The Sweyne Park School has been on its Rights Respecting journey since our former Assistant Headteacher, Stephanie Garner, started the process back in 2009. Steph was passionate about getting the best out of every single child, believing that the best way to achieve this was through the promotion and protection of children’s rights. Knowing that the school’s ethos is centred on respect (respect for yourself, respect for others and respect for the environment) Steph signed the school up for the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award. Under her leadership, the school achieved what was then the Level 1 award in 2013, recognising the school’s commitment to children’s rights and the key principles that underpin this. Shortly after this, Steph tragically passed away. Determined to continue Steph’s legacy, the school has built on previous rights respecting work and has been pushing towards Level 2 (now Gold) ever since.
As part of their education at The Sweyne Park School, pupils learn about their rights, the key principles that underpin this and the importance of respecting their own rights and the rights of others. They learn that rights are universal (apply to all children), inherent (exist from birth), inalienable (cannot be taken away), unconditional (do not need to be earned) and indivisible (all rights are equal). The Rights Respecting Group represents pupils from each year group and has been working to make sure that everybody associated with the school, staff and parents included, knows about the rights children have and the importance of ensuring that these rights are respected.
The CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child) forms a central part of the work we do as a Rights Respecting School. Pupil Voice is of huge importance, given that all children have the right to express their views and be listened to. As a result, the School Council plays a large role in the decision-making processes within school and our councillors embody the values of the CRC.
To learn more about UNICEF and the Rights Respecting Schools Award, please contact Adam Thomson at the school.