UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award
At Holywell School we are committed to ensuring children’s well-being is at the heart of everything we do. We aim to help our pupils grow into confident, caring and responsible young people both in school and within the wider community and realise their potential.
We have therefore embarked on a journey to become a UNICEF recognised Rights Respecting School by embedding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) within our whole school ethos.
What is the UNCRC?
In 1989 UNICEF established a set of 54 Articles known as the Convention for the Rights of the Child. The convention applies to every child under the age of 18, without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background. Almost every country in the world has signed this convention to uphold the Articles within their country and do all it can to protect children’s rights. The convention underpins everything UNICEF does around the world.
The convention recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with dignity and fairness, to be protected, to develop to their full potential and to participate. Every adult is a duty bearer and it is their responsibility to ensure children’s rights are protected.
What is the Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA)?
The RRSA focuses on children’s rights in schools and takes a whole-school approach to child rights and human rights education. A UNICEF Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.
By learning about their rights, our pupils also learn about the importance of respecting the rights of others i.e. their responsibilities. Pupils at Holywell are encouraged to reflect on how their behaviour and actions affect those around them which allows us to build and maintain a positive and safe learning environment for all.
RRSA links with our School Values and British Values as well as the work we do promoting Global Citizenship and Equal Opportunities. The RRSA also supports our Healthy School accreditation.
To achieve the UNICEF UK Rights Respecting School Award, schools are required to implement four evidence-based standards:
- Rights-respecting values underpin leadership and management
- The whole-school community learns about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- The school has a rights-respecting ethos
- Children are empowered to become active citizens and learners
Where are we on our journey?
- Each class created their own Class Charter. Children chose the five most important rights they believe should be respected within their classroom and have explained how they will respect these rights
- Our curriculum topics are linked to specific Articles within the UNCRC. This gives opportunity to discuss these rights both in relation to themselves and other children around the world
- Our Teaching and Learning framework recognises the right to support children in their development as lifelong learners. We actively promote Thinking Skills and Habits of Mind
- Our Behaviour policy is built around the right to be heard and kept safe. We follow the restorative justice approach to behaviour management
- Assemblies remind children of their rights and how we can respect them in our everyday lives at school. Assemblies also celebrate children who have demonstrated excellent rights throughout the week
- School policies reflect the Articles of the UNCRC demonstrating the whole school commitment to embedding them within the school ethos
- A Steering Group of children meet regularly to monitor the progress made towards becoming a Rights Respecting School and suggest ways to improve our school further. They help children to have a voice in matters which affect them so they are listened to and treated fairly. The Steering Group are also responsible for fundraising and raising awareness of global issues
- Five rights from the UNCRC have been chosen as part of our Home/ School Contract. The school, parents/carers and children are responsible for ensuring those rights are met
- We have a rights respecting corridor with key Articles painted on the walls as a reminder to everyone within the school
- The children have regular opportunity to keep up to date with issues and news from around the world when they tune into CBBC Newsround. News stories are discussed in class
- Children take an active part in their learning by working alongside their peers or adults to celebrate and set targets for improvement
- Children have different responsibilities around the school. Each class has monitors for a variety of jobs around the classroom. Children in Upper Key Stage 2 are assembly monitors, dinnertime monitors and playground leaders. Each year, one member of the class is elected as a School Council ambassador and one member of the class is elected a UNICEF ambassador
- We actively support a number of charities throughout the year. Recent charities and fundraising have supported UNICEF Day for Change, Roald Dahl Day, Comic Relief, The Medway Foodbank collection, The Children’s Society
- We have a growing environment club who work to look after our school environment and wider environment
- We are working to become a recognised Fair Trade School