Woodburn Primary gets gold Unicef Award

Monday March 22nd 2021

Pictured from left to right are: Depute Head Susan Welsh, P7 pupil Ellie Watt, P7 pupil Hannah Mushayi and Head Teacher Joanna Findlay.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Children and staff at Woodburn Primary School in Dalkeith are delighted to have been awarded their Gold level Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) linked to their work on the Rights of the Child.

The award is granted by UNICEF UK to schools that have fully embedded children’s rights throughout the school in its policies, practice and ethos,

After a five year journey from their initial ROC award (Record of Commitment) to achieving Gold, the school has developed its school community’s Positive Behaviour Policy, it Vision, Values and Aims and the children’s understanding and awareness of having respect for all.

Despite the lockdown and with most children working remotely, staff continued to raise awareness with children, with regards to their rights and their well-being, and the school was virtually assessed through prepared presentations and discussions with children, school staff, parents and the Senior Leadership Team.

The school is now continuing its RRSA journey to achieve the next goal which is to ‘Maintain Gold’.

Head teacher Mrs Joanna Findlay said:

“I am so proud of all our learners, our staff and our families. It has been a long but worthwhile journey and the work of the Rights Respecting School Award has made such a positive impact on our school.

Parent Mary Stones explained: “I feel that the school’s work on RRSA and achieving the Gold Award has brought the school and the community closer together. Reflecting on the importance of kindness, fairness and justice for all is such an important lesson for children to learn, and an important reminder for their grown-ups too.”

Parent Emma White said:

“It’s fair to say that achievements like the Gold award for RRSA have an effect on all those connected to the school and how we work together. It’s a testament to Woodburn that you can see such a great impact on the pupils in the way they showcase respect for the many interactions they have, be it other pupils, people in our community or the environment. It’s encouraging that it’s inspiring our children to have respect for each other and the world they live in, as well as influencing this through the wider community.”

Hannah Mushayi, a P7 pupil and member of RRSA Steering Group, said:

“I think all of the work we have completed on the Rights have made me feel more safe and happy at school because we talk a lot about making sure we treat people kindly and fairly. This means I don’t need to worry about those problems as much and therefore I can concentrate more on my learning.”

Ellie Watt, a P7 pupil and member of RRSA Steering Group, said:

“I think all of the changes in school with our work on Rights has made me feel much happier because we campaigned to reduce single use plastic in and around our school and there has been a huge difference made.”

Deputy head and RRSA lead Mrs Susan Welsh said: “A lot of hard work has been put in to the UNCRC work by staff, pupils and parents/carers and we’re delighted for our school to have the recognition of the Gold Award, especially during these challenging times.”

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