‘is to demonstrate that the UNCRC when implemented properly has a strong positive impact on the wellbeing of children and adults’
The word RESPECT takes great prominence at the beginning of our Mission statement and it is inextricably interwoven into everything we do. It is an integral part of our school life in all its entirety. Respect has always been at the core of our “being” in St. Columba’s Primary School and Nursery Unit. Our constant focus of putting the children of the school at the forefront, heart and culmination of any and all its decision-making is paramount. It was therefore, based on our strong foundations and also a wish to increase our knowledge and embed children’s rights in our ethos, culture, policies and daily practice that I decided after becoming Principal to apply for Rights Respecting status because in doing so we would be putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of our planning, policies, practice and ethos and very importantly we would unequivocally give all our children a voice and a platform so that they could express their opinions. A rights-respecting school not only teaches about children’s rights but also models rights and respect in all its relationships: between teachers/adults and pupils, between adults and between pupils.
RRSA is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect non-discrimination and participation.
After registering our school, the first stage of the RRSA was obtaining the Recognition of Commitment (ROC). The RRSA was introduced initially to the school community – staff, pupils, governors, parents and to the wider community. A steering group composing of adults and children was formed to guide, promote and develop the Rights Respecting initiative throughout the school. An audit was carried out and an action plan was completed and signed off by the principal. Procedures were put in place for monitoring the impact of the initiative. On May 15th 2017 all the necessary documentation was completed and signed off by Mrs. Kielt.
In June we were delighted to receive our RRSA Recognition of Commitment (ROC) status.
The Year Ahead!
During this academic year, we will be working towards achieving Level 1. The RRSA steering group have been busy planning events to help children recognise their rights and responsibilities, both in school and beyond. We are extremely proud of our children, staff and school. We hope that you will continue to support us on our Rights Respecting journey.
RRSA Steering Group
Our RR Steering Group has a very important role in raising awareness of the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) and promoting the awareness of children’s rights at St. Columba’s. In our Steering Group meetings, all members work hard to ensure that UNCRC Article 12 ‘Children should have a say in matters which affect them’ is always top of our agenda.
By working together, we seek to ensure that all stakeholders have an opportunity to have their views heard and grow in confidence and knowledge when discussing the UNCRC and its impact on our daily lives. We work closely with our School Council, ECO committee and Digital leaders to strengthen the voices of children both inside and outside school.
As we welcome our new Year 1's aswell as new pupils within our school community we are reminded of Article 28, that every child has to an education.
Having a say...
Classes around the school have had the chance to have a say in their own class rules, they have looked at Article 12 every child has the right to have a say in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously.
Our Class Charters
Now that we are settled in our new classrooms, we have all produced our own class charters in our classrooms. Have a look at the amazing displays around our school. Article 1, Everyone under the age of 18 has all the rights in the convention.
Check out this short snippet of our very own Rights Respecting Song!
Our Rights Respecting Song!
European Day of Languages
We had our first official Rights Respecting assembly to celebrate European Day of Languages. The children outlined for everyone Article 30, "Every child has the right to learn about and practise their own culture, language and religion..." We celebrated the great diversity within our school community and enjoyed a sample of our many languages throughout the day!
We have the right to a name!
As Article 7 states every child has the right to a legal name. Year 1 are working hard learning to write their names.
To celebrate the Derry Minors reaching the All- Ireland final this Sunday we dressed in our Derry colours for the day. All of the pupils within the school embraced the red and white and enjoyed different Derry themed activities on the day. Article 31 every child has the right to take part in a wide range of cultural activities.
Old Buddy Old Pal
Our Year 6 pupils are enjoying helping their Year 1 buddies settle into our school environment. All the children are enjoying the joint play sessions, reminding us of Article 31 every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.
The votes are in and the new councillers have been elected, well done to those who presented their speeches in order to be elected. Remember Article 12, every child has the right to have a say in all matter affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously. Good luck to the newly appointed team!
Our school council delivered an assembly on Anti-Bullying. We were on a mission to get across our schools strong Anti-Bullying message Unicef links anti-bullying week to Article 2 – Non-discrimination. Article 2 states that the convention applies to every child without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background. This means that every child has rights…because although we are all different we are ALL EQUAL. Every child has the right to come school and be happy without being bullied. Anti-bullying week also links to Article 13 – which states that every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions.
We are a healthy eating school. Year 1 and 2 enjoy their healthy snack everyday before break. Article 24 states that children have the right to clean water and nutritious food.
Mr John McCarron visited Key Stage 2 pupils as part of our Global Learning Curriculum. He recently visited Africa through his work with Trocaire. He showed the pupils photographs of life in Africa. He illustrated how the African culture uses inventive ways to farm, irrigate their land and generate school improvement projects using the money that we contribute to through our Trocaire Campaign, in reference to Article 28, Richer countries must help poorer countries. Our pupils were able to compare and contrast life in Ireland with life in Africa.
Miss Mc Kiernan's class had a brilliant trip to the Radar Centre in Belfast. they learned about fire safety, safety on buses, the problems associated with social media and the reality o anti - social behaviour. The pupils had an opportunity to experience the negative side of beer goggles and the obstacle course proved very difficult. On returning to school the pupils looked at the articles relating to their visit, this included Articles 16, 17, 19, 32, 33 and 36. WOW what an informative day!
Needs or Wants?
Year 1 have been busy voicing their opinions on needs and wants, remember Article 13 children have the right to say what they think. The boys and girls discussed lots of the Articles of the UNCRC and justified their thinking. Amazing Year 1!
Wants V Needs
The Right to Good Health
Our journey towards becoming a Rights Respecting School continued this morning with Year 6 presenting Article 28: The right to good health. They inspired us all to become more generous in our donations towards making a difference to the lives of many children across the world who do not enjoy good health. #rightsrespectingschool#hungrybabymoney
Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke
Emma and Caroline from Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke visited KS2 pupils today to talk about Healthy Living. They discussed the importance of daily exercise, eating the recommended portions of fruit and vegetables, eating a healthy breakfast, drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day and getting 10 hours sleep each night. The pupils from Years 5-7 will now begin their 'Commit to be Fit' challenge which will run for the next 5 weeks. Article 24 states that every child has the right to the best possible health.
Chinese New Year
Yo Yo and Jackie presented a wonderful presentation to the school on Chinese New Year, they spoke of their own traditions and how they celebrate Chinese New Year. The boys and girls enjoyed listening to the Chinese Zodiac and finding their own animal from the year they were born. We remember Article 30 states that every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family, regardless of whether these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live.
Safer Internet Day 2018
💻📱Safer Internet Day 2018 was celebrated globally today with the slogan, ‘Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you’.
The day began with a whole school assembly lead by some of our digital leaders to introduce the theme. This is a topic that covered many rights. Article 13 states that children are free to express their thoughts and opinions and nowadays this is done through the use of the internet. We discussed the importantance of parental guidance when using the internet (Article 5) moreover the children understood Article 17 - access to information from the media, Then each year group took part in a different activity to raise awareness of Safer Internet Day. #SID2018 #itstartswithus 💻📱
The girls from Years 4, 5, 6 & 7 were very excited when Sarah Jamison from G.G. Ulster Brownies came to invite them to their local Girl Guides group in Kilrea Primary School. Sarah told the girls about the interesting activities they would experience and the new skills they could learn. They were reminded that every child has the right to meet with other children and to join groups and organisation's, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights, Article 15.
Polish Consul Visit
Today we had a visit from the Polish Consul General Mr Dariusz Alder and the Honorary Consul of Republic of Poland Mr Jerome Mullan, they were accompanied by local councillor Mr. John Dallat. Our Polish children presented a wonderful assembly discussing their experiences of life at St.Columba's through the eyes of a newcomer child. All children were in agreement with Article 30 which states that every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family, regardless of whether these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live.
Cancer Focus visited every class to deliver a talk and activities based on keeping healthy. Each class looked at Article 6 and 24 of the UNCRC, the right to life and the right to the best possible health.
St. Columba's Clubs
Our school promotes lots of extra curricular activities, a chance for boys and girls from different classes to come together and have fun. As Article 15 states every child has the right to meet with other children and to join groups and organisitions, a long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
Year 3/4 looked at the life of Anne Frank during their WAU Topic ‘A Blast from the Past’.They discovered that Anne and her family were persecuted because they were Jewish.
Article 14 of the UNCRC states that, children and young people are free to be of any or no religion. Their parents can help them make decisions around religion, but:
•a parent can’t force a child or young person to adopt a religion
•a parent can’t force a child or young person to stop following a religion.
Congratulations to the Year 7 pupils who received their sacrament of Confirmation at the weekend. As they receive this sacrament we are reminded of Article 14 which states that every child has the right to think and believe what they want ad to practise their religion, as long as they re not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.
At the start of the season of Lent we began our annual collection for Trócaire. We learnt that not all children get the same opportunities in life because of many reasons. This year the child on the Trócaire box was called Kumba and she has had her life ruined by a mud slide which ruined her village. Well done to Year 3 for raising the most money for Trocaire during the season of Lent. During Lent classes throughout the school discussed Articles 26 and 27, how the Government must provide extra money for the children of families in need as well as helping families to afford a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical, social and mental needs.
World Book Day 2018
The spirit of World Book Day was very much alive in St Columba's. As we celebrated World Book Day we remembered Article 28 which states that: All children and young people have a right to free primary education. Children should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level they can. But while we may take books for granted, there are millions of children who cannot get their hands on a book to read, for whom even a school textbook is a luxury. It is easy for us to take books for granted. Next time you find it difficult to decide what book you want to read, from all the choice that is available, think of the millions of children who may lack the opportunity to read even a single book.
Mother's Day Assembly
Year 1 performed a wonderful assembly to celebrate Mother's Day, they discussed Article 7 which states that children have the right to be cared for by their parents.
To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight each class took part in a Fairtrade lesson. Year 6 then closed Fairtrade Fortnight with their annual Fairtrade Bake Off. Every pupil in the school contributed 50p towards the tasting of the Fairtrade treats. This money will be given to farmers in third world countries. It is our duty to help those in need just as Article 24 states; richer countries must help poorer countries achieve good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment.
Year 1 Discussion
Year 1 are enjoying their reading books every night, this week they came across a little girl in wheelchair in one of their books. The boys and girls discussed how a child with a disability is entitled to the same life as themselves. Year 1 looked at Article 23 a child with a disability has the right to live a full and decent life with dignity and independence, and to play an active part in the community.
St. Patrick's Day Assembly
Well done to our Year 5 who performed a wonderful assembly to celebrate our Irish culture. This included Irish language, dancing, sport and music. The boys and girls reminded us of Article 29 Education must develop every child's personality, talents and abilities to the full as well as Article 31 Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities. It must encourage the child's respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.
Well done to the boys and girls from Year 6 and 7 who presented the Easter Story to the school. A reminder of the true meaning of Easter highlighting the importance of the Catholic Ethos within our school. The children discussed Articles 14 and 30 that every child has the right to think and believe what they want and to practise their religion.
Year 6/7 and Year 3 pupils decided that a ‘need’ is a necessity but a ‘want’ is a luxury!
Year 6/7 discussed the recent attack in Bangor and felt that it is important that we are aware of our social responsibility. They discussed Articles 15, 36 and 37.
We all have the right to chose our own friends!
Beauty and the Beast
What a show! Well done to KS2 on their wonderful performances of Beauty and the Beast. St. Columba's is full of talent, Article 29 states that education must develop children's abilities and talents to the full.
A great week of Water at St.Columba's!
Thankfully we aren't talking about the rain for a change. Our week started off with the arrival of the Water Bus for KS2 pupils. There was great excitement mid-week when NI Water donated a water butt to our school, which was very quickly put it to good use in our woodland area. Another great way of saving water! Finally the week ended with a wonderful assembly performed by Mrs Mc Alary's class to reinforce the importance of water and the detrimental effects of a lack of water in third world countries and how Article 24 discusses the need for safe water to drink.
Fairytales Well done to Mrs Guckin’s class for performing a wonderful assembly on Fairytales! The boys and girls were able to identify the rights within many of our traditional fairytales. They discussed tales such as Hansel and Gretal and how children have the right to be cared for by an adult (Article 7). Cinderella told us about Article 6, how every child has the right to life as well as to develop to their full potential. Snow White reminded us of Article 19, how governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them. Poor Snow White had a wicked step mother who deprived her of this right.
♻Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!♻ Well done to Miss Coyle’s class for performing a wonderful assembly entitled ‘All Things Litter’ on Friday! They have also been out and about litter picking around Kilrea. Keep up the great work of creating a clean environment so that children can stay healthy. (Article 24)
Well done to Mr Murphy's Year 3 class who performed a wonderful assembly on how to keep active, they even put some pupils and staff members through their paces. Within their assembly they told us of the importance of health care and nutritious food in order to stay healthy, (Article 24). Many pupils in Year 3 shared their experiences of joining groups and organisations in order to stay active, (Article 15) organisations such as Camogie, Irish Dancing, Karate and much more. This assembly was followed by our full day fitness marathon by Fitness Freddy, where every child in the school moved and grooved in order to raise money for school funds. (Article 31)
We All have Rights!
Year Fours explored all the UNICEF rights of a child. In order to do this the children carefully studied a poster and had to by identify a picture related to each right. They worked in groups to identify the article related to the picture!
Walk to School Week 2018
This year we were blessed with sunshine for our walk to school week. As we walked and talked we discussed the related articles, Article 15 and Article 24.
Using the experiences of Paddington, foundation stage are starting to understand the challenges, difficulties, and dangers that refugee children face when fleeing conflict or persecution. Pupils became more empathetic by exploring what they would take if they were forced to flee their own homes, and discuss the unnecessary and dangerous journeys refugee children are making. They looked at Article 10 and Article 22.
Year 3 have been learning about Pirates. They thought it would be a good idea to use their understanding of rights to create a set of rules aboard their pirate ship.
Illustration of Rights
Well done to Year 2 class who have used drawings to show the rights of a child!
There's a Bear on my Chair
Year Four and Year Six came together for a Rights Respecting Lesson. They listened to the story “There’s a Bear on my Chair”. They were split into groups and used role play to try and persuade the bear off the chair. The children used persuasive language and compromised in order to resolve a situation. Both classes came across lots of different rights when working through this process. Great team work! The boys and girls now know how they could resolve real life situations whilst still respecting the rights of others.
Rights Respecting Bun Sale
Whilst learning about Paddington and refugees the Year 1's decided to hold a bun sale to raise money for refugees. They raised a grand total of £401.05 which will be presented to a member of Unicef on World Refugee Day next Wednesday (20th June). Amazing work Year 1 and well done to all those who supported their Bun Sale.
Shared Education Forest Visit
Year 1 and 2 visited Garvagh Forest with their friends from Kilrea Primary school, just like Article 15 states every child has the right to meet with other children as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights. They enjoyed looking for signs of summer as well as exploring the forest with their friends.
PSNI Road Policing
Kids' Court came to St. Columba's Primary School this morning with 15 drivers facing our panel of pupils. Drivers of all ages were caught speeding and every single one was challenged by the pupils to rethink their driving behaviour. Article 13 states that every child must be free to say what they think and to seek and receive all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law. Officer Henry also spoke to all the classes regarding road safety and the importance of bike safety.
Joe Wicks The Bodycoach
On September 13th pupils in Years 3-7 had the opportunity to participate in a live fitness session with the Bodycoach, Joe Wicks. Everyone had great fun while feeling the benefits of exercise on our bodies and minds. Article 24 states that every child must have the best possible health. Exercising daily ensures that we all stay fit and healthy. #schoolsfitnessweek#thebodycoach#healthybody#healthymind
We came together to celebrate mass for the beginning of the school year. We were joined by our Parish Priest, Fr John Cargan and past pupil, Fr Ciaran Hegarty who celebrated the mass. Fr Hegarty spoke with very fond memories about his time at St. Columba’s. The theme of the mass was 'sharing' which is something which we will be focusing on this year. Article 14 states that every child has the right to practise their religion.
Fundraising for ZAP
Elizabeth and Roisin from ZAP visited on Friday to show the pupils how hard life is in Zomba. We presented them with a cheque for £300 from our 'Hungry Baby’ money. They thanked us very much for both the donation and all the uniforms that have been sent to Zomba from our school community. Article 27 states that every child has the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical and social needs and support their development. We must help families who cannot afford to provide this..
Our fabulous Anti-Bullying Ambassadors received their training with Paul and Robbie from ‘The Diana Award. Article 15 states that every child has the right to join groups and organisations. Our Anti-bullying ambassadors will be working hard to ensure that everyone is safe and happy in St.Columba's and that all rights are being respected. #whatateam#saynotobullying
The Radar Centre
Year 7 thoroughly enjoyed their trip to the Radar Centre to learn about safety in the home.On returning to school the pupils looked at the articles relating to their visit, this included Articles 16, 17, 19, 32, 33 and 36.
European Languages Day 2018
The whole school had a fantastic day celebrating language and culture on European Languages Day. Article 30 states that every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family.
Representatives from Cancer Focus visited St. Columba’s today to remind us of the importance of keeping our bodies fit and healthy! Article 24 states that every child must be educated on health and well-being so that children can stay healthy.
Johnny from Sustrans visited to talk to our pupils about sustainable transport, particularly on our journeys to and from school. He also spoke about our upcoming 'Ditch the Dark' day, which will take place on Friday, 12th October.
Silver Rights Respecting School Award
On 11th October we celebrated our Silver Rights Respecting Schools Award. We were joined by Father Cargan, members of the Board of Governors and members of our P.T.A. Our special guest was Koulla Yiasouma, the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People. The whole school community took part in a spectacular assembly filled with music, song, humour and culture. Pupil groups were represented and a presentation by the Rights Respecting Ambassadors, Eco Committee, Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and School Council was warmly received by everyone! #rightsrespectingschool#niccy
Shared Education Week
We started the week off with a shared staff meeting with the teachers from Kilrea Primary School to plan the year ahead. Miss McKiernan attended the Shared Education Conference on Tuesday. Year 1 carried out a community 'Litter Pick' with our friends from Kilrea Primary on Wednesday. Article 15 states that every child has the right to meet with other children.
Maths Week Ireland
We celebrated Maths Week Ireland this week in St. Columba’s by carrying out a range of practical activities and investigations in each class. What great fun! Article 28 states that all children have the right to an education.#mathsweekireland
Ulster Schools Swimming Championships
Congratulations to our Year 6 pupil who represented St. Columba’s at the Ulster Schools Swimming Championships. She got a PB and has now qualified in both the backstroke and breaststroke at the Irish Minor Championships which will take place in Dublin in February. Article 29 states that every child must have the chance to develop their talents to the full.
Road of Hope Shoebox Appeal
Wow! Today we packed off an astounding 194 shoe boxes, bags of additional items and a cheque for £1450 to Road of Hope Christmas Shoe Box Appeal. There will certainly be smiles on the faces of many children, young adults and the elderly in developing communities in Eastern Europe on Christmas morning! A huge thank you to everyone who supported this very worthy cause! #roadofhope#makingotherssmile
YEAR 6 'WORLDS APART' ASSEMBLY
Article 14 states that everyone has the right to practise their religious beliefs. Yesterday was Red Wednesday, a day where Christians around the world stand together against the persecution and imprisonment of fellow Christians due to their faith in God. Our Rights Respecting Council led everyone in assembly and each class then made wristbands to help spread this important message.
Jacky and Tommy told all the pupils about The Chinese New Year and all their celebrations. We always embrace other cultures and enjoyed hearing all about it. Article 30 states that every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family, whether or not these are shared by the majority of the people who live there.
Online Safety Talk
Save the date - Online Safety Night delivered by Wayne Denner❗️
We are hosting a parent information night in partnership with our friends in Kilrea Primary School on the important topic of 'Online Safety'. This will take place on Wednesday 27th February at 7.00pm in Kilrea Sports' Complex. Our guest speaker for the night, Wayne Denner, an online safety expert, will deliver relevant, current and practical advice aimed at empowering parents to take control. Wayne will be providing us with tips on the best ways to protect our families. We are looking forward to everyone joining us for what is sure to be an extremely informative night! Article 5 states that governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents and carers to provide guidance and direction to their child as they grow up so that they can fully enjoy their rights.
It was lovely to get such positive feedback from a member of the public on our Year 6 pupils showing impeccable manners. We always respect the rights of others. #rightsrespectingpupils #rightsrespectingschool
Our school choir travelled to The Braid Arts Centre this week to compete in the Ballymena Festival Primary Schools’ Competition. They were absolutely fabulous and performed both their songs to the highest of standards. We are very proud to say that the choir were placed third. Article 29 states that education must develop every child's personality, talents and abilities.
World Book Day
We celebrated World Book Day by coming to school in our pyjamas ready to 'relax with our favourite book'. Each class carried out a range of activities to mark the occasion. Article 31 states that every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight Year 6 surpassed themselves with their impressive Fairtrade cakes and buns. Thanks to all the pupils who came to sample the goods and for the donations to the Fairtrade Foundation. This money will make a big difference in helping the rights of others. Article 32 states that children must be protected from economic exploitation and work that is dangerous or might harm their health, development or education.
All pupils and staff looked fantastic in their green for St.Patrick's day. Everyone enjoyed learning all about St.Patrick and celebrating our Irish culture during a fantastic assembly performance by year Five. Article 30 states that every child has the right to use and learn the customs of their family.
Congratulations and God’s blessings to our Year 7 pupils who received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Donal McKeown on Tuesday 2nd April. Article 14 states that every child has the right to practise their religion.
Many thanks to the ladies from the NSPCC who visited our school today to deliver assemblies to the whole school and workshops in Years 6 and 7 as part of their ‘Speak out Stay safe’ programme.They taught us all that we have the right to Speak out and stay safe. Article 12 states that every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them.