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Radyr pupils win award for promoting children’s rights

Bryn Deri school recognised in Unicef scheme to spread the word on child welfare

From Left: Claire Knight (teacher), Chloe (Y6), Anwen (Y2), Grace (Y5), Bobby (Y3), Sam (Y4)

A RADYR school has been awarded a Unicef Rights Respecting School bronze award for increasing awareness of children’s rights. 

Led by year six teacher Claire Knight, the school council at Bryn Deri Primary was renamed the School Watch Action Team.

SWAT has led assemblies, created Rights of the Month linked to the calendar, sent letters to school governors and parents, and made informative videos.  

Pupils have also raised money for BBC Children in Need and the anti-bullying Odd Socks Day campaign.  

Bryn Deri Primary School, Caer Graig, Radyr

The three-stage scheme sees schools receive training, lesson plans and assessment from Unicef to increase understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Grace in year five said: “Rights are the idea that we are all equal. We have rights posted around our classrooms, like the right to access information next to the computer. I like how people in the class tell us things and we bring them to the group.” 

Sam in year four said: “We help people know when something is wrong and what their rights are. Rights are important so that people don’t bully other.”

The children emphasised that every child has the right to:

  • Be heard
  • Eat and drink clean food and water
  • Relax and play
  • Live in a safe home; and
  • Receive education and healthcare
The UNCRC displayed at the front of Bryn Deri school

Sarah Hooke, of Unicef UK, said: “We are proud to be supporting schools across Cardiff to embed children’s rights across all areas of school life.  

“I look forward to supporting Cardiff’s vision that every child in the city will go to a school where their rights are taught, promoted and respected.” 

Ms Knight said: “This is the second school year we have been working on the award and now we want to get the entire school community involved. 

“It’s a very hardworking school and a good place to be. When we had our inspection, they noticed how much we do in the community.” 

Also this month, the school received  impressive Estyn inspection results and was named a green standard” school by the Welsh Government, which means it is highly effective and in need of minimum support. 

Earlier, pupils were part of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales Super Ambassador scheme, a similar project which is free for all schools in Wales.

Chloe, in year six, is one of the ambassadors who has met the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, and now writes columns for the school newsletter. 

Cardiff council launched its Child Friendly City strategy in 2018 to help every school in the city become a Unicef Rights Respecting School. 

Bryn Deri’s participation has been partly funded by the council.

Councillor Sarah Merry, cabinet member for education, employment and skills, said: “I am delighted that we are on our way to ensure that every school has children’s rights embedded in their daily school life.

“This gives children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and be responsible active citizens who will go on to contribute to the rights respecting culture that we aim to accomplish.  

“Our strategy places the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of Cardiff’s policies, strategies and services, involving them in decision-making and addressing the barriers which limit their life chances.” 

The SWAT team is now aiming for the silver award.  

The group has displayed different rights in various parts of the school

“We want to move our work more into the classroom and into our everyday planning, engrained into everything that we do,” said Ms Knight.  

“It is really great for the pupils because I can see how much they enjoy doing it and knowing that they are making a difference.”

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