UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. In 1989, governments worldwide promised all children the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). These rights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfill their potential.
The ‘Rights Respecting School’ award (RRSA) will help our pupils to grow into confident, caring and responsible young citizens both in school and within the wider community. By learning about their rights our pupils, your children, also learn about the importance of respecting the rights of others.
We at Williamwood High School have been on our journey to becoming a Rights Respecting School since 2016 and were awarded our Level 1 status (now know as Silver status) as ‘rights aware’ after meeting all the criteria set by UNICEF in May 2017. In 2019 we are aiming for the Gold award after embedding rights across the curriculum and building on the succes we have had highlighting children’s rights in various different ways.
A working group of 20 pupils from all year groups has been led by S6 volunteers who meet every Wednesday at lunchtime in ICT 10 to plan speaking at assemblies, presenting at staff events and building our own school’s charter.
Now we are working towards the Gold Award whereby will formally become a Rights Respecting School, which involves putting the rights of children at the heart of everything we do at Williamwood.
We are currently focusing on four rights:
- Article 3 – The best interests of the child must be the top priority in all things that affect children.
- Article 6 – Every child has the right to life. People must make sure children develop to their full potential.
- Article 12 – Every child has the right to have a say in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously.
- Article 28 – Every child has the right to an education.
Our commitment to becoming a Rights Respecting School was embedded in the whole school improvement plan after consulting with pupils, parents and staff. If any parents wish to get involved, please get in touch via Twitter @WilliamwoodRRS (twitter.com/WilliamwoodRRS). We intend to build on our success next year by implementing more lessons around rights in PSHE as well as in subject specific areas.
Below is our school charter that was created after consultation with pupils, staff and parents. It is displayed in all classrooms across the school and acts as a constant reminder that children’s rights are at the centre of everything we do in Williamwood.
Last year the RRS group added six new members to the group to help with the various activities we’ve been involved in, including: adding a Twitter page, making PSHE lessons, speaking at assemblies, clothing donations for Syrian refugees and organising a foodbank collection for a local charity. We are also campaigning for refugee children to be reunited with their families in the UK and have petitioned Renfrewshire East MP, Paul Masterton, on the issue as well as the eight regional MSPs. Furthermore, we are collaborating with our cluster Primary schools to begin highlighting children’s rights with a poster campaign in the local community. All of these things (and more) helped us achieve silver status.
There are various international days throughout the course of the year, the group have decided to focus on one a month:
January – International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27th)
February – World Day of Social Justice (20th)[
March – International Day of Happiness (20th)
April – World Autism Day (2nd)
May – International Day of Families (15th)
June – World Environment Day (5th)
July – International Day of Friendship (30th)
August – World Humanitarian Day (19th)
September – International Day of Charity (5th)
October – International Day of Mental Health (10th)
November – Universal Children’s Day (20th)
December – Human Rights Day (10th)