Case Study – The 5 Principles

Bishopston Comprehensive School: Embedding the Right Way approach

Bishopston Comprehensive School is an English Medium 11-16 School in Swansea and the school is proud to be a UNICEF Gold Rights Respecting School. The school have also embedded children’s rights using Swansea Council’s “Doing it the Rights Way: A plan to help Swansea Council put Children’s Rights at the heart of its decisions.” This is based on the Children’s Commissioner’s Right Way approach. Pupils at the school are aware of their rights and the senior leadership of the school described this understanding as essential to achieving the school vision to be an ‘outstanding learning community founded on mutual respect.’

Each of the interlinked five principles of the Right Way has been taken forward at the school, as outlined below.

Embedding: The UNCRC is included in the school development plan and pupils have selected articles which are linked to school policies. Rights are evident in staff presentations for internal interviews, in Skills Week booklets, and in health and wellbeing day presentations. Direct links are made to the UNCRC across curriculum subjects.

Non-Discrimination: Bishopston Comprehensive has a whole school approach to inclusion. Pupil voice has initiated a Wheelchair Basketball Club, which led to the addition of Boccia, Wheelchair basketball and Hard Court Orienteering in the Year 9 Sports Festival. Pupil voice has prompted the development of a valuable school-to-school relationship with a special school for 3-19 year olds who have profound and multiple learning difficulties.

Empowerment: Building on Primary School experiences, staff empower pupils to understand their rights through Challenge Days and Health and Well-being days. The school leads the local authority Professional Learning Community (PLC) for pupil voice: a staff and pupil forum which creates opportunities to explore and discuss rights. With other secondary schools, pupils are developing a united Swansea Pupil Voice manifesto based upon ‘What matters’ to young people.  Pupils contribute to the school development plan by identifying and leading whole school improvements. Pupils also monitor progress using the National Evaluation and Improvement Resource prompts.

Participation: Pupil voice mechanisms include prefects, the school council, year councils, form representatives and whole school ‘pupil led’ pupil voice surveys. Pupils are encouraged to consider and share their ideas for developing the curriculum and have led on the development of resources for Black lives Matter, Public Sexual Harassment, Sexual and Gender identity and Empathy Week.

Accountability – The Senior Prefect Team meet weekly with the Head teacher and Associate Pupil Governors attend and present at governing body meetings.  The School Council system provides a two-way communication channel for potential ideas and feedback to their peers. This two way communication is essential in communicating the power of pupil voice and the impact it is having in supporting improvement.