On Friday 20 January St Patrick’s Primary School, Belfast celebrated the achievement of a level one Quality Mark award from UNICEF for their work in educating pupils on their rights in a safe, inspiring and thriving environment.
The children have been learning about their rights at whole school assemblies and through class charters as well as developing a strong sense of their responsibilities in respecting the rights of others and recognition of the need for children’s rights to be realised everywhere. The school has participated in social justice and sustainability programmes through Trocaire, The Shoebox Appeal and The Outright Campaign as part of the Rights Respecting Schools journey.
Distinguished visitors, including Mr Jim Clarke, Chief Executive, CCMS and Mr David McGimpsey from UNICEF Northern Ireland, as well as pupils, parents, governors and many other invited guests were present at the celebration day to see newly professional boxer Paddy Barnes MBE present the award to the school’s Rights Respecting Pupil Ambassadors.
Both Paddy and David McGimpsey commented on how impressed they were with the work St Patrick’s has accomplished on children’s rights. David went on to say:
“St. Patrick’s have done very well and are leading the way in Belfast schools. On the assessment day they had to show that they placed the convention at the heart of everything they had done, both in leadership and management of the school and the curriculum.”
The Acting Principal, Mrs Julie McAuley thanked everyone who helped galvanise the efforts of the whole school community, whose teamwork had played a huge part in winning the prestigious award.