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Children's rights celebrated across Birmingham schools

Birmingham rights respecting schools
Birmingham pupils sign a song for rights respecting schools
Published: Friday, 13th July 2018

Birmingham schools, from nursery through to secondary, are embedding children’s rights into daily school life through the Unicef Rights Respecting School Award.

Children from schools across Birmingham came together at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre to celebrate their knowledge of children’s rights.

The youngsters in nursery, primary and secondary schools have been learning about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – and how they can embed these values in their daily school lives. Through Unicef’s Rights Respecting Schools Award, schools promote knowledge and understanding of the Convention throughout the school community so children and young people understand their rights and the rights of others, and become active citizens within their community.

Around 15 schools, represented by 650 pupils, took part in the celebration at The Rep with performances demonstrating what they have learned about children’s rights. These included:

  • A piece of drama inspired by protests for rights which take place across the globe and exploring the impact people can have on the world around them and how events such as the Commonwealth Games can bring people together for a common good
  • Short signed dance incorporating their own school which will reflect the school’s celebration of diversity. Will include deaf pupils who have taken a lead part in developing signed accompaniment for the performance
  • Rights Rangers (child led) initiative to meet some refugee children, telling them about their rights and making them feel welcome in the country
  • Drama based around our Right to Clean Water which will link into the Commonwealth Games. Up to ten 3-4 year old children celebrating world class swimmers, synchronised swimmers and divers choreographed to music

Executive Director Mike Penrose, spoke at the celebration, along with representatives from Birmingham City Council.

He said: “Birmingham's support and involvement in the Rights Respecting Schools Award and children’s rights is exemplary. The city leads the way in child rights education in England. It has been fantastic to see the difference that children’s rights has made to the young people of Birmingham. The passion that that young people have shown during this event has been inspiring and should be an example to other schools and cities across the country.”

Councillor Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture said: “Human rights are fundamental and this includes children’s rights so it is wonderful to see our young people so passionate about their rights and respecting others. They are so keen to help others learn about children’s rights and why they are so important. Birmingham is a national leader in this area, it is fantastic to see so many schools getting involved and we will continue to support every school that wants to take part. Well done to everyone involved.”