In August 2019, St Michael’s Primary and Nursery School in Kingsteignton were granted the Bronze Rights Respecting School award by Unicef. The award has been running for 30 years this year with nearly 1.6 million children currently attending a Rights Respecting school and over 5000 schools across the UK are currently working towards the award.
The RR School award was set up to help promote the United Nations Convention for the child, a world wide agreement to ensure that children are treated in a safe, fair and nurturing environment. This award demonstrates St Michael’s ambition to place the UN convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of their ethos.
To be awarded the Bronze certificate the school has to set up a children’s steering group from Years 2 to Year 6. At St Michael’s there are 7 children on the Group representing each of the 4 year groups. Their job is to promote children’s’ rights through assemblies, leading to a whole school launch day before the Christmas break.
The RR Ambassadors have been busy since the Summer Term writing the school action plan, planning assemblies and meeting with the Governors and Head of School, discussing how to work towards establishing a solid foundation from which new initiatives will spring. This term they are planning multiple assemblies, a parent drop in event and fundraising activities to raise awareness of those children around the world who can not access their rights.
Miss Murray, a Year Four Teacher, has taken the role of RR Lead and has worked hard with her Steering Group to win the Bronze award.
“I am incredibly proud of all the work the children have done and impressed by their thoughtfulness and maturity in handling their new responsibilities in the Steering Group. Their ideas and effort have far exceeded our expectations. I am very excited to see what the future has in store for St Michael’s as a RR school.”
‘Before I became a Rights Ambassador, I didn’t know what rights were. Now I understand how important they are and I am really enjoying promoting them to the rest of the school.’ William, year 4 Rights Ambassador.
‘I am really enjoying being a part of the Rights Ambassadors and am looking forward to helping with organising events and promotions across the school. I love the responsibility it has given me.’ Lily, Year Four Rights Ambassador.
Working with the whole school community from children, all staff, parents and Governors, the RR Ambassadors’ next step is to work towards the Silver Award, which is focussed on ensuring that the UN Children’s’ rights are embedded in the school ethos.
“We are working across the Federation to support our children as they grow through their school lives. I am incredibly impressed by the creativity and responsibility they have shown so far. It is a wonderful opportunity to allow the children to have their opinions heard and involve them in the running of the school. Kate Arnold, Head Teacher of St Michael’s Primary and Nursery.