The Pendle Schools Linking Network (PSLN) has become an integral part the Pendle Education District and also has connections with the community sector. The aims of the network are:
- To promote joint working between Primary Schools in geographical locations across Pendle which will allow for pupils from a mainly mono-cultural environment to come together for cross-cultural learning and engagement.
- To develop and deepen children and young people’s knowledge and understanding of identity/ies, diversity, equality and community.
- To provide opportunities for children to meet, build relationships, work together and contribute to the wider community.
- For parents to follow a course of learning alongside their children and become involved in socially active projects which develop cohesive cross-cultural relationships.
The initiative has been progressively growing over the past five years; we started with 6 primary schools as part of a pilot scheme and now have 21 primary schools and 6 secondary schools taking part; that’s 20 active links involving nearly 1690 pupils.
Primary schools are also involved in multiple year linking, from years 3 to 5 and one set of secondary schools link in both years 7 and 8. We anticipate for the number of schools taking part in multiple-year linking to increase in the next academic year. This is particularly exciting at secondary level where pupils engagement takes place between schools and in a public and community setting.
Additional developments are taking place to also connect parents of children taking part in linking initiatives to celebrate cultural identity and community. Our ‘Families Making Friends,’ programme will run again this year.
Led by Building Bridges Pendle, our role goes beyond coordinating and managing links but to have direct involvement in all aspects of the engagement process between pupils, parents, community and teachers from start and to end. The approach being very much about partnership and a shared responsibility towards the aims of the PSLN. Our partnership with the Linking Network; their support, advice and guidance has been instrumental in the development of our engagement with schools in the Pendle District.
Rauf Bashir, Building Bridges Pendle – firstname.lastname@example.org