The Victory Academy celebrate UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award

Students and staff at The Victory Academy, located on Magpie Hall Road in Chatham, are celebrating receiving the Bronze Award of the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA).

The Victory Academy celebrate UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award

The Academy has been working towards the award since November 2022 as part of its mission to support pupils’ development, knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of children’s rights, both in school and around the world. 

The initiative is led by Assistant Vice Principal, Laura Simperl, and the Academy’s student council, who are passionate about raising awareness of children’s rights. The Bronze Award is the first stage of the RRSA and recognises schools that have embedded young people’s rights in school practices and ethos. 

As part of the Academy’s work in achieving the award, the student council supported a number of charity events, participated in student voice conversations and worked with the staff to support the implementation of a number of changes across the school. This includes; working with the school caterers to update the menu to include more cultural dishes, increase charity events including an end of term tag day to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, increase the school rewards system and include more items in the reward shop and to monitor and improve safety within the school.  

Next, Victory hopes to work towards the Silver Award. This will include ensuring The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) underpins the Academy’s values and decision making. The whole Academy will learn about the CRC and respecting the rights of others.  

The Victory Academy will also work to further empower students to become active learners and active local and global citizens. 

Michelle Smith, Principal at The Victory Academy, said: 

“We are so proud to have received the Bronze award for our work as a rights respecting school. We are continuously striving to create the best possible learning environment for our students, and to see this recognised is amazing. 

“A huge thank you to our student council and, of course, Miss Simperl, who have undertaken incredible and inspiring work to raise awareness across the Academy. With this award, we now join a community of other UK schools that have reported many positive impacts, including improved relationships, wellbeing and self-esteem of students, which in turn has led to better attendance and improved learning.” 

Laura Simperl, Assistant Vice Principal at The Victory Academy and project lead, said: 

“I am ecstatic to see The Victory Academy receive the Bronze UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award. We couldn’t have done it without the dedication and support of our school council.  

“The council is made up of two students per year, from Years 7 to 13, who have worked exceptionally hard to ensure best practice across the Academy and raise awareness of young people’s rights. This award is testament to our student’s efforts and the school’s commitment to transforming life chances. We look forward to moving onto the Silver Award.”