CHILDREN and staff at Ovingham Middle School are celebrating after being recognised for promoting children’s rights with the highest possible award.

The school is just the second school in Northumberland to receive the Rights Respecting Schools Gold Award, given by Unicef UK.

The award recognises work to promote the values of respect, dignity and non-discrimination, with children taught to understand their rights and how others should be treated as part of the programme.

Ovingham Middle School has been working towards becoming a Rights Respecting School since 2015, and achieved the silver award in July 2017.

Children were visited by inspectors last month to see whether they had met the criteria for the gold award, with teachers, teaching assistants, governors and the headteacher also among those who were quizzed.

And in a glowing report from the inspectors following their visit, they said it was “clear that children’s rights are embedded throughout, and integral to, the school’s vision and ethos”.

The school’s Rights Respecting School coordinator, teacher Alex Snowdon, said the role of the school council had played a big part in the work for the award, as well as work to promote children’s rights though assemblies, topic days, wall displays and links with the community.

The work has included helping the children to become confident and articulate voicing their rights, and learning about areas such as freedom of speech and health, education, privacy rights.

As well as considering their own rights, they have looked at those of children around the world. Mr Snowdon said: “One of the nicest things is seeing how the children have a sense of themselves and a sense of being part of something bigger – a bigger community and a wider world – and being able to have a voice in that wider world.”