In all that we do we aim to be thoughtful, collaborative, creative, up to date with educational requirements, challenging where needed, evidence based and action–focussed, always striving for excellence.
We contribute to strengthening citizenship, integration and cohesion, and building a sense of community, whilst also promoting achievement through school linking programmes between schools and in-schools, through curriculum resources for schools and work on ethos, values, equalities and active citizenship. Our work is rooted in social contact theory which has found that positive meaningful interaction can reduce prejudice and so lessen hate and increase openness to difference.
Our ambition is that our work will enable thousands of children and young people to go beyond tolerance to develop mutual understanding, appreciation and a sense of belonging.
We have made a short video here with highlights of interviews with Schools Linking facilitators from around the country, from Bristol to Kent to Bury to Newcastle, who share their thoughts on the impact of linking on children and young people.
Alia Al Zougbi – former Head of Global Learning London, Tower Hamlets and Tower Hamlets Schools Linking Facilitator: The Linking Network builds in a curiosity about the other and about someone who is different… in the most positive sense of the word. A curiosity that yearns to connect with the other and that recognises that there is joy to be had out of this connection…. children who go through the Linking Network, without a question, will grow up to be adults who reach out more, who are more curious to be part of the conversation, because they’ll have had positive encounters as children with other children who are different to them. I think there’s something really special about that and not only special, but necessary and urgent in the world that we’re in today.
As a local authority officer, I have the privilege of visiting a range of schools and I think that all practitioners would agree that children and young people should have a well-rounded education which explores identity, diversity and community. The problem is that many teachers don’t know how to teach these areas with confidence, and this is where The Linking Network comes in. The Linking Network takes this vague concept of SMSC and embeds it in the curriculum using practical teaching and learning activities. The training is of the highest quality and the impact on our teachers in Stockport has been liberating. They now see so many opportunities to get SMSC into their teaching and the impact on children has been powerful, joyful and life changing.
Stephanie Longson, Head of Ethnic Diversity Service, Stockport Council
The SMSC review of Beckfoot School was an incredibly worthwhile exercise. We now have a much clearer understanding of how to measure SMSC across our school and thus demonstrate the impact ethos has on the progress of learners. The team themselves were highly professional, very well informed and passionate about the role SMSC plays in creating an outstanding learning culture. We loved it. David Horn, CEO, Beckfoot Multi Academy Trust, Bradford.
I’ve learnt that even if you’re a different religion or colour, if someone is kind-hearted from inside, you can be friends. It’s been great to overcome our fears and get to know other people. Birmingham student