We just want to say how good it has been to meet all the teachers who have attended the training sessions for virtual linking this Autumn Term. As we approach the end of the first term in this first year of virtual linking, the network has delivered a staggering number (approaching 70!) live online CPD meetings to teachers from the 29 linking areas around the country! Teachers have attended with their linking partner in order to plan their linking work together.
We’ve had such lovely feedback; we would like to share the teachers’ enthusiasm with you.
As part of the evaluation teacher’s outline their schools’ reason for linking ‘We link in order to broaden horizons at this time when direct contact is limited.’ It’s good to be ‘working together on a project that’s so important to individuals, groups, schools and communities.’ ‘There is an excitement in bringing new opportunities to my class.’ ‘We link in order to widen pupils’ horizons, to build pupils’ SMSC & personal development, and to impact community cohesion/social integration.’
By linking on a government endorsed, established programme, they can be secure in the knowledge that resources and training are going to be of the best quality and that they are part of something solid and national, and can access support whenever they need it; as one of our teachers at St John the Baptist Primary School in Leicester says: teachers want…’to have an agreed format … in order to aid cohesion and unity. (in order for children to have a…) fun exploration of who they are.’
We set out to create a virtual and manageable linking programme that would support teachers and schools who found the energy to help their pupils reach out to others at this challenging time. So, we are delighted to have received the first evaluation questionnaires and read that teachers feel there is a…’wealth of resources available that any class can use -and its free!’ ‘the resources have been adapted to our current circumstances, so despite linking being virtual this year the experience can still be very positive.’ Through our online CPD, we hope to give just this: ‘the confidence to empower children to believe in the diverse world around them.’ Some teachers are linking for the first time this year, others are returning teachers; some from diverse schools, others monocultural schools, regardless of their background, they are describing CPD as informative, immediate, focussed, creative, exciting, enabling, accessible, insightful, friendly, organised and feeling able and supported to begin linking with their partner school. This teacher summed it up saying ‘Love the idea of moving from ‘them and us’ to ‘we together’ – looking forward to it!’
Thank you to all our teachers, who have such passion and commitment to making a difference for the children in their care.
If you are interested in signing up your school to link please see if there is a linking programme near you LINK or if you have a link school and would like training and you are not in one of our linking areas please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org as now that we have virtual training by Zoom and we know it works, training is easier!