Our Pupil Voice
It is important that our children know from their first day at St James Primary that they have a voice that is heard in school. We regularly consult with all our pupils and ask their opinions on subjects as diverse as homework to cyber safety. From Reception class' first assembly in front of their parents to the our Year 6 leavers play and service at St James Church, our children are encouraged to speak up with confidence.
With this confidence, they learn to take on roles of responsibility and by the time our children leave us at the end of Year 6, all will have had key role in school as a member of our School Council, a Rights Respecting Leader, a House Captain or a Science Embassador.
Our School Council
We have a very active and enthusiastic School Council. This is an important part of school life which offers a platform for the voice of our children. Hearing and learning about their opinions and views matters a great deal to us. They have a unique insight into the impact of whole school decision making and have a keen eye for the details of the day to day running of the school. The small details which can make a big difference.
Being a School Council member is a great opportunity for children to develop both their personal skills and a sense of social awareness, from experiencing how to express points of view constructively to being responsible for others’ welfare at school. Each member of the School Council represents the views of their whole class and recently they have been consulted and involved in the development of our new school logo, our consicious inclusion focus and suggesting ways to improve our playground environment.
We are a Unicef UK Rights Respecting School.
We are a school where children’s rights are at the heart of our ethos and culture, to improve well-being and to develop every child’s talents and abilities to their full potential. As part of this plan have received our Silver Rights Respecting award (an award given to schools on behalf of Unicef UK).
Unicef is the world’s leading organisation working for children and young people and their rights. In 1989, governments across the world agreed that all children have the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). These rights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential.
Our children learn about their rights by putting them into practice every day. A Rights Respecting School models rights and respect in all its relationships.
Our Rights Respecting Leaders look to the wider world and think about our school's place within it. They decide on the charities we will support and fundraise for throughout the year and they were responsible for setting up our school as a recognised Food Bank.
For further information about Rights Respecting Schools please visit UNICEF
"The school is a very welcoming place, new people have joined and everybody welcomes them, and that's a nice thing to have here." Rakhi, Y5
"I enjoyed representing St James School and telling them about how we respect our rights." Martha, Y5
"My favourite right is staying safe and healthy, and St James is good for that." Evan, Y3
"I was really excited to do it. I told them I knew the rights really well. I love playing and resting at St. James." Brody, Y3
"We were talking about the Silver Award and Isabel asked us how we show our rights, how we become a Rights Respecting Leader and what we have to do in the role. I think it's really good because if we weren't a school that respected rights then it wouldn't be a very nice or welcoming place for new people." Harper and Annie, Y4
"I think everyone did really well. We definitely deserved it. We have done more in the past two years than we have done since I was in Reception, and that includes the year we were home schooled. I don't remember us ever doing food bank work or talking about our rights. Rights are really important because if we didn't know them then we wouldn't know how to treat each other. It makes everything fairer." Thomas, Y6
Congratulations to our School Council this year
Congratulations to our Rights Respecting Leaders
From Mrs Girling, Our Rights Respecting Lead In School
I'm so pleased to be sharing more information with you about our recent Rights Respecting Schools Award. The school's commitment to teaching about, through and for the articles as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has been recognised and we now hold a silver award.
In teaching about children's rights, we share with classes from Reception to Year 6 the CRC articles. For example, article 2 talks about no discrimination and article 28 about a child's right to access an education.
Children learn that their rights are universal and unconditional. Each class has a class charter which identifies some of the rights we uphold at school and how we achieve this.
Our Conscious Inclusion plan, Behaviour policy and broad, inclusive curriculum, to mention just a few, all link to the articles; in this way, we teach through the rights. Children are given an identity which is celebrated, a voice which is listened to and the message that they can make a difference for themselves, the local community and the wider world.
When teaching for the rights, children campaign to uphold the rights of those who for some reason cannot access what they are entitled to. For example, article 24 talks about children having the right to nutritious food. As we know, not all families and children can afford regular, healthy meals so we make donations and visits to Food Bank Aid and have also supported the work of Oxfam overseas.
I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped us to achieve the silver award but especially the children who were interviewed as part of the accreditation morning - Evan, Brody, Anna, Harper, Annie, Rakhi, Charles, Martha, Ruby and Thomas who all spoke with kindness and insight about our school.
We plan to continue with our Rights Respecting work this year. I am really looking forward to working with the new committee of Rights Respecting Leaders.