PUPILS and staff have been praised after a school scooped up accolades.

Mountjoy School, Beaminster is celebrating after receiving different awards during the latest lockdown period.

In February, Mountjoy became the first special school in the South West to be granted the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Gold Award.

The gold award is the highest level and is granted to schools that organisers believe have 'fully embedded the principles of the UN Convention on the rights of the child into their ethos and curriculum.' The accreditation is then valid for three years.

During a Rights Respecting School accreditation meeting in February, pupils were very enthusiastic talking about their rights, to the accreditors, for example the right to have a voice and be listened to and the right to an education. They spoke about fundraising activities, to enable others to enjoy their rights.

In addition, Mountjoy gained an eco-accolade during lockdown. On the back of gaining Silver Eco-Schools Award in November 2021, the school Eco Group set their sights on gaining their first Green Flag.

Following an evaluation of progress and providing evidence that the whole school curriculum was reinforcing eco values, Mountjoy is now officially a Green Flag Eco-School.

Gill Howard, head teacher at Mountjoy School said: “I am enormously proud of the dedicated staff and enthusiastic pupils at Mountjoy. Not only do they work hard at Mountjoy, they consider wider issues.

"This prepares our young people to become citizens of the future.”

Antonia East, Rights Respecting coordinator said “It was great to see the children clearly enjoying their participation in the meeting and it made a huge difference for the accreditors to see and speak to the pupils and staff, particularly as they were not able to visit us in person”.

Kevin Broadway, Eco coordinator said “This is an acknowledgement not just of the work of the Eco-Committee but of how the whole school community has embraced the Eco-Schools agenda.

"We don’t want to stop here: we want to gain our second Green Flag in 2023 and build on the great start we’ve made in becoming a school community that is truly eco-friendly.”