At Moira Primary School, we continually strive to promote an ethos which reflects UNICEF’s 'Rights' Respecting School Award’ (RRSA). The award recognises schools that have put the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of their planning, policies, practice and ethos. A rights' respecting school is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the basis of all UNICEF's work and states that every child has the right to:
The RRSA we believe helps our pupils to grow into confident, caring and responsible young citizens both in school and within the wider community. By learning about their rights, the pupils will also learn about the importance of respecting the rights of others.
In Moira Primary School, pupil Councillors, staff members and Mrs N Markwell (Chair of Board of Governors), all form the school’s RRS Steering Group and are therefore involved in making Rights Respecting School decisions on behalf of the pupils. This involvement and opportunity for the pupils to express their views about their school, supports Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Respect for the views of the child/a child's right to be heard. Our RRS steering groups meets regularly to plan and evaluate the work of the school towards becoming recognised for the various stages of the RRSA.
UNICEF UK Awards
At Moira Primary School, we have achieved the following UNICEF UK Awards:
October 2017: UNICEF UK Bronze Rights Committed School Award
June 2018: UNICEF UK Silver Rights Aware School Award
As the basis of our School Charter, we have chosen 3 CRC Articles that we feel underpin the experiences children have in our school:
Article 3 - Best Interests of the child
The best interests of children must be the primary concern in making decisions that may affect them. All adults should do what is best for children. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. This particularly applies to budget, policy and law makers.
Article 12 - Respect for the views of the child
When adults are making decisions that affect children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account. This does not mean that children can now tell their parents what to do. This Convention encourages adults to listen to the opinions of children and involve them in decision-making - not give children authority over adults. Article 12 does not interfere with parents’ right and responsibility to express their views on matters affecting their children. Moreover, the Convention recognises that the level of a child’s participation in decisions must be appropriate to the child’s level of maturity. Children’s ability to form and express their opinions develops with age and most adults will naturally give the views of teenagers greater weight than those of a preschooler, whether in family, legal or administrative decisions.
Article 29 - Goals of Education
Children's education should develop each child’s personality, talents and abilities to the fullest. It should also help them learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people. Children have a particular responsibility to respect the rights of their parents and education should aim to develop respect for the values and culture of their parents. The Convention does not address such issues as school uniforms, dress codes, the singing of the national anthem or prayer in schools. It is up to governments and school officials in each country to determine whether, in the context of their society and existing laws, such matters infringe upon other rights protected by the Convention.