What is a Rights Respecting School?
At St Clare’s, we are a UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award. UNICEFis the organisation working specifically for children and their rights. Its mission is to campaign for the protection of children’s rights in order to meet children’s basic needs and empower them to realise their full potential.
UNICEF UK believes that these values should be embedded in the ethos and curriculum of our schools, and provides a framework in order to accomplish this. This is the purpose of the RRSA (Rights Respecting School Award). In a rights respecting school, children learn about their rights and responsibilities. Children learn to associate rights with needs and distinguish between their rights and ‘wants’. They learn that if they have rights, they need to respect the rights of others.
Why are children learning about their rights at school?
In signing the UNCRC all Governments have a responsibility to make both children and adults aware of these rights. There are 42 rights of a child (articles) in the convention covering things such as; children having the right to education (article 27) and children have the right to be protected at all times (article 19).
What is meant by ‘rights’?
These are not the same as ‘wants’. Rights are the basic human needs and values that apply or should apply to everyone.
Does the UNCRC talk about responsibilities?
Yes, with rights come responsibilities. These include:
For children: the responsibility to respect the rights of others.
For parents: to respect and provide for the rights of their children.
For governments: to support families and to respect and provide for the rights of children.
What about children’s respect for the rights of others?
Research has shown that when children are taught in school about their rights and responsibilities under the UNCRC, they are more respecting of the rights of others. Children who have learnt about their rights and responsibilties have :
- a better understanding of what it means to have rights and responsibilities
- a more positive attitude to school
- better relationships with their classmates and teachers
- higher self-esteem
- an increased awareness of how to be a global citizen
How does teaching about children’s rights fit in with the aims of the school?
The aim of both RRS and the school is to help children in achieving their potential and become responsible citizens. What is taught in the RRS curriculum helps children learn respect for self, others, critical thinking skills and informed decision-making.
Will children take advantage of adults if they are taught about their rights?
It is made clear that children not only have rights, but also the responsibility to respect the rights of others. That includes respect for parents, their values and culture. The Convention recognises the central importance of parents. It says that the government must respect the responsibility of parents for providing appropriate guidance for their children, including how children shall exercise their rights.
How can parents support their child to learn about the Convention at home?
- Take the time to ask your child what he/she has learnt recently regarding children’s rights and responsibilities.
- Discuss the ideas learned in class, and try to think of examples from your own experiences, or from the media, of rights being respected or denied.
- Discuss how your child or your family can promote respect for rights, or help those whose rights have been violated.
- Model using rights and responsibility language with your children.
- Ask your child’s opinion on children’s rights.
The RRS school ambassadors have been working hard across the school to ensure that everyone has their Children’s rights articles displayed and all classes have chosen rights to focus on over the next year. We have been talking about our responsibility as global citizens and have had lots of interesting discussions linked to the results of the recent EU Refurendum and what the children feel about this. Our older children are working hard to make sure that all pupils across the key stages are thinking of others both near and far who need our help and to remind us that we should always be the best people we can possibly be.
We are happy to announce that we have been awarded Level 1 of the Rights Respecting School Award and we are waiting to receive our certificate. A huge well done and thank you to the children of the Steering Group for all their hard work. Thank you very much to the teachers, parents and governors and all of our wonderful children who have worked so hard and took part in the assessment. We are very proud to have this award!
RRSA Level 1 Assessment!
March 21st 2016
Tomorrow we are being assessed for the Level 1 Rights Respecting Schools Award. The Steering Group have been working hard to get ready for the assessment and are very excited to show the assessor all the work we have been doing around children’s rights. We will keep you updated and let you know how we do!
Rights Respecting Week at St Clares (March 17th):
This week has been Rights Respecting Week in school and all of our work has been based around children’s rights. Each class picked one or two rights to focus on and have done art, drama, singing, PSE, the humanties, maths and english and dancing based around those rights. The RRSA Steering group asked each class to produce scrapbooks and posters illustrating the rights they chose, so that they can be displayed around school.
We are having assemblies today to show all the work that has been going on this week. Look out for photographs on your child’s class blogs and displays around school that will show what we have been doing.
Thank you to our Mini Vinnies group who are helping to develop these skills through working with Mrs Robson and Mrs White. This autumn term they have helped develop a revised playground charter for our school to follow.
We are very pleased that our work during the spring and autumn terms
towards becomming a Rights Respecting School has been recognised as showing commitment to embedding the rights in our school, We have now been awarded the first level of the award and are able to display the commitment log on all our work. Well done and thank you to the Mini-Vinnies, Mrs White and Mrs Robson for leading this important work in our school.