For many years we have been proud partners with UNICEF who uphold the Convention for the Rights of a Child (CRC). As a school, if we believe that we are a place where excellent learning can only take place in a safe environment free from prejudice, where all can learn joyfully and begin that journey of personal understanding and spiritual development then we need to embrace all needs of a child equally. The CRC gives us a practical framework that legallly puts a child in the centre and then the duty on all adults' shoulders to ensure they can flourish and this can be done. This is our joy and responsbility.
In 2016 we were delighted to be awarded our first Gold UNICEF award, the highest award given to schools. We were then further delighted in 2022 to receive our second Gold award. These are rare and is a testimony to the school's long term commitment to our communities' children. The latest report is below:
UNICEF Gold Reacreditation Report
St Paul’s and UNICEF
The school has been involved with various campaigns but our first remains the most significant principally because it brought the school back to its roots to William Wilberforce.
In 1807 Wilberforce acted as a figure head for new laws banning slavery (the Abolition of the Slave Trade). UNICEF knew of our historic relationship with Wilberforce and asked the school if we would help them raise awareness nationally through their 'Invisible Child' campaign for childhood slavery in the UK. Sadly, 10 children every week find themselves entering the UK as modern day slaves which we now call trafficking. Below is one of the images that resulted from the campaign (you may remember it). We are very proud of our association with William Wilberforce and pleased that nearly 200 years after his death we are still able to honour his name and continue his work.
St Paul’s and UNICEF
We are very proud to be a Gold Standard Rights Respecting School.
It is something that we believe compliments our Christian ethos and helps provide our pupils with a lifelong awareness of what we mean by rights and what they are. This was a common comment from all external inspection groups including UNICEF, OFSTED and SIAMs inspectors.
Our children attempt to go beyond the Gold Standard and recent campaigns have included campaigning against plastic pollution, single use plastics, inoculations and child trafficking. We are proud to have been able to support UNICEF with Children Take Over day in 2019 as well as using our sporting credentials to raise UNICEF awareness with SoccerAid.
During the Covid-19 crisis of 2020 the school continued to raise rights awareness through weekly UNICEF PowerPoints, PictureNews and FirstNews articles. As a result, St Paul’s now works directly with PictureNews providing rights advice that goes out to thousands of schools each week.
But the best ideas for action come directly from children. Each year our Y6 children use their business brains to create mini-enterprise ideas with the funds going directly to sponsor UNICEF’s ‘School in a Box’. In 2019 the teams raised enough money to fund seven boxes which meant that the pupils of St Paul’s collectively raised enough money to teach over 280 pupils; more pupils than at St Paul’s! Not only did this tap into their entrepreneurial minds, it demonstrated a common observation that many missionaries reflect upon; you learn more through these exercises personally than the person who receives your support. This was reflected in a campaign in 2018 on single use plastics. The idea came from our Head Boy and Head Girl who then galvanised every pupil in the school to write to a wide range of politicians and political groups. When David Attenborough championed the crisis of single use plastic they were convinced it was because of their campaign.
But our children can only be strong if the adults supporting them are strong. Our role – as duty bearers – is to guide our children in their decision making and to so wisely and in a way that enables them to flourish. If we do this together we too will grow.
The Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of a school’s planning, policies, practice and ethos. A rights-respecting school not only teaches about children’s rights but also models rights and respect in all its relationships: between teachers / adults and pupils, between adults and between pupils.
Rights of a Child
Below is a list of the rights that the convention covers. This version of the rights was updated in 2020. You will see elements of this poster in every class project display and throughout the school. St Paul's also worked with Picture News to develop weekly resources using these images that are used in thousands of schools across Britain.
There are 17 Global Goals. Their range is broader than the CRC and cover all aspects of addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people. The goals cover the three aspects of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. The new goals are universal.
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children and their rights. They work with families, local communities, partners and governments in more than 190 countries to help every child survive and flourish.
As champion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, they advocate for governments to protect and promote the rights of every child. They believe, as do we, that children’s rights should never be compromised by their circumstances.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations, built on varied legal systems and cultural traditions.
The convention has 54 articles in total. The general principles of the Convention are found in Articles 2, 3, 6 & 1.
Learning about the Articles throughout the Curriculum
Learning about the articles is woven throughout our curriculum with each year group linking an article to each half termly topic:
Reception takes opportunity to learn about articles throughout their curriculum.
Links to UNICEF Articles in the Curiosity Curriculum
The school has been involved with various campaigns but our first remains the most significant principally because it brought the school back to its roots to William Wilberforce. In 1807 Wilberforce acted as a figure head for new laws banning slavery (the Abolition of the Slave Trade). UNICEF knew of our historic relationship with Wilberforce and asked the school if we would would help them raise awareness nationally through their 'Invisible Child' campaign for childhood slavery in the UK. Sadly, 10 children every week find themselves entering the UK as modern day slaves which we now call trafficking. Below is one of the images that resulted from the campaign (you may remember it). We are very proud of our association with William Wilberforce and pleased that over 180 years after his death we are still able to honour his name and continue his work.
Other campaigns that we have worked on include single use plastics, air pollution and the right to immunisation.