Last Wednesday, Year Four students from Horton Park Primary School travelled to Harden Primary School for a fun filled and exciting day of linking. To welcome their linking school, Harden Primary made a fantastic banner which they held up as Horton Park students arrived. Despite the rainy weather, children from Harden Primary gave their biggest and most welcoming smiles as they waved their link class into their school.
To begin the day, Nahida (from The Linking Network team) led circle games, which was a great way to refresh friendships that had been made on the children’s previous link. In a large circle, the children were then asked to find someone they didn’t know, stand next to them and then find similarities and differences. First students considered their visible similarities and differences, but were then asked to consider invisible ones, prompting further conversation which helped the children get to know one another even better. After this, students got into pairs with their linking partner. Before activities could begin, students were set a challenge of finding ten new things about their partner by the end of the day. This created lots of discussion, mainly about favourite desserts & hobbies!
Included on the linking menu for the day were two classroom-based activities in the morning- creating a Freedom Park and making a More In Common video, followed by a nature walk in St Ives in the afternoon. Activity one had linking pairs using the image of Freedom Park from Amnesty’s book We Are All Born Free, to create their very own freedom park. To begin with, there was a few things to consider- what does freedom mean? Why is it important? What would their own freedom park include? Students agreed that freedom was the ‘chance to do what you want’ and given examples, such as freedom of movement and freedom to practice one’s own faith. Children also agreed that diversity would be an important aspect of any freedom park. As well as being diverse and inclusive, there was space for other things- including swimming pools, ice cream vans and even a designated quiet area! It was great to see the children working with their linking partner to imagine and create a space of fun, safety and freedom.
To find out more about We are All Born Free as well as a classroom activity based on the book, follow this link: http://thelinkingnetwork.org.uk/resource/we-are-all-born-free-2/
The second of the morning’s activities saw the teachers from both schools helping the children to make More In Common videos. To inspire pairs and show them what the finished outcome of their videos could look like, they were shown a short video (starring yours truly!) in which my friends and I held up cards showing what made us different, but with the underlying message being that we had more in common. This video was put together by the More in Common team in the lead up to The Great Get Together, which took place on the 22nd of June in a lot of schools across the country. I must say it felt good being treated like a minor celebrity for the day- when students saw me in the original video they were very excited, I was even asked if I was famous!
To watch the video of my friends and I showing that we have More In Common, follow this link: https://twitter.com/Linking_Network/status/995994060446994433
This particular activity built upon the invisible/visible similarities and differences game that the children had played at the start of the linking day and some children were really pleasantly surprised to find out just how much they had in common with their link partner.
Luckily for us, after lunch the weather had cleared up and the sun decided to come out for our nature walk. Children were given the task of working together to find different woodland creatures and trees so they could tick them off their list. We had a lot of fun and there were lots of squeals of excitement (from both children and staff) when we came across some teeny tiny froglets on the way.
As children said goodbye to their link partners at the end of the day, pairs exchanged hands that each school had made in class prior to the visit. These bright, colourful hands were covered with facts that each individual child had chosen to share with their partner as well as patterns and pictures. This was a lovely way to end the day. All that was left was to wave off Horton Park and look forward to the next link!