UNICEF Rights Respecting
Rights Respecting Silver Award
The Sir John Colfox Academy has been awarded the UNICEF Silver Award for Rights Respecting Schools. The school first achieved recognition for being a Rights Respecting School in 2010 and this year staff and students set themselves the goal of achieving the Silver Award. Rights Respecting Ambassador Harry Brown from Year 8 said:
“At the start of the School year we thought the Silver Award was just a dream in a short space of time. However, after working very hard with an amazing leader it became possible.” The award recognises schools where Children’s rights are put at the heart of the ethos. The Silver is awarded to schools who have made a commitment to embed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, making the whole school ‘Rights Aware’.
School lead for the RRS programme is Religious Studies teacher, Rebecca Hatch. She has praised the Right Respecting Ambassadors at Colfox for their commitment and hard work throughout the year. ‘They have taken assemblies, staff meetings and have spoken at the Town Hall about rights and have helped Bridport become a Rights Respecting Town. Their passion for this cause is very exciting and it’s been a pleasure to work with them and help guide them’.
Tiggy Hussey, Year 10 said “As a Rights Respecting Ambassador I feel that achieving the Silver award has shown the dedication that we have put in not only as ambassadors, but as a school.”
A Rights Respecting School is a school where students’ rights are valued and their voices heard. Three criteria’s have to be met; teaching and learning about rights, teaching and learning through rights focusing on ethos and relationships and teaching and learning for rights including empowerment, participation and action. The Assessors from UNICEF were complimentary about the participation of students, their knowledge and the acceptance of each student as an individual.
Hannah Erasmus said “The Ambassadors at Colfox have worked hard and through our hard work we have achieved the Silver award, showing that our school is safe and inclusive place where we are aware of our rights and value the rights of others.”
Headteacher David Herbert commented: ‘It was lovely to welcome two very experienced assessors from UNICEF to our school for the day. I know they enjoyed meeting our children and hearing about our experience of RRS over the last ten years. I am especially pleased that the report recognises our student’s excellent contribution to the rights respecting community project with the town council. Our former mayor Anne Rickard deserves real credit for really getting this off the ground again.’
The Ambassadors are now looking at the feedback given on how the school can achieve the Gold Award in two years’ time.
We are aiming on becoming a Unicef UK Rights Respecting School!
The Sir John Colfox School achieved level 1 of the UNICEF Rights Respecting School in 2010. The award recognises a school where children’s rights are at the heart of our ethos and culture, to improve well-being and to develop every child’s talents and abilities to their full potential. As part of our commitment we are working towards the Silver Award for Rights Respecting School, an award given to schools on behalf of Unicef UK.
Unicef is the world’s leading organisation working for children and young people and their rights. In 1989, governments across the world agreed that all children have the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). These rights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential.
The Sir John Colfox Academy pupils will learn about their rights by putting them into practice every day. A Rights Respecting School models rights and respect in all its relationships. We have a team of 16 Rights Respecting School Ambassadors from across the year groups who are ready to help the school achieve the silver award. They have attended a workshop to learn about the rights and to audit the schools current position. All students will have seen an assembly prepared by them regarding children rights with the help of Paddington Bear, who has teamed up with UNICEF.
We really hope that you will be able to support our school on our journey towards becoming a Unicef UK Rights Respecting School. It would be great if you could spend a few minutes reading through our questions & answers below, and also find a bit more about the Convention on the Rights of the Child by visiting unicef.org.uk/crc. The school website will be updated with information regarding our journey throughout the year.
Becoming a Unicef UK Rights Respecting School
It is an exciting time in the life of The Sir John Colfox Academy. We have embarked on a journey which will benefit the whole school community, from pupils and staff to parents and governors. Here’s what we think you might like to know about it!
Rights Respecting Team meets with The Mayor of Bridport to discuss the Towns Charter of Rights. January 2018
The Rights Respecting group met with the Mayor, Anne Rickard and David Powell to discuss the Town Charter. Students gave suggestions on how to make the Town Charter more child friendly and how the message could be spread in the community. The Mayor invited the students to speak at the Town Hall to share their passion for Rights and how Rights within schools can be spread out into the community. She explained how Bridport is wishing to become the first Rights Respecting Town.
Bridport becomes a Rights Respecting Town. 31st January 2018
As part of Colfox’s Rights Respecting team, we were invited to the Town Hall in order to witness Bridport formally becoming a Rights Respecting Town, one of the first in the entire country. It was a wonderful moment, to see so many different people, of all ages and genders, coming together in order to celebrate and acknowledge something wonderful that changes our beautiful town, and makes it even better than it was previously.
We were also invited to give a speech about what Colfox is doing to ensure that we continue to be, and improve how rights respecting we are. We talked about our work to produce a Charter of Rights to be displayed around the school; how we have educated students about their rights and the rights of others; and how we have assessed teachers to ensure that they too are rights respecting, and also understand their own rights.
Being Rights Respecting is no longer a choice – it is a duty. If we did not have these rights, many would be free to harm and abuse others as they please, and many children would be subjected to horrific conditions.
Things are better now, in the UK, as we follow these rights diligently, and there are few cases of these rights ever being ignored. But in many countries around the world, that is not the case. Children, women, minority groups and those who do not conform to social norms are abused and mistreated every day. We choose to be rights respecting to make our own lives better, but also to make the lives of others better, the lives of people who cannot stand up and fight for their own rights, for their own lives.
Bridport becoming the UK’s first Rights Respecting Town shows that things are changing in a way that allows us to not only make a difference, and to be able to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, but also allows people to know and believe that there is hope. There is hope that one day, those children in horrific situations, where they are abused, malnourished, mistreated and looked down upon simply for being themselves, will be free from their torment, and be able to rise up and express themselves for all the world to see.
Bridport becoming a Rights Respecting town is so important, giving the UK a first taste of what it is hopefully to come, as we pave the way to a bigger and brighter future.
By Hannah Erasmus
Ofsted Recognise us as a Rights Respecting School 28th February 2018
“ The school is a rights respecting school, based on the UNICEF principles. Pupils’ behaviour reflects these, continually, as well as fundamental British values of accepting rules and understanding democracy. Leaders promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural curriculum that is promoted through assemblies and personal, social, health and economic education well.”
RRS Workshop 10th May
Students attended a morning workshop run by Mrs Hatch and David Powell, looking at rights and how we can spread the message. Students worked on a number of projects that will be seen by students and staff over the next couple of months. These included assembly, lessons to go with the School Charter, a presentation to Staff, developing ideas on how we can help the Primary schools look at rights. We then discussed how to promote Bridport as a Rights Respecting Town and future everts such as the Charter Fair. A small sub group has been formed to work on an Art project with the Art department.
Mayor Making 17th May
This evening Bridport welcomed a new Mayor, Cllr Barry Irvine. We watched the traditional ceremony of the old Mayor passing onto the new. Including listening to the Town Cryer making the announcement. Cllr Anne Rickard has done an amazing job and has achieved Bridport becoming the first Rights Respecting Town, she has now passed the role onto Cllr Barry Irvine to implement this further over the next year. We spoke to the guests about what Rights mean to us and how we feel the rights should be displayed around Bridport. Ideas range from rights articles on paving slabs, banners and decorated benches.