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Rights & Responsibilities

Rights Respecting Agenda

The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989. It is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history and is a statement of the civil, political, economical, social and cultural rights of children. UNICEF works to promote and protect children’s rights through practical programmes and education. UNICEF offer a Rights Respecting School Award which gives recognition for placing the values of the UNCRC at the core of school’s values.

At Oakridge, we aim to:

  • Create a learning environment which is conducive to learning and to respect for self and community
  • Ensure that the children are aware of their own social responsibilities to their local and wider community
  • To meet these aims we are implementing the Rights respecting agenda from UNICEF. There are several benefits including:
  • Improved pupil self-esteem
  • Pupils' enhanced moral development
  • Improved behaviour and relationships
  • More positive attitudes towards diversity in society and the reduction of prejudice
  • Pupils' development as global citizens

So far, the children have created a class charter which outlines the rights that they have and also the responsibilities that come with those rights. It was important to think about responsibilities as understanding that you have rights is also about understanding that others have the same rights.

We have made links to rights and responsibilities in our lessons and assemblies and are also collaborating with Rising Brook Church for ‘Challenge Uganda’ to help promote children's rights there. As a global citizen, we want to help the children understand that they should know their rights, believe that everybody has rights and understand that we can work together to create a world where everyone can access their rights.

Pupils' Understanding of Rights and Responsibilities

Pupils conversations showed that children have a good level of understanding, appropriate to their age group, of rights and responsibilities. Children could describe key rights from the UNCRC and talk about their own responsibilities corresponding to their rights.

We learnt about things that we want and things that we need. Right means you need them. We leant about keeping safe. We need to be safe. Walk, no running, to be safe. We need to learn. We need to listen. We need to try our best – reach for the stars

  • A right to say what you think and believe. We need to listen to other children to let them say what they think (Year 1)
  • A right is something you can have and need. A responsibility is like when you pick up a coat and its not even yours (Year 2)
  • A right is something that children need and should have. A responsibility is something that you have to do – a bit like rules. There are responsibilities that match your rights (Year 3)
  • A right is something we should be able to have or do. A responsibility is something you need to take care of (Year 4)
  • A right is something that you should have. Children have rights – knew that UNICEF have thought about the rights of children. A responsibility is something that you have to do that goes with the right (Year 5)
  • Everyone has rights – children have rights from the UNCRC. You have rights but you also have responsibilities. Right is something you have to have to be you – you need it to live and develop. And a responsibility is what you give back to enable you to have that right (Year 6)

So far:

  • Every class has created their own charter
  • Staff have met to discuss happens within a Rights Respecting Classroom
  • Links are being made in assemblies and are beginning to be made in curriculum areas
  • A steering group has been created to help devise the action plan
  • Children have begun to think about rights and responsibilities at play times to create a playtime charter
  • Parents have been informed
  • Link with ‘Cherish Uganda’ has begun
  • Next Steps:
  • Staff model rights respecting behaviours and language
  • Pupils use the values and language of the UNCRC
  • Make more links in planning to give opportunities to show that all children should have the same rights as us and develop children's understanding of being a global citizen
  • Create a playground charter