Last Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Scarfed for life - An anti-sectarianism learning resource

What is this?

Scarfed for Life was well received by all of our pupils. It enabled them to discuss difficult issues such as sectarianism, alcohol misuse and bullying in a setting which allowed for open and frank discussion and debate. This encouraged the young people to think critically about these issues and how it might affect their own life.

Pupils enjoyed reading the play and felt able to discuss the issues freely. It was so successful that we now plan to embed it in the curriculum.” RME teacher, Lanark Grammar School.

This is a learning resource to explore anti-sectarianism. It is based on Scarfed for Life, a play by Martin Travers of the Citizens Theatre. It is a modern parable set against the backdrop of the first Old Firm game of the season.

Funny, hard-hitting and thought-provoking, it tells the story of two young people caught in the crossfire of polite suburban prejudice. The play draws on what sectarianism and prejudice actually means to young people in Scotland and how it affects them.

Please note: The play is not included in this resource and needs to be purchased separately (ISBN 978-1-4725-8252-2).

​Explore this resource

It is recommended that staff read Tackling sectarianism: An overview of resources  and use the Timeline professional learning resource  as preparation for delivering this anti-sectarian resource.

How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice

This resource is designed to be delivered during lessons. It can be run as six one-hour sessions over six weeks or as three two-hour sessions over three weeks.

It delivers a variety of experiences and outcomes at third and fourth level within Curriculum for Excellence. There are strong curricular links to health and wellbeing, PSHE, literacy, RME and drama.

  • Lesson 1 - Definitions of prejudice, discrimination, bigotry and sectarianism are explored.
  • Lesson 2 - The rights of football supporters and social media users. The responsibilities of those who use social media or support a club.
  • Lesson 3 and 4 - Class reading of the play.
  • Lesson 5 -  Circles of influence: An exploration of the influences on the characters in the play and in the learners own lives.
  • Lesson 6 -  Who is responsible for change? - This lesson explores everyone’s potential to bring about change. It examines some of the characters in the play and looks at how they could have prevented the chain of events which culminated in injury to one of them.

Practitioners consistently experience a high level of engagement by learners as the resource covers a variety of topics and is delivered in a “peer to peer” environment where young people are encouraged to provide opinions and share knowledge.

School evaluations endorse the modular style and cross topic delivery options which allow it to be delivered in the most relevant classroom subject.

The activities and discussions explore the following overarching questions:

  • What is sectarianism?
  • How do we see evidence of sectarianism in our community?
  • How does sectarianism impact on individuals and society?
  • What actions can I take to deal with sectarianism?

Improvement questions

  • How does this work link with the range of protected characteristics that are defined by the Equality Act (2010)?
  • To what extent do our learners understand the concept of sectarianism?
  • Do we offer our learners the opportunity to explore their own life experiences in relation to sectarianism?
  • How far as a school community do we challenge bigotry, prejudice and discrimination towards members, or presumed members, of a religious denomination?