3rd December 2012

An East Kilbride Primary School is celebrating after becoming the first primary school in Scotland to win a prestigious award for its efforts to challenge sectarianism.

Teachers and pupils of Our Lady of Lourdes PS have been awarded the coveted ‘Champions for Change’ status by Scotland’s leading anti-sectarianism charity, Nil By Mouth, after assessors praised the school for its efforts in bringing pupils from denominational and non- denominational schools together.

Pupils from Our Lady of Lourdes joined children from Mossneuk and Canberra Primary Schools for a series of events exploring Christianity and other world religions.

Working alongside local clergy, the pupils visited Glasgow cathedrals and worked on a series of creative arts projects exploring issues around faith in Scotland.

A group of Primary 6 and 7 pupils also took part in a public speaking contest discussing sectarianism in society, employment, sport and crime, before presenting their findings to fellow pupils.

The award completed a unique double for East Kilbride, after Duncanrig High became the first secondary in Scotland to attain ‘Champions for Change’ status earlier this year. The scheme is supported by the Scottish Government and the Gannochy Charitable Trust.

Nil By Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:

‘Staff and pupils at Our Lady of Lourdes have shown real enthusiasm for engaging with others and exploring faith and identify in a hugely positive way.

The school has created an environment where pupils are encouraged to learn not just about their own faith, but about other people’s as well.

The school thoroughly deserves this award. We hope its efforts will inspire other primary schools across the country to become ‘Champions for Change’.

Larry Forde, Executive Director of Education said:

“This is great news, a credit to everyone at the school and all pupils involved.”