The Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools Award is designed to support schools 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 (UNCRC) at the heart of a school’s practice to improve well-being and help all children and young people realise their potential.
The award is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. We at The Oaks School achieved our level 1 award in 2008 and are currently working to renew this. We believe that learning about the rights of children and understanding the rights of others has a positive impact on relationships, behaviour and well-being in our school. It allows us to focus on a range of topics that nurture and develop skills to encourage our young people to respect those around them, practice empathy and kindness and raise awareness of the world we live in.
Pupils learn about the Convention of Rights for Children weekly in ‘family groups’. These lessons allow pupils of all ages and abilities to work together on topic that enable them to make informed decisions and to grow into confident, active and empowered citizens. Through our work we have found the main areas of impact include:
- Improved self-esteem and well-being
- Improved relationships and behaviour
- Positive attitudes towards diversity in society and the reduction of prejudice
- Enhanced moral understanding
- Support for global justice
- Students become more involved in decision-making.