Pupils give joint campus design ‘two thumbs up’

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Primary pupils got a sneak peak of their new digs, being among the first to see an artist’s impression of what the two schools in one joint campus will look like.

The faith schools joint campus — thought to be the first of its kind in Europe — is a £13.6m investment by East Ren Council to be built in Newton Mearns, on a site opposite Mearns Castle High.

Work is due to start in March 2016 and it will be ready for its first pupils in August 2017.

Convener for education and equalities Elaine Green said: “It will be noticed by the world when this campus opens and this bold and innovative idea becomes a reality.The design looks terrific.”

In the joint campus will be a new, additional Catholic primary school for the Newton Mearns area and a replacement building for the existing Jewish primary, Calderwood Lodge.

The campus will also have a 100 place non-denominational nursery class — a single nursery class that both communities are happy with and that will be under the management of Calderwood Lodge’s head teacher.

The design has been developed to recognise the importance to both the Catholic and Jewish communities to maintain their own ethos, while respecting each other’s faith in the joint campus.

Pupils of both Calderwood Lodge and St Cadoc’s, the existing Catholic primary school in the area, met at Eastwood High for a preview of the designs and to meet the architects.

The campus will have separate school entrances, classroom wings, head teachers and parent councils. The playground will be shared, as will other facilities such as sport, art, science, music and drama.

Kosher catering and dining facilities will be provided for Calderwood Lodge.

The current Jewish faith school will close its doors at the end of the 2016/17 school year.

East Renfrewshire pupils at Calderwood Lodge would continue to transfer to Mearns Castle, their current associated secondary school, and the new Catholic primary will be associated with St Ninian’s High School.