Our Rights Respecting School Journey

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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.

What is the Rights Respecting School Award?

The Rights Respecting Schools Award puts children’s rights at the heart of schools in the UK.

The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) works with schools in the UK to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive. The Rights Respecting Schools Award embeds these values in daily school life and gives children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.

The Award recognises a school’s achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school and beyond.

The video below explains what the UNCRC is and how it protects the rights of all children.

September 2022

Steering Committee formed using the staff CRED team and the Pupil Council.

October 2022

The pupil council RRSA steering group learns about rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in their meeting.

October 2022

Year 9 pupils are the first year group to complete the RRSA core materials on knowing your rights.

November 2022

To mark World Children’s day the whole school is informed that we intend to become a UNICEF Rights Respecting School. All form classes watched our launch video. Parents, staff and the Board of Governors watched their own video.

December 2022 – January 2023

The steering committee submitted their plan on how to become a RRSA school.

January 2023

All form classes will look at a different article from the UNCRC each month. In January 2023 the articles of the month are:

Article 2 – The Convention applies to every child without discrimination

Article 19 – Protection from violence, abuse and neglect

Article 37- No child should be tortured, sentenced to death, imprisoned unfairly, or treated in a cruel or inhuman way

Article 38- No child under 15 should join the army and children should be protected in war

These articles help us to understand and mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

February 2023

On 3rd February four representatives of the Pupil Council attended an Age Law Reform Conference organised by The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and NICCY. We heard about how age discrimination can impact young people and how we can campaign to ensure all those under the age of 18 have the right to fair treatment. Pupils were particularly interested to hear about how their right to not be discriminated against based on age is protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We look forward to exploring this further as part of our RRSA journey.

Article 2 – The Convention applies to every child without discrimination

World Events and Children’s Rights

All pupils at New-Bridge know that their rights are unconditional and universal. Unfortunately, not all children across the world have access to all their rights. Throughout the year we use real world examples to draw attention to children who are experiencing times of hardship. In 2023 all form classes looked at the Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, the Conflict in Sudan and celebrated Mental Health awareness week.

February 2023

In February 2023 the Pupil Council led assemblies for all year groups on the UNCRC and how it is universal and unconditional. The assemblies included videos from UNICEF and a ‘stand up for rights’ activity to test how much pupils know about their rights.

April 2023 – Good Friday Agreement

In April 2023 all form classes celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement with an LLW lesson on the importance of empathy and compassion as the legacy of the peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

April 2023 – Pupil Council Introduces Committee Structure

The Pupil Council have been focusing on Article 12 of the UNCRC – Respect for the views of Children. This led us to restructure how we address problems and find solutions for the good of the whole school. Taking inspiration from the local council structure there will now be three committees dealing with issues brought to the council by the student body. The three new committees are sport, hygiene and uniform. Each group will work to come up with solutions to issues of concern and then present their case to the relevant member of staff.

The formation of these new committees will ensure that all pupils at New-Bridge have the right to have their voice heard and their views respected.

Our Journey Continues…

Watch this space for regular updates on our RRSA Journey