Our Journey so far…
In June 2019, we were successful in achieving our GOLD status! Congratulations Whitehirst Park! We endeavour to continue on our journey and ensure we are now considering our wider impact on the world.
Taking part in the Rights Respecting Schools Award links directly to our GIRFEC (Getting It Right for Every Child) approach. The wellbeing of children is at the heart of the GIRFEC approach. We use the wellbeing indicators to describe what it looks like when things are going well for a child (you may have heard your child referring to this as SHANARRI):
Furthermore, the Rights Respecting Schools Award gives children a powerful language to use to express themselves and to challenge the way they are treated. Children are empowered to access information that enables them to make informed decisions about their learning, health and wellbeing.
We have a Rights Respecting Schools Committee, where the children involved meet fortnightly to complete agreed actions and share their views. The completed action plan is on display in the gym hall and on our website. Some of the actions so far, this year, include:
- consulting the children at assembly about the articles they felt should be included in our School Charter;
- sharing our School Charter at parents’ night for parental views and approval;
- creating a visual display of our School Charter;
- creating a video for parents to explain the UNCRC (United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child) and our actions this year;
- preparing for events linked to the Outright campaign;
- and displaying articles throughout the school, linking to displays.
Here are this year’s (2018-2019) committee members:
Our RRS coordinators are Mrs Davidson and Mrs Elstone:
Last session, we held a school competition to design a new school mascot for Rights Respecting Schools. The winning mascot was ‘Rights Respecting Riley’. This mascot has now been painted on the wall next to Mrs Farro’s office as a reminder of our commitment to children’s rights.
Learning about the Articles of the UNCRC
Every week, during our assembly, we focus on an ‘Article of the Week’. You will see regular updates and our weekly articles on our school Twitter page.
Our School Charter
All children were involved in decided which articles were most relevant to us as a school. We displayed our School Charter at parents’ night to share this with your and gather your views. The committee also made a ‘vlog’ to explain why we chose each article.
Our chosen articles are:
- Receive a good quality education and be encouraged to always do our best (Article 28)
- Be protected from being hurt and mistreated, both physically and verbally (Article 19)
- Develop our talents and abilities (Article 29)
- Learn how to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect others (Article 29)
- Have time to play and rest (Article 31)
- Be safe from cruel or harmful punishment (Article 37)
- Have access to safe water to drink throughout the day, nutritious food at lunchtime, a clean and safe environment, and information to help us stay well (Article 24)
- Be taught about our rights! (Article 42)
The charter is displayed throughout the school and the committee created a visual representation of the charter, which is displayed at the ICT suite.
We sought your views at parents’ night. Thank you to those of you who commented!
Our Rights Respecting Classrooms
Each class agreed their own charter at the start of the term. The children were involved in deciding which articles related to their own class best. These are displayed in each class in unique ways.
Here are some examples:
In our classes, the staff and children work hard to build a safe environment where the children feel their views are respected. Staff use ‘Restorative Discussions’ with children to resolve conflict and give everyone a chance to speak. To aim is to resolve the problem, rather than assign blame and punishment.
Children are involved in planning and reviewing their learning through interdisciplinary topics and target setting.
We have a school-wide focus on Kindness and have a Kindness Tree where acts of kindness are recorded and displayed. Children can receive stickers for acts of kindness. This focus has helped to encourage children to look for positive events to share with staff in the playground and classrooms, rather than the negative. The Kindness Tree is part of the school charter display.
We use PAThS programme as part of our Health and Wellbeing. The PAThS programme focuses on the development of self-control, emotional awareness and self-esteem. As part of this, each week, one child is selected at random to be the ‘PAThS Kid’ and every child in the class gives them a compliment. This aims to further develop positive relationships within the classroom and boost self-esteem.
This year, the whole school is participating in UNICEF’s ‘Outright’ Campaign and Paddington Bear is their mascot. Outright is focusing on air pollution and protecting children’s rights to health and a safe, clean environment. Participating in the campaign empowers children to realise their own rights, and to speak out in support of the rights of all children.
Already we have taken part in a whole school, local community walk to identify areas of clean or polluted air, and the classes have been completing tasks relating to air pollution. As part of World Children’s Day (20thNovember) we celebrated our work so far and we will continue to participate in the campaign throughout the year.
This session’s Gold Action Plan: