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Llwynhendy school wins prestigious UNICEF award

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Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel in Llwynhendy, Llanelli has been awarded the Silver Rights Respecting School Award by UNICEF UK.

Leading children’s rights organisation, UNICEF grants the Rights Respecting Schools Award to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school.

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The Silver accreditation is given to schools that make excellent progress towards embedding the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into its ethos and curriculum.

There are over 1,300 schools across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales that have achieved Silver and over 600 schools that have been awarded Gold, the next step up and highest accolade granted by UNICEF. 

Headteacher of Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel, Mrs. Jayne Davies said: “I am very proud of the school for achieving this prestigious silver award for children’s rights. At Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel we are all very aware that children need to know their rights from a young age and link them to their own life experiences.

“We are mindful that some children within the local community may not be accessing all their rights and this way of working has helped us further identify and support the needs of our families.

“I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to Miss Sophie Harding (Class-teacher), the Children’s Rights ambassadors, governors, staff and learners for all their support in placing children’s rights at the heart of the school and for working together positively to achieve such a wonderful accolade.”

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Cllr. Glynog Davies, Cabinet Minister for Education and the Welsh Language said: “Carmarthenshire County Council is very proud of Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel for being awarded the Silver Rights Respecting School Award by UNICEF. This award is a clear recognition of the hard work undertaken by everyone at the school to ensure that children’s rights are promoted and realised. 

“Teaching our pupils, and also adults, about the children’s rights is integral to enabling our children and young people to have the best possible start in life.”

The Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice.

A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.

UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Programme Director, Frances Bestley, said: “Children at Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel have shown a really good grasp of the Convention and a strong understanding of the wider world.

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“It is great to see how much the Convention underpins the school’s work and values, in the classroom and at playtime. It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm that all the children and staff showed about learning about rights.

“We are very pleased to be awarding Silver: Rights Aware to Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel and look forward to continuing our Rights Respecting work with them.”

The UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools initiative is aimed at schools across the UK, including those in an early years setting. Currently, it works with nearly 5,000 primary schools, secondary schools, schools for children and young people with special educational needs and pupil referral units across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Schools have reported a positive impact on pupil behaviour, relationships and well-being by enhancing pupils’ self-esteem, leading to less truancy and bullying, better learning and improved academic standards.

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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