The School Council and Ambassadors are very keen to make everyone aware of Children's Rights and were really excited when model Naomi Konten came into help teach our youngest pupils about the UNCRC. Using the milk cartons we drink from everyday we made our own 'Rights Respecting MouseCot.'
Naomi is a contestant for the title of Miss Cardiff 2012 but apart from good looks, she has a lovely heart and really wanted the children to know about their Rights. "I like article 29 that includes education should develop every 'child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential'. Would n't it be great if we could ensure that every child really did have that chance."
All the children had to think a about one right that they wanted on their banner, of course they are all important and it was very difficult to choose one. But they had some lovely chats about Children's Rights are, and which ones they wanted their own MouseCot to promote.
A popular choice by the children was Article 31 the Right to 'rest and leisure, as well as play and engage in artistic activities..' which could possibly include making these little MouseCots during a lunch hour.
Another popular Right -especially amongst the youngest pupils- were Articles 9, 10 and 18 which they saw as the Right to have their parents. They all thought that they should have a Right to be loved, and whilst we explained that they are very lucky that they are cared for and loved deeply it is sadly not a right. Again this led onto the usual chat about the difference between 'wants and needs'.
For the school this is just another fun activity that the children do in their own time. We like them to volunteer to learn extra material and it was lovely to see the older pupils and members of the School Council helping the younger pupils. There is of course a recycling message included and we have done a lot of work with HDPE plastic milk bottles.
At the end of the day the MouseCot gets taken home and hopefully the children will explain to their families what it is about. Maybe some of those parents will have read the weekly newsletters or visit the web pages and so we can spread the word albeit slowly. Parents can find out more about the UNCRC here.
Whilst we are really proud to be the First UNESCO Associated School and UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools in Cardiff, there is still a perception that learning about Children's Rights is a novelty or it is a new thing. But in December this year it will be 20 years since the UK government agreed to implement the UNCRC. We also think that even even few other people are doing it learning about Rights and trying to be active citizens in our community.