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Rights Respecting Schools Award

UNCRC – Rights Respecting Schools 

At JCG we endeavour to respect the rights of each other and everyone in our community. We gained our Bronze Rights Respecting Award in December 2018 and, as we approach the end of this year, we are hoping to receive our Silver Award. This is an award that will recognise the input we, as students, have in our school and decision making as well as showing that the convention is at the heart of the ethos we have here at College.    

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child includes 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life until the age of 18 and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to. The convention was established to promote communication between governments, adults and children to ensure the best outcome for all.  

Over the next few months, we will be learning about the rights through our lessons, assemblies and additional activities that we have organised including a curriculum day, our annual international food festival and House activities among others. 

School Charter 

So far, we have set up our steering group and created our whole college charter based around the following six articles: 

Article 12 – Respect the views of the child.  

This means we as students need to listen, ask questions, and participate in student voice, putting our ideas forward to our form reps.  

Article 16 – The right to privacy.  

As students, we need to respect our friends’ privacy and ensure that other people respect ours. This includes being safe and aware of privacy online and the impact of being part of online communities. Teachers will support us by listening to our concerns and carefully explaining how they keep us safe.

Article 23 – Children with a disability living a full and decent life.  

We will endeavour to understand and be aware of children with disabilities and disorders in our community. It also includes, making sure there are equal opportunities for all people. For example, everyone having access to the same activities.

Article 24 – Every child has the right to the best possible health.  

This means that, as students, we not only need to make sure we are living a healthy lifestyle but are also caring for our school and respecting the campus. We need to be more eco aware and reduce, reuse, recycle! The first step is for us to try to cut down our use of plastic and to recycle our paper. 

Article 29 – The right to have goals in education.  

Through this we as students need to make sure that we are engaging in our learning and trying our best so we can all celebrate our achievements no matter how different or small.    

Article 31 – the right to relax and play. Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities. 

In October we had our first ARTICLE OF THE MONTH – Article 31 

Article 31 states that every child has the right to play and relax by taking part in activities like sports, music and drama. The article aims to ensure that every child can not only excel academically but also creatively and culturally. In order for this article to be fulfilled, young people must be allowed time to play, explore and understand their culture regardless of ability, gender, race or religion. 

Through article 31, the UN aims for young people to be healthy: both mentally and physically. Young people who are allowed to engage in activities both recognise and value the opportunities given to them. In addition to this, they often take further interest in working with local authorities to sustain and develop the quality and range of these opportunities for others. 

In order to continue developing article 31, governments are required to remove barriers that can affect a child’s capacity to access opportunities. These barriers may frequently take the form of a lack of time, of confidence, money or information about the opportunities available to them. 

Article 31 is often experienced by young people within school in the form of extracurricular activities, free time or school trips to museums or places of historical interest. If you wish to read further about this article, an in-depth review is available and can be found by searching for ‘UN Rights of the Child Spotlight Review Article 31’.  

To start us on our way, the pastoral prefects organised an extracurricular fair so that we can learn about the range of clubs and opportunities available to us at school.  

Having an Article of the Month enables us to focus our thoughts and raise awareness of the rights we and other young people have.   

For the next six months, each month an article from our school charter will become the focus of the college, ensuring a better environment for students and staff and promoting awareness of the rights we have.  

ARTICLE OF THE MONTH – NOVEMBER: 

Article 12 – Respecting the views of the child 

This is ensuring that every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes and to have their views considered and taken seriously. 

Already our students have contributed to our annual survey where 90% of students responded. We have held a whole College vote to decide if we are changing the title of the House Cup and on 8th November we are holding a joint debate with Year 10 from JCG and VCJ. The motion for our debate is ‘This house believes that technology is making life better not worse’ and we look forward to seeing the outcome from this.  

UNCRC 30th Anniversary 

Finally, this year on 20th November it is the 30th anniversary of the convention. Therefore, the week beginning 18th November we will be celebrating Rights Respecting Week. This will include a Rights Respecting curriculum day so, throughout this day, children’s rights will be explored in our different lessons allowing us to learn more about them. We will also hold our annual IWA International Food Festival to raise cultural awareness whilst sharing diverse cuisine of different nationalities that our students represent and to raise much needed funds for the Crossover International Academy in Ghana. 

We are always looking for more students to become involved in raising awareness of the UNCRC, therefore if you would like to find out more, please contact Miss Rollo.