Friday 9th October was a day of celebration for St. Patrick's College Dungannon as it became only the third post-primary school in Northern Ireland to receive the UNICEF Level 2 Rights Respecting Schools Award.
This award is presented to schools who are committed to promoting human rights at both local and national levels. The community of St Patrick's College are committed to the values in the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child. Young people and the whole school community learn about children's rights by putting them into practice every day within the school and beyond.
The level 2 accreditation was achieved by an external assessment process at 3 different stages: Recognition of Commitment – Achieved in April 2012; Level 1 – Achieved in January 2013; and Level 2 – Achieved in February 2015. In their level 2 report, the UNICEF Assessors confirmed that St Patrick's College fully embedded the values and principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into its ethos and curriculum across all areas of the school. They were impressed with how everyone placed great value on being a Rights Respecting School and saw it as central to their already strong inclusive ethos.
St Patrick's College is a multi-cultural school with as many as ten different languages spoken in addition to English and Irish. The school is working in collaboration with Professor Karen Corrigan from Newcastle University on setting up a forum which will promote and value all the different languages used within the school, with start-up funding from the Economic and Social Research Council. The UNICEF Assessors were very impressed at the integration of the children from all nationalities. They reported:
"All have benefited from being part of an inclusive, multi-cultural school which puts the right to education and pupil voice at its centre."
UNICEF ambassador and popular award-winning actor James Nesbitt made the presentation last Friday in St. Patrick's College.
For further information, please contact Cathal Coyle: