We’re really excited to share our new Shuttle Dialogue Linking for Secondary Schools programme. Secondary linking won’t be the same as in previous years; but we’re hopeful that it will be a great experience for all involved.
We all know how much the pandemic has isolated us as a society. This is particularly true for young people. Their connections to others may have become more narrow, and the opportunities to meet new people and mix with a wide range of people in different settings may have become more limited.
We hope to equip young people with the skills and understanding needed to maintain an open mind and a willingness to connect with others who are different to ourselves.
We have developed 5 fully resourced sessions which teachers will run in their own classrooms. One of our key aims has always been to give students an opportunity to engage with other students that they might not otherwise get a chance to meet in a meaningful way. We know linking also creates opportunities for self-reflection, empathy and critical thinking.
The programme is centred around an approach we’ve called Shuttle Dialogue. The two groups will follow the same session and explore the ideas and dialogue in their own class and then capture some of their reflections and thoughts to share with their link school. The two teachers will facilitate the exchange of information between schools after the sessions.
The two linked classes might be from a different school or a single school might just to link multiple classes from within their school, such as Year 7 students, who might not have had the opportunity to get to know each other as they would have in other years.
There are five sessions which are designed to encourage students to reflect and explore the following questions:
- Connecting with others (Students to think about the benefits of connecting with people different to themselves and why it is important).
- I am because we are (Students to think about their own identity and how our identity is shaped by the people in our lives).
- My values, Our values (Students to explore their own values and what they share with each other).
- Building Community (Students to consider actions that can build and hinder community).
- Sharing our Journey (How can I help make the world more connected?)
You can see the resources here https://thelinkingnetwork.org.uk/shuttle-dialogue-linking-for-secondary-schools-2020-2120-21/
We’re all concerned about what the wider consequences of this pandemic might be, particularly at a time when the popular discourse in the media and society more general has become increasingly divisive, more fearful and we’re quick to point the finger and blame others. So our programme speaks directly to that risk. We think there is no better time to listen to the thoughts and views of others beyond our own circle and we’re excited to see the programme be developed and rolled out in secondary schools around the country.