The Rights Respecting Schools Award recognises a school’s achievement in placing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of a school’s planning, policies, practice, ethos, going beyond the school environment, making positive changes in the community and the rest of the world. The UNCRC is a list of rights that all children around the world are entitled to and need, to make sure they are healthy, happy and safe.
The award compliments the Avanti Way Philosophy for education: Avanti exists to help each person become a well-rounded human being through intellectual, moral and spiritual growth and so make the world a better place. As our journey of becoming a rights respecting school continues, children’s confidence and self-esteem are strengthened. At Krishna Avanti Primary in Leicester, we pride ourselves on our students having a voice. We value their views on every aspect of school life and nurture a culture where all children feel listened to, valued, respected and empowered. Some of the leadership groups include the Rights Respecting Warriors, Digital Leaders, School Council and the Eco-Warriors. Not only have the staff received professional coaching sessions, but so have the students in certain year groups. Children feel a sense of security and enablement, as the right-respecting language and behaviour becomes predominant throughout the school. Pupil voice continues to grow alongside a greater engagement with learning, showing dignity and non-discrimination, embracing diversity and overcoming prejudices. The article of the week is linked very closely to the different festivals and integrated within topics. For example, British Science Week and World Book Day link to article 29; International Mother Language Day relates to article 30 and Safer Internet Day links to article 16 and 17. Children have become more active and have taken ownership of their learning and have very quickly become change makers, ambassadors for rights wherever they go, taking part in campaigns and activities to bring about change. During Justice Week, children learnt about the following:
* Foundation Stage – what is fair and unfair?
* KS1 – what would a day without any rules look like?
* KS2 – wrote letters to our local MPs about what new laws they would like to be enforced.
Children’s rights are reinforced throughout the school. Displays and lessons are linked to articles, while the rights respecting heroes for the week are congratulated and praised by their peers and duty bearers. The half-termly rights respecting competitions immerse children in the rights, making it fun and interactive. Raising money for charities such as Children in Need, Comic Relief and ShoeShare Project (Campaign in partnership with the Rights Respecting School Award and Clark Shoes) raise awareness and illustrate the positive impact that team work can have. By understanding Global Goals for Sustainable Development, children begin to understand the deeper meaning of the schools values: respect, gratitude, empathy, integrity, courage and self-discipline and begin to think about how they can make a difference in the world they live in.
As we venture through the process of achieving the silver and gold award, we continue to create an environment where everyone has a thorough understanding of the rights; the positive impact of these on school life are clear and young people see themselves as global citizens and advocate for social justice.