RIGHT RESPECTING SCHOOLS
What is Unicef?
Unicef was first established in 1946 by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China, and has now broadened its mandate to look after the needs of women and children in developing countries everywhere. Unicef is a permanent part of the United Nations system.
What is the UNCRC?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty that grants all children and young people (aged 17 and under) a comprehensive set of rights. The UK signed the Convention on 19 April 1990, ratified it on 16 December 1991 and it came into force on 15 January 1992.
The UNCRC is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in human history. To have a look at it, follow this link:
The charter gives all children a basic set of rights, which come under the headings of Survival, Protection, Development and Participation. The rights belong to the children, and adults are the ‘duty bearers’ (ie – it is up to us to make sure children have full access to these rights)
What is the Rights Respecting Schools Award?
The Rights Respecting Schools Award is a Unicef UK programme that aims to put children’s rights at the heart of schools in the UK. Unicef is working with thousands of schools across the country to embed children’s rights in their ethos and culture to improve well-being and develop every child’s talents and abilities to their full potential.
Blakawton Primary is currently on a journey to become fully Rights Respecting, and achieved Level 1 of the Award in January 2017. The Award recognises the school's achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC or UNCRC) into practice within the school and beyond. Blackawton Primary is now working towards Level 2 of the Award, which will mean that the school becomes an ambassador for the RRS programme and all that it represents.
What does this mean at Blackawton School?
The children have been learning about the UNCRC – most children in the school should be able to tell you something about Article 31 ‘You have the right to play and relax’; and many children will also be able to tell you about Article 12, 14, 28 and 29. In KS2, a more detailed study of the Articles has led to a deeper awareness of the UNCRC, and the children have been thinking about why it is important that they have these rights, and who holds the responsibility for upholding them. Adults in the school have also been learning about the UNCRC, and are using the language of rights within the school.
You may have noticed charters in Classes 3, 4 and 5. These were drawn up by the children, taking the UNCRC as the basis for how we would like to live and work together at school. Children and adults have all ratified the charters with their fingerprints.
What can I do as a parent to help?
The most important thing that you can do is to have a look at the UNCRC and the Unicef Rights Respecting Schools website with your child and spend a bit of time talking to them about it.
Blackawton will be inviting parents to learn more about the programme, so keep an eye on the newsletter.
You can also seek out Tanya at the school if you want to learn more about it.
Taking Action Reaps Rewards
Click on the image to view the Rights of the Child