‘Trailblazing’ Brent nursery gets top UNICEF children’s rights award

College Green School teachers have been given a Service Gold Unicef RRSA. Picture: Wendy Yianni

College Green School teachers have been given a Service Gold Unicef RRSA. Picture: Wendy Yianni - Credit: Archant

A “trailblazing” Brent nursery became the UK’s first recipient of a prestigious children’s rights award yesterday.

College Green School, off All Souls Avenue, was bestowed with The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund’s (UNICEFs) top Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA); recognising its efforts to place the “UN Convention and Rights of the Child at the heart of its ethos”.

The report singled out particular strengths of the nursery to include it’s “extremely confident and articulate children who are very collaborative”; its “strong focus on safety, inclusion and diversity”; and success in encouraging kids to “take an active part in the nursery”.

Headteacher Wendy Yianni told the Times: “It’s a fantastic achievement by all of the school who have had a really engaging teacher [in RRSA coordinator Michelle Workman] who has led this.

“She has been empowering the students to know their rights be respectful and be a global citizens.”

Wendy added: “I feel its wonderful recognition of just how trailblazing the school is, taking risks and beating new paths to make sure that the children who walk through their doors every day, come out as enlightened and empowered human beings, setting them up for the next stage of their learning journey.”

The College Road nursery, which previously achieved bronze and silver accreditation, was hailed by the Michelle Workman for embedding the non-profit organisation’s values, such as empowerment, respect and participation, into its classrooms.

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The nursery was recognised as outstanding by independent education watchdog Ofted after its last inspection in 2017.

In UNICEF’s RRSA report, assessors noted the nursery’s work to promote charity and compassion among its children, including its long-standing work with Water Aid and regular collections, aiding causes like the Grenfell disaster and Cancer Research.

Assessors also praised College Green’s “strong focus on reusing and recycling” and acknowledged its plans to “link up with a neighbouring primary or secondary school to develop relationships between younger and older children and begin to tackle the gang issue”.

Brent’s education boss Cllr Amer Agha told the Times: “It’s amazing they have achieved this.

“We are so proud of our school and I will definitely be sending a letter of recognition for its excellent work.”