Holy Family PS achieve UN award
Holy Family Primary School has been presented an international award which recognises schools that have put the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of their planning, policies, practice and ethos.
The North Belfast school is the second in the BELB area to achieve the Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) which is being implemented across all formal education settings – Early Years, Primary, Post-Primary, and Special Needs.
“We have been two years working towards the award, and imbedding it in our everyday practice. For example, with our link school in Uganda, we were able to look at articles from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and base our work round that,” said Marie-Therese Brankin RRSA, Coordinator at Holy Family PS.
“We had a fundraising push for the Ugandan school and raised enough put a new roof on the boys’ dormitory. This linked into the right to a home, and the right to an education.
“We were able to show photographs and compare life in Ireland and Uganda, the children find it very empowering. The anti-bullying week also linked in with the Convention, all classes have charters which set out expectations of behaviour between staff and pupils.
“The children are now using the language of rights among themselves, and will be heard using the language of rights when talking amongst themselves, so it has been very successful.”
The scheme is administered in the city by the Belfast Education and Library Board, and the award is given after assessment by UNICEF.
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved at Holy Family in achieving the Rights Respecting School Award,” said Carol Weatherall, BELB School Improvement Advisory Officer.
“A lot of effort is involved in achieving the Rights Respecting School Award, but it is well worthwhile and is a fantastic way of inspiring children and young people to make informed choices and become confident, active citizens.”