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“Hate leads to fights, Fights lead to war, War leads to beautiful world no more”
Kieran Hunt

Quakers in Britain
Peace at the Heart of Scottish Schools

Travelling Peace Education Exhibition
Quakers in Britain have created an exhibition, ‘Peace at the Heart of Scottish Schools’, to demonstrate the value of peace education and the power of children to bring peace and justice to the world.

The exhibition shares stories of young changemakers, and showcases schools and organisations that support young people to be peacebuilders.

It is framed around the four layers of peace articulated in ‘Peace at the Heart: a relational approach to education in British schools’: individual wellbeing and development (‘peace with myself’); healthy peer relations (‘peace between us’); inclusive school community (‘peace among us’); and the integrity of society and the earth (‘peace in the world’).

The small but interactive exhibition stresses that peace is about action. Visitors are invited to draw and write about how they build peace in their schools on heart templates. These are collated and shared as the exhibition travels among community settings and schools throughout Scotland.

Visitors engage with a number of other activities centring around themes of friendship, respect and peace among people of all cultures, faiths and beliefs; the nature of conflict and different conflict ‘styles’; war and the bombing of Hiroshima; and seeing beyond international borders. We’ve supplied a box with some of our favourite peace books for all ages to browse.

As part of this project, children from Oakgrove Primary in Glasgow developed an uplifting storytelling and music performance, ‘Peace at the Heart: Wangari’s Trees of Peace’.  Created in partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and with Quaker volunteer Mary Troup, it is based on the children’s book by Jeanette Winter about deforestation in Kenya. Performed at Holyrood on UN International Day of Peace, 21 September 2023, the event was well attended by MSPs and members of civil society from Scottish organisations. Sponsoring MSP Michelle Thomson was in tears at the end, clearly moved by the inspiring performance which showed the power of peace education.

'Peace at the Heart of Scottish Schools' was on display at Holyrood for three days from 26-28 September 2023. Over a third of MSPs engaged with the exhibition and many even crated their own peace hearts. Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf stopped to find out more after First Ministers Questions and many MSPs signed the motion in support of peace education in Scottish schools, as a means of reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The exhibition highlights several organisations doing peace education and global citizenship work in Scotland and calls on more funding and support for this work. Watch a short film about peer mediation in Oakgrove Primary school here: https://www.quaker.org.uk/our-work/peace/peace-education/peace-education-case

What we hope to achieve

We believe all children and young people have the right to be peacemakers. Schools can offer the culture and opportunities for them to learn to resolve conflicts in a nonviolent, and equitable way. When children learn to make peace and preserve their relationships, it makes for a more peaceful school community, with an atmosphere that facilitates teaching and learning for all. Thus, children enjoy enhanced social and emotional wellbeing, and a safer community in which to thrive academically. The skills learned and practiced at an early age will last a lifetime, allowing our young people to grow up to become peacemakers in their families, workplaces, and communities. Some may even choose to become campaigners for peace in the wider world.

We hope the exhibition and film and events surrounding it help inspire teachers and children to transform their schools into more inclusive and peaceful communities, and encourage more schools to provide pupils with the values, attitudes and skills needed to resolve conflicts positively and engage with broader issues of peace and justice.

For more information please contact:
Isabel Cartwright, Peace Education Programme Manager, Quakers in Britain:


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