Woodburn Primary School first Midlothian school to achieve gold award

Wednesday February 28th 2024

Wooodburn Primary Rights Respecting School Award

Pictured from left to right are: Depute Head and RRSA lead Mrs Susan Welsh, P6 pupil Joey Paterson and P7 pupil Ellie Wright, who both sit on the Rights Respecting School Steering Group and Head teacher Mrs Joanna Findlay.


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Children and staff at Woodburn Primary School in Dalkeith are delighted to be the first school in Midlothian to achieve their ‘Sustained Gold level’ within the Rights Respecting School Award,’ (RRSA) linked to their work on the Rights of the Child.

The award comes three years after the school achieved its Gold level Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA).

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

One of the key strengths noted by Gerry McMurtrie, Senior Professional Advisor for Scotland noted ‘A school with inclusion at its heart, where pupils feel safe and secure and are articulate about the importance of knowing about children’s rights, the difference this makes to their lives and their desire and determination to help realise these rights for others.’

Head teacher Mrs Joanna Findlay said: “As a school community we are exceptionally proud that not only have we achieved our Gold Award, we have now done so twice. The learning we do around the UNCRC (United Nations for the Convention of the Rights of the Child) has had a significant positive impact on our school ethos and culture. The UNCRC underpins our day-to-day work as a school.”

Hannah Clark, Chair of the Parent Partnership, added: “I have been a Woodburn parent throughout their journey to Gold and it has been lovely to see the children embrace not only their own rights but the rights of others too. It has been nice to have been involved as a parent as it has meant that we have been able to speak to the girls about what they have been learning and has opened up discussions about the lives of other children around the world.”

P7 pupil Ellie Wright, who sits on the Rights Respecting School Steering Group, said: “We deserve our award because everyone works really hard. We take care of everyone from our youngest to our oldest children, our school adults and our families. I feel safe because I know that the duty bearers will do their best for me. I’m really proud to be at Woodburn Primary School.”

Depute Head and RRSA lead Mrs Susan Welsh said: “I am delighted for our school community – our hard work with trying to get it right for our young people has been recognised. The language of rights is now part of our everyday life and I am proud to work at Woodburn Primary School.”

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