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Schools Linking - The Linking Network

The Schools Linking Project

"Based in Bradford, The Linking Network strives to develop and deepen young people’s knowledge and understanding of identity, diversity, equality and community, creating space for discussion of these issues within the school curriculum and supporting teachers to address them. Our Schools Linking programme is a structured programme of training, resources and support to enable pairs of schools to build high quality links between classes; we work with every kind of school.

The Linking Network

Schools Linking takes as its starting point the need for us all to develop the skills of dialogue to be able to communicate across real or perceived boundaries and to develop a vocabulary of shared humanity.

Schools Linking is nationally recognised as offering a positive, age-appropriate curriculum response to SMSC, British values and the Prevent Duty. It has received backing from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for Education (DfE).

How Can the Equality Diversity Inclusion Team Help?

With the funding from the Linking Networks sponsors the Equality Diversity Inclusion Team are able to facilitate linking between schools, offering two days free training and ongoing advice and support.

For further details or to take part please click on the button below:

The Schools Linking Project Aims To:

  • establish and sustain effective links between new and existing linking schools
  • create social mixing opportunities with pupils and the wider community
  • provide resources and training that supports schools to develop a positive cohesive ethos.

The Schools Linking Project Will Develop:

  • children’s knowledge and understanding of identity, identities, diversity, equality, and community
  • pupils’ skills of enquiry, critical thinking, reflection, and communication
  • pupils’ empathy alongside trust, awareness and respect of self and others
  • opportunities for children and young people to meet, build new relationships, work together, and contribute to wider communities
  • opportunities for teachers to share good practice, increase understanding of the issues of identity and community in their districts and broaden perspectives.

The Linking Network Principles

  • Safe but challenging processes.
  • Rooted in the curriculum.
  • Equitable benefits for all.
  • CPD for teachers.
  • Do no harm.
  • Support from senior leaders.
  • Promotes identity, diversity, community, equality.
  • Time for reflection to embed learning.
  • Children and young people at the hear.

What Does This Involve?

  • SMT must be committed to the project and sign a Service level Agreement to maintain linking throughout the year.
  • Teachers must be working with their own classes.
  • Linking classes should be of the same age/year group, this works best with Years 4 or 5.
  • EDIT Advisory Teachers will be available to advise, support and steer when needed.
  • There will be two CPD training sessions, one in the autumn term another in the spring.
  • Linking teachers will swap classes one afternoon.
  • Linking classes will initially meet at a neutral venue and then visit each other's schools. Regular contact between linking teachers is vital.
  • There needs to be careful planning and purposeful reflections at each stage.
  • Linking must be equitable.

Linking classes will explore four questions in regard to the individual, class, school, local, national and global communities over the year:

  • Who am I? – exploring identity, including faith, as part of multiple identity.
  • Who are we? – celebrating diversity, including similarity and difference.
  • Where do we live? – promoting community and a sense of belonging for all: locally; nationally; globally.
  • How do we all live together? – championing equality, challenging prejudice in all its forms and promoting active citizenship.

Schools linking runs from Spring to Summer each year, with recruitment taking place from September.

If you are interested in joining the programme please contact the EDIT Team:

Email: EDIT@theeducationpeople.org
Phone: 03000 417 093

COVID-19

During the COVID-19 crisis, the Network is continuing to support work on cohesion and integration through the provision of Remote Learning Resources for teachers and Home Learning resources for children and families working at home, or for teachers to share with their classes or use with key worker children. There is also a section of resources specifically written for secondary pupils. The resources aim to develop well-being, hope, resilience, critical thinking, curiosity, and connection seeking to help children feel at ease with themselves and others. We have also created new programmes for Schools Linking 2020-2021 for primary schools and secondary schools, enhancing our existing work on digital linking. We also have a wealth of free, quality resources, to which we are constantly adding; assemblies, intergenerational linking social action, book recommendations and SMSC reading to name but a few; do take a look!

Schools Linking Resources