Linking in Derby: The Best Thing We’ve Ever Done!


The Derby Schools Linking Programme was launched in 2017 by Global Education Derby,  in 2019/20 we engaged 18 classes, linking over 500 primary children. We have a core group of schools who have participated in our linking programme from the beginning and teachers who are great advocates of linking. Every year, we have a large cohort of teachers experiencing linking for the first time.

At last year’s meeting between Darley Dale Primary School, Derbyshire (Y5) and St Giles (Special) School, the St Giles children enjoyed teaching Darley Dale children sign language and they performed a song together, with signing, at the end of the day.  There is clear awareness that children from both schools benefit from and contribute to the partnership.  A Darley Dale staff member was heard to say “This is the best thing we have ever done!”

We facilitate our own neutral venue events at Pride Park Stadium in Derby, in partnership with The Open Centre and Derby County Community Trust. This gives us hands on experience, working directly with the students and teachers, allowing us to get to know them all in greater depth.








Our neutral venue days follow a tried and tested formula, with some whole group games and chat followed by a carousel of mixed class activities. Our aim is to make the day as inclusive, interactive and flexible as possible. This year, we augmented the ever-popular identity badges and stadium tour with drama workshops to promote creativity and introduce the sustainable development goals. It was great to see the children communicating and cooperating in small group work with confidence.

Having a number of mixed age classes means we have some children linking again for the second or third time. The overarching impression is that these children benefit from revisiting a familiar environment and find it even more enjoyable the next time around.  Recruitment is well underway for our virtual linking programme 2020/21 with schools continuing to collaborate with their established partner classes.

As Tom from St Giles School says, ” We would definitely like to be involved in this project again, I am confident we will be able to make the project work in the current circumstances alongside Darley Dale Primary School”.

We look forward to exploring a new learning journey together, stepping outside our comfort zones and welcoming all to the linking programme in Derby, as we start afresh once more.

Contact: Yvonne Luce, Global Education Derby

Follow us on Twitter @Global_Ed_Derby and @DerbyOpenCentre

or take a look at our website to find out more about us: