Unicef Rights Respecting School Award
Holy Family is a Rights Respecting school (Level one).
Children have been learning about The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Governments worldwide have signed up to the convention, which promises all children the same rights. Rights are based on what a child needs in order to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential. We are also learning about the importance of respecting the rights of others i.e. our responsibilities.
The Holy Family Rights Respecting Schools steering group is made up of our school council with the support of representative adults from our school community; Ms McQuaid, Ms Clarken, Mr Killen, Mr Bell and Miss Brankin. The steering group will be responsible for making everyone more aware of children’s rights.
During May 2012 Holy Family had a “Rights Respecting School week”. Each year group focused on one article in the convention and carried out activities to promote understanding. Children also learned about life in Uganda, particularly for the students of our Partner school St Paul’s. We made links with the CRC.
Have a look at some of the wonderful work across the school:
P.1 Our special names
Article 7- All children have the right to a name.
Many of the children at St Paul's have Christian names just like the children at Holy Family. In Primary 1, Children wrote and decorated their own names.
Article 31 – all children have a right to relax and play and to join in a wide range of activities.
P.2 Discussed photographs from the St Paul’s sports day. At our own Holy Family sports day some children had a go at the bottle race.
Article 27- Children have the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical and mental needs. The government should help families who cannot afford to provide this.
Children considered what makes a home. Children looked at photographs of homes in Uganda and compared them with homes in Belfast.
Article 24- Children have the right to nutritious food.
Children learned the names of foods common to Uganda e.g Matoke, yam, kasava, sweet potato, ground nuts. Children created art to show typical Irish meals and typical Ugandan meals.
Children learned about food shortages at St Paul's. Up to 200 children each day cannot afford to pay for school meals so they do not eat. Holy Family has donated money for a banana plantation and farming tools to help address this problem.
P.5 Celebrating culture
Article 30 - Every child has the right to learn and use the language and religion and customs of their family.
Children listened to and watched the dvd of St Paul's children performing African dance and music. They then completed visual literacy activities during which they considered the thoughts and feelings of children in the photographs.
P.6 Walking for water
Article 24 - Children have the right to good quality health care and to clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment so that they will stay healthy. Rich countries should help poorer countries to achieve this.
Children were given the experience of carrying water a distance across the playground.
Children wrote about how they found the experience e.g was it heavy, did they spill any, etc. They considered what it would be like to get all their water in this way.
Article 28 Children have a right to an education. Discipline in schools should help respect children's human dignity. Primary education should be free. Wealthy countries should help poorer countries to achieve this.
Primary seven wrote letters to our local MLA to encourage her to support the 'Send My Friend to School' campaign. Primary seven also donated some of their confirmation money directly to our partner school in Uganda for the purchase of school resources.
How can parents support their child to learn about the Convention at home?
- Take the time to ask your child what he/she has learnt recently regarding children’s rights and responsibilities.
- Discuss the ideas learned in class, and try to think of examples from your own experiences, or from the media, of rights being respected or denied.
- Discuss how your child or your family can promote respect for rights, or help those whose rights have been violated.
- Model using rights and responsibility language with your children.
- Ask your child’s opinion on children’s rights.
For a full list of children's rights, in child friendly language, and for more information on the award, read the documents below........