A Borders primary school is celebrating after being recognised for respecting and learning about childrens’ rights.
Priorsford Primary pupils join those of only 50 other Scottish schools with a Level 2 Rights Respecting School Award by UNICEF UK.
Unicef is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. A Rights Respecting School (RRS) is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. Level 2 is the highest level of the award and is granted to schools that have fully embedded children’s rights throughout the school in its policies, practice and ethos.
There are only 50 schools in Scotland that have received the Level 2 Award and Priorsford is the first school in the Borders to achieve the recognition.
The award was presented by Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, Tam Baillie who travelled from Edinburgh to make the presentation.
Speaking after the presentation, Rights Respecting group member and Priorsford pupil, Keith Kitching (P7) said: “Being a RRS makes us more proud of our school because everyone talks together a lot more and we can discuss things so our behaviour and attitudes have really improved.”
Fellow group member and P7 pupil Erin Little added: “It gives us more freedom in what we want to do because we know about all the rights we have. It has also made us understand the worth of things a bit better, especially our rights and how they help us, and we now recognise that there are others who may not get their rights and it’s unfair.”
Councillor Iain Gillespie, Children’s Champion for Scottish Borders Council said: “Many congratulations to Priorsford on being awarded the Level 2 Rights Respecting Schools Award which is extremely well deserved. Children’s Rights underpin all the work that is carried out at Priorsford. This helps promote a respectful safe and challenging ethos that is reflected in the positive relationships to be found right across the school community.”
In his report, Gerry McMurtrie, Senior Professional Advisor for the Rights Respecting Schools Awards commented on the school’s commitment to children’s rights, the confident, respectful pupils and the supportive parent network.
The school will now continue promoting rights and encouraging children to be active Global Citizens as well as being an ambassador for children’s rights, supporting other schools in their ambition to become rights respecting.