Following on from 2016/17 when we proudly achieved the International Schools Award, this year we are beginning working towards the Rights Respecting School Award. Please follow: https://www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools/ for the website.
Independent research and feedback from schools show that the Award has a profound impact on children and young people, and the school as a whole. When the principles and values of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are introduced and reinforced throughout school life, children and the wider school community benefit. Evidence suggests that these benefits include:
Pupils develop a long-term commitment to values such as social justice and inclusion
There is a reduction in bullying and discriminatory behaviour among children
Pupils enjoy and feel safe at school
Pupils feel included and valued
Pupils’ wellbeing and emotional resilience is improved
Pupils’ engagement in the school and their own learning is improved
Pupils’ attainment is improved, and the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils is narrowed
Pupils are more engaged in their local and global communities as ‘active citizens’
We explored the question: Does our school vision support the beliefs of the Rights Respecting School Award? with Trustees, LAB members, staff and children.
Here are some of our children's responses:
Yes because everyone has a voice and everyone deserves a second chance. Also everyone has different talents and we should respect them all. In our school vision it says relationships and risk taking alongside our core values of respect.
Yes because if you were worried about something then you could tell a teacher and they support you. In our vision it says, 'And inspirational staff who put the whole child first in all that they do.'
We think yes because here at Gipsey Bridge we are all well cared for and the staff try to get to know us as a person, not just a student and our rules are supposed to be followed by all and everyone does. In the school vision it says, 'All children should be able to reach their full potential.' This means they can help you.
Yes because everyone deserves a voice and this school provides that voice and potential that we can fulfil. Additionally this school cares for its pupils. In the school vision it says '... have freedom of expression and reach their true potential.'
We think yes because our school vision has a lot of great aspects including some from the Rights Respecting School Award and our vision gives all children all the suitable rights for us. 'To take a personalised approach to meeting the needs of our children.'
All children have a right to be able to give their opinion when adults are making a decision that will affect them, and adults should take it seriously. Article 12
The School Council for 2017/18 was launched in September and we met with the other school councils that we will be working with all year.
The launch of the Kyra East School Council - a place where all children have a voice.
Whilst at KidZania we discovered writing on the money - can you spot why it is important?
EDUCATION AND PLAY
All children have the right to relax and play, and to join a wide range of activities. Article 31
All children have the right to meet, make friends with, and join clubs with other children. Article 15
In school we have introduced Play Leaders for break times. The Play Leaders are also working with the school council to order some new play equipment.
Children should not be allowed to do work that is dangerous or might make them ill, or stops them going to school. Article 32
In GBA Actioneers we discussed anti-slavery day which is held on the 18th October and how this can happen to adults and children still today. We agreed that it is our collective responsibility to challenge modern day slavery.
The children’s responses:
We think it should be everyone because if we all stand together and say 'no' we can make it stop together. If everyone just doesn't do anything about it the problem will carry on, that's why if everybody works as a team the problem will get sorted out.
We think everyone should tell the Government. If we all stand together the Government will listen to us.
All of us, because one person can't make much of a difference but if we all unite we can make a worldwide difference.
It is the responsibility of us to speak out and the Government and Police to sort it out.
It is our responsibility to stop slavery because we all have a voice and if we all stand together we can say no.
All children have the right to privacy. Article 16
All children have the right to information from TV, radio, newspapers and the internet. These media should provide information that children can understand. Article 17.
Our E-Safety Ambassadors passed their training in October. They spent a session discussing the risks online, ‘friends’ we meet online and passwords. They now have a selection of activities to do with the whole school community.
The Convention applies to every child without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background. Article 2
We discussed Article 2; what does it mean? We then challenged pupils to summarise the Article in six words. Children came up with lots of variations of how ‘Every child is protected by rights.’ Years one and two created the short explanation below.
Article 2 in six words by class one ...
The different articles that we discussed in our anti-bullying assembly
Learning about anti-bullying completed in Class 2
In GBA Actioneers we discussed what bullying is, children's rights and the advice we would give to a bully.
OutRight 2017 - we celebrated Children's Day by discussing OutRight
For OutRight we investigated what family means to us and how a child who is a refugee should have the right to be with their family
Our letters to our local MP, Matt Warman which we sent to him
We discussed the difference between wants and needs and then sorted the objects given into these two categories.
Class one sorting wants and needs...
Discussing and creating class charters
Every child has the right to think and believe what they want and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Governments must respect the rights of parents to give their children information about this right.
We discussed this during GBA Actioneers. Almost all pupils celebrate Eid at our link school in London and a number of our children were unsure of what this was. Therefore we began by discussing what Eid was and then moved onto should children be allowed to believe in what they choose to. All pupils felt strongly that it was a child’s right to believe in what they wanted to.
Class Three discussing their class charter
Class One's Class Charter
Listen carefully to the adults.
Make sure we have lots of rest so we can listen carefully.
All adults should do what is best for you.
Teach the children new things.
Help the children who need help.
Make sure that we challenge the children to help their brains grow!
Put our hands up and be confident to share our ideas.
Don’t shout out.
Listen to each other’s ideas.
You have the right to give your opinion and for adults to listen.
Listen to what the children say.
Ask the children for their ideas.
Make sure we act on the children’s ideas.
Listen to the adults.
We will not waste learning time.
Always try our best!
Learn from our mistakes.
You have the right to a good quality education.
Teach the children all the skills they need to learn.
Make sure the learning is exciting and interesting.
Teach us lots of different things.
Be welcoming to other children
Play with other children in the school without leaving people out
Don’t judge people just because they are different to you
All children have these rights no matter who they are or where they live. (Article 2)
Help us when we need help
Explain our rights to us if we need them explaining
Deal with any unfair treatment fairly
Explain our views and what we like to adults in a sensible way
All adults should do what is best for you. (Article 3)
Involve us in any decisions, when possible
Remember what we liked before and then try to use that in future decisions
Asking others to be friends but not forcing them
Asking different people to normal
You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to others. (Article 15)
Encourage people to make friendships
Don’t force people to make friends
Help friends to make up if they fall out
Let an adult know if you or someone you know is being hurt or mistreated
Don’t hurt or mistreat others
You have the right to be protected from being hurt or mistreated. (Article 19)
Talk about how to treat people
Encourage safe play
Advise safe games to play
Help if we need it
Don’t waste our learning time
Don’t distract others from their learning
Respect others and their right to learn
Practice what we need to learn
You have the right to a good quality education. (Article 28)
Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. (Article 29)
Organise clubs that help us develop our skills and interests
Teach and help us to learn
See how we learn best and help us to learn that way
Praise and encourage our talents and interests
Inform an adult if you think someone else is being hurt, neglected or badly treated
Help to look after our friends if they need it
Talk to people if they want to
You have the right to help if you’ve been hurt, neglected or badly treated. (Article 39)
Be kind to each other and to us
Help our injuries where possible
Be someone for us to talk to
Class 3 Charter
Be polite and well mannered.
Raise your hand when you wish to speak and listen to others when it is their turn.
Be positive about the opinions of others.
When working in a group, ensure everyone is included.
You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously.
Consider the views of the children.
Treat children’s comments with an appropriate level of seriousness; investigate further if necessary.
Provide opportunities for children to give their opinion or talk about their concerns.
Try your best.
Listen to each other including the adults.
Freedom to say what we think.
Opportunity to use the internet and books to find out new things.
You have the right to find out things and share what you think with others, by talking, drawing, writing or in any other way unless it harms or offends other people.
Provide opportunities to work together in groups and talk about their learning.
To try to be understanding about the difficulties students face.
Choose children who you are going to be able to work well with.
Be kind, friendly and positive when speaking to other children.
Be respectful of other children’s feelings.
Don’t leave children out; include them in your group.
You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to others.
Give children the chance to choose their groups to work with.
To choose specific groupings where necessary.
Listen to friendships problems and try to help.
Ensure that all children are included in groups.
Have water available to drink.
Learn about keeping safe and staying healthy.
Help keep the school tidy; keep personal property tidy in trays and lockers.
Treat other people and their property (including the school’s property) with respect.
Sit on chairs properly.
Show awareness of other children’s feelings; ensure everyone feels safe and happy in school.
You have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well.
Make sure the school/classroom is clean and safe.
Provide information to keep children safe and healthy.
Provide healthy food.
Listen carefully and concentrate.
Take pride in all that you do.
Work to the best of your ability.
Challenge yourself; think outside of the box.
Help others when they are struggling.
Learn from your mistakes.
Not disrupt the learning of others.
You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.
Make lessons interesting, educational, challenging and fun.
Help children when they don’t understand.
Make sure the classroom is a happy, patient environment.
Opportunities to speak and listen to each other.
Show respect to others.
Find out what you’re good at and try to improve it.
Work hard and persevere.
Build up resilience.
Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.
Provide opportunities to do lots of different things.
Provide a tolerant and respectful environment.
We are working with Ian Evans, from the local Food Bank, on how we can help improve the lives of children locally by supporting the Food Bank.
In GBA Actioneers we spent several sessions looking at how our actions demonstrate our values.
We are supporting the local Food Bank to help improve the lives of children living locally. As part of this work we welcomed a number of the volunteers from the Food Bank to work with the pupils. We had the task of packing two bags which would support a single person for three days.
Members of the School Council visited the local Food Bank in Boston to deliver donations and see how it works.
A film which shows RRSA in action. When two children are being unkind the teacher listens to everyone and then ensures that action is taken to so that all children feel safe and valued but the unkindness stops.
After taking part in our Job Day WOW event Reception looked at Article 32 from the UN convention of rights for a child.
They discovered that although they enjoyed pretending to do lots of fun jobs some children around the world have to work for real, they don't get to go to school and learn or play like they do. They decided that this wasn't fair!
They looked at some pictures of children doing work. The children made lots of really grown up comments about what they noticed.
“It’s not being kind.” OP
“It would be sad.” AG
“He’s on his own!” MB
“Hard work!” AG
“It would make me sad and crying if I couldn’t see my Mummy anywhere to help me” LP
“He hasn’t got any shoes on. It’ll put nails in him.” LH
“It might break his fingers off” (Using the hammer wouldn’t be safe for little children would it) CH
(What should little children be doing?) “Should go to preschool and nursery!” FS
(That’s right they should be playing and learning somewhere safe.)
“He won’t learn” LP
“His brain won’t get big!” (He will not learn things, will he, if he does not go to school.) OP
The photos that Reception looked at when discussing jobs.
We looked at article 29 and the type of world we want to live and the role education has to play in making this happen.
In Class Three as part of their project on learning about the world, they focused on Article 24 - (Health and health services): Children have the right to good quality health care – the best health care possible – to safe drinking water, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help them stay healthy. Rich countries should help poorer countries achieve this.
As part of our work on this Award, we have been looking at Article 24; finding out about how the Government help their people before and after natural disasters such as Earthquakes and Volcano eruptions.
We have particularly looked at the work of the Red Cross, thinking about what they did following Earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal. We discovered why clean water is important and how the Red Cross has helped provide this for those in need.
For more details and photos please visit their class page: http://www.gipseybridgeschool.co.uk/autumnspring-term-may-the-force-be-with-you/
(Refugee children): Children have the right to special protection and help if they are refugees (if they have been forced to leave their home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention.
We had the wonderful opportunity to have a lady from Syria lead a session for class three on the Arabic language. She also spoke to us about being a refugee and what it was like to live in Syria. She now lives in London with her husband and four children.
Learning about the Arabic language and life as a refugee
In GBA Actioneers we all agreed that everyone should have an education.
We looked at food from around the world and asked questions and made a note of things that were different and similar.
We were lucky to be able to invite Jeanne Bain in from Just Lincolnshire who talked to us about equality. Article 19 states that all children should be protected from violence, abuse and neglect. The session with Jeanne allowed us to explore how everyone is valued regardless of their beliefs, colour, the way they dress etc and that we are all special.
We experimented with experiencing simple tasks in different ways.
Different Skins and Language
In class three we had a visitor from EMTET who spoke to us all about language and discrimination.
She spoke about Harry Potter in Polish and then asked pupils how they felt when they did not understand. We need to be supporting EAL (English as an additional language) pupils and show empathy. We should never discriminate against someone due to their religion, language or skin colour. We discussed the correct terminology and how we should not make assumptions or 'judge a book by its cover'.
On Monday 16th April we held a school assembly about the war in Syria and how it impacts on the rights of the children living there and those that have had to flee the country. Attached are the slides from the assembly.
As part of their project on the Iron Man, with a focus on settlements in Geography, class two looked at the following picture and discussed the conditions whilst thinking of children's rights.
The children had lots of ideas and discussed them alongside Children's rights. Here are just a couple of their thoughts with regards to the settlement in the picture:
HE (about health care) We can just book an appointment when we need to but they probably can't so that is not fair.
JA We have had lots of nice things and plenty of water for years and years and years. Why haven't they? What happened so that they don't? It isn't fair, we need to be helping them as much as we can.
In GBA Actioneers we discussed families and how the rights link to the importance of families.
Raising money for UNICEF by taking part in Soccer Aid 2018.
The playground leaders organised football themed activities for each class and then at the end of the day we held a parents' penalty shoot out. We had lots of parents participate and celebrated with a Gold, Silver and Bronze trophy being awarded.
Parents joined us at the end of the day for a Penalty Shoot Out.
Class 3 are looking at Article 22 and thinking about refugees. We found out about the history behind the charity called Save the Children.
We also read a story about a refugee and imagined what it might have been like to become a refugee. We listed all the feelings that the child in the story, or we might have felt, if we had no choice but to leave our homes.
A joint newsletter with Coningsby St Michael's regarding UNICEF's Soccer Aid
We explored where we call home and why and then looked at Refugee Week and Article 27 and how every child has the right to a life that meets their physical, social and mental needs.
We ended the session asking: How does where we live affect who we are as a person?
'It affects us as a person because where we live affects whether we have an education or not which affects our future. Or whether there is violence of not, again which affects our mind and what we think is right or wrong. If we don't get food we will become ill which will affect us as we will live in fear of dying. Where we live affects us which is why we need to live in safe and happy areas.'