February 5, 2024 08:26am
The school has received the Rights Respecting School Silver accolade, which is presented by UNICEF UK when a school demonstrates an awareness for putting children’s rights at the heart of school life.
In order to achieve the ‘Silver: Rights Aware’ status, the academy – a proud member of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust – was assessed by one of UNICEF’s advisors who looks at the whole school’s rights respecting work.
‘The language of rights is increasingly being used in daily school life’, the report said.
It added: ‘It was felt by many that knowledge of rights [at The Portsmouth Academy] was helping to improve safeguarding… pupils talked about the school’s Report It button on the website which helps them to raise any issues, and they felt confident that staff would support them to resolve problems.’
The Portsmouth Academy had already achieved its Rights Respecting Schools Bronze status, but has provided evidence to achieve Silver, which will now be valid for three years as our school community strives for Gold.
This award means that The Portsmouth Academy is explicitly embedding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in its policy, practice and culture, and that there is a plan to reflect this in teaching and learning to positively impact all.
The feedback received also stated: ‘Pupils spoken with felt that they are listened to at school. They reported that there are regular surveys for pupils and the Senior Student Leadership Team are involved in school improvement.’
The academy is beginning to see the positive impact of these actions – a requirement to achieve Silver - on the children, staff, and on the school’s ethos, practice and environment.
Ryan Lock, Assistant Principal for Personal Development at The Portsmouth Academy, says:
‘At The Portsmouth Academy, we believe that every child should be recognised, respected and protected, and that’s exactly what the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child embodies. We believe that everyone is a valuable human being on a unique journey and that by helping our school community in their understanding of this, we develop an environment where everyone has a place to grow, develop and be their best selves. Our mission is to empower young people to meet the world, and we believe that begins with the importance of understanding and promoting respect, which we have been recognised to do.’