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June 2022

The return of communitites united

Over the 20+ years we have been delivering anti sectarian work one of the most popular projects and arguably most effective work has been delivered through our Communities United programme.

The Communities United programme entails a minimum of 2 denominational and non-denominational schools from the same community coming together to take part in the SOS workshops series.

Children from different schools visit each other's establishments and work together through the programme. Learning, having fun and making new friends all at the same time.

This programme is then enhanced by taking part in a joint sports event where the young people play games and take part in team building activities. This tends to be a real high point for them as the feedback is always positive.

Due to COVID this programme was suspended as we were not able to mix pupils and staff from different schools. But as of now the programme is back.

In June we held 3 sports events at Soccerworld attended by over 350 school children from 10 schools. Photos can be seen at @sos_glasgow on both Twitter and Instagram.

Bookings are now being taken for 2 x 3-week blocks in Term One so if you and your neighbouring school would like to take part in Communities United email Project Coordinator Mark at mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk

 

April 2022

Sense over Sectarianism Annual Report & MVP Training Event

 

Annual Report (April)

Sense over Sectarianism (SOS) must compile twice annual reports to the Scottish Governments Community Safety Team.

As a project we must report on the success or otherwise of the funded outcomes for that year. Both in qualitative and in quantitive terms. As a result of secondary school closures and restrictions for this funded period (April 2021 - March 2022) the SOS team made Primary 7 workshop delivery the focus. 

The annual figures are detailed below. A great testament to the programme and the willingness of Glasgow schools to be involved in this important work.

These workshops support the teacher delivered topics such as The Divided City and related Equalities and Citizenship curriculum.

Total

Number of Primary Schools                    - 88

Number of Workshops                             - 334

Number of Primary Pupils                       - 4349

 

Mentors for Violence Prevention (MVP) (May)

SOS has coordinated the National MVP Gender Based Violence programme in Glasgow for several years. Over this academic year it has been more difficult to deliver the programme due to the hangover from Covid restrictions and school closures. However, 9 of our trained secondary schools did deliver the programme in some form.

Planning for delivery of the MVP programme must occur much in advance as staff and in turn senior pupils are trained to facilitate the project. As a result, SOS hosted a 2-day Peer Mentoring Training Event in the Burgh Court to school staff and Campus Police from several Glasgow Secondary schools.

This event allowed existing schools to train new staff, schools who had previously delivered the project to restart and three schools new to programme to get up and running.

Much positive feedback was received not least many people affirming how nice it was to be back at a 'live' training event where staff from different school could network and share good practice and experiences.

March 2022

Sense over Sectarianism Workshops in Gaelic

Workshops in Gaelic

Sense over Sectarianism (SOS) have worked in partnership with both the (original) Glasgow Gaelic Primary School and the Glasgow Gaelic Secondary School for several years. And more recently have begun a similar partnership with the Govan Gaelic school.

Primary 7 pupils read the Divided City in class as a topic and are supported by workshops delivered directly by a member of the SOS team.

The workshop delivery however has always been in English and not Gaelic, until now!

A combination of the appointment of a Gaelic Schools Liaison Officer, a proposal and introduction from the Quality Improvement Officer with responsibilities for Language Education together with the increased demand for Gaelic schools in Glasgow has led to an exciting new initiative to teach SOS educational resources in Gaelic.

The Schools Liaison Officer, Yvonne Irving, took part in 'Team Teaching' training sessions with SOS staff Mark Adams and Bradley Ruddick and through this collaboration developed and translated the workshop package into Gaelic.

Yvonne has now been delivering the workshops, with support from Mark, to the young people and going forward will be able to deliver to the 3 current and 1 new Gaelic school (soon to open) across the city.

This however, this is only the tip of the iceberg as plans are afoot to develop and translate other SOS resources and programmes going forward, as the opportunities for Interdisciplinary learning are huge.

Watch this space!

February 2022

National Week of Action

In February Sense over Sectarianism (SOS) once again held the "National Week of Action" for the fourth 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 21st - 25th February.

There were 2 key elements to the week of action. The National Tackling Sectarianism schools Poster Art competition which again 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 Mya Lennon of St Timothy's Primary School in Glasgow.

Secondary Schools Award winner was Nellie Heinrich of Shawlands Academy in 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 to schools highlighting the work of schools in Scotland

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

All 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

January 2022

Henry Wuga Film

Henry Wuga was born to a Jewish mother and a Catholic father in Nuremberg in 1924. In 1938, his parents were able to send him to Scotland with a children's transport and later in 1947, he could bring his mother, who had survived in hiding, to his home in Glasgow.

In this film Henry recounts his incredible story with a vivid account of his experiences of Nazi Germany as a young man in Germany and of his early years as a refugee in Scotland.

Early in the film Henry describes his life at school in Nuremberg in the 1930s and as an apprentice in a Baden Baden hotel. He gives an eyewitness account of Crystal Night (1938) in his hometown. All of which shaped what was to be the rest of his life.

Henry discusses the importance of his school life in both countries and about how welcome he felt in a Glasgow school. An experience which developed his love for the city of Glasgow, a city which never displayed any prejudice towards him.

As a refugee himself Henry is uniquely placed to describe how that experience was and how it compares to the lives of refugees before him and in the modern day.

This film is being released as part of Glasgow City Council Education Services Holocaust Memorial (HMD) commemorations of January 2022. The theme of HMD 2022 is "One Day" and during the film we encourage the viewer to explore the significant "One Day" experiences both in Henry's life but also in the lives of the viewer.

December 2021

Holocaust Memorial Day 2022

HMD 2022 Theme

Holocaust Memorial Day as always will be the 27th January in 2022. 27 January was chosen to commemorate the date that Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Red Army in 1945.

Every year the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust features a theme for the education around the annual event.

The theme for 2022 is "One Day" and details of the theme and the available related resources are available at https://www.hmd.org.uk/

HMD 2022 Event

We will be hosting a live event (subject to restrictions) at which it is the intention to record and make available to schools (and if possible, to broadcast live on YouTube).

As well as contributions from several schools across the city we have secured 2 live guest speakers to the event who will provide unique testimony of being a holocaust survivor and about subsequent genocides.

Howard Singerman will be telling the story of his late mother, Susan Singerman, who was an Auschwitz survivor and Mukesh Kapila (http://www.mukeshkapila.org/) is a world expert on worldwide genocide.

We will record both talks so that they can be used in schools for educational purposes.

Once details are finalised of available film material we will publicise.

If you have any questions about the information above or indeed Holocaust and subsequent genocides education in general, please do not hesitate to contact Mark Adams (details below).

Mark S Adams

Sense over Sectarianism / Social Inclusion

Project Coordinator

Mark.adams@glasgow.gov.uk

Twitter @SOS-Glasgow

Instagram SOS-Glasgow

 

November 2021

Sense over Sectarianism & Probationer Teachers

Every year Sense over Sectarianism (SOS) staff deliver training to the latest cohort of probationer teachers working in Glasgow schools in both the Primary and Secondary sectors.

Traditionally these training events were delivered in the traditional face to face manner where they offer great opportunity for discussion and debate. With the teachers taking part in workshop activities that we deliver to our young people in schools.

In the past two year however, we have developed new methods to deliver the training over MS Teams. Clearly this makes the sessions less interactive but new methods of engagement such as using the chat facility and the emoji buttons have helped to keep the process interesting, topical and interactive.

Using these new methods, we have delivered Mentors for Violence Prevention (MVP) training to a group of Secondary school probationers in September and this month (November) have delivered SOS CPD sessions to both the Primary and Secondary Probationer cohorts.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about these CPD sessions is that they are all elective but never the less attracting big numbers of participants. This can only be a positive thing that the reputation of our programmes goes before us and is highly regarded.

With enthusiastic new teachers getting involved and driving the work forward this can only bode well for the future.

October 2021

Busy Times for Sense over Sectarianism

Term One for the academic year 2021-22 got off to a flyer with a full diary of Primary 7 Classes booked in to take part in our series of 3 Tackling Sectarianism workshops. Schools were so eager to participate all available slots had been booked before schools closed for the summer back in June.

It was a case of "in at the deep end" for our new Schools Officer Bradley Ruddick. Bradley joined the programme over the summer to replace Scott Craig who have gone back to University after 3 sterling years of school delivery. Leaving big shoes to fill.

Bradley comes with the unique aspect of being the first Sense over Sectarianism officer to have taken part in the programme as a student. Having studied the Divided City project at Sunnyside primary when he himself was in Primary 7.

A real legacy milestone of our programme!

Between Bradley and Mark, the team delivered 2 x 3-week blocks in August and September. A total of 48 workshops were delivered, to approximately 519 pupils across 10 Glasgow schools.

With Term Two also already booked for workshops every day of the week across 3 x 3-week blocks we are looking forward to working with even more schools and young people.

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

 

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