This term a committee of staff and pupils at Auchinleck Academy has been working together to obtain their recognition of commitment which is the first step in achieving Unicef’s Rights Respecting School Award.
The award started in 2006 and to date Unicef works with over 4000 schools in the UK. Unicef UK supports schools to embed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. There are forty-five articles or rights which all children should receive.
In order to achieve their recognition of commitment the committee members at Auchinleck Academy have been working hard to raise awareness of children’s rights and the award. Members of the committee held special assemblies to inform the whole school community about their work. There are also visual displays throughout the school highlighting particular rights. It has also been decided that each week there will be a focus on one right and that this will be shared in the daily bulletin and on the school Twitter account. The committee have highlighted the rights which they feel are most important to the pupils of Auchinleck Academy and they will begin with these.
Committee members were also keen that children’s rights should feature in the school curriculum. Inserts will therefore be developed for the English, RME and PSE courses.
The work of the committee has struck a chord with two pupils whose relative, a little girl called Layla Anderson, has been diagnosed with kidney cancer. Angelina Scott (S2) and Rachel Scott (S6), sisters and both members of the committee, explained that Layla is only fourteen months old and is currently undergoing treatment. They were very keen that the committee raised funds to support Layla at this time. The girls held a raffle for signed Ayr United and Kilmarnock football strips; had a ‘guess the teddy’s name’ fundraiser and they hosted a whole school bake sale. Their endeavours raised over £200 for Layla. Head Teacher, Mr Gilchrist commented: “I am delighted with the work initiated by our committee in taking us on an exciting journey towards accreditation as a Rights Respecting School. I am also very proud of Rachel and Angelina who have already shown real care and concern for a younger child and determination in taking forward aspects of several Rights of the Child through this fundraising initiative. Well done girls!”
The committee hopes to achieve the recognition of commitment by the end of this school session. This will place Auchinleck Academy securely on the path to becoming accredited as a Rights Respecting School.