MY RIGHTS – MY RESPONSIBILITIES (MRMR)
October 2017 – September 2019
Our third Erasmus+ Project is a Key Action 2 Project and as such differs from PIP and SSS (both Key Action 1 projects) in that it involves multiple schools AND pupils. This project is being led by Summerhill and focuses on the Rights of the Child. It will help us to achieve Stage 2 of the Rights Respecting Schools Award, and also the International Schools Award. Over the course of the project we will be working particularly closely with the Spanish school involved, and will be introducing our first residential visit for a group of 6 pupils in Spain in 2019. Below is a summary of the project as provided to the British Council in support of our application:
“You have the right to know your rights! Adults should know your rights and help you learn about them too.” Article 42, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – (In Child Friendly Language)
“My Rights….My Responsibilities” (MRMR) is an international project based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). It aims to raise the profile of the CRC amongst the 6 schools involved, so that the values enshrined within them become embedded in the culture of each school. It will address Article 42, quoted above, which states that every child should be taught about their rights.
The CRC agenda is very high within the European Union (EU) and all EU legislation linked to children is underpinned by these rights. As the UK distances itself from the EU, and the EU itself faces new challenges, we believe that now more than ever it is of vital importance to use projects such as these to develop cross-cultural links and forge strong relationships with each other so that children develop tolerance and understanding of others.
MRMR involves primary schools from the UK, Poland, Spain, Greece, Romania and Italy. Amongst these countries, through UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools (RRS) Programme, the UK is at the forefront of thinking about Children’s Rights. The UK school is committed to RRS and is keen to both share its learning, and develop new methods and new thinking about CRC with its partners. The project is directed mainly at pupils from 9-12 years old and will involve some 300 pupils altogether.
The main objectives of the project are:
- to develop pupil and adult’s knowledge and understanding of the CRC and relate these to their everyday lives
- to develop pupil civic, cultural and interpersonal competences
- to involve pupils in democratic processes, develop their critical thinking and a sense of responsibility regarding their rights ;
- to exchange good practice, share experience and knowledge with partners in Europe, particular in relation to rights and responsibilities in school, and in terms of developing ICT competencies
- to develop pupils’ knowledge about crucial matters of health and well-being, both now and in the future
- to improve language skills through a holistic approach (for UK pupils the focus will be on Spanish, for others, English)
- to promote entrepreneurship education
In order to achieve our objectives we have designed a programme which spans 2 years and 5 Modules. The Modules each focus on a separate area of Rights and Responsibilities and include a focus on different Articles from the CRC as follows:
1. All About Me! – Rights and Responsibilities towards ourselves (Articles 7,8 + 30);
2. It’s a Small World - Rights and Responsibilities regarding the environment (Article 29);
3. Five A Day - Rights and Responsibilities regarding health (Article 30);
4. Thinking Outside the Box - Rights and Responsibilities in the classroom (Article 17 + 28)
5. Ahead of the Game - Rights and Responsibilities in the playground (Articles 13, 15, 23 and 31)
Each module will led by and include a mobility hosted in one of the countries, where the school has some expertise in the area to be explored. Greece, for example, will lead and host the mobility in Module 4, having a particular expertise in integrating a migrant population into classrooms. We believe that mobilities are essential in order to develop strong relationships and trust between the countries, and in order to develop our learning.
For each Module we will develop innovative teaching and learning methods and focus both on the Rights involved, and the responsibilities that we have in relation to these Rights. For example, in Module 3 we will look at a child’s right to nutritious food, and discuss the importance of each individual making sensible choices regarding this right.
During each module, teachers and pupils will carry out project work in their own schools relating to a particular topic. They will use video, blogs, e-mail and e-Twinning to co-operate with partners and strengthen links between the pupils and schools. A representative group from each school will then participate in a mobility where learning will be shared. During the mobility there will be an opportunity to learn and develop ideas about the next Article so that participants can take back and continue the work on it at school. Then the cycle will continue.
Where CRC education is most successful it results in very positive relationships in schools, a decrease in incidences of bullying, a culture of respect and tolerance and a very positive attitude to diversity. Pupils are pro-active in their learning and in the life of the school, taking a meaningful role in decision making. They develop an understanding of local and global issues and make a positive contribution to address these. We hope that the project will take us some way towards these outcomes.
By involving school leaders and the whole school community in the project, we hope to leave a lasting impact whereby schools embrace the CRC and strive to build its values of equality, democracy, respect and individual freedoms into their culture.
You can visit the MRMR Project website here: https://mrmrproject.wixsite.com/weshare