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September 2021

Sense over Sectarianism 20th Anniversary Film

The Sense over Sectarianism project was delighted to celebrate its 20th anniversary during the Summer of 2021. As part of this celebration a film has been complied to document and share the origins, progress and current situation of the project.

The Sense over Sectarianism project was started on 2nd July 2001 by recently retired Social Inclusion Officer Alison Logan.

The project was launched originally by Glasgow City Council Education Services in partnership with both Rangers and Celtic Football Clubs, the Church of Scotland and Catholic Archdiocese in Glasgow and anti-sectarian charity Nil by Mouth.

The stated aim was to raise awareness about sectarianism and to challenge religiously aggravated prejudice and discrimination.

Initially the project was delivered by community groups with SOS funding and support at a local level.

Gradually the focus changed to become a school-based education programme through the support of individuals such as Celine McKinlay, Geraldine Parkinson and many other teaching and education staff.

With the support of the Scottish Government Community Safety Team new roles were created and the roles of first a Schools Officer and then a Development Officer emerged.

Today the project is Coordinated by me, Mark Adams, with support from the SOS team and teaching staff across Scotland.

The film can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/cyRRf8saHMo

 

August 2021

Football League Partnership

Sense Over Sectarianism Partnership

The Scottish Lowlands Development Football League (SLDFL) today announced Sense Over Sectarianism (SOS), as its new title sponsor for the 2021/22 season.

The agreement will cover all six U-20 SLDFL Conferences across the country, which is home to 87 clubs, and represents the first major sponsorship deal that the League has secured.

With immediate effect, Scotland's largest senior Football League will be known as the "Sense Over Sectarianism Scottish Lowlands Development Football League", with the company's logo incorporated into the League's branding.

Scottish Lowland Football League Board member Graeme Mullin expressed his delighted at the partnership, commenting "Securing such a positive partnership for the Development League is a real milestone.  The League has grown almost ten-fold since 2013 and includes more than 1500 young players between the ages of 16 and 20 across 87 clubs from the pyramid Leagues across many areas of Scotland.  The ethos and positive output from such an established organisation like SOS really chimes with the values of the League and we hugely thank them for their backing, as we look forward to helping them deliver their message to our young players and beyond.

Mark Adams, Project Co-ordinator at Glasgow City Council, representing Sense Over Sectarianism added "Sense over Sectarianism has been on the front line of challenging Religious Prejudice and Discrimination for 20 years. Raising awareness and helping young people gain knowledge through our education programmes is integral to making change across Scotland. Working in partnership with a well-established and progressive football League can only enhance our opportunities to continue this work and we look forward to a productive relationship."

 

June 2021

Offensive Graffiti

Sense over Sectarianism has been working in partnership with the Scottish Government and charity partner Nil by Mouth to address the issue of offensive graffiti.

Rise in Profile of Offensive Graffiti

Over the past 15 months there has been a marked rise in the numbers of reported sectarian and offensive graffiti cases with high visibility, with incidents being reported both online and in local newspapers across the country.

High visibility sites at the sides of busy motorways and motorway on and off ramps have been targeted for example.  This is where large amounts of traffic pass by and because they don't live at that location motorists are less likely to report it.

Glasgow Policy

Glasgow City Council has a very clear policy on both general and offensive graffiti. If general graffiti is reported by GCC staff or by a member of the public the site will be cleaned within 30 days. If it is deemed offensive, then it will be removed within 2 days.

The big issue is that even with a clear policy in place the system is not effective if enough people do not report incidences of graffiti.

National Survey

As part of this piece of work every local authority in Scotland has been written too looking for information about how they record graffiti and what their removal policy is.

A real mixed variety of responses was received with some Local Authorities recording sectarian graffiti and other forms of offensive graffiti and some not. One LA does not record details at all for example.  Some LA's have a removal policy, and some do not.

Aims & Objectives

The aim of this project is to raise awareness about the issue of offensive graffiti, nationwide, and the objective is to share good policy and encourage mass reporting of graffiti incidents to LA's.

Graffiti of this nature is something that can be tackled but only if LA's and communities and responsible individuals act. Without action no change will happen.

For more information about these resource or any other SOS resources please contact mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk

May 2021

SOS Workshops & Activities

Sense over Sectarianism has been working flat out since Easter to cater for all the school classes who have been studying the Divided City and wishing to take part in SOS Workshops and Activities.

 

Workshops in Class

This academic year has been one like no other and schools have been getting involved with several initiatives to facilitate workshops to tackle sectarianism. These initiatives include classroom delivery by Schools Officer Scott and Development Officer Mark visiting one school every day. Often delivering back to back workshops in our larger schools. For example, Knightswood Primary School and Crookston Castle Primary School have 3 x P7 classes so we have been delivering before break to one class, after break to the next class and in the afternoon to the third class.

 

Workshops Online

Unsurprisingly due to our one school per day limit we have not been able to secure in class workshops for all schools who have requested these. However, several schools and classes have taken part in our Online Workshops on MS Teams. For example, at St Bartholomew's Primary School we have been delivering directly on screen into 3 classes simultaneously. Feedback from Teachers has been excellent so we will continue to deliver in this style.

 

Bus Tours

To reinforce the classroom learning around the Divided City SOS have been funding schools to take classes on the Divided City Glasgow Bus Tour. This is an excellent outdoor learning experience and the young people (and staff) have been having a great time and learning together at the same time as they visit spots from the novel and relive the story.

 

Excellent work from all involved who are taking their responsibility for tackling sectarianism very seriously.

For more information about these resource or any other SOS resources please contact mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk

April 2021

Sense over Sectarianism Newsletter April 2021

As we discussed in our February 2021 Newsletter SOS have improvised and found new ways of working. One of which was the SOS created Pilot for Online Workshop delivery with staff and P7 pupils at Carmunnock Primary School.

Feedback from young people and staff alike was that it was a big success and a great "Live" learning experience.

As a result, during the continued lockdown in March we offered the online SOS workshop option to all schools who were booked in for classroom delivery. Several schools took up this offer. St Bridget's PS, Bankhead PS, Cleeves PS and Thornwood PS.

These workshops were delivered "LIVE" on MS Teams with teachers and young people online together and using the emoji options, the chat facility and the audio options to work together and share experiences and learning.

Michelle Reilly, P7 teacher at St Bridget's PS said in here evaluation: -

"The children really enjoyed the new dimension of using Teams.  The whole experience was very positive, and they thoroughly enjoyed participating."

Now that we are back in the classroom, we have had huge demand for our workshops in term 4 and in fact are oversubscribed. In order to offer a service to all schools who applied we are offering online workshops in addition to our direct delivery to meet demand.

A new way of working here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Keep up to date with Sense over Sectarianism on Twitter @sos_glasgow

Mark S Adams

Development Officer

mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk

March 2021

National Week of Action

In February Sense over Sectarianism (SOS) held a "National Week of Action" for the third time for schools across Scotland. Working in partnership with Action on Sectarianism the SOS National Week of Action featured a variety of activities across the week of 22nd - 26th February and indeed the run up too.

There were 2 key elements to the month of action. The National Tackling Sectarianism schools Poster Art competition which attracted huge interest and a daily series of Twitter posts highlighting the work of SOS and our partners in Tackling Sectarianism and other related work.

The winners of the National Poster Art awards (who each received £500 for their schools) were as follows:-

Posters Art Competition

Pupils were invited to make a Poster about the topic of sectarianism/tackling sectarianism.

Primary Award winner was St Timothy's Primary School in the East End of Glasgow.

Secondary Schools Award winner was St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in Jordanhill, Glasgow.

Both competition winners and the entries of the finalists can be found on the Sense over Sectarianism twitter account @sos_glasgow and Action on Sectarianism twitter account @AoSectarianism

Twitter Activity

Daily Posts were tweeted across the week highlighting the following subjects:-

Poster Competition winners

Poster Entries from non-finalists

Video clips from our online Holocaust Memorial Event

Shout outs highlighting the work of partner organisations

Shout outs to schools highlighting the work of schools in Scotland

'Throwback Thursday' and 'Flashback Friday' photos from activities and events from previous years.

All of this activity can be found on the @SOS_Glasgow twitter feed!

For more information about this event or any other SOS initiative please contact mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk

February 2021

Sense over Sectarianism Newsletter February 2021

The Tier system was a challenge to all with Sense over Sectarianism, like others, finding new ways to work and different ways to deliver education and resources.

From late August until the schools broke up for the Christmas Holidays SOS was still in a position to deliver a good number of SOS Primary School Workshops albeit under new restrictions and protocols.

The hugely popular Communities United programme had to be suspended as children from one school could not mix with children from other schools.

SOS could no longer mix classes from the same schools either as society looked for ways to cut down possible transmission of the Covid 19 virus.

In addition; SOS could only visit one school per day which meant that the programme could not be delivered in the number of schools in terms one and two that we would normally do.

Then, however Lockdown came in......

Once again; SOS have improvised and found a new way of working. SOS created a Pilot for Online Workshop delivery with staff and P7 pupils at Carmunnock Primary School.

Feedback from young people and staff alike was that it was a big success and a great "Live" learning experience.

Clearly its never going to be as good as face to face situational learning but as a good second option SOS are now able to roll out the delivery.

Keep up to date with Sense over Sectarianism on Twitter @sos_glasgow

Mark S Adams

Development Officer

mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk

January 2021

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY ONLINE EVENT

Wednesday 27th January 2021 10am

Glasgow City Council Education Services and Sense over Sectarianism have produced their first ever online HMD event.

Contributions by Eastbank Academy, Lord Provost Philip Braat, Oakwood PS, St Benedict's PS, St Mungo's Academy, Councillor Chris Cunningham and Glasgow Schools Orchestra.

Thanks also to Bash Art Creative

For HMD resources visit www.hmd.org.uk and www.het.org.uk

March 2020

Communities United Event

The very successful Sense over Sectarianism Communities United programme involves 2 or more schools working together in each other's establishments to complete joint workshops from the SOS Primary School Workshop resource.

This partnership arrangement is normally between closely located denomination and non-denominational schools but when no local twinning is possible schools are twinned from different communities.

A feature of the programme is joint sporting events where at the end of the series of workshops the young people come together in a local sports facility to take part in a variety of fun activities. These activities include fun games, relay races, football, netball and rugby. The sports are delivered in partnership between SOS staff and sports coaches from North Kelvin Sports.

The sports event on 12th March however took on an even grander scale than normal. In total 198 active Primary 7 pupils, from a total of 8 classes from 5 different primary schools from across Glasgow took part in the event. Initially the classes were twinned with the schools they had been working with in the workshops but for the last hour all 8 classes mixed together as they were given a choice of sports to participate in.

A great morning of team building and fun took place and the feedback from children and school staff alike was extremely positive.

More details including photos from the evet can be viewed on the SOS twitter feed @sos_glasgow

For more information about this event or any other SOS initiative please contact mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk 

February 2020

National Month of Action

In February Sense over Sectarianism (SOS) held a "National Month of Action" for only the second time for schools across Scotland. Working in partnership with Action on Sectarianism the SOS National Month of Action featured a variety of activities across the month of February and indeed the run up too.

There were 2 key elements to the month of action. The national Tackling Sectarianism schools art competition attracted interest and entries from across the country and a Secondary School tour of "Scarfed for Life" provided 10 performances in schools across west central Scotland.

The winners of the national awards who each received £250 for their schools were as follows:-

Art Display Competition

Pupils were invited to make art about the topic of sectarianism/tackling sectarianism.

Primary Award winner was Dalry Primary School (for the second year in a row) in North Ayrshire

Secondary Schools Award winner was Govan High School in Glasgow

School Project Competition

Submissions were to consist of a 2 minute YouTube video which was about tackling sectarianism.

The Award winner was St Roch's Primary School in Glasgow

These three competition winners and the entries of the finalists can be found on the Sense over Sectarianism twitter account @sos_glasgow

Scarfed for Life Tour

The Citizens Theatre young company performed 2 shows a day for 5 days to an average audience of 80-90 secondary students as a means of reinforcing the study of the play in school or as an introduction to the play before reading the text.

At the opening performance at St Paul's HS in Pollock, Glasgow the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf addressed the pupils after watching the performance to express his support for the work of SOS and its partners.

The feedback from students and teachers alike was incredibly positive and included a really positive exercise for the cast who were comprised by members of the young company of the Citizens Theatre.

For more information about this event or any other SOS initiative please contact mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk

January 2020

Holocaust Memorial Event

Every January Sense over Sectarianism organise and deliver the Glasgow Schools Holocaust memorial event in the Banqueting Hall of Glasgow City Chambers. This year is no different and the event will take place on Thursday 30th January from 10am - 12 Noon.

This year's event will have even more poignancy as it is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau.

The invited audience will consist or around 400 people including primary and secondary school children and staff, representatives from Interfaith Scotland, Local Elected Members and Senior Education staff.

This year the event will be hosted by two S6 pupils from Kings Park Secondary and the audience will witness a drama performance by Lourdes Secondary and listen to music and songs from the Glasgow Schools String Ensemble and the Junior Holyrood Secondary school choir.

The audience will also hear readings about the Holocaust and subsequent genocides by young people from St Roch's Hearing Impairment Secondary School and Merrylee Primary School.

The headline of the programme however involve two very special guest speakers. Janine Webber is a Holocaust survivor and he will recount her story which is sure to be of great interest. The second headline speaker is Hasan Hasanovic a Bosnian survivor from the genocide attacks on his community in the former Yugoslavia.

The event will surely be one to remember and have a deep and meaningful impact on everyone involved.

For more information about this event or any other SOS initiative please contact mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk

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