Scottish school children learning about Old Firm rivalry in bid to stamp out sectarianism

Scots school children as young as ten are being taught about Old Firm rivalry in a bid to crack down on sectarianism.

Sectarian clashes in Glasgow last month. Picture: PA

St Ninian's Primary in Gourock, invited anti-sectarianism charity Nil by Mouth as part of a project to educate pupils about the causes and impact of bigotry.

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They learnt about rivalry between Celtic and Rangers, the history of the Irish Tricolour flag and the Red Hand of Ulster.

Campaigners hope a new generation can grow up to turn the tide on sectarianism, which has prompted renewed concern after a series of clashes in Glasgow recently.

Caitlin Train, 10, said: "We have learned a lot about sectarianism and we looked at the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers.

"We looked at bigotry and what happens to people because of it. We all have a right as children to be safe and have our rights respected. Sectarianism needs to stop."

Using Teresa Dreslin's novel Divided City, the pupils have been learning about symbols, flags, football clubs and organisations often used to sow the seeds of sectarianism.

Jamie Lithgow, education officer at Nil by Mouth, said he was delighted to speak to the schoolchildren and get his anti-sectarian message across.

Mr Lithgow said: "We have been going for 20 odd years now but the charity is needed now more than ever. We can never be complacent about sectarianism.

Lesley McCabe, head teacher at St Ninian's, said: "The workshops from Nil by Mouth are very worthwhile and enhance the children's learning opportunities, raising further awareness of the issues surrounding sectarianism within our society.

"They enable the children to address their personal attitude, views and experiences, challenge other people's in a non-confrontational way and it empowers them as we develop their skills for learning, life and work."