'˜World first' as joint Catholic and Jewish school opens
The £17 million development is now home to two primary schools.
Catholic St Clare’s Primary and the Jewish Calderwood Lodge share the new premises with a non-denominational nursery class in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire,
A significant proportion of pupils at the Jewish primary school are Muslim.
East Renfrewshire Council built the joint campus to provide for an increasing demand for Catholic education.
While the current Calderwood Lodge moved from its previous home in Glasgow.
The faith schools’ joint campus includes features such as a shared central amphitheatre and outdoor obstacle trails.
East Renfrewshire council say that research carried out by their education department showed that this was the first time in the world that the two faiths were brought under one campus.
Anne Marie Absolom, headteacher at St Clare’s Primary, said that she is excited to work in co-operation with a school for another faith.
She said: “The bringing together of these Catholic and Jewish primary schools on a single campus is a momentous initiative.
“It delivers a powerful message to the wider community that two different faiths can work in close co-operation while retaining their own unique identity.
“It’s an exciting venture that East Renfrewshire can rightly be proud of.
“We are looking forward to both schools working closely together to the benefit of our children and the wider community.”
Marion Carlton, headteacher at Calderwood Lodge, said it will allow pupils and staff alike more opportunities for shared learning.
She said: “The design of this fabulous new campus has been based on feedback from parents and representatives from both faith communities and will provide us with a fantastic learning environment.
“It will give excellent opportunities for shared learning and interaction among all pupils and staff.
“Bringing together these two faith communities on one campus is creative and innovative and I have no doubt we will all reap the benefits from this approach.
“We are all so excited about getting started in our new home.”
Two sports pitches, computing facilities, art, science, music and drama areas are also included in the facility.
The facilities are part of a wider multimillion pound investment in the council’s school estate.
Paul O’Kane, the council’s convener of education, said he was delighted to see the new facilities open.
He said: “While both St Clare’s and Calderwood Lodge will undoubtedly benefit from the fantastic individual learning environments, it is the shared areas which most excite me.
“By sharing ideas and knowledge, all our pupils at this new joint campus will enjoy an enriched learning environment.”