Rights Respecting School
Our school charter
Rights Respecting Schools Award
We are proud to be the first school in Devon to receive the prestigious UNICEF UK Gold Award !
This is the highest level of the Award and is granted by UNICEF UK to schools that have fully embedded children’s rights throughout the school in policies, practice and ethos, as outlined in the four standards.
The Rights respecting School Award is a UNICEF scheme based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). More information on the convention can be accessed here: Unicef
There are four articles in the convention that are seen as special. They are known as the “General Principles” and they help to interpret all the other articles and play a fundamental role in realising all the rights in the Convention for all children.
Article 2 (Non-discrimination)
- All children have the rights laid out in the Convention, and that individual children and young people shouldn't be discriminated against when these rights are realised.
Article 3 (Best interest of the child)
- Adults should think about the best interests of children and young people when making choices that affect them.
Article 6 (Right to life survival and development)
- All children and young people have the right to survive and the right to develop.
Article 12 (Right to be heard)
- All children have the right to be listened to, and have their views taken seriously.
The UNCRC, encapsulated in Jesus’ 2nd commandment: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12 v30-31) is at the heart of everything we do. It teaches children about their rights and that all children, no matter where in the world they live, have the same rights. It also reinforces the principles of behaviour and values within society. Our behaviour policy is based on children learning to love their neighbour as themselves.
Every year children in each class create a charter which shows the rights they think impact most on their life in school, and how we can all make sure these rights are respected.
Every charter contains the articles:
- Right to learn and be heard (Article 28 and Article 12)
- Right to respect (Article 2)
- Right to safety (Article 19)
Children learn that rights foster a sense of community, respect and responsibility. If children have a right to be protected from conflict, cruelty, exploitation and neglect, they also need to show respect, care and consideration for their friends and the living environment around them.
Evidence shows that children who are aware of their rights are able to make informed decisions and are more likely to grow into confident, active and responsible citizens.
Research shows children have better relationships with classmates and adults when they are taught about rights and respect.
Ofsted states that the Rights Respecting Schools Award has had a positive effect on the ethos and on pupils’ sense of ownership and responsibility for themselves, the environment and other people. The award has helped schools to successfully promote empowerment of pupils and this has contributed exceptionally well to their safety.
In addition, children can benefit from:
- Improved self-esteem and well-being
- Improved relationships and behaviour
- Improved engagement in learning
- Enhanced moral understanding and support for Global justice
- Positive attitudes towards diversity in society and the reduction of prejudice
The ethos behind the UNCRC and the Rights Respecting Schools Award reflects the Church of England vision for Education which embraces the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, moral and social development of children and young people.