Every child, no matter who they are or where they live, has the right to grow up safe, happy and healthy.
The Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of a school’s planning, policies, practice and ethos.
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. UNICEF works with families, local communities, partners and governments in more than 190 countries to transform children’s lives by protecting and promoting their rights. UNICEF supports children by providing health care, nutrition and education. UNICEF protects children affected by war, natural disasters and AIDS. In the UK, UNICEF champions children’s rights and works to win support and raise money for our work for children worldwide.
Bourne Abbey is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school. Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a Student Council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. All Student Council members for each class are voted in by their peers. The Student Council ensures that all pupils have ownership of the school, how it operates and therefore their education. At Bourne Abbey ‘Every Child has a Voice.’
We are absolutely thrilled to be able to share the news with you that we have achieved our UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Gold Award. This was from a reaccreditation visit in October 2022.
The Assessor highlighted that particular strengths of the school include:
The report stated that, “It is evident that children’s rights are embedded across the school and underpin every facet of school life,” and this was apparent on the day of the assessment, where our children proudly talked to our advisor about how important being a rights respecting school is to them. One child said, “It was exciting to have a visitor who asked us questions about our rights – once I started talking I couldn’t stop!”
Mrs Anderson, RRSA co-ordinator stated, “It really is a privilege to hear how articulate the children are about their rights; to have this recognised by maintaining our Gold status is the icing on the cake!”
Well done to our UNICEF Ambassadors and staff who lead our UNICEF work in school. Please see below for the full report.
In order to ensure all our adults (duty bearers) and pupils (rights holders) understand the principles of children’s rights that are outlined in the CRC, UNICEF have produced a series of articles that enshrine the critical rights of a child. For example:
This empowers our pupils to feel they can participate in conversations about their learning and well-being – it is a crucial part of our school’s ethos, being seen in the actions of our UNICEF Ambassadors over the past few years.
You will see many of these articles on key sections of our website as a reminder of how the RRS approach is part of everything we do.