Pupils from Condorrat, St Helen’s and Baird Memorial Primary Schools show evidence of the friendships they have forged

The Condorrat Together Project is a partnership between three primary schools in Condorrat, North Lanarkshire. Located within half a mile of each other, Condorrat Primary, St Helen’s Primary and Baird Memorial Primary schools have built a fantastic working relationship together over many years. In recent years the schools have used this bond to battle bigotry and discrimination through a partnership with Nil By Mouth.

Since 2015, Nil By Mouth have made regular visits to the schools to deliver joint workshops involving pupils, staff and parents from all three schools. During Nil By Mouth’s first year in partnership with the schools, separate workshops were held for P7 pupils and their parents. After the charity’s direct involvement had ended, pupils then participated in teacher-led workshops to devise their own campaigns for building friendships and tackling sectarianism. This resulted in a showcase event held for parents and community leaders.

The project has since followed a similar model, with Nil By Mouth delivering a series of workshops looking at stereotyping and sectarian language before teachers encouraging pupils to devise their own methods of tackling sectarianism. This year pupils made wristbands to promote their friendship, designed logos to promote their partnership and even wrote and performed an anti-sectarian rap at their annual showcase event.

To recognise and celebrate the continued efforts of the Condorrat Together Project, representatives from Nil By Mouth were present at this year’s showcase event to announce that the three schools had become the first in the country to receive the charity’s ‘Champions for Change Award’.

The award was created to celebrate partnership working and collaborative ways of challenging intolerance in society.  A key part of the programme requires pupils from denominational and non-denominational schools to link in with the charity to participate in a series of workshops as demonstrated by Condorrat, St Helen’s and Baird Memorial Primary Schools.

The partnership between the schools, and between the schools and Nil By Mouth, now looks set to continue well into the future with all three primaries working towards the charity’s ‘Champions for Change’ Accredited Status.

NBM Education Officer, Jamie Lithgow, pulls his best funny face along with staff and pupils from the Condorrat Together Project

‘I cannot think of a better trio of schools to be the first recipients of the ‘Champions for Change Award’. The enthusiasm and creativity shown by pupils, staff and parents during the project has been second to none. Even better is that this is a legacy project. I am already excited about the possibilities for the raps pupils created and am already looking forward to working with next year’s cohort.’

Jamie Lithgow, Nil By Mouth Education Officer

‘The pupils have a much greater understanding of what sectarianism is and what it means to different groups and individuals within our society. They can appreciate the negativity that can arise from this and through the tragic reason for the founding of Nil by Mouth the consequences of some extreme sectarian behaviour. I hope this will hold them in good stead for the future and help them to become more compassionate now and in the future.’

Gillian Wylie, Headteacher, Baird Memorial Primary School