The world’s first Catholic-Jewish school campus has been opened in Scotland by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Bishop John Keenan.
The joint faith campus in Eastwood’s Newton Mearns, seven miles south-west of Glasgow, comprises St Clare’s Primary School and Calderwood Lodge, respectively providing Catholic and Jewish denominational schooling, alongside a non-denominational nursery class.
The opening, on Wednesday last week, follows a significant £17 million investment to provide the world’s first joint campus with a shared central amphitheatre, outdoor obstacle trails and two sports pitches, among other facilities.
East Renfrewshire Councillor Paul O’Kane said: “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.”
Marion Carlton, headteacher at Calderwood Lodge, 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.”
She added that the new mixed campus “will give excellent opportunities for shared learning and interaction” among pupils and staff of different religions.
“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,” she said. “We are all so excited about getting started in our new home.”
Calderwood, previously based in Glasgow, is Scotland’s only Jewish primary school, but many of its students are Muslim, prompting a group of Scottish parliamentarians this week to pay tribute to the “togetherness” and ethnic diversity of the Eastwood constituency.
They said residents were “people of all religions, who do not simply coexist but work together as one to ensure Eastwood’s continued prosperity”. They added that they wished the campus’s first students every success.
Photo credit: Glasgow Representative Council