Rights Respecting Schools
Earlsfield is proud to have been awarded the UNICEF Level 2 ‘Rights Respecting School Award in the summer of 2012, and again in the summer of 2017.
This is the highest level of the Award. The RRS agenda underpins everything that we do at Earlsfield. Our policies, practice and ethos focus on children’s rights and how adults can protect them. These rights are published in the ‘United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’ (UNCRC), in the form of ‘Articles’ for children under 18 across the world. We focus on specific Articles in assemblies, our curriculum learning and displays throughout the school.
So what other kind of things do we do?
At Earlsfield we believe the best interest of the child should come first and that it is important children are taught about their rights and responsibilities, while also raising children to be socially conscious citizens. UNICEF’s four key points for being a Rights Respecting School underpin our values and, we believe, enriches our curriculum, helping children to learn about their own rights but also rights denied to children both currently and historically around the world:
- Children are happier and healthier
- Children feel safe
- Children have better relationships
- Children become more active and involved in school life and the wider world.
What is the United Nations Convention of 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’
‘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.’
There are four rights that are the ‘general principles’ and underpin the document:
- 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)
What does this look like at Earlsfield Primary School?
As part of our Rights Respecting agenda, as well as the Whole School Charter, the children begin each year drawing up their class charter which sets out their shared expectations for the year. They think carefully about their rights and their responsibilities to themselves, their classmates and the school community. These are written by the children and referred to throughout the year.
Each week we have an ‘article of the week’ which is incorporated into our assemblies and PSHE lessons, where children are given opportunities to learn about and through rights. For every termly Topic we link an article, which is displayed in the classroom and referred to in lessons, while we also look for opportunities within other areas of the curriculum such as English or Science to demonstrate how interlinked rights and learning is.
As part of our responsibility as global citizens we also have pupil groups such as School Council, Eco Warriors and Travel Heroes. These groups, who are selected by their peers, consider the wider impact we can have on our community and beyond and take on tasks such as choosing charities that aid the protection of rights around the world and organise fundraising events.