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Rights Respecting School

In July 2018, we were awarded Unicef’s Rights Respecting Gold award, an award that puts children’s rights at the heart of schools in the UK.

July 2018 saw the wonderful culmination of several years’  commitment, when we became officially a Rights Respecting School and received Unicef’s Gold Award. We are delighted to be the first school in Sunderland to achieve Gold! Our children learn about rights, through rights and for rights and everything done in school is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Children at Diamond Hall Junior Academy know that all children have the same rights. No one right is more important than others. Rights are universal. They do not have to be earned. 

We chose to strive to be a ‘Rights Respecting School’ because we want our pupils to be kind, respectful, knowledgeable, articulate, confident, tolerant and globally-aware citizens of the 21st century.

Please watch our video below that explains what being 'rights respecting' means to our pupils or scroll down to see what rights respecting activities we have completed so far this year. 

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Planned activities for the start of the 2018-19 Rights Respecting year include:

  • Creation of new class charters
  • Election of new steering committee
  • Sunderland Network meeting to be held in school
  • A range of in-class activities to introduce new Year 3 entrants to learn about the UNCRC
  • Pupils to join in with Harvest Festival activities at Ashton Grange Care Home
  • Pupils to take part in a Forest School Rights Respecting activity morning at St Mary’s School.
  • Macmillan Coffee afternoon
  • Pupils to help in SCITT student training on aspects of the UNCRC

Some activities from our Rights Respecting journey to Gold have been:

  • Raising funds for Tiny Lives and the Neo-Natal Unit - a charity chosen by pupils (Christmas Jumper day).
  • Shoe Share - thank you to everyone for donations of shoes, which will be turned by Unicef and Clarks into ‘School in a Box’ for children in parts of the world who do not get their right to education.
  • Raising funds for sports equipment by taking part in the Olympic Athlete sponsored fitness event.
  • Year 3 are currently lobbying the Prime Minister as part of their ‘Send my friend to school - make school safe campaign.’
  • Year 4 were concerned at the amount of litter in the local area, so wrote to Julie Elliott (MP) who responded by visiting school. Children then organised their own Litter Pick in Pocket Park. The Eco- Group also helped out by litter picking on the beach.
  • Year 5 have taken part in the Heartstone Odyssey project which aims at raising awareness of discrimination.
  • Another Year 5 class was visited by a representative from the WE campaign, to demonstrate how children can make a difference in the world and to teach them how to action plan for campaigning.
  • Lots of recycling activities have also been generated by Year 5, and you may have seen our new greenhouse, made from re-cycled materials, in the school grounds, which was created by the Eco –group.
  • Year 6 have taken part in Parliamentary Outreach workshops, to teach them more about democracy in action.
  • The Community Police delivered a whole school assembly during ‘Safe Children’ week and introduced the idea of ‘Mini-police’.
  • Whole school Refugee Week.
  • Year 6 Fair Trade Week.
  • RRS steering group gave a presentation to SMT at Academy 360.

Impact

The impact of all Rights Respecting activities can be seen in a recent survey, in which 99% of pupils said they feel they can influence matters locally, and 98% globally. 95% feel they can make a difference in school. This is because our children have a good knowledge of the articles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and this knowledge empowers them to take action to make a positive change to the lives of other children.

We've got gold!