St Jude’s Primary Explores Children’s Rights

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After listening to CAFOD’s ‘Brighten Up’ assembly, the children in Years 3, 5 and 6 at St Jude’s RC Primary School in Fareham took part in a special workshop about children’s rights.

Petra Wagenblast, CAFOD Education Volunteer, reminded the pupils of what CAFOD stood for (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) and emphasized the agency’s long term development and emergency work across the world. She spoke about the peace-building work that CAFOD’s partners are carrying out in El Salvador to help children like 9 year old Diego to live in his community in peace. She then spoke about CAFOD partners’ work with two Syrian girls who had recently had to flee their country because of the conflict there. Petra explained that we’re now asking our Catholic communities here to ‘Brighten up’ to help us build a better and more peaceful world.

In the classroom session afterwards, Petra asked the children how they supported each other in class and what contracts they had in the classroom regarding their behaviour. Year 5 and 6 said they didn’t have them displayed in their classroom because they were already so used to ‘helping each other’, ‘listening to each other’ and ‘maintaining order in the classroom’. The children worked out that those rules and contracts are a way of everyone being treated the way they want to be. Rules and contracts showed how the children wanted to be treated in the world.

Petra introduced the word ‘Rights’ and explained that these were things that every child should be able to have or to do, in order to survive and grow to reach their full potential. That means that every child could be the best it could be! Then they shared as many rights as they could come up with in class.

St Jude's HFD 2015a

Next the children were given a set of five children’s stories from around the world on card and five statements of the rights of a child. They were asked to read the stories and match them to the statements. Each statement had to be matched to only one story which was not easy – but the children did brilliantly!

Petra showed posters corresponding to the stories and pictures while the children were presenting their findings in class. They learnt a little more about each story and how CAFOD is working with each community.

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Every class (especially Year 6) was well aware that rights also go with responsibilities and were easily able to name some responsibilities that they had in class. The children were then asked by Petra to pick a right of their choice and design their own ‘Rights Poster’. Referring to the Brighten Up assembly given at the start of the school day, Petra came up with the idea of organizing a Children’s Rights Poster exhibition as Harvest Day activity.  She hopes to return to look at the posters at some point.

Thank you so much to all the community of St Jude’s primary for all your support and to Petra for carrying out a great visit!

Find out more about CAFOD’s Brighten Up initiative for Harvest Fast Day.


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