The Sweet Spot


Blog by Erica Field, Rochdale Borough Council Schools Linking

The sweet spot on a tennis racket is the point believed by players to deliver the maximum power to the ball.  As an idiom, it’s a particular fortunate or beneficial circumstance or factor.  In Linking, the sweet spot is an intersection between activity, literacy strategy, curriculum objective and joy.  It sparks genuine engagement and learning.

At first glance it can be easy to imagine Linking as something extra, a nice time for the children to meet others and develop social skills for a cohesive, connected society, if you have time to fit it into your curriculum.  When you take second look, Linking is rooted in the curriculum.  It offers wonderful opportunities to address core themes, from PSHE and curriculum objectives to Art, Citizenship, Computing and RSE.  Invaluably, it also addresses a significant number of English curriculum objectives around spoken language, reading and writing.

If you want your children to learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge? – then you can do that here, in the Linking programme.  Need them to learn to negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication?  That’s right – here too.  How about preparing poems to read aloud and perform or identifying and discussing themes and conventions in and across a wide range of writing?  Yes, you guessed it, Linking has it.

Carefully planned joyful activities, designed within the curriculum and drawing on proven literacy strategies, help to deliver maximum power to a child’s learning.   Cognitively, socially, and linguistically Linking offers the beneficial circumstances to create that sweet spot we all want for a child’s education.

Here is a link to the SMSC curriculum objectives Schools Linking delivers: word doc to view and download and pdf to view online, and the Literacy objectives Schools Linking delivers pdf to view or word doc to download