At Grange, we have received the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award. UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) is 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.
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).
These are not the same as ‘wants’. Rights are the basic human needs and values that apply or should apply to everyone.
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.
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
an increased awareness of how to be a global citizen
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.
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.
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.
Pupil Voice have created a playground charter to make our playtimes happier, safer and friendlier. We have lovely big signs in our playground which display our charter. Here is our charter.
We have a right to relax and play.
We have a responsibility to include everyone, share and take turns in our play.
We have a right to feel happy and safe.
We have a responsibility to be kind to each other and resolve problems together.
We have a right to have toys and games to play with.
We have a responsibility to look after our toys and games and put them away carefully.
We have a right to a clean and tidy environment to play in.
We have a responsibility to put our rubbish in the bin and to take care of the things in our playground.
As well as the Playground Charter, all pupils work very hard to follow the school rules as set out in our school Behaviour Policy.
1. We are kind and polite.
2. We stop and listen when asked.
3. We always walk in school.
4. We tell an adult if we are upset or unhappy.
5. We keep our hands and feet to ourselves.
6. We look after our school.
These rules are embedded in our school and are clearly displayed around the school for all children and adults to follow.
Following our pupil questionnaire feedback, it was noted that children felt lunchtimes and playtimes could be improved in our school. As a result, Pupil Voice have worked hard to devise a Lunchtime Charter. The Lunchtime Charter sets out the rights and responsibilities children have at Lunchtime to ensure it is a safe, friendly and happy time in school. Together (and with the help of Mrs Ali!!), they then designed the display for the hall. This is what it looks like:
Pupil Voice have also decided on some rewards for children who are following the charter - special lunchtime stickers and a seat at the golden table!! Here are some children enjoying their time at the table: