Rights Respecting Schools

What is the focus of the award?

The Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools Award supports schools across the UK to embed children’s human rights in their ethos and culture.

The Award recognises achievement in putting the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC) at the heart of a school’s practice to improve wellbeing and help all children and young people realise their potential.

The Award is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. The initiative started in 2006 and schools involved in the Award have reported a positive impact on relationships and wellbeing, leading to better learning and behaviour, improved academic standards and less bullying.

 

What does the Award involve?

Schools involved in the Rights Respecting Schools Award work towards the recognition that they have embedded children and young people’s rights in their school’s practice and ethos. Schools are required to implement three evidence-based strands that cover the leadership of the school, knowledge and understanding of children’s rights, ethos and relationships and the empowerment of children and young people.

 

There are three levels to the Award:

Bronze: Rights Committed

Silver: Rights Aware

Gold: Rights Respecting

The journey to Gold: Rights Respecting, the highest stage of the Award granted by Unicef UK, can take three to four years. Silver and Gold accreditations are valid for three years, after which time schools must be re-accredited.

 

What impact does it have?

On the school

• RRSA is not an initiative, but instead provides an overarching set of values that improve the climate for learning and within which other  initiatives can sit

• A deeper and more cohesive way of working

• Improved relationships with pupils and a reduced hierarchical divide  between staff and pupils, due to a common rights-respecting language.

 

On children

• Improved self esteem and feelings of being valued and listened to

• Increased levels of respect for each other, leading to improved relationships with other pupils and with staff

• A sense of security as rights-respecting language and behaviour is used consistently throughout the school

• Improved attainment and attendance

• An understanding and respect of religions, cultures, beliefs and abilities different to their own

• A wider and deeper understanding of the world in which they live.

 

On adults

• Strengthened collaborative working

• Increased consultative approach with other adults and pupils

• A sense of ownership in developing an approach that meets the needs and aspirations of the school as a whole

• A sense that the whole school is working towards a common goal, leading to feelings of empowerment for both staff and pupils

• A platform is developed for parental engagement and discussion.

The school is working towards the Rights Respecting Schools Award- Bronze Level. You can find more information attached below and in our newsletters. 
Please follow this link below for more information about Rights Respecting Schools Award.
The children at Windmill Academy collaborated to help create the following charters. The following charters have been made into signs to display around the school. We also have included the Rights on: our school policies, whole school planning, teachers' planning, displays around the school, newsletters, in assemblies and have our own Parliament group.
At the start of each new school year, the children in each classes vote and create their own personalised class charter. They get updated throughout the year if and when the class feel that they need to include more of the articles as they get to know and embed more. Below are some examples of the classroom charters.
Rights Respecting Parliament Group
 
At Windmill Hill Academy, we have six different parliament groups. They meet each week to discuss ways to improve the school. The parliament groups allows the pupils to have a voice and make powerful impact on the school. Each group makes an action plan for the term or half term and collaboratively work towards making the improvements.
Our Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) parliament group are working towards achieving Bronze level.  
 
More information on Pupil Parliament here: https://www.windmillhillacademy.org/web/pupil_parliament/419765
Steering Group
Windmill Academy have a Steering Group, which is made up from a small group of children from each year group. In this group, we hold meetings with our Head of School, RRSA Coordinator and a Governor. The minutes from the meeting get shared with the rest of the staff. The steering group share the RRSA action plans at the meetings and discuss ways to promote RRSA in the school and to the wider community.  
Rights Respecting Events
Red Hand Day 12th February
Red Hand Day on 12th February and the campaign to stop the use of child soldiers are existing for over 15 years. Hundreds and thousands of hand prints have been collected in more than 50 countries and handed over to politicians and to responsible parties, including the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. There is progress, but there are still 250,000 child soldiers in the world. 
Windmill are learning about the World Largest Lesson and the 2030 goals. You can see the goals below and they link to all the RRSA articles/rights. You can also click on the link above to find our more information.
Clarks Shoe Sharing campaign
Windmill Hill Academy are taking part in the Clarks shoe for sharing campaign. 

Unicef and Clarks have worked in partnership since 2008 to help keep children safe. In that time, Clarks have contributed to transforming children’s lives through ShoeShare, gathering old or unwanted shoes at collection points in more than 500 Clarks stores across the UK. To date, the partnership has raised an incredible £1 million.  

To support children across the world and help them access their right to education (Article 28), we will be hosting a ShoeShare collection in Spring 2022. More information will be sent out via newsletters and Dojo messages.

Global Dimensions
Windmill Hill Academy have been embedding the RRSA and now are taking it one step further in learning about rights globally. The global calendar above, links into our whole school assemblies as we follow some of the global dates learn about events globally. Our steering group use these dates to also support learning within the school by promoting special dates and events. 
 
Global Dimension is the UK's leading global learning platform, supporting a community of educators to connect your students with themselves, others, and the planet.
 
Global Dimension brings together a calendar of global events and a vast library of resources exploring issues from climate breakdown, to migration and democracy, empowering educators to introduce global learning and compassionate values to their classrooms. It is also a space for teachers to connect and discuss the issues that matter the most.
 
The Golden Rule is, at heart, a rule of compassion and connection, calling us to connect with ourselves, each other, and the world around us. By bringing Global Learning to our classrooms, we can encourage our children and young people to recognise the role they play as citizens of the global community, and give them the confidence to work towards an increasingly compassionate and sustainable future.