Important achievement for our schools
In this year of young people, schools across South Ayrshire are making great strides in embedding the rights of the child in school life.
So far, nearly all our schools have put themselves forward for a UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools (RRS) award and have undergone assessment by UNICEF who work with schools in the UK to create safe and inspiring places to learn that are rooted in the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child.
Recently Tarbolton, Alloway, Muirhead and Barassie primaries achieved an amazing Level 2/gold award. Cairn Primary secured a Level 1/silver with Doonfoot, Barrhill, Fisherton and Invergarven primaries along with Queen Margaret Academy all achieving bronze awards.
UNICEF has recognised the hard work taking place in many of our schools to achieve RRS status.
Assessors from the organisation were impressed with the gold winning Tarbolton Primary where children act as RRS ambassadors, working to raise awareness of children's rights both in the classroom and beyond. The school has also developed strong links with children in Delhi, shining a light on how learning changes according to different cultures and customs.
Fellow gold award winners Alloway Primary also work with children overseas to learn more about the rights of other young people. They held a Malawi Day last year in partnership with Bandawe Primary School and their RRS award recognises this event and the work of the pupil committee to help raise funds for their African partner school.
There was an international feel at Muirhead Primary School too as they welcomed visitors from Norway as part of the UNICEF assessment team. The school was recognised for their project work and their efforts to secure a CCTV camera for their playground to help ensure everyone looks after each other.
When the assessors visited Barassie Primary School, they took part in a number of focus groups with children and found that everyone feels valued and listened to. The judges were also impressed with the school's behaviour policy and recognised the fundraising work undertaken by children, parents, staff and various partners.
Councillor William Grant, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder said: "We are keen to ensure that all children and young people are listened to and are actively involved in making our schools better.
"Thanks to the efforts of children and staff we are developing our children into young people who not only know their own rights but who will respect the rights of others.
"Well done to all the schools for achieving this important recognition."
With these latest schools, we now have 8 gold level schools, 20 silver level, 19 bronze level with another 4 schools registered to start their journey.