Rights Respecting Education and Pupil Participation
Rights Respecting Education (RRE)
At Manor Field, we believe in teaching children to become rights respecting citizens within the school, the local community and the wider world, and in preparing them so that they are able to make positive contributions to our society. Our school ethos firmly promotes mutual respect for all and we pride ourselves on having a school environment where this is evident.
Our school ethos, policies and curriculum are rooted in the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Children are taught their rights from the convention. Through our Rights Respecting Education, we are also fulfilling our requirements to actively promote the 'Fundamental British Values', as outlined by the Prevent Strategy. We believe that these values are not only British, but are fundamental to other countries and societies around the world. There are four values in total:
Democracy; The Rule of Law; Liberty; Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with Different Faiths.
At Manor Field Junior School, we encourage acceptance of difference, rather than tolerance of. To find out more information specifically about these values, please click here.
We have the right to an education (Article 28)
We are proud to be recognised by the county as being a leading school for RRE. To us, RRE is about both teaching the children their rights, as outlined by the UNCRC, and also having a school ethos which is founded on the principles of democracy and pupil participation. We firmly believe that, through RRE, we are enabling children to gain an understanding and respect of their own culture and of the culture of others.
What is Pupil Participation?
Through democratic classrooms, children are encouraged to participate actively in their learning and to share their opinions and ideas. Article 12, every child has the right to express their opinion, is a well-known article and recent surveys are evidence that children do feel that their ideas and views are respected and valued.
Our active school council, elected during our annual democracy week, are just one team of children who are given positions of responsibility in the school, but there are other teams as well who you can find out more about in the Children's section of the website. The annual school council conference provides the opportunity for children, from across our 13 cluster schools, to work together on a common theme: for example, diversity, equality or mehtal health and well being. Key note speakers, such as Chris Lubbe - bodyguard to Nelson Mandela - help to inspire the children at the conference, giving them key messages to deliver back in their own schools.
We believe that, by giving children the opportunities to take on roles and responsibilities around the school, we are encouraging them to make valuable contributions to their school community, and as such, they are developing a greater sense of belonging.
Pupil voice is promoted across the school, with children frequently being given the opportunity to express their own opinions. An example of this is the children’s involvement in the review of school policies and with recruitment.
One child once asked, "Does the Headteacher run the school or help the school to run?" We feel strongly that this reflects the strength of pupil participation in our school.
Our School Agreement:
Our School Agreement was reviewed by a working party consisting of children, staff and governors. Our new school agreement states:
As principled 'fruits'... we value our right to an education (Article 28, UNCRC); we value our right to be protected (Article 39, UNCRC); we value our right to be heard (Article 12, UNCRC). We value diversity and our environment. We believe that we can.As 'principled fruits' refers to the fact that, at Manor Field Junior School, we recognise the contribution that we can all make to the team - in a bowl of fruit salad, there isn't just apple; in our school, we all have a part to play and an important contribution to make. Regardless of whether or not we are a year 3 child or a child in year 6 - we recognise that human rights are universal.
RRE through the curriculum
Our curriculum provides us with the opportunities to consider how RRE can have a positive impact on our lives. An example of this can be seen in the Year 5 topic: Are we responsible? Through this project, the children consider the plight of endangered animals, as well as discussing ways in which they can help to save the world.
In our lower school project, 'Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?', there is the opportunity for the children to look particularly at one of the Fundamental Values: The Rule of Law. Throughout the project, the children examine evidence to decide whether or not the wolf is guilty of criminal damage to the three little pigs' home. Following a trial, the children must decide on a suitable and appropriate punishment for the wolf (if he is found guilty!), that must also take into consideration his rights. This is where children can begin to learn about the intricacies of human rights.
We explore a range of quality texts as part of our work on Rights Respecting Education, often exploring more challenging themes such as immigration and racism.
How can I get involved?
At the beginning of each academic year, parents are asked to read through the 'Home School Agreement' with their children and to sign it. By working in partnership with parents and children, we feel that we can create a more positive environment where each child can achieve their best, both academically and socially, feeling safe, secure, valued and respected.