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St Clare�s Abbey Primary School, Newry

Recognition of Commitment

After registering our school, the first stage of the RRSA was obtaining the Recognition of Commitment (ROC). The RRSA was introduced initially to the school community – staff, pupils, governors, parents and to the wider community.

A steering group composing of adults and children was formed to guide, promote and develop the Rights Respecting initiative throughout the school. Procedures were put in place for monitoring the impact of the initiative.

One of the first undertakings we the Steering Group did was to create a mascot. We wanted a mascot that would draw the interest and ignite the curiosity of all the staff, parents and most importantly the pupils.

Our mascot had to be child friendly, had to impress the pupils, have the ability to communicate the Articles and generate positivity.

A sub-committee made up with pupil members of the Steering Group and led by Mrs Sloan worked on this challenge.

After a number of sessions they came up with our mascot,  

  ‘Pop the Peacock’…


They finished it off with a matching slogan, ‘Rights for all…’

RR Steering Group

Our Rights Respecting Steering Group has a very important role in raising awareness of the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) and promoting the awareness of children’s rights in St. Clare’s Abbey.

In our Steering Group meetings, all members work hard to ensure that UNCRC Article 12 ‘You have a right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriousl ’ is always top of our agenda.

By working together, we seek to ensure that all stakeholders have an opportunity to have their views heard and grow in confidence and knowledge when discussing the UNCRC and its impact on our daily lives. We work closely with our School Council, Anti Bullying Ambassadors, ECO committee and Digital leaders to strengthen the voices of children both inside and outside school

Our New Primary One's


As we welcome our new Nursery and Primary 1 children as well as new pupils within our school community we are reminded of Article 28, that every child has to an education.


Our Class Charters

We have all produced our own class charters.

Have a look at the amazing displays around our school.

Article 1

Everyone under the age of 18 has all the rights in the convention.

Keeping Fit and Healthy

Well done to Mr Digney who along with Healthy Kidz organized a wonderful day on how to keep active. They put all our boys and girls and staff members through their paces. During assembly they told us of the importance of health care and nutritious food in order to stay healthy. (Article 24)

Many pupils from P1 to P7 shared their experiences of joining groups and clubs in order to stay active such as Camogie, Football, Irish Dancing, Karate and much more. The pupils then enjoyed a full day fitness marathon supervised by Healthy Kidz and enjoyed healthy, nutritious fruit provided by Neighbourhood Renewal. 

This big workout helped raise vital funds to help us promote healthy lifestyles and encourage positive eating habits. (Article 31)


Donation to Southern Area Hospice Services

October 8 2018

We Have a Right to be Alive


Miss Amy Mc Keown from Southern Area Hospice Services received a cheque from members of the School Council. At the beginning of every year the Council members choose which charities they are going to help and then organise fund raisers. The Steering Group with the help of the School Council used this visit to highlight Articles 6 and 24 of the UNCRC.

Each class discussed the important role hospitals, doctors, nurses and other health care workers play in our lives; the reasons why our school insists on our snack being fruit or vegetables; the reason why chips are only served on one day per week in the Dining Hall. Everyone agreed that we all have a RESPONSIBILITY to live healthy lives and not become unwell because of a bad diet or lack of exercise.



Article 24 states that every child has the right to the best possible health, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment and information to help you stay well.

Nurses Julie Laverty and Kathleen Mc Ateer from The National Health Service visited KS2 pupils on October 18 to talk about Healthy Living and also to give the boys and girls their Flu Vaccine. 

Each year,  viruses that are most likely to cause flu are identified in advance and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends which type of flu virus strains to include in the vaccine. This is one of the ways that the government ensures that our health is being looked after.

The nurses discussed the importance of daily exercise, eating the recommended portions of fruit and vegetables, eating a healthy breakfast, drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day and getting 10 hours sleep each night.


Anti - Bullying Week 2018


This week all children from Nursery through to Year 7 were involved in the school's Anti-Bullying Programme; looking at how St. Clare’s Abbey can continue to provide a safe and happy place to learn where all the children feel secure.

All classes studied and discussed Articles 15 and 19 and agreed that everyone has a responsibility to make sure children experience their rights as well as making rights a reality.

Fantastic Anti- Bullying posters were produced by pupils in all year groups sending a clear message that Bullying is not tolerated in our school.

The week culminated in an assembly led by a collaboration of the Anti- Bullying Ambassadors, UNICEF Rights Respecting School Pupil Steering Group and Digital Leaders. The assembly gave children an opportunity to listen and learn from their peers on the various types of bullying, what pupils should do if they feel they are being bullied and what they can do to stop it. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, the Rights Resting Steering Group and Digital Leaders all spoke passionately and reinforced their message with two videos on Bullying.

This week was very important, but at St. Clare’s Abbey we know that we are all against bullying every week.  

All agreed we must 'Stamp Out Bullying' for good.


December 2018


Support For The Hospice At Christmas


We Have the Right to Life


Mr John Dalzell, an ambassador and a treasured volunteer for Southern Area Hospice has devoted 27 years to sitting out on Hill Street Newry raising much needed funds. Members of the Rights Respecting Steering Group visited John’s Trailer during the duration of his Sit Out to offer their support and to highlight Article 6. John was very appreciative of the support and has promised to come to visit the school in the new year to talk to the children about the Hospice and his work.

Global Learning

Rights for Everyone


Article 1

Everyone under 18 has these rights.

Article 2

All children have these rights, no matter who

they are, where they live, what their parents do,

what language they speak, what their religion is,

whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture

is, whether they have a disability, whether they

are rich or poor. No child should be treated

unfairly on any basis.


Miss Katie Mc Ardle, a past pupil and third-year student in Trinity College Dublin led an Assembly as part of our Global Learning Curriculum. She recently visited India through her voluntary work with Suas.

Suas is an Irish Charity that works both in Ireland and Internationally (India, Kenya and Zambia) in deprived areas. Suas believes that through literacy change is possible.

Katie went to Kolkata, India for 11 weeks during the summer of 2018 (June-Sept). She worked with a partner organisation of Suas in Kolkata called the Thoughtshop Foundation.

She worked in Youth Resources Cells (YRCs) along with her team of 9 others. The YRCs work with children in rural and urban communities in Kolkata. The Youth Resource Cells provide sustained holistic support and protection against child trafficking, abuse, child marriage as well as instilling values of gender equality and inclusion. The Thoughtshop focuses on social issues such as Children’s Rights, Youth Issues, Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS, Gender Equity and Adolescent Health.

The pupils of St Clare’s Abbey Primary School helped Katie raise £2,995 putting into action Article 28 ‘richer countries helping poorer countries’. She showed the pupils photographs of life in India and described vividly the conditions that children experience every day. Katie then challenged our children to compare their lives with the lives of the children from India.

Edmund Rice Awards 2019


Twelve P7 boys and girls from St Clare’s Abbey travelled to Dromantine to celebrate their participation in the Edmund Rice Awards Project. This project was established in 1994 to encourage young people to respond to the needs of their local community in the spirit of Edmund Rice.

The project encourages students to serve their local community and exposes them to the realities of social injustice and marginalization. It provides a rare opportunity for young people to make a significant difference to the lives of local community members. The project involves reflection sessions to be conducted in school and provides the opportunity for students to assess their own voluntary work.

This year we travelled to celebrate the tenth Anniversary of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust.   We were joined by Christian Brothers Primary School, Armagh; Christian Brothers Grammar School, Omagh; Abbey Christian Brothers Grammar School, Newry; St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School, Belfast; Edmund Rice College, Glengormly; Christian Brothers School Glen Road, Belfast; St Patrick’s Primary School, Belfast and John Paul 11 Primary School, Belfast.

  The Edmund Rice family of schools come together annually to celebrate their achievements in fulfilling the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice.  The Edmund Rice Schools Trust Charter (ERST Charter) defines these schools in the following way;

“The hallmarks of an Edmund Rice school are care, especially for those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged in any way, and action for social and ecological justice.”

To this aim, the awards ceremony highlights and celebrates the many projects undertaken in the schools each year to help others. 

The day began with contributions from Professor Peter Finn and Brother Edmund Garvey. Following this, each school including St. Clare’s Abbey delivered presentations on how Edmund Rice’s vision influenced them in the many projects and initiatives they undertook over the year to assist those in need.

St. Clare’s Abbey cited the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child listing the forty two rights made to children and young people so that all are treated fairly and equally.

Their presentation focused on how children in St. Clare’s Abbey exercise their Rights which they are born with and don’t have to be earned. They highlighted the support given to fellow pupils, how pupils care for the homeless at Christmas, how the ECO Council are changing attitudes and actively promote respect and care for the environment to raising money for many worthwhile charities who stand in solidarity with those who are powerless and marginalised.


Celebrating St Patrick's Day 2019

Enjoying Article 7

You have the right to a name, and this should be

officially recognized by the government. You have

the right to a nationality (to belong to a country).


The boys and girls of St. Clare’s Abbey Primary School enjoying St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in school.

World Down Syndrome Day

Article 29

The propose of education is to develop

every child's personality, talents

and mental and physical abilities.


St Clare's Abbey celebrated World Down Syndrome day on Thursday 21st March.

The campaign this year was ' Lots of Socks.'

The significance of the date -21st day of the 3rd month is that a person with Down Syndrome has an extra 21st chromosome- 3 instead of 2.

The significance of the socks is that we explain to our children that a chromosome is shaped like a little sock.

We therefore asked everyone to wear odd socks, the crazier the better.

We  are very lucky to have a beautiful little girl in our school who has Down Syndrome and her Mummy made a video presentation explaining Down Syndrome in a very child friendly way. The video was shared with the whole school in our Friday assembly.

The amazing video below was made by Miss Mallon's Primary two class.


Fairtrade Fortnight

Article 32

‘You have the right to protection from work that

harms you, and is bad for your health and education.

If you work, you have the right to be

safe and paid fairly’

What is Fairtrade?

What is it all about?

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world every day. With simple shopping choices you can get farmers a better deal. And that means they can make their own decisions, control their future and lead the dignified life everyone deserves.

How is fair trade different to normal trade?

Unfortunately, in the standard trade process, the producer (e.g. the farmer or craftsmen) is often under-paid for their product. This leaves them unable to survive, as the cost of production and materials are more than what they receive. Ultimately they do not have enough money to live off or support their own families.

The conditions to which the workers are exposed are often also unfair. They are given few or no workers’ rights, and are forced to work long hours with no access to facilities, such as running water or toilets.

As part of our work on Fairtrade the Eco Council held a Fairtrade hot chocolate morning for the pupils in our school. We all enjoyed some Fairtrade chocolate as well as other Fairtrade snacks such as bananas and sugar. We had great fun and we all hope that our parents and our fellow pupils will now look out for the Fairtrade logo when they are doing their shopping. 


Rights Respecting Newsletter Spring 2019

Colouring Competition Winners





Nursery - Dean Carr


ECPD - Micco Pereira


Primary 1- Roise McCoy – Mrs Gallagher


Primary 2- Ellen Larkin - Miss Friel


Primary 3 -Jenna Dolinska – Miss Rocks


Primary 4- Eimear Treanor – Mr Clarke


Primary 5- Laura Ludwa – Mr Hillen


Primary 6- Eoin Gorman – Mrs A McParland


Primary 7- Julia Kielczykowska – Mrs M McParland


Going for Gold in 2020


During this academic year 2019-2020, we will be working towards achieving Level 2 which is Gold Status.

The RRSA steering group will be working throughout the year with all pupil representative bodies and planning events to help children recognize their rights and responsibilities, both in school and beyond.

We are extremely proud of our children, staff and school. We hope that you will continue to support us on our Rights Respecting journey.


Firework Safety


Article 3

All adults should do what is best for you. When

adults make decisions, they should think about

how their decisions will affect children.

Article 6

You have the right to be alive.

Article 19

You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.

Despite annual safety warnings, firework celebrations still end in painful injuries for too many people, including very young children. This was the message delivered by Police Constable Mary, Police Constable Christine and Fire Officer Liam to the boys and girls at our Hallowe’en Assembly.

Yet fireworks can be great fun for families, not just around Hallowe’en Night but New Year’s Eve and sometimes Birthday Parties.

Injury figures support the advice that the safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display - far fewer people are injured here than at smaller family or private parties.

But if you intend having a firework party at home, you can make the occasion fun and safe for everyone by following the Firework Code, as well as some sparkler safety tips.

Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used. Children and young people should be supervised, and watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance. Parents should follow these top tips for a safer fireworks party:

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable
  • Only buy fireworks which carry the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use them one at a time
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  • Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  • Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.
  • Pets often get very frightened by fireworks, so watch out for them too. You might want to keep all your pets indoors and close all the curtains.

Sparkler safety

  • Never put them in your pocket
  • Never pick one up off the floor
  • Make sure an adult is always present
  • Light them one at a time
  • Wear gloves
  • Hold them at arm's length
  • When it goes out, put the hot end in a bucket of water. Otherwise it could still burn you.

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Road Safety Week

Article 19

You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.

As part of Road Safety Week, St Clare’s Abbey took part in a colour in competition in conjunction with Specsavers and ‘Brake’ to encourage people to ‘Step Up for Safe Streets’.

Two of our children were winners and received high visibility vests for their class from Specsavers.

School children are some of our most vulnerable road users so the vests will make our children more visible.

Anti Bullying Week 2019


Guess Who & Colouring Competition Winners.


Helping the Homeless and Those in Need

CHRISTMAS is the hardest time of year for people sleeping rough, with the weather getting worse every day and everyone else feeling the festive cheer. The holiday season is usually a time of celebration and of thanks for what we have and a time most of us spend with family, friends and loved ones. For those who are on the fringes of society this time of year can be a reminder of what they don't have or what they have lost which can be compounded because they are homeless.

As Christmas approaches we as a school community are very aware that 800 families in the Newry area will need help so this year we are going to help a local charity ‘The Larder Newry’ in their Christmas appeal. This is Newry's emergency food bank. It helps the needy in Newry and surrounding areas.

As a rights respecting school we are very aware of the rights of children and young people.

Article 27 states: You have the right to food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met. You should not be disadvantaged so that you can't do many of the things others do.

We want to help all those people in our community who, unfortunately, will not have their basic rights to shelter or food met. By gathering items for ‘The Larder Newry’ we will support a local group who do amazing work so that kids, like us, can enjoy many of the things that we take for granted.

It is particularly at times like Christmas when the Homeless and those in need require that extra bit of care and compassion to see them through. We appreciate the kindness and support of parents and pupils all year round and we are constantly blessed by their generosity in helping us fulfil our role for some of the most vulnerable in society.

Shoe Box Appeal.