A Rights Respecting School

We are proud to be a UNICEF Rights Respecting School. In November 2022, we achieved Silver status (and are currently working towards Gold), which means that we place the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of all we do. This is key as it teaches children to respect their, and others' rights, in all relationships in the community.

Being a Rights Respecting School, impacts positively on these key areas: wellbeing, participation, relationships and self-esteem.

The difference that a Rights Respecting School makes goes beyond the school gates-  it has a positive impact on the whole community because children:

  • are healthier and happier
  • feel safe
  • have better relationships
  • become active and involved in school life and the wider world.

The award is not just about what children do, but also importantly, what adults do and what is expected of them. Children need to know their rights and understand what they are entitled to.

These abbreviations will be referred to in the document:

  • UNCRC – United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child
  • RRS – Rights Respecting School
  • RRSA – Rights Respecting School Award
  • UNICEF – United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund

As we are an accredited thinking school, we actively teach and reward Habits of Mind and British Values (among a range of other important life skills), so teaching children about their rights under the UNCRC, seemed a natural next step.

Watch this video to see what children think about being a RRS.


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When children and young people learn about their rights, it is important that deeper connections are also made in their understanding about the nature of rights. The ethos created, demonstrates to children the inclusiveness of a Rights-Respecting School and paves the way to participation in the life of the community. This in turn helps them to learn how to formulate, express and listen to opinions, helping to raise their achievement. This nationwide award scheme promotes the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child as the basis for enhancing teaching, learning, ethos, attitudes and behaviour.

Active child participation is a key characteristic of the award. Being involved in the Rights Respecting School Award [RRSA] means your child can be more involved in decisions about how their school run. This is why our Pupil Committees are central to all we do at Hillcross- children's voices are important and valued.

What could this involve?

  • learning from each other through peer education;
  • building positive relationships;
  • help to create a school environment where people work together to reduce conflict;
  • learning about your rights and those of young people all around the world;
  • developing understanding about social justice and sustainable living;
  • learning to speak and act for the rights of all to be respected locally and globally.

All around the world children are being denied access to basic things like healthcare, education and safe water to drink. Working towards this Rights Respecting School Awards will make our children more aware of their rights within the local community and the wider world. Looking at global aspects will make them realise that other people don’t always have the same benefits that they do.

‘Rights are for all children and young people throughout the world (universal), are there at birth (inherent), cannot be taken away (inalienable), do not come with any conditions attached to them (unconditional) and are all equally important (indivisible). Whilst there is not an expectation that children and young people necessarily know the actual words that define these features of rights, it is important that they understand the meaning of them (within the context of their age and ability). ‘UNICEF'.

 We have designed a poster to remind all children about this.

Hillcross Primary School, Ashridge Way, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4EE

020 8542 6936