Later in the year the Parliament Peeps will be meeting with Gayle Gorman and the Education Scotland team. They will be sharing the Learning and Teaching, and Relationship policies the Manor Park Parliament have written and introduced in their school!
Children’s Parliament have been working with the Parliament Peeps, a group of P6 children at Manor Park. At the end of term we celebrated all their great work by gifting them with Praise Poems. Praise Poems are used in different cultures around the world. Here in Scotland it was the poetry of the Filidh bards who wrote poems to honour Kings and Chieftains, Heroes and Heroines.
The Manor Park Parliament have been working hard all year, thinking about things that make their school a happy, healthy and safe place for all children. As well as the things that get in the way of children being ready to learn and do their best.
At the end of term the children invited the PSA’s in the school to hear their ideas and share the Relationships Policy they have made for their school.
This year the Manor Park Parliament have invited adults from their school and community to hear what they need to make the school a happy place where children are ready to learn.
Each adult made a pledge in response to what they heard the children say. The pledges were things they will change, do more often or remember in the future. A book of these pledges will be left at Manor Park for the Manor Park Parliament to follow up on next term!
Here are some of the pledges the adults at Manor Park made:
Children’s Parliament has been asked by the Scottish Government to meet with the Imagineers to hear their views on how to turn the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into law in Scotland.
Children across the country have been asking the Scottish Government to do this for quite some time and, now that it is set to happen, the Imagineers have been sharing their voices and ideas on the Incorporation of the UNCRC into Scottish Law.
The Imagineers came up with some messages for the Scottish Government:
“Dear Scottish Government, the Children’s Parliament have just been learning about human rights and we would like you to pick 5 Imagineers to visit you to talk about children’s rights and think about the ones that are important and the ones we could wait on. Yours faithfully, MCP.”
“I thought that children’s rights should be laws because we’re just the same as adults, if not more creative.”
“Dear Scottish Government, I would like you to make children’s rights a law. We have been looking at children’s rights. I think that you should for direct incorporation. Yours faithfully, Jay.”
“I think that children’s rights are important because children should have control over their own life but should also have to be guided.”
In the original Imagining Aberdeen mural, the Imagineers created a Joyful School. In the school there are lots of opportunities to do art, yoga and music. The children are reading books. There are tablets to help them do work. Children are good at maths and the teacher says ‘well done!’ and rewards them with trips. Children and adults speak many different languages and everyone gets along. The boy says to the girl: ‘I will always look out for you.’ In the school things get fixed when they are broken. Near the school there are things to do. Children go swimming, there are places to feel free and relax. A man hands out fruit for all the children.
As part of their investigation into Doing Our Best, the children revisited their vision for a joyful school and discussed what is missing and what every school in Aberdeen needs to become a space where all children feel they belong and are able to do their best.
‘In a joyful school there would be Circle Time at the beginning and end of day to say how you feel. People in the circle will be people you trust.’
‘You would know that you have something that day you really want to do. Everyone would join in with the activities – nobody feels unwanted or left out.’
‘There would be buddies – older children helping younger children. [When you are a buddy it] makes you happy because you are making someone else happy and younger children know who to go to.’
In the school children are ‘inventing things and imagining games with friends at break and golden time. In class there is creative writing and people focus on imagination and not just equations and winning’.
‘Teachers would ask about your weekends – so they know you and you know that you have someone that will listen to you.’
‘Teachers would help you when you are stuck and explain things to you without telling you the answer.’
The teacher is someone ‘you can have a laugh with, that will make you feel safe. Then if you haven’t done your homework or forgotten it you won’t worry about telling them. A joyful teacher should say “you can have another day or two to finish it”.
‘Children and adults help each other and are able to put smiles on everyone’s face.’
‘Adults don’t shout or boss people. If you shout at people you might hurt their ears and make them sad.’
‘Children shouldn’t have to take breaks by pretending to go to the toilet’, in a joyful school there is ‘a break room with bean bags or children can go for a walk. The teacher should say go and have some time when children need it.’
The purpose of this session is to consider how children can share their worries and find out what relationships can support them to do this. Alison and Zoe joined the children. They are both working on turning Aberdeen into a Unicef Child Friendly City.
- Knowing someone is there for you makes you feel better when things are hard. Adults should tell children they are there for them.”
- “When someone is sad, teachers should notice and see if something is wrong. They should look out for children who have their head on the table or children not doing their work.”
- “If a child is angry, they should be able to tell the teacher how they are feeling and say I might be angry today.”
Adults that children can go to if they have a worry: PSAs, teachers, auntie, brothers and sisters, grandma, parents and carers, social worker, Childline, babysitters, friends, police and your dog. The person has to be decent and reasonable person, someone you know and trust.
Worries a child might have How to make things better for the child
Messing Up Always start in pencil, try your best, do your best to work in a team.
Mum and Dad splitting up Ask an adult to talk to your mum and dad. Ask the adult to tell your mum and dad that your child is worried about them.
Natural Disasters Reassure the child by telling them they are rare. Go do hobbies to get your mind of it.
School Ask a teacher for help. Tell your parents
Loneliness Get a parent or teacher to talk to you and help out. Remind the child that they are NEVER alone. Just take a shot at it and try to meet people.
Moving School Talk to an adult, as an adult can reassure the child. Share your worry. Talk to someone at school and see if they can give you a buddy to talk to.
Being Scared Find someone who knows its alright. Speak to a trusted adult or friend or phone a help line. Ask to go to a different class or a concentration station.
Having to go to guides Speak to someone, think positive, take a friend with you to guides and test it out.
Becoming Homeless Tell someone. Speak to a teacher. Ask your parent or carer to find work.
Nobody loves you Try to find friends and tell your teacher. Join in games to try and make friends.