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Mainstreaming Anti-Sectarianism (MAS) into wider equalities policy and delivery: 8 myth busters

This is an extract from: Mainstreaming Anti-Sectarianism in Equalities Toolkit. Available at: https://www.wsrec.co.uk/masie-toolkit.pdf

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The session plans, activities and resources in this pack are designed to assist upper primary school children and their teachers explore issues to do with sectarianism. Taking part in Drama involves putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, and many of these activities ask the young people to consider other people’s beliefs, attitudes and points of view, seeing situations through their eyes in order to understand them. Ultimately these activities are designed to encourage young people to form their own points of view and feel able to respectfully challenge those they disagree with.

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The session plans in this pack are designed to assist secondary school pupils and their teachers explore issues to do with sectarianism in Scotland. We are aware that much of this work will take place in pupils’ Personal and Social Education classes but some of these issues might also be explored in History and Modern Studies. None of these activities are designed to be led by a Drama teacher and all have been carried out in a regular classroom set up.
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The Bridges and Barriers project has created this working resource pack for practitioners and youth workers who are involved in anti-sectarian work. This pack has been designed to provide a clear delivery plan for three main age cohorts through a range of delivery models. This remains a working resource pack which has been tailored throughout the first year of the project with feedback received from practitioners, partners and participants with further feedback still encouraged. This resource is complimented by the Bridges and Barriers Staff Pack and the Bridges and Barriers Glossary of Terms.

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SOS and Curriculum for Excellence

Many secondary schools in Glasgow are delivering SOS projects within their curriculum and using the resources that have been developed to support the work including:

  • Scarfed for Life – Drama Study
  • Divided City – Secondary School Drama
  • Workshops delivered by SOS

These resources provide the opportunity for teachers to explore the issue of sectarianism in a safe and challenging environment and address 4 key questions:

  • What is sectarianism?
  • How does sectarianism manifest itself in our community?
  • How does sectarianism impact on individuals and society?
  • What actions can I take to deal with sectarianism?

While many schools shape up their own projects and may use different resources, exploring these key questions through the above resources gives the opportunity for teachers to deliver to the following experiences and outcomes at the 3rd & 4th Level within Curriculum for Excellence:

The Scarfed for Life Lesson Programme is designed to be delivered over 6 lessons. Ideally this would be 6 weekly lessons or 3 weekly double lessons to allow for reflection and
research between each delivery. However, as this is a relatively new programme, alternative timelines and methods should be tested as a means of testing effectiveness and
impact of the content.

For example, testing the impact of delivering the entire content over a single school day may be a worthwhile experience. The 6 lessons detailed in this programme are by
no means the limit of the study of this play. They are designed to be a minimum requirement, and indeed a starting point, for the development of additional activities and lessons
which would complement both the programme and the subject in which the programme is being delivered in school. For example, if being delivered as part of the drama timetable, forum theatre lessons may be a useful and engaging format. The target stage groups for this programme are S2 and S3; however they are suitable for all secondary school stages.

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A group agreement has been a key factor in helping The Spark create a safe environment for tackling sectarianism. Topics such as sectarianism can sometimes raise challenging and controversial opinions. A group agreement in session one gives participants and facilitators a strong foundation to create a trusting, safe and productive working relationship within the group to promote discussion around Sectarianism.
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The purpose of this activity is to help young people identify visible and invisible features that all cultures have in common. If appropriate to the group, this activity can lead onto a discussion about fear of difference and how this can be tackled.
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This exercise is helpful in unpacking the generational influences on long held traditions. Participants are asked to think about what influences popular celebrations e.g. Christmas and what traditions and customs are associated with this. This leads to discussion about traditions and customs within the context of sectarianism.
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What is this?

​Parkhead Youth Project has worked with young people age 8-18 years to raise awareness of sectarianism, prejudice, bigotry and discrimination since receiving funding from the Scottish Government in 2013.

This resource has been tried and tested with participants involved in the ‘Nae Excuse’ Peer Education programme within the North East of Glasgow.

The key message for young people is that sectarianism is a choice. It isn't something you inherit because of where your family comes from or which football team you support.

This resource was developed by very experienced youth workers in an engaging environment where young people were also involved in its development.

Who is this for?

​Youth groups and CLD workers.

​Explore this resource

It is recommended that staff read Tackling sectarianism: An overview of resources and use the Timeline professional learning resource as preparation for delivering this anti-sectarian resource.

How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice

This resource describes a number of activities which offer imaginative and fun ways to explore sectarianism in a youth work setting. The resource includes:

  • Warm up games;
  • Defining sectarianism;
  • Games to raise awareness of sectarianism;
  • The history of sectarianism;
  • The law in relation to sectarianism.

Improvement questions

  • How does this work link  with the  range of protected characteristics that are defined by the Equality Act (2010)?
  • To what extent do our community members understand the concept of sectarianism?
  • Do we offer our community members the opportunity to explore their own life experiences in relation to sectarianism?
  • How far as a community do we challenge bigotry prejudice and  discrimination towards members, or presumed members, of a religious denomination?

Content author

Parkhead Youth Project, 132-134 Westmuir Street, Parkhead, Glasgow. G31 5BW

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It has already been widely agreed that sectarianism in Scotland is a unique and complex social issue and not simply as easy as one side hates the other or related solely to football. As a result the toolkit has been designed to incorporate a variety of topics and not just sectarianism in an effort to give a better understanding of sectarianism in Central Scotland. The topics covered by the toolkit are:-

  •  Identity;
  •  Diversity;
  •  Prejudice and Stereotypes;
  •  Equality;
  •  Influencing Attitudes;
  •  Human Rights; and
  •  Discrimination including Sectarianism.

The toolkit is divided into two, the first section is intended for children in the higher end of primary school and the second section aimed at children in S1 to S3. Sessions meet several outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence; these outcomes are outlined at the beginning of each section. Each comes with teacher notes that outline each
session including activities and some PowerPoint slides come with slide notes for extra assistance. The toolkit is easily adaptable which means that lessons can be tailored to meet the needs of each school or group and updated to follow current events. There are also appendices at the back of the booklet that can be printed off for ease but all activities can be done on paper or in jotters. Please note that this material is a starting point for discussions and teachers/facilitators should feel free to create their own extension activities to enhance pupils’ learning.

We, at CSREC, hope that this toolkit will be used across the Forth Valley area and these sessions will assist us in our commitment to eliminate discrimination and harassment in Central Scotland, so that everyone has an equal chance to learn, work and live free from prejudice and fear of harassment and violence.

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This programme of lessons and activities has been developed by Glasgow City Council Education Services and Police Scotland working in partnership. The pack has been
designed in a flexible fashion so as to allow schools to deliver the programme in a manner appropriate to their needs.

The suggested target client group would be young people at either S2 or S3 stage but can be appropriately delivered across the Secondary school curriculum. Alternatively, if the school has an identified group of young people across year groups who may be vulnerable to becoming involved in offending then this pack could be delivered to this type of group.

Similarly, the programme while being designed for 5 x 50 minute workshops has not been designed so that it must be delivered in its entirety. It would be recommended however that a minimum of the first 3 lessons should be delivered to help ensure a significant “impact” is achieved with the client group.

The key aim of the programme is to reduce youth offending, both in relation to football and more widely, by providing a constructive alternative to prosecution by harnessing the individuals’ positive links with their chosen football club and using these to reduce their likelihood of offending. A key motivator for individuals to participate in the programme is the development of a full appreciation of the safety implications of engaging in behaviours such as violence, disorder or use of pyrotechnic devices which will allow participants to make more informed judgements about their future conduct.

A further motivator is the fact that this will offer them an alternative to being dealt with by the Criminal Justice system which is likely to have more negative outcomes for them both immediately and in the future.

The key objectives of the programme are:
• prevention of involvement in football-related criminality; less convictions and
• fewer young people being criminalised whether this is through “Breach of the Peace” (BOP) at Common Law , Section 38 Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2010 (threatening and abusive behaviour, or any other piece of legislation;
• a reduction in number of victims leading to less antisocial behaviour in the wider community;
• change in behaviours which will be evidenced through feedback from the individuals themselves, coaches, teachers, parents and guardians.

Staff training from the FoCUS team in Police Scotland is available to facilitate the delivery of this resource pack

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There is an inextricable link between the 3 headline topics when addressing the employability opportunities for young people in modern day Scotland.

Recent legislation and a rise in on-line hate crime, some of which is around the topic of Sectarianism, mean that possible prosecution for online offensive behaviour significantly reduces employability opportunities. Indeed, online behaviour which an employer would deem offensive can also lead to the same result.

High levels of youth unemployment have led to greater competition for jobs in the current market place and student places at colleges and universities.

Increasingly Employers and Further Education establishments are monitoring the social media activity of both potential candidates and current employees and students.

To better prepare our young people this series of workshops look to inform the participants about potential Prejudice & Discrimination while also examining the history of sectarianism in Scotland in relation to employment and to explain the impact and purpose of recent legislation.

Using real life examples and related activities the purpose of this lesson pack is to explain the links between Employability, Social Media and Sectarianism in the current context.

The related experiences and outcomes for the Curriculum for Excellence are detailed at the end of this document.

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Many primary schools in Glasgow are delivering SOS projects within their curriculum and using the resources that have been developed to support the work including:

  • Divided City – Novel Study
  • SOS Drama Pack
  • Glasgow United? Pack
  • Communities United? Workshops delivered by SOS

These resources provide the opportunity for teachers to explore the issue of sectarianism in a safe and challenging environment and address 4 key questions:

  • What is sectarianism?
  • How does sectarianism manifest itself in our community?
  • How does sectarianism impact on individuals and society?
  • What actions can I take to deal with sectarianism?

While many schools shape up their own projects and may use different resources, exploring these key questions through the above resources gives the opportunity for teachers to deliver to the following experiences and outcomes at the 2nd Level within Curriculum for Excellence:

This lesson pack has been designed to support teaching staff in the delivery of anti-sectarian work within their class. The content is best delivered with knowledge of the working definition of sectarianism and also an awareness of the historical context which it has been developed from (See links below).

Although presented as a 3 session pack, the time in which they can be delivered should be suited to the class needs. Ideally, they should be delivered over 3 consecutive weeks to reinforce the learning, but it is also possible to include the lessons within a wider term of work on the issues.

As the following activities create a space for pupils to explore the themes of prejudice, discrimination and bigotry; there is an opportunity for teachers to deliver the session within a wider inclusion-centred project. Many schools have used the following sessions to initiate discussions and have followed this up by including additional topics (i.e. Holocaust Education, Gender-Based Violence, Global Education and Citizenship.

The lessons described below can complement the existing packs which are available free of charge from Sense over Sectarianism. Many schools in the past have chosen to select the activities which are most applicable to the needs of the class and delivered them accordingly.

Additional information on the history of Sectarianism can be found at: http://bit.ly/2j7XN3r.

A full Glossary of Terms can also be accessed by using the following link: http://bit.ly/2iERjft

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Explore this resource

It is recommended that staff read Tackling sectarianism: An overview of resources and use the Timeline professional learning resource as preparation for delivering this anti-sectarian resource. 

How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice

Selecting books about being different or being excluded can open children's minds to playing co-operatively and accepting others. The character Rainbow Fish has shiny scales and is very clever, but he learns to include others who are different.

The Rainbow Fish can be bought as a giant book, which makes sharing it with a group of young children visually enjoyable.

For an understanding of anti-sectarian work and a context for this work please refer to the links on the right hand side of this page.

The assembly

During the assembly, The Rainbow Fish is read and re-enacted with puppets. The concepts of sharing and friendship are explored.

After reading the story, an adult can lead a discussion with the group about a time when they were left out, how they felt about it and what they did.

This could involve talking about emotions and feelings, as well as developing strategies to deal with being left out and encouraging children to be more inclusive in their play.

Transition planners

The transition planners suggest a number of activities based on the story which can be carried out in nursery and then at induction days at the primary school and during term one.

They outline a number of learning opportunities including: exploring friendship, data collection, making puppets, creating graphs and sorting.

This resource allows experiences and outcomes within first level to be offered in numeracy, literacy, and health and wellbeing.

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See Rainbow Fish Assembly Resource for more information

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See Rainbow Fish Assembly Resource for more information

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This resource has been developed jointly by early years practitioners and primary school teachers from Knightswood Learning Community who are currently working within the early level of a Curriculum for Excellence. The resource itself is part of a wider development of transitions within the early level; primarily from nursery to primary.

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IN HER SHOES PROJECT TOOLKIT

In Her Shoes produced a Workshop Toolkit for our Experience Analysis Workshops,  Empowerment WorkshopsCollective Action Workshops, and Part of the Solution – Bystander Intervention Workshops.

The Workshop Toolkit allows us to share our practice and unique approach to delivering prejudice reduction work with women and with organisations and institutions in Scotland.

The Toolkit provides 4 detailed workshop plans for use by organisations and diverse groups to explore hate crime in a supportive, innovative and creative way. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the Resource List found here: https://womenslibrary.org.uk/discover-our-projects/in-her-shoes/in-her-shoes-resources/ 

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IN HER SHOES PROJECT TOOLKIT

In Her Shoes produced a Workshop Toolkit for our Experience Analysis Workshops,  Empowerment WorkshopsCollective Action Workshops, and Part of the Solution – Bystander Intervention Workshops.

The Workshop Toolkit allows us to share our practice and unique approach to delivering prejudice reduction work with women and with organisations and institutions in Scotland.

The Toolkit provides 4 detailed workshop plans for use by organisations and diverse groups to explore hate crime in a supportive, innovative and creative way. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the Resource List found here: https://womenslibrary.org.uk/discover-our-projects/in-her-shoes/in-her-shoes-resources/ 

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IN HER SHOES PROJECT TOOLKIT

In Her Shoes produced a Workshop Toolkit for our Experience Analysis Workshops,  Empowerment WorkshopsCollective Action Workshops, and Part of the Solution – Bystander Intervention Workshops.

The Workshop Toolkit allows us to share our practice and unique approach to delivering prejudice reduction work with women and with organisations and institutions in Scotland.

The Toolkit provides 4 detailed workshop plans for use by organisations and diverse groups to explore hate crime in a supportive, innovative and creative way. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the Resource List found here: https://womenslibrary.org.uk/discover-our-projects/in-her-shoes/in-her-shoes-resources/ 

 
 
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