Since 2018 Bradstow School has been a Gold Level UNICEF Rights Respecting School. We had our RRSA reaccreditation visit in December 2022 hoping to achieve a Maintaining Gold Award and we are very pleased to announce we have achieved this at Bradstow School.
Our strengths were:
1. The Rights Respecting language is embedded and visible throughout the school community.
2. We show a clear commitment to a child based approach with a focus on participation and best interests.
3. We go above and beyond with our various communication supports, and by using the total communication model.
4. We have proved a range of communication opportunities, and chances for young people to express their views, and enhanced this by embedding meetings into our PSHE curriculum.
5. We have taken on board the recommendations since the last meeting and acted to improve our commitment to respecting the rights of a child through our new curriculum.
6. Employment, sports and access to college were spoken about with staff, it is clear we go above and beyond in all settings to enable our young people to have their rights respected.
A rights-respecting school not only teaches about children’s rights but also models rights and respect in all its relationships.
A Unicef UK Rights Respecting School is a community where Children’s Rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. Children and young people and the school community learn about children’s rights by putting them into practice every day. The Award is not just about what children do but also importantly what adults do – in Rights Respecting Schools, children's rights are promoted and realised and adults and children work towards this together.
For more information on the benefits of being a rights respecting school please visit the UNICEF website.
What do we do here at Bradstow?
As well as embedding the Convention of Rights of the Child (CRC) into our ethos, planning, development and relationships throughout the school we also..
Celebrate achievements of our young people within the context of the CRC
We have made some minor changes to our weekly celebration of achievement assembly so that each child’s achievement is related to an article from the CRC. We hope that this will help our young people and staff to get to know the convention better and further understand its importance.
Each class has a class charter
All classes at Bradstow are encouraged to have a class charter which is clearly visible in their environment.
UNICEF offers the following guidance which we follow when creating our charters-
A charter/agreement for a right-respecting classroom (or any other part of the school) sets out:
- The rights (articles) selected from the CRC which children, young people and adult consider to be the most relevant in their class or school. The rights should be worded in language that is meaningful to the children but clearly based on particular articles from the Convention. The full text of the Convention or our child-friendly summaries of it are all available here: www.unicef.org.uk/UNICEFs-Work/UN-Convention/
- The actions agreed between all children and adults to ensure that rights can be realised and enjoyed by everyone
- Who has agreed to the charter? This is often done by everyone signing it.
What is agreed is then set out in a way that is easily visible.
In Rights Respecting Schools, charters/agreements are developed with the active participation of children and young people of all ages, including children from nursery settings. They reflect the shared values and principles of the CRC and are applicable to all.
Engage in an “article of the term”
As an additional way of embedding knowledge and understanding of the CRC we now have article of the term which is displayed in each classroom and on the UNICEF notice board. This is discussed and referenced in lessons and conversations where appropriate throughout the term.
Hold termly community council meetings
Our community council is up and running and sessions have been very successful this year as well as being very popular. Our young people have been coming up with lots of suggestions and opinions which we as a staff group have been able to take on board and make changes as a result.
In addition to this young people complete a survey annually to feed into the school council process. We ensure that the young person’s views and suggestions are gained to support improvements throughout the Bradstow community.
Publish the “Bradstow Voice” newsletter
The Bradstow Voice newsletter is published half termly and reports on issues relevant to our young people. Often issues raised at the community council meeting will feature as well as other news or accomplishments that young people may be interested in. The ‘Bradstow Voice’ is published in print at the school and shared here on our website. The newsletter has a Rights Respecting focus - news will be linked with CRC articles and the “article of the term” is always featured at the back.
Make efforts to raise money for Charity
Each term we support a different charity, involving young people in learning about the charities which often help children in the UK and wider world to access their basic rights. Doing this not only benefits our chosen charities but allows our young people to learn about the world and make a real difference.
Involve Parents Carers and Friends of Bradstow
We encourage any involvement from parents, carers and friends of Bradstow and keep everyone informed of our latest initiatives through our school newsletter the ‘Bradstow Voice’. From now on we aim to have a RRSA stall at all school events to promote the work we are doing towards the Rights Respecting School Award. This will give visitors and parents the chance to find out more and ask any questions.
Support other schools in their journey to becoming Rights Respecting Schools
We have contacted some other schools in our area who have shown an interest in becoming Rights Respecting Schools. If you are part of a school who would like some support then please don’t hesitate to contact us and ask for the Rights Respecting School coordinator.
All displays around the school are labelled with the corresponding article from the Convention of Rights of the Child. We have a community council display as well as a display showing recent work towards learning about rights or SMSC.