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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Virtual success for CC&G Borough Council’s school project to mark International Day for Tolerance

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Good Relations Team has teamed up with Learn2Think to teach primary school pupils the importance of respect and understanding diversity, as part of a programme to mark United Nations International Day for Tolerance.

The programme, delivered in  November and December last year, saw 250 pupils across nine primary schools receive packs aimed at promoting tolerance, alongside workbooks to help pupils develop critical thinking and build resilience.

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Welcoming the programme, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Mark Fielding said: “Tolerance, respect and understanding diversity have never been more important and the skills developed as part of this programme are vital lessons for future generations

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“Council is delighted to have so many schools and pupils involved in this programme and I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Good Relations staff, schools, teachers and pupils for engaging with this programme and the alternative approach which was adopted to enable delivery.”

Felicia Jackson from Learn2Think said: “We were delighted to be invited by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to develop a programme to bring International Day for Tolerance to life in their schools, despite the pandemic restrictions.

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“We produced a video assembly with the help of the Secretary General of UNESCO UK who filmed a personal message, sent copies of specially written children’s books and workbooks to pupils, and developed a virtual version of our religious tolerance workshop, puppets and all, for local schools.”

The International Day for Tolerance programme also provided six online sessions, including a virtual visit from authors, with pupils asked to complete their own pledges to tolerance.

Authors Rhian Sellier and Virginia McLean beamed into classrooms to engage pupils in discussions about religious tolerance, with both saying how impressed they were with pupils’ enthusiasm to learn new ways of looking at things and grapple with new ideas.

They said: “The pupils’ insights and the thinking skills on display were wonderful for us to hear. Despite being forced to run things differently and step out of our own comfort zone, we felt energised and privileged to be welcomed into the classroom by the wonderful teachers and their pupils.”

Council’s Good Relations team is now developing a series of videos and online packs exploring different cultures, suitable for primary age pupils, secondary school students and youth groups.

If your school or youth group would like to receive these resources please email bebhinn.mckinley@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk.

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