Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA)
Chisenhale are proud to be a Level Silver ‘Rights Respecting School’. This is an award given to schools by UNICEF, a leading organisation for children and their rights.
A Rights Respecting School not only teaches about children’s rights but also models rights and respect in all its relationships: between staff/ adults and pupils, between adults and between pupils.
The Rights Respecting School Award helps our children grow into thoughtful, respectful and responsible young members of the school and wider community. By learning about their rights, our children also learn about the importance of respecting the rights of others.
Unicef 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. Their 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.
What is RRSA?
The Rights Respecting Schools Award puts children’s rights at the heart of a school’s ethos.
The Award aims to ensure that children are aware of their universal rights (which are detailed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) and that these rights are at the heart of the children’s learning. A large part of the award involves children learning about their responsibility to respect other people’s rights and how rights and responsibilities work together.
It is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation.
It’s aim is to improve wellbeing and help all children and young people to realise their potential. The Award has been proven to have a positive impact on relationships and wellbeing, leading to better learning and behaviour, improved academic standards and less bullying.
There are three levels to the Award:
- Bronze: Rights Committed
- Silver: Rights Aware
- Gold: Rights Respecting
Chisenhale is currently on Silver Level. We are on our exciting journey to Gold: Rights Respecting, the highest stage of the Award granted by Unicef UK.
Why are children’s Rights so important?
In our society, the rights of children are often overlooked and many children do not have a basic knowledge of them. Often, children can receive unfair treatment or be ignored in decision-making on issues that affect them. The Convention changes the way children are treated and viewed, and emphasises that children have voices that must be heard.
The impact of the Award
According to UNICEF, the impact of this programme on children is as follows:
- Improved self-esteem and well-being
- Improved relationships and behaviour (reductions in bullying and exclusions and improved attendance)
- Improved engagement in learning
- Positive attitudes towards diversity in society and the reduction of prejudice
- Children and young people’s enhanced moral understanding
- Children and young people’s support for global justice
- Children and young people become more involved in decision-making in schools.
At the start of each school year, the children work with their classmates, teachers and support staff to create a Class Charter which outlines their main responsibilities in school. These responsibilities are matched up to various articles from the Convention and the children are asked to agree to follow them and respect them.
Creating a class charter is a way of making the rights of the child real and meaningful to pupils, based on where they are now in their own lives. Creating this charter at the beginning of each school year can help to unite the class. It develops a sense of ownership of the classroom and learning. Once developed, the charter becomes a point of reference for the class and once signed, by both staff and pupils connected to that class, it becomes the ‘social glue’ which binds everyone together throughout the year.
Rights we are celebrating this term
Each half term, we choose a specific right to focus on throughout the school. These are made explicit to the children as they learn about them in a creative and cross-curricular way.
The Rights we are focusing on in the Summer Term 2019 are:
Right in child-friendly language
Links to other things going on at school
You have the right to get information that is important to your well-being, from radio, newspaper, books, computers and other sources..
You have the right to legal help and fair treatment in the justice system that respects your rights.
The Rights of the child are also expressed during whole school and phase assemblies, making links with other events that are currently happening at school, locally or globally.
Rights Rangers Steering Group
Nativity at St Barnabus Church
Children in Need Day
Harvest celebration – collecting items to donate to the food bank.
Parent/ children/ staff consultation on the new Behaviour Policy,
Shoe donation – link with Clarks shoeshop and Unicef.
To find out more about what a Rights Respecting School is, click here.
For a UNRRS newsletter please click here
If you would like to know more about the Rights Respecting School Award, or would like to get involved or even become part of our Rights Rangers Steering Group, please do let us know as we would be delighted to have you on board!