For the last few years Glencairn and St John’s Primary Schools have built a fantastic working relationship using this bond to battle bigotry and discrimination through a partnership with Nil By Mouth.
Each year, primary 7 pupils from the North Ayrshire schools join forces to tackle sectarianism through a series of joint workshops and activities in partnership with the charity. Through the programme they investigate common stereotypes, the consequences of sectarian language and learn how differences should be celebrated rather than feared.
Following input from Nil By Mouth, each year the schools enhance their relationship by undertaking further activities led by pupils and staff. Having joined each other in reading the novel ‘Divided City’ and participated in joint sports days together the schools were most recently treated to a fun day at Glencairn Primary. Members of the local clergy joined the group and the young people were set a problem-solving challenge to literally build bridges between their schools.
Nil By Mouth would also like to recognise and thank Glencairn and St John’s for their generosity as each year both schools make a donation to the charity. It is donations such as this that allow our Champions for Change schools programme to be delivered free of charge to schools across Scotland.
To recognise and celebrate the continued efforts of Glencairn and St John’s, both schools have been recipients of Nil By Mouth’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 Glencairn and St John’s.
The partnership between the schools, and Nil By Mouth looks set to continue into the future. This year pupils have been set the challenge of designing a t-shirt to celebrate their partnership. A winner will be picked by Nil By Mouth staff following a joint workshop with a local artist. The winning design will be printed and made available to pupils and parents.
Regarding the schools Champions for Change Award recognition Nil By Mouth Education Officer, Jamie Lithgow, said:
‘Our Champions for Change Awards were created specifically to celebrate the exceptional work carried out by staff and pupils from schools just like Glencairn and St John’s. As the only schools in North Ayrshire to have received this award, they are a shining example within their local authority. The friendships and bonds pupils have created will now be carried forward into high school and they have set a fantastic example for next year’s group which I am already looking forward to working with.’