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Westwood First School students RESPECT award

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 22, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Maizie Kelly, aged seven, pointing out the school's mascot PAL (Play and Learn).

  • Katie Twigg, aged nine, and Gracie Cotterill, aged eight.

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YOUNGSTERS at Westwood First School are so good at respecting each other that the school has been given a Rights Respecting School Award by UNICEF.

As part of their efforts in gaining the award, staff and children at Westwood First School in Leek have carried out a number of activities including coming up with a PAL (Play and Learn) mascot, and creating Rainbows of Respect for each classroom.

Pupil Maizie Kelly, aged seven, explained: "We have all made rainbows in our classrooms and the teachers have gold coloured coins. When children done something like help another, they get their name on one of the gold coins and it is put on the rainbow."

Gracie Cotterill, aged eight, said: "It is good to respect each other and the rights we have. If we didn't, it would be a horrible place to be."

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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is the world's leading organisation working specifically for children.

The award, which Westwood First has recently gained, recognises schools which show a high commitment to promoting children's rights and encourage children and young people to respect the rights of others. The initiative now involves more than 3,000 primary and secondary schools in the UK who have reported that the scheme has had a positive impact on pupil behaviour, relationships and well-being by enhancing pupil's self-esteem and leading to less truancy and bullying, better learning and improved academic standards.

UNICEF Professional Adviser for Staffordshire, Deb Barnes, said: "We are delighted that Westwood First School has fully embraced the UNCRC and is being accredited with UNICEF UK's Rights Respecting School Award.

"The school impressed us with the way in which pupils are encouraged to make choices about their learning, talk confidently with their teachers and display positive attitudes towards cultural, religious and ethnic differences."

The school's Rights Respecting School leader, Natalie Hargreaves, said: "One of the key aspects of working towards the award was helping children to understand the importance of rights and respect for rights, with children particularly clear that rights are not conditional and that they are universal for all children across the world."

Westwood First School's headteacher, Vicki Woollacott, added: "We were keen to work with UNICEF UK on the Rights Respecting School Initiative and embed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into the school culture."

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