Rights Respecting School
Why the Rights Respecting School Award?
At George Spicer, we put the best interest of the child first (UNCRC article 3). We feel that it is crucial that the children are taught about their rights and make sure this is embedded into our ethos. Our global curriculum allows the children to learn, not only about their rights, but the rights denied to children over the world both historically and in today's society. We wish to raise "Globally-aware Citizens" who are able to approach their society faced with the tools and empathy needed.
What is the UNCRC?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is based on an analysis of what children need in order to thrive. These needs can be grouped into four categories:
- To survive as a fit and healthy person
- To be protected from harm and abuse
- To develop physically, mentally and socially
- To participate as an active citizen
UNICEF UK believes that the principles and values of the CRC should be embedded in the ethos and curriculum of every school. This is the purpose of the Rights Respecting School Award.
UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) provides a framework to help schools to use CRC as the basis for their ethos. In a rights respecting school, children learn about their rights and the responsibilities that are implied. 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.
We are a GOLD Rights Respecting School
The award recognises achievement under the following four aspects of school life:
- Leadership and management for embedding the values of the UNCRC in the life of the school
- Knowledge and understanding of CRC
- Classroom climate and culture: rights-respecting classroom
- Pupils actively participate in decision-making throughout the school
Some of the Articles of the UNCRC that are pertinent to our school:
Article 2: All children have the rights set out in the UNCRC, and individual children and young people shouldn’t be discriminated against when these rights are realised.
Through assemblies and our curriculum topics, we explore how this right was/ still is not met for some people and what we can do to change this. We have a zero-tolerance policy on the use of any language that is used in a discriminatory fashion (such as homophobic or racist) and further try to educate those children who may do this.
Article 7: All children and young people have the right to a name and nationality, which they should be granted at birth.
At George Spicer, we pride ourselves on our “Global Curriculum” which aims to show even coverage of the world in all of our subjects. We are a multi-cultural school and celebrate this through events such as “International Evening” where children are encourage to celebrate and share their heritage/culture.
Article 12: Every child has the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously.
We pride ourselves on our wonderful councils who have made great impact on both our school and the wider community. Our children's views are valued and sought after in a range of ways and most recently our councillors helped interview our current Headteacher. Children create 'Learning Charters' at the start of the year.
Article 13: Every child must be free to say what they think and to seek and receive information of any kind as long as it is within the law.
The children are given the opportunity to have their voices heard in the school in a variety of ways. In upper KS2, our children are actively encouraged to join a debating club and compete against other schools. We promote child-led discussions in the school environment as much as possible.
Article 17: All children and young people should be able to access information, particularly from the media. They should be able to get information from many places— from their country and beyond.
We integrate the Rights of the Child into our topic teaching so that our students are aware of how children’s rights are and were respected and/or neglected in history and across the world today. Children are given access to a wide variety of resources to gain information from and are encourage to think critically about what they are told/hear.
Article 23: All children and young people have the right to be safe and happy. When a child or young person has a disability, people should make sure it does not get in the way of this.
Inclusion and making sure all children can access learning is very important to us at George Spicer. We work closely with outside agencies to ensure that we are providing the best for an individual child's needs.
Article 29: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.
“Don’t show me how well you have done, show me how hard you have worked”
At our school we encourage the children to make as many mistakes a possible as it is through these that they will learn the most. We provide a rich curriculum that challenges and stretches their abilities whilst fostering this skill of perseverance and resilience.