The Calderdale School Linking Programme, led by Fiona Willats, Museum Education Officer. This a national initiative, which has been running successfully in primary and secondary schools since 2001. The programme has been developed by The Linking Network, who are based in Bradford. It forges links between communities and enables young people to meet others from a different community who they may not get to meet during their normal day to day lives; helping to develop trust, empathy, awareness and respect.
The Linking Year
The children meet three times in the year, usually the first of these meetings is at a neutral venue followed by visits to each school in the spring/summer term. They exchange work throughout the year and through this structured programme explore four key questions: The Linking Project is about creating meaningful contact between pupils from different backgrounds to reduce prejudice, increase trust and understanding. The aim is to create between them a sense of togetherness. The project explores issues of identity and belonging:
- Who am I? – creating opportunities to explore the multiple aspect of identity
- Who are we? – celebrating diversity, including similarity and differences
- Where do we live? – promoting community, understanding locality and developing a sense of belonging for all locally, nationally, globally
- How do we live together? – championing equality, challenging prejudice in all its forms and promoting active citizenship.
Benefits to students
- Develops skills of enquiry, critical thinking, reflection and communication
- Develops trust, empathy, awareness and respect
- Provides opportunities for children and young people to meet, build new relationships, work together and contribute to the wider community.
Benefits to schools
- Offers a clear and strategic contribution towards the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils Provides a meaningful experience of shared values of British citizens in action as children respect diversity and celebrate individual liberty.
- Nationally recognised as offering a positive, age appropriate curriculum response to the Prevent Duty.
How to join
Community schools, academies, minority faith schools, primary or secondary schools area all welcome. We would love to have you on board, please contact Fiona Willats for more information on 01422 352334 or firstname.lastname@example.org