We are working towards our second assessment for the Silver Award for Rights Respecting Schools and are nearly ready! We will then be recognised as a Rights Aware school.
What is a Rights Respecting School?
As part of our school’s aims to promote a happy and successful school, we are working towards the silver award as a “Rights Respecting School”. This is an award which is given to schools on behalf of UNICEF.
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. In 1989, governments worldwide promised all children the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). These rights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential.
The ‘Rights Respecting School’ award (RRSA) will help our pupils to grow into confident, caring and responsible young citizens both in school and within the wider community. By learning about their rights children also learn about the importance of respecting the rights of others i.e. their responsibilities. The Award is not just about what children do but also, importantly, what adults do. Together young people and the school community learn about children’s rights, putting them into practice every day. In Rights Respecting Schools children’s rights are promoted and realised, adults and children work towards this goal together.
There are four key areas of impact for children at a Rights Respecting school; wellbeing, participation, relationships and self-esteem.
The difference that a Rights Respecting School makes goes beyond the school gates, making a positive impact on the whole community.
Children are healthier and happier
By promoting the values of respect, dignity and non-discrimination, children’s self-esteem and wellbeing is boosted and they are less likely to suffer from stress. A child who understands their rights understands how they and others should be treated and their sense of self-worth is strengthened.
Children feel safe
The Rights Respecting Schools Award gives children a powerful language to use to express themselves and to challenge the way they are treated. They are also able to challenge injustices for other children. Children and young people are empowered to access information that enables them to make informed decisions about their learning, health and wellbeing.
Children have better relationships
Both with their teachers and their peers, based on mutual respect and the value of everyone’s opinion. In a Rights Respecting school children are treated as equals by their fellow pupils and by the adults in the school. Children and young people are involved in how the Award is implement in the school but are also involved in strategic decision-making; in decisions about their learning; and in views about their well-being.
Children become active and involved in school life and the wider world
This builds their confidence to make informed decisions. They have a moral framework, based on equality and respect for all that lasts a lifetime, as they grow into engaged, responsible members of society. Children and adults develop an ethos and language of rights and respect around the school. Rights and principles of the Convention are used to put moral situations into perspective and consider rights-respecting solutions – this all has a huge impact on relationships and well-being. Children and young people get very involved in raising awareness about social justice issues, both at home and abroad. They become ambassadors for rights and take part in campaigns and activities to help to bring about change.
Introducing Our Rights Ambassadors
Our Rights Ambassadors have done a great job in making sure all children and adults in our school know about children’s rights! They have ensured all children have had the opportunity to sign up to our School and Class Charters. They have checked that all classes can name some of their rights, checked that everyone knows who Ralph the Racoon is and checked to see that we all know about our right of the month.
Our Rights Respecting mascot ‘Ralph’ has been designed by Lara who was in Year 6 last year. He has popped up around our school to remind us of our rights and to help us learn and think about our rights every day.
Next time you visit, ask the children about our Right of the Month, their Class Charters and Ralph the Racoon.
We have all made our class charters and they can be seen in our classrooms – Article 2 – All children have rights no matter what.
We have appointed Rights Experts in each class. They can tell you lots about our rights, tell you about our mascot, show you their class charter and talk about the right of the month. They support the class in continuing to be Rights Aware. The Rights Expert have a job description and are on display in their class – Article 2 – All children have rights no matter what.
We have contributed to our learning by adding our ideas and thoughts to our EPIC class display – Article 12 –All children have the right to be heard.
We have had virtual visits to support our learning – Article 28 – The right to an education
All pupils decided on the rights to include in our School Charter in assembly. The Rights Ambassadors decided on the things we needed to do to help respect the rights of all pupils and then shared this with the whole school in another assembly – Article 2 – All children have rights no matter what.