Source: Channel Islands – Jersey
15 July 2021
Les Landes School have been awarded Gold, the highest accreditation under the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award.
The primary school, which began their rights respecting schools journey in 2015 is the second Island school to reach this level.
In July of 2018, the Children’s Commissioner offered support to all schools in Jersey to progress through the Award.
The Rights Respecting Schools Award is a UNICEF initiative that works with schools to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured, and they are able to thrive.
The Rights Respecting Schools assessors, who spoke to students and staff at Les Landes School, said that it was “evident that children’s rights are embedded across the school and underpin every facet of school life”.
In the report, it listed particular strengths of Les Landes School, including:
- Very articulate and confident children with a strong knowledge of rights; children used rights vocabulary very effectively.
- An up-to-date, clear and ambassadorial website.
- The anti-bullying reps and the school’s restorative practice are very well regarded by pupils and staff.
- A strong commitment to the Convention on Children’s Rights from SLT
In the accreditation report, it said that the children were familiar with a wide range of articles from the Convention and how they impacted on their lives and their understanding of rights concepts and the way in which they could discuss them confidently was described as “impressive”.
One child who spoke to the assessors said about their rights: “You get them as soon as you are born; they are inalienable, and no one can take them away.”
Another student added: “We try to link the rights to as many lessons as we can.”
Les Landes School Headteacher, Vicki Charlesworth, said: “This award reflects the work of our whole school community in placing children’s rights at the forefront of what we do. The children are passionate about this work and we will continue our commitment to the Convention.”
Jersey’s Children’s Commissioner, Deborah McMillan, said: “We are delighted to see Les Landes attain gold in the Rights Respecting Schools Awards. It really is a significant achievement, and they thoroughly deserve it. Gold status can only be reached when the voice of children is firmly at the heart of a school’s ethos and way of working.
‘In general, we are also pleased to see the way in which the Rights Respecting Schools scheme has stood Jersey’s students in such good stead during the many challenges and obstacles that Covid has presented in their young lives.
‘When we first began rolling out this programme among the Island’s schools, we could never have predicted the very difficult times that lay ahead. What we did know, though, is that a well-established culture of children’s rights can help schools to thrive, even in the toughest of circumstances.’