"The school is an inclusive and welcoming environment where pupils are well supported to strengthen their learning and well-being." Ofsted 2018
Rights Respecting Schools
The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation.
The RRSA seeks to put the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s ethos and culture to improve well-being and develop every child’s talents and abilities to their full potential.
A rights-respecting school is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. Young people, and the school community, learn about children’s rights by putting them into practice every day. The language of rights is used throughout the day between parents, children and members of staff to increase awareness and ensure that everyone is safeguarding and promoting them.
Allen Edwards Primary School is proud to be a Silver 'Rights Respecting School’. The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) Is based on the principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. All 5 of these principles underpin our every actions at Allen Edwards to ensure the success of our children now, and in the future.
We work hard to foster an environment where children’s rights are lived, learned and understood. We begin this through our whole school values that link to children’s rights (see Allen Edwards School Values)
This feeds into our class charters which underpin the children’s key values as a class community. The children select the articles that are most pertinent to the individuals in their class community. They exercise their freedom of expression to discuss which rights to choose and through hand prints, they make a promise to respect and promote those rights.
We are now working towards our Gold Award. Click on the link to find out more about this:
In Summary, children’s rights underpin everything that we do at Allen Edwards. We are now committed to ensuring that through policy (could we name and hyperlink to specific policies here?), practise and ethos, we are a Rights Respecting School.
Allen Edwards School Values
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UNCRC, is the basis of all of Unicef’s work. It is the most complete statement of children’s rights ever produced and is the most widely-ratified international human rights treaty in history.
What makes the UNCRC so special?
The Convention has 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to. It also explains how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children can enjoy all their rights.
Every child has rights, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status.
The Convention must be seen as a whole: all the rights are linked and no right is more important that another. The right to relax and play (Article 31) and the right to freedom of expression (Article 13) have equal importance as the right to be safe from violence (Article 19) and the right to education (Article 28).
We are the only organisation working for children recognised by the Convention.
The UNCRC is also the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world – it’s even been accepted by non-state entities, such as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), a rebel movement in South Sudan. All UN member states except for the United States have ratified the Convention. The Convention came into force in the UK in 1992.
What is in the Convention?
Read the UNCRC documents in this section to read the full Convention of Children’s rights.
There are four articles in the convention that are seen as special. They’re known as the “General Principles” and they help to interpret all the other articles and play a fundamental role in realising all the rights in the Convention for all children. They are:
Non-discrimination (Article 2)
Best interest of the child (Article 3)
Right to life survival and development (Article 6)
Right to be heard (Article 12)
At Allen Edwards, we have had such a motivated and active Steering Group from the start. They have ensured that children’s rights are promoted and actively spoken about across the whole school. They have organised charity events, supported the local community, delivered information sessions and assemblies and campaigned tirelessly for children’s rights. This core group of children have been in the Steering Group since the start of our journey to becoming a Rights Respecting School. They have been so enthusiastic that every year more children want to be a part of it but this year, our Steering Group has grown exponentially and we now can have up to 50 children at a meeting.
Lead Steering Group
What the children said:
“I like that there are things we do in school to support the environment. We have eco-monitors to encourage children to recycle and save electricity. Some of our children wrote their own assembly on air pollution and recycling. It was great and has made me think more about how to help the planet.”
Cooper Year 3
Article of the Month
At Allen Edwards, we have an Article of the Month to help us promote children’s rights across school.
The Article is on display in each classroom and around school. We also share it with our parents. It is important that everyone that is part of our community knows about children’s rights so we try to tell as many people about our Article of the Month as possible.
We have weekly sessions linked to the Article of the Month. These sessions vary depending on the article but often follow the format outlined below:
Discussion about the article. Children will discuss the definition of the article and draw images in their RRSA books that link to the article to show their interpretation and understanding.
Each class will discuss, research and feedback on the questions on each poster. There will also be time for further questions to support understanding and make links to other articles in the Convention.
Thinking about the articles impact in our community and globally across the world. In this session barriers to children accessing this right will be discussed and how we can be proactive in ensuring all children have rights.
We share a story, where possible, that links to the Article of the Month and further discussion follows.
ARTICLE OF THE MONTH: SEPTEMBER
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.
What does your name mean to you?
Why is it important to have a name?
Why do you think children need to be registered at birth?
Going for Gold
The children at Allen Edwards have played an increasingly leading role in driving progress towards our Gold Award.
Our children understand that at Gold Rights Respecting, you are aiming to intensify and broaden:
Teaching and Learning about rights: for the whole school community through training, curriculum, assemblies, topics, focus days/weeks, displays.
Teaching and Learning through rights: by modelling rights respecting language and attitudes and making strategic decisions that involve students.
Being ambassadors for the rights of others: developing as rights respecting citizens.
It has been through their determination and commitment that the whole of our school community is now a Rights Respecting community with an awareness of the importance of their rights and how they impact on our lives and the lives of others.
Our journey began with our Bronze Accreditation in January 2018. At the start of our journey, most of our children, and staff, were unaware of the legal rights that all children have under the United Nations Convention of Children’s rights. It did not take long for them to get excited about their rights and start embedding the language and the attitudes of a rights respecting community. Our community was so passionate about children’s rights once we had begun our learning that we raced towards our Silver Award and were awarded with this in June 2018 (see report). Since then we have been a Silver Rights Respecting School, we have worked very hard to instil in our children the ABCDE of children’s rights:
A: Rights are for ALL children. Universal
B: Rights are there at Birth. Inherent.
C: Rights CANNOT be taken away. Inalienable.
D: Rights DO NOT have to be earnt. Unconditional.
E: All rights are EQUALLY important. Indivisible.
Our children recognise that children’s rights are not just in our community but are worldwide and what is going on in different places has a direct impact on them. This understanding has been supported by the OutRight Campaigns that we have taken part in; our school curriculum is tailored to ensure that children’s rights are at its heart and in the children’s interest in the wider community and the world.
As a school leadership team and teaching staff, we have worked closely with the children to develop school policies that ensure that we are teaching and learning through rights. Our behaviour policy (click to read more) has been developed to be fair, whilst ensuring mutual respect and dignity for all pupils at all times; key principles in the becoming a Rights Respecting School. Our inclusive practice and the trusting relationships we have built overtime with children, their parents and carers and our community means that young people know that they are safe and a valued at all times. This underpins the success we have in promoting wellbeing amongst our community and they know that they will always be supported.
We are very proud of the global citizens that attend Allen Edwards and know that they will continue to promote rights locally and globally long after they leave us.
OutRight is Unicef UK’s annual campaign for children and young people, empowering them to speak out about the importance of children’s rights. A campaign by children, for children.
OutRight is a celebration of the UNCRC, the anniversary of which falls on 20 November, World Children’s Day. OutRight 2018 is about promoting and protecting children’s right to health, with a focus on the impact of air pollution on children and young people.
Article 13: Freedom of Expression
Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
Article 42: Knowledge of Rights
Governments must actively work to make sure children and adults know about the Convention.
OutRight by Unicef UK will help you to put your rights into practice and speak out in support of all children’s rights in the UK and around the world.
It’s a campaign for children, by children.
This year, it is Unicef’s 30th birthday, which means that the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Children was written and signed by nearly all countries around the world 30 years ago. Unicef want to celebrate this and so do we.
This year, Unicef’s aims for OutRight 2019 were:
Developed their knowledge and understanding of children’s rights
Learned how the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was created, and the impact it’s had over the last 30 years
Thought about what still needs to be done for rights to be realised for all children
Helped create change by calling on decision-makers to take action on the child rights issues they think are most important
At Allen Edwards, we have used this campaign to consider the rights that are most pertinent and to us and our community as well as considering the rights for children around the world that are still being declined to some children.
We quizzed ourselves. We thought about the rights of our parents and discussed how children’s rights have changed for them and how they differ in different countries. We have made tapestries of rights. We made bunting with 30 different articles in every classroom. We learnt about and researched children’s rights campaigner such as Greta Thunberg and Asean Johnson. We have held debates. We learnt so much more about where rights have come from and where they need to go next.
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 13: Freedom of Expression
Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law
We wanted to empower children to speak out about their views and support them to gain the knowledge so that they can lead change in our local community.
Each class took part in lots of exciting and interesting activities such as creating postcards and letters to The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and our local Member of Parliament. Our aim was for the children to recognise the change needed locally and then to speak out to support change globally.
Who are we supporting in our Global Community?
At Allen Edwards, we are committed to supporting local and global charities to help us become global citizens.
Our Steering Group, children and staff highlight the rights that they want to work to promote and we then look at charities and campaigns that we can support to promote these rights further.
Black Lives Matter
We have focused lots of learning this year around Article 2: Non-discrimination to celebrate our school community. We strive to develop our curriculum so that it reflects our school community. We will continue to work tirelessly to prepare our young people for the future so that they are successful individuals with a strong sense of self. During the protests this year, in response to the unlawful and unjust killing of George Floyd, we have continued to educate ourselves and tailored the learning virtually and in school for our children to draw further attention to this important cause and highlight our support and dedication to the Black Lives Matter Campaign and everything it stands for.
Article 2: Non-Discrimination
Article 13: Freedom of Expression
Each year, we promote the importance of clean drinking water and sanitation. Since our first year as a Rights Respecting School, we have held a WaterAid Week to raise awareness and money for this cause.
Article 24: Health and Health Care
The Red Cross
We took part in a running challenge to complete 284 miles, the distance a refugee might have to walk from London to Paris to raise awareness and money for refugees around the world so that they can access their rights.
Article 22: Refugee Children
The Trussell Trust Food Banks
Throughout the year, we have a collection point for our local food banks, who help support or local community.
Article 24: Health and Health Care
School Food Matters
During school closures as a result of Covid-19, we worked closely with School Food Matters to become a Hub for them so that we could support our school community to receive nutritious food at a time that we all needed it most.
Article 24: Health and Health Care
For several years, we have worked closely with Art 4 Space to provide therapeutic services for our children to improve their well-being and ensure that they are able to access a wide range of Artistic activities and have developed this further with Art in a Box activities during school closures.
Article 31: Leisure, Play and Culture
During school closures, we have worked closely with Hyde Housing to provide our children with well-being packs to support their learning and their social and emotional needs.
Article 28: Right to an Education
Article 29: Goals of Education
Article 31: Leisure, Play and Culture
RRSA Learning during Covid-19
At Allen Edwards, we felt that the Covid-19 outbreak and school closures would have a real impact on children’s rights so we were committed to continuing our learning and promotion of rights.
When unicef informed schools that they were offering Article of the Week resources, The Steering Group felt that this was a fantastic way to continue our rights learning: “It is great because it means that the children can learn the rights with their families.” Each week the Article of the Week has been posted on Dojo to allow families to continue to learn about rights from a distance.
In addition to the weekly rights, The Steering Group have had a discussion board throughout the school closure where we have discussed ideas for learning about rights. Their main concern was ensuring that all families had access to food at this difficult time. Therefore, we have maintained our links with the local food bank as well as establishing new links with a charity called School Food Matters to ensure all families have access to nutritional food (Article 24) during lockdown. The Steering Group were also very vocal (Article 13) about ensuring children had access to information to help them understand George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter Protests (for more information on this please go to the Black Lives Matter tab in the RRSA folder).
Black Lives Matter
What is Black Lives Matter?
The Black Lives Matter movement is committed to working to eradicate violence and systematic racism against black people.
Black Lives Matter have been in the media lots over the last 3 weeks because of the unlawful and unjust murder of George Floyd.
What are we doing as a school?
As a school, we are committed to developing our curriculum so that it is rich and diverse and highlights the incredible cultures of our families and other countries around the world. We have already begun this journey and will continue to work tirelessly with our whole school community to ensure that our children can see themselves reflected in all areas of the curriculum.
We will be learning more about the Black Lives Matter campaign and reading and sharing lots of resources that will help us to continue on this journey.
We are a Rights Respecting School and we are committed to the rights of all children in our own community, our country and around the world. We know that all children should have access to basic human rights and equality is key to ensuring this is the case.
The Right Respecting Schools Articles that protect children from discrimination and endeavour to promote and celebrate differences are:
Article 2 (Non-discrimination): Every child has rights, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status.
Article 4 (Protection of rights): Governments have a responsibility to take all available measures to make sure children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. When countries ratify the Convention, they agree to review their laws relating to children. This involves assessing their social services, legal, health and educational systems, as well as levels of funding for these services. Governments are then obliged to take all necessary steps to ensure that the minimum standards set by the Convention in these areas are being met. They must help families protect children’s rights and create an environment where they can grow and reach their potential.
Article 8 (Preservation of identity): Children have the right to an identity – an official record of who they are. Governments should respect children’s right to a name, a nationality and family ties.
Article 13 (Freedom of expression): children must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
Article 14 (Freedom of thought, belief and religion): Children have the right to think and believe what they want and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.
Article 19 (Protection from all forms of violence): Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally. Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect
Article 22 (Refugee children): Children have the right to special protection and help if they are refugees (if they have been forced to leave their home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention.
Article 23 (Children with disabilities): Children who have any kind of disability have the right to special care and support, as well as all the rights in the Convention, so that they can live full and independent lives.
Article 29 (Goals of education): Children’s education should develop each child’s personality, talents and abilities to the fullest. It should encourage children to respect others, human rights and their own and other cultures.
Article 30 (Children of minorities/indigenous groups): Minority or indigenous children have the right to learn about and practice their own culture, language and religion.
If you want to find out more, click on the logos of these charities and the government: