Celebrating the Children and Families Panel

Celebrating the Children and Families Panel

Written by Alyssa Faulkner (Project Worker on the Children’s Rights Skills and Knowledge Framework project at Children’s Parliament). 

As the Children’s Rights Skills and Knowledge Framework project draws to a close, Children’s Parliament hosted an event to celebrate the enormous impact that the Children and Families Panel have had on the project, and the commitment everyone has shown. Each family has contributed so much to the Framework by sharing their stories, values, and opinions, often in some tricky subject areas, and everyone has shown amazing commitment through the entire year and a half.  

 The Weaving of Stories Exhibition 

The Children and Families Panel participated in a group art project to consolidate family thinking on the skills and knowledge needed for the Framework. Each family was given a recycled children’s bicycle wheel (used to represent childhood), as well as a variety of different wool and ribbon, and were tasked with weaving the wool through the spokes of the wheel, working together as a family. 

These recycled children’s bicycle wheels, representing childhood, were used as mini frameworks to produce abstract weavings of the core values of children’s rights, pulling together the threads of individual families’ stories and lived experiences. The wheels were then brought together to make a kinetic (moving) sculpture consolidating the whole panel’s views. The assorted colours and textures of yarns represent the rich diversity of families in Scotland. The kinetic element represents the children’s rights movement and reminds us that learning is an ongoing process, and that we all need to slow down and reflect on children’s rights.  

We invite people to join the movement by walking amongst the sculptures while reflecting on their own childhoods and on what they personally can do to ensure that every child in Scotland grows up happy, healthy and safe. At the celebration event we saw these wheels together for the first time, with all of them moving. These wheels will be showcased in an exhibition in Stirling over the summer and then the families will get to keep their own wheel as a reminder of the project. 


Tree of Life Reflection Activity 

Next, we used our Tree of Life activity to reflect on the panel’s feelings about the project as a whole, and about the impact the project has had on them, both as an individual and as a family. We brought in a wooden tree, and had leaves attached to sticks, in which the families could insert into the Tree of Life. The questions that the families were asked to reflect on were as follows: 

What are your hopes and dreams for the Framework?

Some of the feedback for this included: 

  •  I hope that people will treat children nicely and keep them safe, 
  • I hope that those working with children will really LISTEN to them.   


What impact has the project had on you?

Some of the feedback for this included: 

  • Learned so much about children’s rights in practice, 
  • It helped me understand better how to listen to children and young people. 

We had previously done a more detailed feedback session with the panel, and so this exercise was to get the families to reflect and celebrate the work they had done over the  entire year and a half of the project! 

UNCRC Jigsaw 

We brought along a giant UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) jigsaw puzzle for the panel to make as a team, allowing the children to work together to make it. In this they got to see a physical representation of the importance of the UNCRC articles.

Celebration of Project 

Finally, we sat in a circle to reflect as a group on what has been achieved, and to say a proper goodbye to each other, and wish everyone good luck for the future. Each child that participated in this project is, and will remain, an MCP (Member of Children’s Parliament). Each adult is an Unfeartie (https://www.childrensparliament.org.uk/unfearties/) and has become a champion for children’s rights. 

This event was an excellent opportunity for Children’s Parliament and the wider Children’s Rights Skills and Knowledge Framework project team to say thank you. Each contribution by the Children and Families Panel members brought a real life perspective to the project. The UNCRC Skills and Knowledge Framework will impact children’s lives across Scotland and it was a pleasure to acknowledge the work of the panel in ensuring that children’s lived experiences were weaved throughout the Framework.  

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