The primary school, which began their rights respecting schools’ journey in 2010 is the first Island school to reach this level.
The Rights Respecting Schools Award is a UNICEF initiative that works with schools to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured, and they are able to thrive.
In July of 2018 the Children’s Commissioner offered all schools the support to progress through the Award. Since this support was made available a further 17 have registered with a total of 26 schools now working towards either bronze, silver or gold. It is hoped that by the 2020 all of the Island’s schools will have signed up.
Grouville’s Rights Respecting Lead, Sam Hall, said: “We are really proud of how our children have embraced the Rights Respecting values to be the very best they can be – it is the golden thread which runs throughout all aspects of our school life. Pupil participation has been key and our children have taken an active role in promoting children’s rights, locally and globally.”
Grouville School’s Headteacher, Nichola Turner, said: “We are incredibly proud of our children and what we have achieved as a school community. The children proved themselves to be outstanding ambassadors for children’s rights when the Unicef assessors visited us in December. The assessors were particularly impressed by how articulate and passionate our children are to promote children’s rights. We are hugely grateful to everyone who has supported us on our Rights Respecting journey.”
Gabriel, Florence and Bethany, students at Grouville, said “Grouville School is the first school in Jersey to receive their Gold award and it means a lot to us because we have worked so hard!
To get Gold we had to learn lots about our rights. We held global citizenship days to raise awareness and fundraisers so that our whole school community could learn more about children’s rights and help to make a difference around the world. We also helped other schools in Jersey to learn about their rights to help them on their Rights Respecting journey. When we found out about our Gold award, we felt so happy and proud and we are planning a big gold party to celebrate our amazing achievement!”
Jersey’s Children’s Commissioner, Deborah McMillan, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I’d like to personally congratulate the pupils, staff and parents at Grouville who have worked so hard to embed children’s rights at the school.
The Rights Respecting Schools Award is a positive way to reinforce so many other initiatives in education and empowers children and young people to have an active voice in the decisions that affect their childhood. The role of Children’s Commissioner is to promote and protect children’s rights and the Rights Respecting Schools Award is integral to this.”
Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, added: “Congratulations to all the students, staff, and parents at Grouville School on this amazing achievement. Well done to you all for your hard work and effort and for being the first school in Jersey to gain the Gold award. We now have 26 of our schools signed up for the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award, all working towards bronze, silver and gold and I hope this latest achievement encourages even more schools to sign up.”