29 April 2015

FOUR Johnstone primary schools have teamed up to tackle sectarianism.

FUN ACTIVITIES: Pupils from four Johnstone schools took part.
FUN ACTIVITIES: Pupils from four Johnstone schools took part.

Pupils from Fordbank, St David’s, St Anthony’s and Cochrane Castle primary schools — all in Johnstone — joined forces for a programme of events, discussion and activities on the themes of preventing and tackling sectarianism. The P7 classes designed posters, took part in workshops and team building, and rounded off the event with a football tournament featuring boys and girls from the different schools in the same team.

The event was also supported by Nil By Mouth and Renfrewshire Council’s Active Sports co-ordinators.

Carol Brown, depute head teacher of Fordbank Primary, who co-ordinated the event said pupils had shown ‘willingness and enthusiasm’ in coming up with ideas to challenge the thinking that promotes sectarianism. This is the third time that we have arranged a joint schools programme along these lines. For the first time we had the respected Nil by Mouth Organisation working with us and their experience and involvement was much appreciated.”

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell visited Fordbank Primary to learn about the project and present a trophy to the winning football team. He said: “Having spoken to staff, parents and children I was impressed with the lessons being learned and the ideas being put forward to tackle this damaging issue. It was particularly impressive to see the children’s understanding of the forces in society that lead people into sectarian attitudes and behaviour and how those attitudes can be challenged.”

Jamie Lithgow, Education Officer for Nil By Mouth, also commented: “I am absolutely delighted to have received the opportunity to visit Fordbank Primary and work with such enthusiastic, confident and responsible young people. Seeing pupils from four different primary schools working so well together to deliver a message of tolerance and friendship is truly fantastic and most certainly worthy of recognition and celebration.”


NB: This article originally appeared in the Gazette newspaper on the 24th April 2015