Through partnerships with local city councils, we are working on new twinnings with P6s and P7s at St Luke’s and Belvoir Park Primary Schools. Project Coordinator Joanne Fitzpatrick tells us this week how those are going so far.
St Luke’s Primary School is situated in the Nationalist area of Twinbrook, while Belvoir Park Primary School is situated in the Loyalist area of Belvoir Estate. Both areas have their fair share of history in the Troubles of Northern Ireland. Twinbrook was the home of Republican hunger striker, Bobby Sands, and Belvoir Estate suffered a lot of damage when a nearby forensic science lab was blown up in 1992.
When starting a new twinning, children always have some hesitance, particularly when the two schools haven’t had any contact with each other before. The children are normally full of assumptions and fears about what “the other school” might be like. So far, the teachers and staff in both schools have been great and extremely supportive, which always makes our job somewhat easier.
Last week, the children met us in Lisburn Racquets Club for session four, our halfway mark, where we delve further into the community-relations aspect of the programme. With the P6s, we discussed our identity, the parts we like to share and the parts we tend to hide. The P7s talked about about prejudice and stereotypes.
Despite the history, hopefully PeacePlayers can serve as an avenue for new friendships. Take a look at the slideshow below to see how the children are getting along so far: