WHAT IS IT?
The Rights Respecting Schools Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of a school’s planning, policies, practice and ethos. A rights-respecting school not only teaches about children’s rights but also models rights and respect in all its relationship: between teachers, adults and pupils, between adults and between pupils. By aiming for this award, we hope to let children and young people in our school community learn about children’s rights by putting them into practice every day.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO GAIN
Through doing this award in our school, we hope to gain a UNICEF Rights Respecting School community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. We hope to have a significant impact on the school by providing a set of values which improve the climate for learning, improve relationships and provide a deeper more cohesive way of working. In addition to this, we are adamant that this award can impact positively with the pupils and adults in our school community. For pupils, it can improve their self-esteem, increase levels of respect, improve attainment and attendance and overall help to provide them with a wider understanding of the world in which we live. For adults in our school community, through aiming for a Rights Respecting School, it can help to strengthen collaborative working, increase consultative approach and provide a platform for parental engagement.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE SO FAR
Currently, our Rights Respecting School group meets every Monday at lunchtime and through doing this we have managed to plan various things to help inform others in our school community about the rights of every child. We have attended parent’s nights for a wide variety of year groups in order to raise awareness and survey parents. Also as part of the World’s Largest Lesson, which is a UNICEF initiative, we were able to use this platform to show a short information clip both in the Daily Bulletin. We also issued questionnaires to both staff and pupils in order to provide an idea of where we are now and so that we are able to plan on how best we can move forward. Ultimately, this feedback has been extremely effective with it showing us how many people within our school community are not aware of what the award is. We have tackled this issue specifically in the past couple of weeks by making posters and placing them around the school in order to inform pupils and staff about what we are hoping to achieve.
WHAT ARE WE PLANNING TO DO
In the following months, as a group we are planning to recruit junior pupils in order to carry this specific initiative forward next year. We are hoping to deliver additional year group assemblies and presentations to the pupil council and the Senior Management team. We want to issue badges to our Rights Respecting ambassadors and work towards drawing up a whole school charter by focussing on the rights which most relate to our school community specifically. Also look out for our interdisciplinary event with S1 in June in order to raise awareness of the problems facing refugees as part of UNICEF’S Refugee week.
We hope that you support our group throughout the school in order to achieve this award and use it as an opportunity to learn about your own rights!