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 in school.
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. There are over 500 schools across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales that have received Gold.
Staff and pupils at Giffnock Primary have worked incredibly hard over a number of years to embed teaching and learning about children’s rights into the curriculum.
A range of initiatives ensure that pupils are at the heart of shaping the life of the school and links in with a range of local groups to allow children to make a positive impact in their community.
Giffnock Primary head teacher Rob Lawson said: “We are delighted and proud to have achieved UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting School Gold accreditation.
"Through our School Values, we aim to build a sense of school community where individual rights, respect, equality and inclusivity are prioritised. We are fully committed to equipping our pupils to make a positive contribution whilst learning about sustainability and global issues, allowing them to think critically about the changing world around them.
"Our focus for outdoor learning, enhances the pupils’ ability to develop positive risk-taking, working collaboratively, solve problems and develop their ability to become divergent thinkers.
"All pupils, staff, parents and our wider community are so proud to have been part of this journey and we will continue to ensure diversity and equality for all.”
The award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice.
"A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.
UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools Programme director, Frances Bestley, said: “Giffnock Primary very much impressed us with how pupils and staff have fully embraced the rights-respecting ethos.
"We have seen how children understand children’s rights, show respect for each other and participate fully in school life. There is a real inclusive and nurturing ethos in the school, and children’s engagement in social justice and global citizenship activities is underpinned by children’s rights.
"Giffnock Primary has fully embraced the Convention on the Rights of the Child and we are honoured to accredit the school as Gold: Rights Respecting.”
The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools initiative is aimed at schools across the UK, including those in an early years setting. This year the programme has received additional support from The People’s Postcode Lottery.
This vital funding is helping UNICEF UK continue its work with over 4500 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 pupil’s self-esteem, leading to less truancy and bullying, better learning and improved academic standards.