Rights Respecting work
Article 28 (right to education)
Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help
poorer countries achieve this.
For this activity – we looked at how our school could be a wonderful rights respecting school. We created a ‘Recipe for a Rights Respecting School’ which all children can access and which treats all children fairly.
Article 19 (protection from violence, abuse and neglect)
Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.
In response to this, we thought about rules which are in place to keep everyone safe – for example at a train station or swimming pool. The adults around us make rules to keep us safe and protect us from harm.
During the lockdown period, the children at school have been using the UNICEF resources to study an ‘Article of the Week’ and complete some work linked to these.
So far, we have looked at
- Article 24 – Health and Health Services
- Article 12 – Respect for the Views of the Child
- Article 7 – Birth Registration, Name, Nationality, Care
- Article 14 – Freedom of Thought, Belief and Religion
This has really helped in making the children, staff and community more aware of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the children have enjoyed the different tasks they have completed.
Here are some examples of their work.
Article 24 (health and health services)
Every child has the right to the best possible health. Governments must provide good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food, and a clean environment and education on health and well-being so that children can stay healthy. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.
Article 12 (respect for the views of the child)
Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life.
Article 7 (birth registration, name, nationality, care)
Every child has the right to be registered at birth, to have a name and nationality, and, as far as possible, to know and be cared for by their parents.
Article 14 (freedom of thought, belief and religion)
Every child has the right to think and believe what they choose and also to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents to guide their child as they grow up.
During the spring term, the RRSA steering group met every two weeks and mapped out activities for the Outright project. This is a project set up by Unicef in connection to the anniversary of the Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In 1989, the rights were set out for every child under the age of 18.
You may remember filling in a questionnaire about your childhood and whether you grew up knowing about children’s rights. Results from the questionnaires are on the way and the steering group found them very interesting.
Thank you to everyone who took time to complete the RRSA Outright questionnaires in the spring term. We had a great response and the results are in the document below.
We have a range of nationalities which make up our school community, some of which are from other continents and this meant we had a range of responses. The main differences between children now and in the past were very interesting:
100% of the responses mentioned that they played outside as a child.
In reaction to gathering information and communication with others, the responses said they went to see the person the needed to talk to or spoke on land lines. The all mentioned not having the internet for communication or information and not having mobile phones.
Nearly all responses said they walked or cycled to school.
The similarities were also thought-provoking:
As a child, the same things were important to them to be happy as children today.
As a child, there were always some worries, as there are today for children.
As a child, some people suffered with illness, again, the same as children do today but that healthcare is better today.
One other main finding was that most of the responses – 90% – did not know about children’s rights. However, the children in our school community are becoming more and more aware of rights and the UNCRC. Some can even quote the Article numbers!
Below is a list of the Rights of the Child agreed by the UN. These are the rights we are working with towards our Rights Respecting School Award. The Rights Respecting Steering group will be leading work on this in school and all classes have a ‘Class Charter’ based around these rights and their own responsibilities.
The Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) is awarded by Unicef and focuses on promoting children’s rights within school.
Our action group this year are: Annabella, Jasmine H, Luke and Maggie from Year 6, George, Ryan, Katie, Robyn from Year 5, Isaac K, Ava, Alexander R and Lili from Year 4, Charlie C and Olivia from Year 3 and Vanessa and Seren from Year 2.
Unicef works with schools in the UK to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive. The Rights Respecting Schools Award embeds these values in daily school life and gives children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.
Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as our guide, we will work with all children and adults in our school to make more people aware of these rights. We are currently working towards the Bronze level of this award.
Working towards this level means that the children will be aware not just of their own rights, but of all children around them in school, in Britain and around the world. A small group of children were chosen to be part of our new steering group and in January 2019 their first action was to have a competition to design a ‘Rights Respecting Logo’ for St. Cuthbert’s.
Maisie H Year 6 (2018-19) won our Rights Respecting School Logo competition with this brilliant design which includes our school logo, the world and a cross. The logo has been added to our school stationery.
If you would like more information on this award please visit https://www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools/the-rrsa/about-the-rrsa/