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No shouting policy helps school secure award

A PRIMARY school in Swansea has a lot of good stories to shout about - but neither the teachers or pupils at YGG Llwynderw do shouting.

Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwynderw

The school has become the first Welsh medium school in Wales to become a Level Two Rights Respecting School (RRS).

It is the highest level of the award granted by Unicef UK to schools that have fully embedded children's rights in their policies, practice and ethos.

Assessors were full of praise of the school in West Cross and noted that it had an inclusive, warm and nurturing atmosphere which is based on an appreciation of rights and respecting one another.

One of the many features that caught their eye was a 'No Shouting' policy that has been developed by Headteacher Mrs Gayle Shenton and Mrs Rachel Lewis the lead teacher working with pupils.

This has helped build respectful relationships between staff and the 330 pupils.

The UNICEF report states: "During the assessment, the assessors witnessed staff singing and using creative strategies to gain the attention of the pupils both in classrooms and during play and lunchtimes.

"Pupils clearly value this policy and one pupil stated 'our teachers show us respect and no one raises their voice at school. This helps our school be calm and makes us feel valued."

Assessors also praised a range of activities and campaigns at the school to uphold the rights of children both locally and globally.

Pupils have supported national charities such as UNICEF, Red Cross and Children In Need and worked with local charities. They are also involved in a partnership with Swansea University and schools in Siavonga in Zambia..

They also found evidence to show how RRS shapes and informs school policies and practices, how the values are taught as part of the wider curriculum and how parents and families are kept informed.

The report adds: "It was clear during discussions that Llwynderw provides a safe and healthy environment for pupils which was confirmed when pupils were asked to describe their school in one word. Answers given include 'safe', 'secure', 'respect', 'happy', 'proud' and 'a family'."

Mrs Shenton said: "The Rights Respecting Schools programme has become an integral part of the schools ethos and it is thanks to the commitment of the whole school staff  and community that we can proudly celebrate this award. Llwynderw is a happy school and we will continue to build on this achievement and do our best for the children at YGG Llwynderw."

 Christine Richards, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Services for Children and Young People said: "Staff, pupils and their families deserve great credit for working together to achieve this accolade - a first for a Welsh medium school in Wales.

"Swansea was the first council in the UK to decide to have due regard for the UNCRC and is supporting schools to achieve Rights Respecting status as part of this work.

"Educating children, safeguarding and building sustainable communities are among this Council's top priorities and developing children's rights contributes toward this."

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