HEC Global Learning Centre, based in London, promotes the values, aims and principles of global learning through all areas of education. Working to support schools in Tower Hamlets and across London, we work collaboratively and as a part of wider networks to develop global learning in schools and communities. The Tower Hamlets Linking Project began in Summer Term 2018, with our first full linking year being the academic year 2018-19.
Our work at HEC Global Learning Centre focuses on local action for justice and sustainability in an increasingly interconnected globe. We work within and between schools to create collaborative, creative spaces where such action and conversation is led by children. Linking schools to this end has enhanced our practice, so that schools actually work together towards a common goal, rather than working in silos.
We were excited to launch our Schools Linking Programme in 2018, linking 479 pupils from 16 classes in mainstream and special schools in Tower Hamlets. The idea for linking special schools with mainstream schools came about as a result of discovering a hate crime statistic in Tower Hamlets – in 2017, 27 crimes were committed against disabled people. We felt that we must respond to this statistic positively and constructively, hence the idea to link schools. Our linking is going from strength to strength and we are excited to be engaging even more students and teachers in the 2019-20 academic year.
Furthermore, we recently learned that there is an increase in applications to mainstream schools from special needs students. Teachers in mainstream schools would therefore benefit from the knowledge and expertise of teachers who work with special needs children. Learn more about our special schools linking here.
As an organisation that embraces diversity, we see it as our duty to come together to build a community that integrates different needs and abilities. Our challenge is to do this with criticality, so that we are not perpetuating a charity mentality. Rather, we are looking to engender an appreciation for the different ways each of us inhabits our shared world. Equally, we believe that everyone has something to offer when they are enabled, rather than disabled, by society. And the best part is that will not only be linking schools, but we will be looking for an arts organisation to link with ourselves to deliver the project! We hope to be able to support schools better by going through the linking process ourselves. It will certainly make for a more rounded experience for all.
‘Our children share the locality they inhabit. Linking has brought them into a space that uncovers the wealth of intangible diversity within this locality– the diversity of world views, of multiple solutions to a problem, of forms of self-expression.’
Alia Al Zougbi, Head of HEC Global Learning Centre
Linda Barker, Consultant to HEC email@example.com
Alia Al Zougbi, Head of HEC Global Learning, firstname.lastname@example.org