Pupil Voice at Applegarth
At Applegarth, we believe that pupil voice is integral to making our pupils feel heard and valued. Due to this, we have several ways in which our children can get involved in shaping our school. Our Pupil Parliament are vital to this and they lead weekly assemblies informing our children of upcoming events as well as teaching about the Right and Word of the Week. Pupil Parliament also ensure that the various events we run throughout the year such as the Applegarth Museums and Art Galleries run smoothly.
In addition to our Pupil Parliament, we also have a Gardening Committee who are working closely with our sister school, Tudor, to help create an allotment within our school to continue the work of the #fightforfood campaign begun last year.
We also have a Junior Transport Committee who are in charge of helping our children get to school safely and healthily as well as learn about road safety and how we can look after ourselves outside of school.
As well as this, we are a Rights Respecting school and we have various ways in which we respect our rights at Applegarth. One way is through our Rights Respecting Committee, who meet regularly to discuss how we can not only teach and learn about the rights but also how we can be advocates for other people's rights in our school and wider community.
Our Pupil Parliament
Our Pupil Parliament at Applegarth is made up of 6 members from Year 6. Children are invited to apply via a written application in the Summer term. If they are successfully shortlisted, they are invited to an interview and team building workshop. The interviews are led by the current Pupil Parliament, a member of SLT and the Pupil Voice lead. We recognise that a strong team requires a range of skills and abilities, which is why as well as having members who are responsible for our public relations (meeting visitors, helping run events), we also select children who can work collaboratively to help with our various campaigns, blog and displays around the school. Our Pupil Parliament are also actively involved in the lives of our pupils and each Minister has a committee which they are in charge of. This ensures that as well as handling our school-wide campaigns, the Pupil Parliament is aware of the various activities happening in our school.
Applegarth Academy has been presented with the Gold Rights Respecting School Award. This means that we think teaching our children about rights is important. We use the rights within our behaviour system and as a teaching tool across all areas of the curriculum. We also strongly believe that as well as teaching and learning about the rights, our children should advocate for the rights of others. This means we stand up for other people within our community through our various campaigns, including Dignity Week, #fightforfood and Den Day.
Key Principles & Provisions of the Convention
The CRC consists of 54 articles. A ‘child’ is defined as every human being below the age of 18. The key provisions are:
- The right to a childhood (including protection from harm)
- The right to be educated (including all girls and boys completing primary school)
- The right to be healthy (including having clean water, nutritious food and medical care)
- The right to be treated fairly (which includes changing laws and practices that discriminate against children)
- The right to be heard (which includes considering children’s views)
Why teach about the Convention?
Teaching children and young people about the CRC means that they can find out about the legal and human rights and responsibilities that underpin society. By learning about the Convention, children and young people in the UK can discover that:
- They have rights
- They should be informed about their rights
- They should be helped to exercise their rights
- They should be able to enforce their rights
- There should be a community of interest to advocate young people’s rights
These tenets of the CRC are true for children and young people worldwide, making the Convention an excellent starting point for understanding global citizenship.
The right to come to school is linked to the following articles:
Education should develop each child’s personality and talents to the full. It should encourage children to respect their parents, and their own and other cultures.
Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
Children’s rights are central to all aspects of UNICEF’s work, including education, and we use the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as a framework for our activities. The CRC is a comprehensive human rights treaty that enshrines specific children’s rights in international law. These rights define universal principles and standards for the status and treatment of children worldwide.
Academy Rights & Rules
We recognise that every member of the school community has:
- the right to learn and help others through careful listening and turn taking
- the right to feel safe in, and moving around the school, classroom and playground
- the right to express themselves, ask questions and, share opinions and ideas
- the right to be treated fairly, with equality and respect
- the right to be listened to in a dispute and have difficulties with others settled
- the right to work in an environment that is cared for by everyone in the school and, equipment and belongings looked after
- Walk quietly on the left
- Speak to each other politely
- Keep your hands and feet to yourself
- Listen to and follow instructions
- Attend school regularly and be on time
- Take care of the school environment
Junior Transport Committee and TFL Stars
Applegarth Academy think it is important that our pupils know how to get to school healthily and safely. Our Junior Transport Committee is involved in helping our children learn about the different ways they can travel to school and how to stay safe when out and about our neighbourhood. We have been awarded Bronze level TFL Stars and we hope to be running several transport related events in the upcoming year. Look out for our Walk Once a Week (WOW) campaign, where our children can be awarded badges and trophies for walking to school at least once a week for a month!
Debating at Applegarth
In Autumn 2018, we will be launching a debating society in partnership with the Cambridge Union. Several Year 5 and 6 children will be invited to learn about British Parliamentary style and practise their debating skills alongside children from Tudor Academy. We will be visiting the Cambridge Union as well as having a series of workshops around different debating topics centred around our rights. For more information, check out our school blog to see what we have been up to!