Singleton
CE Primary School

Singleton C.E. Primary School is a happy and caring community in which good manners, excellent behaviour and a desire to continuously improve and learn are expected from everybody. We are a Church of England School teaching Christian values and beliefs. We also promote awareness and tolerance of, and respect for other religions and cultures.

    RIGHTS RESPECTING SCHOOL AWARD ASSESSMENT REPORT LEVEL ONE


The assessor would like to thank everyone involved in the assessment visit for their warm welcome, for the opportunity to speak with staff, parents, governors and pupils during the assessment and for the detailed evidence of work towards becoming a Level 1 rights-respecting school. Prior to the assessment visit you provided a self-evaluation. It was evident during the visit that a respect for rights is central to the school’s ethos and practice.

 

It was particularly notable that pupils have a good knowledge of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and take a lead in promoting and directing the school’s rights-respecting journey. The RRS Ambassadors were clear about how a respect for rights related to the school’s Christian ethos, encapsulated in their Mission statement, ‘We are a Church of England School teaching Christian values and beliefs. We also promote awareness and tolerance of, and respect for other religions and cultures.’ Pupils and adults commented on the value placed upon the voice of the child, and the opportunities presented to encourage pupil participation in the life of their school and beyond.

Standards A, B, C and D have all met the necessary criteria. 


THE ASSESSMENT IN DETAIL

 

 
                                        

 

 

The school context

 

Singleton is a smaller than average rural Primary school with 65 pupils on roll. Currently, the school has no pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds, or with English as an additional language. The percentage of pupils with additional educational needs is around the national average, with 22% of pupils supported by school action, and 4% supported by school plus. Around 6% of pupils are eligible for free school meals.

 

Singleton registered with rights-respecting schools programme in February 2011, and was awarded the Recognition of Commitment in March 2012. In July 2012 Ofsted rated the school as ‘Good.’

 

 

 

Assessment information

 

Self-evaluation form received

Yes

Impact evaluation form received

Yes

Attendees at SLT meeting

Head of School; RRSA Lead

Number of children interviewed

22 children

Number of staff/parents/governors interviewed

5 teaching staff

2 support staff

3 parents

2 governors

Evidence provided

Learning walk – charters, displays, class visits.

School Assembly

School prospectus

Portfolio – SDP extract, policy documents, photos, minutes, assembly plans, School Council minutes, Governing Body minutes, curriculum plans, pupil surveys, pupils’ work.

Standard A:

Rights-respecting values underpin leadership and management

 

 

 

 

Standard A has been met.

 

The School Charter highlights the centrality of a respect for rights to the school’s Christian ethos. It speaks of ’…our belief in the rights of all children…’ and the commitment to ‘…respect each other, treat each other fairly, care about each other…’. It concludes:We are all equal and yet treated as individuals.’ Likewise, the mission statement makes clear the commitment to being inclusive: ‘We are a Church of England School teaching Christian values and beliefs. We also promote awareness and tolerance of, and respect for other religions and cultures.’ The RRS coordinator explained how RRSA had ‘given the children a wider understanding for why we are the way we are.’ The head teacher described how the RRS journey had helped to ‘promote children’s independence of thought and their perspectives of self and others within a global dimension.’

 

The School Development Plan (SDP) includes raising the profile of RRSA as a key objective, and this has informed other priorities such as, staff training, policy review and involving pupils in leading collective worship. For example, the Curriculum, Teaching and learning policy makes explicit reference to children’s rights and equality of opportunity ‘to enable each person to be successful…’ In addition, the Child Protection policy states as an aim, ‘to provide an environment in which children feel safe, secure, valued and respected, ... know how to approach adults … believing they will be effectively listened to …’ Minutes from Governors’ meetings show that members have been kept informed with RRSA progress, and there is Governor representation on the Steering group.

 

Pupils are given opportunities to deepen and apply their knowledge of the Convention within and beyond the school. For example, the RRSA Ambassadors regularly help to devise and lead assemblies helping their peers make connections between faith and rights-respecting practice. Pupils have been involved in the ‘Right to Sing’ project with other locality schools and the West Sussex music service, composing and recording songs based on the Convention. Furthermore, an understanding of the global dimension to rights is promoted through topic work, assemblies, international school links, and participation in numerous fund-raising events to support children’s rights such as Comic Relief. The school was recently featured in the local newspaper for its successful fund-raising breakfast for UNICEF’s Day for Change campaign, with food donated by a local supermarket.

 

 

Standard B:

The whole school community learns about the CRC

 

 
 

 

Standard B has been met

 

Children’s knowledge of the Convention is excellent, and they understood that children’s rights are universal and unconditional.  They were able to cite examples of how rights are not always respected at a personal and global level. A Year 3 girl recalled her learning about child labour: “Some children are made to work and so they can’t go to school.” A Year 5 boy described the plight of children in poverty in the UK and in parts of Africa: ‘In the UK, if parents lose their job they don’t get enough money to feed their children properly….in Africa, some children don’t have clean water to drink and they get sick…’

 

Members of staff have participated in locality training on the Convention and the RRSA programme along with schools in their family group, and some have also attended central UNICEF courses. The Steering group comprised of governors, staff and pupils has been proactive in informing the wider community about RRSA through assemblies, displays, newsletters and a dedicated page on school website. Parents have received booklets about the Convention.

 

Observing a school assembly, it was clear that children readily made links between the school prayer, the theme of the beauty of the natural world, and children’s right to a safe, clean environment. As children entered the hall, two pupils sang their own composition about the right to an education. Learning about rights is included in curriculum and assembly planning. For example, KS1 pupils have explored how their ‘Water’ topic relates to baptism (article 14), seaside holidays (article 31), and the water cycle (article 24). KS2 pupils have written persuasive texts concerning the rights denied to children in the Victorian era, and the impact of World War 2 on children’s right to be safe. Topic work displays are clearly referenced to the Convention. For example, there is a display in the hall comparing the values of the Ten Commandments with the articles 14, 18 and 29; in the KS1 classroom, children’s heritage is celebrated on a display referenced to article 7.

 

Teachers recognise the need to challenge cultural stereotypes when discussing global issues: ‘We make sure we show them a balance of images.’ A parent commented on the impact that a growing awareness of rights and global issues is having: “It has completely changed the dialogue … [they] are much more aware of what’s happening in the world…” This is reflected in a poster designed by the pupil ambassadors to challenge their peers about food wastage and to think of those who go hungry: ‘You have the right to nutritious food…do you have the right to waste it?’

Standard C:

The school has a rights-respecting ethos

 

 

Standard C has been met.

Displays about the Convention and the RRSA are prominent in the foyer, the main hall, corridors, classrooms and play areas. Each class has its own unique charter designed by the children with support from staff and signed by all. These are linked to current topics and so are regularly reviewed and updated. One teacher commented that her pupils continually referred to and looked to improve their class charter, and that it had been re-drafted three times! The school charter was drawn up by the Steering Group following consultation with the whole school community and is written in calligraphy on the walls of the school hall. One pupil ambassador explained, “We visited Chichester Cathedral and saw the writing on the walls…we wanted our charter like that …to be at the heart of the school…” Another pupil added, “Our cleaner did the writing… she’s good at calligraphy and we wanted everyone to be involved.”    

 

 

Pupils and adults clearly enjoy very positive, respectful relationships. The assessor observed several occasions during interviews where pupils deferred to each other when more than one person wished to speak. Furthermore, one pupil was observed reminding another not to interrupt another pupil’s answer!  In addition, expressions of encouragement, gratitude and appreciation were heard frequently. When asked how they knew that the adults respected their rights, comments included: ‘They listen to us… and give us opportunities to talk’ (Year 3 pupil), and ‘we feel we can ask questions…’ (Year 6 pupil) Visits from outside speakers, such as the disabled charity ‘Just Different’, have helped pupils to understand the importance of respect for diversity.

 

Pupils interviewed all felt safe at school and cited ‘Bikeability’ lessons, road safety, fire drills, and cyber safety as examples of how the school encourages them to keep themselves safe. The RRS Ambassadors also have a role in modelling and identifying rights-respecting actions at play times, such as taking turns and ensuring no one is left out of a game.  They can nominate adults and pupils to receive a ‘Playground Stars’ sticker. Nominations are displayed on the Playground Stars board in the main hall, are celebrated in assemblies. When asked if they needed to respect the rights of those who did not treat them fairly, a Year 5 pupil replied; “Yes! If someone isn’t respecting your rights, then be the bigger person.” Another pupil added, “ We should treat other as we would like to be treated.”

 

Parents interviewed spoke of the children’s developing global conscience and greater interest in current affairs. One parent commented on shopping trips with her daughter: “She’ll say ‘Remember to buy Fair Trade, Mummy!’ “ Another parent spoke of her daughter’s mushrooming creativity in song-writing and poster–making inspired by global rights issues.

 

Standard D:

Children are empowered to become active citizens and learners

 

 


Standard D has been met.

 

Pupil voice is encouraged and facilitated in a variety of ways. Both the RRS Ambassadors and School councillors are elected for a year. The Governor representative on the Steering Group explained that the children do much of the directing of the RRSA journey and inform others about it. Children feel strongly that they are listened to and their views taken seriously. Examples cited include being asked about their learning, campaigning for new benches for the play areas, deciding on the design and location of the school and class charters, and the running of UNICEF’s Day for Change. Pupils also produce their own ‘Singleton School News’ with articles and quizzes uploaded on the school website. The RRS Coordinator explained how pupil surveys revealed that some children were not always aware of which adults were governors and what their role was. Following discussion with them, children are now advised about governors’ visits and have regular opportunities to meet and talk with them.

 

The school is committed to providing a creative curriculum, which builds confidence and independence. Children evaluate their learning experiences and regularly discuss their targets with their teachers. Links with the wider community, such as Chichester Festival Theatre, enable pupils to access a broad range of cultural experiences.

 

Pupils feel empowered to support the rights of other children, and cited ‘Day for Change’, the Romanian Shoe Box Appeal, and Comic Relief as examples of this. The School Council and RRS Ambassadors are proactive in representing the pupils’ views on which charities to support, and how to raise funds. The school is hoping to renew some of its international links with schools in France, USA and Zambia to develop children’s global perspectives.

 

 

The future

 

The assessor would like to encourage the school to continue work on becoming rights respecting and work towards the award at Level Two.

 

The following recommendations are made to support the journey based on those that have proven valuable in other schools and settings in helping them to develop their practice at Level 2. The recommendations made by the assessor are listed below:

 

Ø      Further develop the children’s understanding of how they can support the rights of other children other than by charitable giving, particularly through advocacy and campaigning opportunities.

Ø      Further raise the profile of the Convention and a rights respecting approach by making more explicit the links between the Convention and the school’s systems and practice. For example, in newsletters, on the website, and in policies when reviewed, to help children and parents make connections.

 

Download this report

 

Level 1 Rights Respecting Schools Award 

 

11th June 2013

 

To all the children at Singleton CE Primary School

 

A very big thank-you to all of you for making me so welcome when I came to see how well you were getting on with becoming a rights respecting school.  

 

During my visit I met with many of you and were shown around your school. I also had meetings with your teachers, support staff, parents and governors. As a result of what I saw and heard it is clear that you take seriously the importance of respecting each other’s rights within school and beyond.

 

By learning to use the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a guide to living, you are making sure that your school is a friendly and caring place to work and play in. You are on the way to becoming active global citizens working for a fair and sustainable world for all.

 

You are now the holders of UNICEF’s Rights Respecting School Award, Level One. Congratulations!

 

I hope you will now be encouraged to continue your rights respecting journey and go on to achieve the Level Two award.

 

I would like to hear your ideas about what you think helped you most to develop as a rights respecting school. Do you have any suggestions as to how to help other schools?

 

Once again, thank you for sharing your hard work and achievements.

 

 

Best Wishes,

 

 

 

 

Assessor, RRSA Programme

On behalf of the Education Team

UNICEF UK