SELLY Oak Nursery School achieved the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Gold award after demonstrating how it has embedded children’s rights into its ethos and culture.
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. The Rights Respecting Schools Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others.
Gold is the highest accolade given by UNICEF UK and shows a deep and thorough commitment to children’s rights at all levels of school life.
The Nursery received the accolade after a UNICEF assessor examined the whole of the Nursery’s rights respecting work and the positive impact it has made to young children's lives.
It built on the silver award gained in 2018 by weaving children’s rights throughout its policy, practice, and culture.
Selly Oak demonstrated that its children, who are aged 3 and 4-year-olds, clearly understood their rights, which included the right to a name, shelter, education and food and water.
Staff used the Rights Respecting Puppet, ‘Ricky Rabbit’, to help children learn their rights in a way they understand. Pupils were also able to talk confidently to the assessor about their rights.
The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools initiative is aimed at schools across the UK, including those in an early years setting.
Currently, it works with nearly 5,000 primary schools, secondary schools, schools for children and young people with special educational needs and pupil referral units across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Schools have reported a positive impact on pupil behaviour, relationships and well-being by enhancing pupils’ self-esteem, leading to less truancy and bullying, better learning and improved academic standards.