Lift Off: Introducing Human Rights Education within the Primary Curriculum

AUTHOR: Gerard Barrett Jennifer Campbell Ann Marie Kealy Michael Killcrann Jacquie White

PUBLISHER: Amnesty International

YEAR: 2003



‘Lift Off’ is part of a comprehensive human rights education programme for primary schools. This resource promotes and supports human rights education for 3rd and 4th classes (Republic of Ireland) and Primary 4 and 5 (Northern Ireland). It introduces the language of rights in a child-friendly and age-appropriate manner.  

The character of ‘Croc’, a visitor from another planet who is trying to find out how human beings live, is used as a tool to facilitate and structure each lesson, to provide focus for the children’s explorations and to engage children in questioning and problem solving.


artwork, child-centred, children as active participants, circle time, classroom ethos and practice, collaborative learning, cross-curricular approach, equality, human rights defenders., human rights promoters, human rights respecting whole school and classroom environments, ict, individual learning, lesson plans, links with other schools, reflection, refugees, resource pack, rights and responsibilities, rights in conflict, role-play, the convention on the rights of the child, the voice of the child, whole class learning


junior primary, 5-8 years


geography, religious education, english, history, social personal and health education, art craft and design, mathematics, drama


activity pack


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Available online at

A copy of the resource was sent to every Primary School in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Additional hardcopies of the resource can be purchased from Amnesty International Ireland for €15 per copy. Contact 018638300 /

The resource can be downloaded for free by following the link above to Amnesty International Ireland’s website.


Each of the ten lessons in this resource has a theme and a keyword which provide a focus for the lesson. Learning objectives outline the knowledge, attitudes and skills that are developed during each lesson. A list of necessary resources is provided along with posters and worksheets.  An ‘introductory activity’ to set the scene is described followed by a ‘development activity’ to extend and deepen children’s understanding, attitudes and skills in relation to the lesson theme and keyword. An optional extension activity is offered to extend the learning into other curricular areas.


For use with 8 – 10 year old children to introduce and explore human rights issues.

For use as the second resource in the LIFT OFF Initiative, a comprehensive human rights education programme that aims to promote a whole school approach to human rights education.

For use as part of Social Personal Health Education (SPHE) or Personal Development and Mutual Understanding (PDMU) Curriculum at primary level.


Further resources in the LIFT OFF Initiative:

  • The Right Start (4  - 7 year olds)
  • Me, You, Everyone (9 – 11 years)


‘Suas Linn’, an Irish language version of this resource, is also available.
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