Two Cambuslang primary schools have been held up as an example for their work in combating sectarianism.
Pupils at Cairns and St Cadoc’s primaries were this week presented with a Champions for Change award by anti- bigotry charity Nil By Mouth.
The award recognises best practice addressing and challenging bigotry across the curriculum.
The schools, which are less than 100 meters apart, have worked closely since their most recent buildings were opened seven years ago.
They have been supported by Nil By Mouth for the last six years with regular workshops, assemblies and a number of showcase events highlighting their partnership.
Last year pupils from the schools wrote and recorded “Stamp it Out,” a song with a strong message against sectarianism and bullying. CDs were made and distributed within the local community and the song was performed at a community showcase of pupils’ anti-sectarianism work at Cairns Primary.
Primary seven pupils enjoy weekly football sessions together and the schools coordinate their anti-sectarianism message across the curriculum by regularly holding joint planning meetings.
Nil By Mouth campaign director, Dave Scott, said: “We’ve been hugely impressed by the energy, enthusiasm and commitment shown by pupils, teachers and parents of both schools in their efforts to challenge sectarianism and build strong bonds across old boundaries.
“Both schools benefit from exceptional leadership teams who afford staff and pupils every opportunity to challenge bigotry by celebrating, rather than fearing, difference.
“Over the years we have seen pupils forge firm friendships and participate in a range of educational, creative and sporting activities together. They represent the generation which will defeat sectarianism once and for all and are an example many adults could learn from. We also loved the fact that the schools sought to use football as a positive vehicle for change and focused on how the sport can bring people together rather than being used as a dividing line between communities.
“They are worthy winners of our Champions for Change award.”
Their achievement was also marked at Holyrood by James Kelly who lodged parliamentary motions praising the school’s efforts
He visited the schools in one of his final acts as MSP for Rutherglen, and said: “I am delighted to see such successes being celebrated in the Cambuslang area. I have been a keen supporter of work in our schools to challenge intolerance and build bridges between people.
“The hard work and imagination of all involved in this project deserved to be recognised at Holyrood and it also shows how
Saying no to bigotry Kyle Nicol from Cairns Primary, Emma Alexander from Nil By Mouth, former Rutherglen MSP James Kelly and Olivia O’Hagen from St Cadoc’s celebrate the award with pupils from the two schools