June 26 2015

Nil By Mouth Campaign Director, Dave Scott, presents the award to P7 pupils
Nil By Mouth Campaign Director, Dave Scott, presents the award to P7 pupils during their Leavers Assembly

A Renfrew school is celebrating after becoming the first school in Renfrewshire to scoop a national award for its efforts in tackling sectarianism.

Yesterday Arkleston Primary received coveted ‘accredited’ status as part of anti-sectarianism charity Nil By Mouth’s ‘Champion for Change’ schools awards scheme.

‘Champions for Change’ is a nationwide school programme which seeks to promote values of tolerance and understanding in schools and create an environment to discuss and tackle sectarian attitudes. During 2014 schools across 19 local authorities participated in the programme.

The award is the culmination of over a year’s hard work by staff and pupils at the school which included holding a ‘Q&A’ with senior council officials allowing pupils to put forward their views on how best to tackle sectarianism; taking part in Nil by Mouth workshops; studying the book ‘Divided City’ and getting an opportunity to write, direct and star in their own short films exploring sectarianism in Scotland. These films were shown at an ‘Oscars Event’, attended by parents and community leaders.

The award will be presented to the school this afternoon by Nil By Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott at a special leavers assembly.

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director, Dave Scott, said:
The work taking place here is of a very high standard and the commitment shown by the entire school community makes Arkleston a more than worthy winner of this award.

Our judging panel really liked the approach the school took to encouraging pupils to ask questions and then trying to find answers. The pupils had their own ideas on how to tackle sectarianism and bring people together and have not only raised awareness of sectarianism in their community but are actually doing something about it.  These pupils are telling bigotry to get on its bike and by working together we will create a Scotland free from sectarianism.‘