The Communities United Programme not only works together with children to challenge sectarianism but also brings together communities who may not have associated with each other previously.
For Annette Street and St Bride's the community aspect was particularly important as the majority of children attending the schools are from families of Roma Immigrants. Many are new to Glasgow therefore building links and breaking down barriers is crucial.
Sense over Sectarianism delivered a 3 week programme that was tailored to the school's needs. As a diverse range of languages are spoken, the programme had to be visual so that it was accessible to all. The pupils were challenged to draw a typical Scottish person. This was used to challenge stereotypes and introduce prejudice which is a key feature of sectarianism.
Excellent partnership working between Golfhill and St Denis's Primary schools who recently took part in a Communities United Programme. Bringing together two schools one from a denominational and one from a non-denominational background in itself conveys a strong message that sectarianism will not be tolerated.
In addressing some of the key themes that contribute to sectarianism the pupils explored prejudice, discrimination and bigotry. Teamwork was pushed to its limits in a fun interactive spaceship challenge that explored prejudice. Pupils were given limited information on characters and had to decide as a group which 3 characters would survive a Spaceship crash and would have the chance of life on a different planet. The aim of the exercise was to introduce the pupils to prejudice and to challenge assumptions/stereotypes. Pupils then explored how to prejudice is linked to sectarianism and were able to identify what behaviours are associated with it.
The pupils created a mind map of what they learned about prejudice and this enabled them to create their own definition of prejudice.
87 children from St Benedict's and Oakwood primary's recently participated in the Communities United Programme.
Community is at the heart of Communities United. It has a strong ethos of bringing people together challenging values and attitudes to ultimately bring about positive change. The programme also enabled the young people to form friendships with peers that live within their community.
The children undertook workshops on what they perceived a community to include whilst highlighting both positive and negative aspects. They then were set the task of completing an action plan that challenged a negative aspect. By doing this exercise the children were able to identify that everyone plays an important role in the process of change.
The children were then encouraged to think about change and sectarianism and what strategies they could use as a community to tackle sectarianism.
Following on from participating in a Communities United Programme together the youngsters from Dunard and St Charles embarked on an arts project.
Some of the work that they produced together to convey a message that there is no place for Sectarianism in our society.
Their art work also highlights that we as individuals are responsible for standing up and saying no to being involved in sectarian behaviour.