Unicef Right Respecting Schools Award
Here at Whinfield we pride ourselves on being a UNICEF Rights Respecting School.
In July 2018 we were accredited as a being a Rights Aware school by UNICEF. Our Silver Award acknowledges that our school is fully aware of the articles preserved in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and that these articles are reflected in the school’s ethos, practice and environment.
So what is the UNCNC?
In 1989 UNICEF established 54 Articles known as the Convention for the Rights of the Child. This applies to any child under the age of 18, regardless of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, language, background or abilities. It is all encompassing and inclusive of the child. Almost every country around the world has signed this convention to uphold the Articles in their country, and protect children’s rights.
The convention recognises that all children have the right to be treated with dignity and fairness, to be protected, to develop to their full potential and to participate in their chosen activities. At Whinfield we believe that all children should strive to be the best that they can be, to develop a Growth Mindset and to become resilient with the support of their peers.
All staff are responsible for upholding children’s rights as Duty Bearers in the school. This means that staff have a duty to protect the rights of the children they care for, ensuring others understand how their rights are universal, inherent, inalienable, unconditional and indivisible.
- Universal – ALL children have these rights
- Inherent – Children have these rights from BIRTH
- Inalienable – Their rights CANNOT be taken away from them
- Unconditional – They DO NOT have to earn their rights
- Indivisible – All rights are EQUALLY important
What we do as a Rights Respecting School?
As a Rights Respecting School, we support our children in becoming confident, independent, enthusiastic and creative learners. We do this within a caring, safe and supportive environment.
We run weekly assemblies which engage the children in the Rights of the Child from Year 1 upwards. The children are taught about their Rights and reminded about how the schools High 5 supports us in making the correct decisions to respect everyone’s Rights (including their own). Rights are also weaved within the curriculum, helping children make connections to how these impact the wider world.
All newsletters and written communication to parents includes Rights Articles to help parents/carers understand the Rights their children are learning about during the school week. We also send home a year group mascot on a weekly basis. These lovely, plush teddies enjoy a weekend at home with a lucky child who can teach them about a specific Right which they enjoy.
Equality and Equity
Equality simply means everyone is treated the same exact way, regardless of need or any other individual difference. Equity, on the other hand, means everyone is provided with what they need to succeed.
At Whinfield, we work hard to ensure both are provided to everyone, children and adults alike.
So what next?
As a Silver Award school, we have three years to become accredited at Gold Standard however, with the complicating factor of COVID we have chosen to be reaccredited with the Silver Award and then move onto Gold. This will mean that our children, staff and community continue to be fully aware of the Rights of the Child; that these rights are fully embedded through policies, curriculum, teaching and ethos; and that the school reflects the three RRSA Stands.
- Stand A – Teaching and Learning about Rights
- Stand B – Teaching and Learning Through Rights – Ethos and Relationships
- Stand C – Teaching and Learning for Rights – Participation, Empowerment and Action.
Being an RRSA School
A Rights Respecting School supports children in becoming global citizens and supports our belief that children achieve most when they feel they are included and a valued part of the decision making process. Each week our assemblies theme links to a specific article (right) and children are reminded of how following our ‘GEMS’ ethos helps everyone in our school to access their rights.
The UNCRC consists of 54 articles in total, with each article referring to a right. Some of rights mentioned in the UNCRC are:
- The right to an education;
- The right to a home;
- The right to play;
- The right to nutritious food;
- The right to be listened to;
- The right to know your rights.
We also have to remember to respect the rights of other children in our school, our community and our world.
Below is the links to the individual rights:
Unicef Rights Respecting Award
We use our work in relation to the Rights Respecting award to be considerate to those inside and outside our school and are working towards our next Rights Respecting award.
We are proud to work with our neighbours and community, many of whom sponsor our work and support us by volunteering in our school. We have supported our community with choir performances to local residents where they have been unable to get into school to see our productions.
Everything we do is for the benefit of our children.