Now we go for gold!

We’re celebrating our UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Silver accolade along with our Shared Education partners Bangor Academy and St. Columbanus’.

Mrs Huddleson joined Mr Perry, Mr Pitts, pupils and Shared Education co-ordination staff this week as they received news that their work to embed and promote the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has been officially accredited by UNICEF.

Alongside the Academy and St. Columbanus’, Bangor Grammar pupils and staff have been busy working for two years, within the Shared Education Signature Project, to achieve the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Silver Award. A team of UNICEF scrutineers visited all three schools last week before awarding the prestigious accreditation. The scrutineers were impressed by the shared lessons and team building events, the pupils’ confidence and the positive relationships between and within all three schools.

Principal at Bangor Grammar, Mrs. Elizabeth Huddleson said:

To be the first shared education group to achieve the RRS Silver Award is amazing - we are thrilled. We have achieved this through joint lessons involving pupils from the three schools, introducing and embedding the UN Children's Rights ethos through our school - in lessons, via the Student Council and through assemblies. It has been a team effort with pupils, teachers and non-teaching staff involved.

In a Rights Respecting School, young people and the school community learn about children’s rights and put them into practice every day.  The Award is not just about what children do but also, importantly, what adults do too. The award is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. The award recognises the achievement of putting the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child at the heart of the school’s practice, ethos and environment. Silver accredited schools report that embedding respect for the rights of others creates happy, safe and inspiring learning environments. Pupils report a greater sense of wellbeing and schools can nurture their pupils to become responsible, active citizens.

A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learnt, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. The whole endeavour is a team effort as adults and children work towards this goal together. Schools involved in the award have reported a positive impact on behaviour, relationships and wellbeing; all of which lead to better learning, improved academic standards and mutually respectful relationships.

All three Principals and their Shared Education Co-ordinators remain committed to reaching for the top accolade as work towards Gold has already begun. Thanks to all the pupils and staff involved, especially Shared Education Co-ordinators: Mr Muir (Bangor Academy), Mrs Kelly (St. Columbanus) and Mr Turner (Bangor Grammar).

Pictured below: Shared Education Co-ordinators Mr Turner (Bangor Grammar), Mr Muir (Bangor Academy) and Mrs Kelly (St. Columbanus’) are pictured with their Principals, Matthew Pitts (Bangor Academy), Elizabeth Huddleson (Bangor Grammar School) and Mr Perry (St. Columbanus’ College) alongside delighted pupils and staff from all three schools.