September 18, 2021

East and Glasgow Primary is the only government school to receive the UNICEF Award.

Every day at St. Paul’s Primary begins with the same routine – students are received individually by teachers.

It’s a small gesture, but it says everything about the ethics of the Shettleston School, where the building of children’s rights and relationships is at the center of everything they do.

St. Paul has become the first public school in Glasgow to receive the UNICEF Rights Receiving School Gold Accreditation.

Head teacher Geraldine Miller joined St. Paul’s eight years ago. He said: “When I interviewed my head teacher, I said, ‘I really just want to start a family,’ and I remember people laughing at me before.

“But we are like a big family, so all these teachers see children as their own children.

“Sometimes we can be a little inactive but I don’t run the school, I run a family, so we are all aware of the emotional needs and the staff show the children and each other this – it’s not a lip service.

“The kids see that this is actually a very safe place.”

Because of Cowade, the assessors conducted a virtual inspection of the primary earlier this year, highlighting their report “very clear and informed children, confident in talking about rights despite unusual circumstances”.

They saw strong relationships, mutual respect and how students could share their opinions. World A better place with an “extraordinary understanding” of the teacher’s rights approach.

When Geraldine asks students if any of them want to talk to the Glasgow Times, she raises several hands from children who want to talk about their children.

“You’re heard and there are more good people at this school,” said Bradley Sands, an eight-year-old at P5.

Five-year-old Evie Burke explained that there is a system for expressing emotions, adding: “If you feel sad or something, you can talk to your teacher and they will make you feel better.”

The school’s motto is “Everyone is welcome, no one is judged” and all staff and students aim to implement it throughout the school day and beyond.

It begins with a warm welcome before each child arrives at the table.

After morning and break times, students use a chart to indicate to their teacher how they are feeling and teachers will respond accordingly.

Glasgow Times: Head teacher Geraldine Miller, left, with St. Paul's School students when they received the Rights Receiving School Gold Accreditation Photo: Gordon Terrace

“Students are greeted at the door, then they come in, open their bags and say their prayers, and consistency is very important,” said Chrissy Dick, a primary school teacher.

“If you are coming from a more chaotic background, coming to school and knowing that there is a safe, permanent place for you really helps.

“If your day is good or bad, you can tell a lot on their face.

“When you pay close attention to each person, you can see how they are feeling and deal with it with a straight beat instead of a few hours.”

St. Paul has 445 students, with 78% of young people eligible for free school meals.

There are 27 languages ​​spoken in the school, of which 25% of students speak English as an additional language and 24% need additional help.

During the Quake Lockdown, as part of its work ethic, the school ran a food bank, collaborating with businesses in the local community.

Geraldine added: “We can’t make a decision because of the weaknesses of our school community. Always be there.

“As part of that, we had a food bank during the Quaid.

“We said, ‘Let’s get something fresh that parents can make,’ so we had fresh meat and bread, cheese, all the fresh things from the business.”

“And we’re still giving. the meal Vouchers have been approved by some parents since we returned.

“But parents can come and ask for help and they are not ashamed.”

Local businesses are part of the school community and young people are not afraid to point out what they think is wrong – such as the Echo Group instructing a local shopkeeper to collect garbage around their premises.

Children begin to learn about their rights in the nursery and children’s rights are embedded in every school work.

This means that student councils are set up to provide feedback and advice to the teaching staff.

Each year, the school’s vision changes radically, and students become more involved in the school’s improvement plan, as well as creating a charter of rights for each class.

Geraldine added: “Education is about relationships. If you don’t know these kids, you can’t teach them if you don’t build relationships, so in fact our results have grown exponentially.

Last year we had 91% literacy in P7 but our target is 100%.

“It’s a gold mine, but we still have to improve. We’re not standing still.

“I don’t expect them to respect me, I have to earn it. Yes, I respect them because they are the perfect human being, but I have to respect them and it’s about building relationships. in.

“P7 is going to secondary school with skills that 25-year-olds don’t have. I can’t say how much the school has changed dramatically.

“Children feel important and they should feel important.

“We have children who will get out of here and go out and stand up for what is right.”

Now the school is focused on what it can do next.

There are plans to develop case studies and training materials for other schools to help them improve.

Chrissy added: “We want to reach out to other schools that have silver clearances and help them reach gold.

“We can’t really talk enough about how it affects the school and our students.”

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