30 November 2021
A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.
A UNICEF RRSA assessor visited the school, meeting with senior staff, including the chair of governors, as well as students to discover how the school is meeting UNICEF’s criteria for Silver status.
Aspects of the RRSA have been embedded into the school’s culture through lessons, assemblies and by using Votes for Schools, an online platform that provides resources for schoolchildren to prompt discussions on current issues. The Fen Rivers Academy recently launched an RRSA student council, in which children are elected by their peers to contribute opinions on issues that affect the students they represent.
The report stated “Children described how their opinions are sought”, recalling “We’ve had interviews on safety at school, on food and free school meals, and we’ve interviewed teachers.” The report said, “Children have been involved in changing caterers at all stages and are currently involved in creating a child-centred anti-bullying policy.”
It said ‘Staff acknowledged that learning that everyone has rights had helped some children become more empathetic and understand the impact of their actions. The headteacher identified that RRSA had had “a massive impact on behaviour.”’
The Fen Rivers Academy continues to empower students to become responsible and considerate members of their community. The school’s journey with RRSA continues with an aim to achieve its Gold “Rights Respecting” award in the near future.
Headteacher Amanda Fewkes said,
“We are constantly striving to create a learning environment which is committed to promoting and championing children’s rights, and I’m delighted that the hard work of our staff and students has been recognised.”
- Find out more about UNICEF, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Rights Respecting Schools Award on the RRSA website www.unicef.org.uk/rrsa