Developing a Depth of Understanding of What Life can be Like for Refugees


The Kirklees Linking Programme follows a programme of linking called Carry My Story; this is a cohesion project working within schools and their neighbourhoods, with the aim of linking schools, parents and refugees through the exchange of personal and community stories.

Diamond Wood Academy is an Infant and Nursery school in the heart of the Ravensthorpe community, close to Dewsbury in Kirklees. The demographic mix of the school’s catchment includes Asian Muslim, Hungarian and Romanian and white British families. Diamond Wood has been involved in Schools Linking and Carry My Story for several years. Their commitment to the project, principles and values which underpin this are exemplified through the decision of senior leaders to make CMS a whole school focus. The 4 key identity questions thread through the YN, YR, Y1 and Y2 classes and concepts are scaffolded across school. This ensures that concepts of identity, diversity, community and equalities are built on as children progress through the school.

This year Diamond Wood linked with St John’s Church of England Primary School, Dewsbury, and also carried a story from Valentina who is from Albania. They made an eagle, the national symbol of Albania to welcome her. 

Here are some of the things the children said after meeting their Link school partners:


I sometimes find it hard to make friends, but now I have a new best friend from St Johns.

I loved meeting the children from St Johns, they showed me their school and taught me some new games.

Our schools are both in Dewsbury but in different parts. Lots of the things are the same at our schools but lots are different too.”

 … and after meeting Valentina:

No-one should stop you being you. You are beautiful and I wish you a lovely life.”  (Year 2 pupil)

I’m devastated to know people are bullied because they speak a different language. We would never do that. We would give them a hug.”  (Year 2 pupil) .

There is a real buzz around this programme, with a lot of schools in Kirklees taking part; Carry My Story has been running since 2006 and is going from strength to strength – and now recruiting schools for 2022-23.

Contact the team to find out more:  

David Raven-Hill,

Kim Strickson,

Monica Deb,


Read about Carry My Story on Twitter:





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