  • If a child has to stay in the school building at break time when the other children are outside, the class teacher sends them to the window corners of Classrooms 1 and 6.

 Success Criteria and Review

  • Ensuring a safe child-friendly school premises and grounds.
  • Providing well organised and safe out of school activities
  • Constant monitoring of the safety and behaviour of the children
  • Reviewing supervision duties yearly
  • Altering or adjusting procedures deemed to be inoperable.


Organisation of Grounds


  • Infants use the area behind the school.
  • 1st. 2nd and 3rd classes use the area between the school and the football field.
  • 4th, 5th and 6th classes use the area in front of the school.
  • In fine weather the children are free to use the pitch and we endeavour to keep the different age groups a safe distance from each other.
  • Children use the play area with climbing frame etc. in rotation – small groups of up to half a class group
  • Children may only enter the school during break-time with the permission of the teacher (Discretion to be used in relation to infants)
  • No pupil is allowed to leave the school grounds without the permission of a teacher. Permission may only be granted to a senior class (5th and 6th) pupil to go onto the road (to collect a ball etc) and this is done with the direct supervision of the teacher in charge, knowing that it is totally safe to do so

Rules for Teachers / S.N.A.’s  in Roxboro N.S.

  1. Supervision


  • continuous walking through the play areas.
  • write down all incidents of misbehaviour etc. in incident book on the

day of the incident. (Incident Book in Office)

  • same with accident.
  • if the teacher needs to leave the play area he/she must get another teacher to If a child is injured during break time, the supervising teacher brings the child to the class teacher (or a special education teacher if the class teacher is supervising) and returns to supervision immediately.
  • be on the lookout for rough play, games etc. that have the potential for injury. Prohibit those games and alert all the other teachers.
  • report any potentially hazardous area, item etc. to the principal.
  • confiscate items from pupils that could be used to cause injury. These may be returned at the end of the school day if the teacher is satisfied that the item(s) is/are unlikely to be used to cause injury at this time. However, if in doubt, consult with the principal.
  • children should be kept in their respective play areas. Teachers should use their discretion when, for example, older pupils are playing with younger pupils in a way that is not likely to cause injury.
  • teacher on yard duty rings the bell on time; firstly inside the school, then outside.
  • teachers accompany their own classes to their room immediately after the breaks – ask another teacher to take responsibility if unavoidably delayed.
  • teacher on yard duty is responsible for supervising at all three breaks. If a teacher is unavailable for supervising a break they must get another teacher to substitute for him/her.


  1. Bringing Children out of the School

(a)  Bus Journeys for school activities

  1. If the bus is parked on the side of the road the teacher must be the first out the gate to check for traffic and general safety.
  2. The teacher must ensure that the pupils walk orderly to the bus and behave in a safe manner on the bus.
  3. Running to or from the bus at any time is strictly prohibited.
  4. As in school, courtesy, good manners and addressing people properly are demanded of the pupils. The children should be taught and reminded regularly of this.
  5. At swimming, use of vending machines is not allowed unless with a teacher’s permission and in exceptional circumstances.
  6. When planning bus journeys, a teacher must plan carefully to try to foresee if more adults are needed for supervision. If so, the approval of the principal is required.
  7. Pupils must be supervised by a teacher on a bus except in emergency and exceptional circumstances. Make the best arrangement possible under such circumstances.
  8. Adults and pupils must adhere to all road and traffic regulations including the wearing of seat-belts.

(b)  On walks, e.g. to the church, nature walks etc.

  1. High visibility top to be worn, these are available in the school.
  2. At least one teacher, normally the class teacher, must walk with the class. It is advisable to have a second adult walking also.
  3. Children with mobility difficulties may be brought in an insured staff car with two adults.
  4. The children walk in single file or in pairs on the right hand side of the road.
  5. Running is strictly prohibited.
  6. The teacher must give his/her full attention to the safety on the road.
  7. Correct Church behaviour – genuflecting, kneeling, silence, praying etc. is to be taught to each class by their teacher and this behaviour is to be demanded of the pupils in the church.
  8. When crossing the road, the teacher supervises the crossing.


(c)  In school

  1. Teachers must ensure insofar as is possible that pupils walk on the corridors and other such places inside the school.
  2. No activity where there is a foreseeable risk should be undertaken other than the ‘normal’ risks associated with play in general (e.g. there would be foreseeable risk in children doing cartwheels, for example, in the classroom!)
  3. Even when supervised, children are not to be asked or allowed to handle a hot items (kettle, tea-pots etc.) or lift or move heavy objects.
  1. Sport/Activities
  1. If a child is known to have had an injury the teacher should get approval from the parent/guardian before he/she takes part in sport, stating that the child may participate as normal.
  2. The teacher must be acquainted with such techniques and principles, and indeed with the basic ‘safety rules’ of the sport/activity that he or she is teaching.
  3. Appropriate warm-up exercises to be undertaken before more vigorous exercise.
  4. If a child has an injury he/she does not take part in activity where there is a foreseeable risk that the child may suffer further injury.
  5. Sport activity should be sufficiently flexible for students who are not capable of full participation.
  6. Teacher should not participate in a game where (a) the teacher will not be able to adequately supervise the game and (b) the teacher might injure a much smaller player.
  7. Weather/Playing Conditions – if these make the activity hazardous, then postpone the activity.
  8. If refereeing, the teacher needs to ensure that the refereeing duty does not get in the way of his/her supervision of the event.
  9. Use of Equipment – check before use that it is safe – if in doubt, don’t use it.
  10. Use of Equipment – only use it for the purposes it was designed for.
  11. Use of Equipment – ensure proper instructions and supervision.
  12. Supervision while the children are changing for P.E. is necessary, though not a presence as that could be interpreted as an invasion of privacy.
  13. An activity should not be undertaken if the teacher believes there is inadequate supervision, level of safety etc.
  14. Even when the class is being taught an outside coach/teacher (e.g. G.A.A., soccer coach), the class teacher must be present for the entire duration of the session



(a) Act reasonably and sensibly

(b)  Use common sense

(c)  Be conscious of the forseeability of an incident

(d)  Absence of, or inadequate, supervision leaves the child/children at risk and it leaves you open to accusation of negligence.

Arrangements for Covid-19

The following supervision arrangements will apply in the school year 2020/2021 or for the duration of the pandemic.

Protocols for Daily Morning Assembly:

At 9am the staff will collect children from the designated

Meeting Point and escort them to their classrooms.

Parents informed not to drop children to school before 9am

and to accompany them to the meeting point for hand over.

Two staff members will remain at meeting point until 9.30am

for latecomers (month of September only)

Classroom teachers will supervise children in the classrooms once they enter the building.

Protocols for Daily Dismissal:

Pupils from junior and senior infants will leave the school at 2pm as normal. They will exit the school using their designated door – Door A and will be escorted by staff to the Meeting Point.

Those pupils going to afterschool will line up at the top of their respective lines and will be escorted to After School Staff at the side entrance, left of the Meeting Point. Parents will line up on the pathway from the car park using the social distancing markings provided. They will collect their children from the staff at the meeting point.

Dismissal for classes 1-6 will be staggered at three 5-minute intervals – 3pm, 3.05pm & 3.10pm. All groups will exit through their designated doors (B-D) and will be escorted to the meeting point. Parents should collect their children from the meeting point at the designated time.  Bus & afterschool children will be escorted to the relevant point.


SNAs/SEN staff will escort children to and from SEN rooms.

Break & Lunch Times:

Six staff members will be supervising the yard at all times. A rota is in operation. Lunchtime is broken into two 15 minute slots. The 2pm break is suspended.

First Aid boxes are available at Doors A-D to treat minor injuries on yard. In case of more serious injuries, one staff member will escort the child to the staff room via Door E and return immediately to the yard.

Staff on yard duty remain vigilant at all times and monitor the separation of Bubbles – 8 designated yard areas.

All staff members have a personal yard book in which to record toilet trips and any incidents on yard.

Wet Days: Classroom Teachers remain in their classrooms. SEN staff & the Principal will relieve classroom teachers for 15 minutes on a rotational basis.

Review: Constant review, formally every three years.

This review was carried out in Term 1 2020/2021 in light of the Covid-19 Global Pandemic.

A full formal review will take place in Term 1 2021/2022

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