UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Silver accolade

We’re celebrating our UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Silver accolade along with our Shared Education partners Bangor Grammar and Bangor Academy.


Mr Perry, Mr Pitts and Mrs Huddleson joined with pupils and Shared Education staff this week as they received news that their work to embed and promote the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has been officially accredited by UNICEF.

 Pupils and staff have been busy working for two years, within the Shared Education Signature Project, to achieve the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Silver Award. A team of UNICEF scrutineers visited all three schools last week before awarding the prestigious accreditation. The scrutineers were impressed by the shared lessons and team building events, the pupils’ confidence and the positive relationships between and within all three schools.


Shared Education Co-ordinator at St Columbanus’ College, Mrs Kelly said:

“We are delighted to achieve this award across our Shared Education Partnership. As part of our journey, we co-ordinated shared lessons, team building events and staff development opportunities- all with a focus on embedding the UN Children’s Rights throughout each school. Our pupils are more aware of their rights and responsibilities which helps to create happy, safe and inspiring learning environments. Thank you to all of our staff and pupils for their involvement! Let’s go for gold!!!


In a Rights Respecting School, young people and the school community learn about children’s rights and put them into practice every day.  The Award is not just about what children do but also, importantly, what adults do too. The award is based on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. The award recognises the achievement of putting the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child at the heart of the school’s practice, ethos and environment. Silver accredited schools report that embedding respect for the rights of others creates happy, safe and inspiring learning environments. Pupils report a greater sense of wellbeing and schools can nurture their pupils to become responsible, active citizens.


A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learnt, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. The whole endeavour is a team effort as adults and children work towards this goal together. Schools involved in the award have reported a positive impact on behaviour, relationships and wellbeing; all of which lead to better learning, improved academic standards and mutually respectful relationships.


All three Principals and their Shared Education Co-ordinators remain committed to reaching for the top accolade as work towards Gold has already begun. Thanks to all the pupils and staff involved, especially Shared Education Co-ordinators: Mrs Kelly (St. Columbanus), Mr Muir (Bangor Academy), and Mr Turner (Bangor Grammar).


Achieving this prestigious award would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication from teaching and support staff here at St Columbanus’ College and our counterparts in Bangor Academy and Bangor Grammar.  Special thanks to the teachers who delivered our Rights Respecting School lessons and trips, led Student Council meetings and worked with the Steering group: Dr Doulton, Mrs Dempster, Mrs Gethin, Miss McKinty, Miss Sloan and Miss Skehin.