Primary Linking – Autumn Term CPD1

TLN Schools Linking Resources - A Practical Guide

All the resources needed for a teacher to run a link in one easy booklet.

TLN Schools Linking Resources – A Practical Guide (PDF)

CPD1 Mindmap of Resources

An overview of ideas to kick start your linking year.

CPD1 Mindmap of Resources (Word doc)

Introducing Linking to Your Class

This PowerPoint is can be used to give children an idea of the linking year ahead. If your school has linked before you may want to add in photos of the previous class.

Introducing Linking to Your Class (PowerPoint)

Digital Linking

This guidance document written by TLN in partnership with specialist Educational IT Advisors at the Innovation Centre at Bradford Council walks you through the many opportunities digital linking affords. You can use Skype, email, forums and sending documents and videos. There are many elements of the computing curriculum you can cover with digital linking and this guide provides practical classroom tips and detailed instructions. See also our guidance on using Edmodo.

Digital Linking Guidance (Word doc)

Curiosity Questions

Writing, asking  and answering questions between the two linked classes before and after face to face link visits enhances the interaction between the children significantly.

Curiosity Questions Lesson Plan (PDF)
Curiosity Questions Presentation (PowerPoint)

Collective Poetry

A way to share a verse by building a pattern. Courtesy of Rochdale Council

Collective Poetry (PowerPoint)

Identity Cards

These cards can be used for dialogue between two pupils about their identity. It begins the process of exploring identity through exploring Who am I? and diversity through the question Who are we? You can ask pupils to rank or diamond rank which words connect to the most important aspects of their identity.

Identity Cards Presentation (PowerPoint)
Identity Cards (Word doc)
Identity Cards 2 (Word doc)
Identity Questions (Word doc)

When is an Apple not an Apple?

This Philosophy for Children activity written by Eleanor Knowles, Cumbria DEC. Helps children explore what makes them unique. This activity works well after children have had time to explore identity through, for example, using identity cards.

When is an Apple not an Apple? (PowerPoint)
When is an Apple not an Apple – Handout (PDF)

Identity Maps

After using identity cards this can be a useful activity that deepens thinking about multiple identity.

Identity Maps Presentation (Powerpoint)
Example Pupil Outcome 1 (Word doc)
Example Pupil Outcome 2 (Word doc)


These PowerPoints offer some questions you might ask your class to discuss about their own names. This activity offers a good way of exploring diversity in your own classroom as preparation for learning names of pupils in the other class.

Names (PowerPoint)
Free to be Me (PowerPoint)


Jigsaw pieces are created on a template by each child listing a few of their interests, their first name and, if allowed by school policy, a photograph.  This makes for a fantastic exchange between the two classes and creates a great display in each classroom so that both classes of children become familiar with one another before and after they meet.

Jigsaws (PowerPoint)
Receiving Jigsaws from Your Link Class (PowerPoint)
Jigsaw Template (Word doc)


This is  a straightforward way of exchanging identity information.  Some teachers use this to do a class passport and other teachers choose to create individual passports to send to their link class.

Passport Template (PowerPoint)
Passport Template (Word doc)

I Am, I Wonder

This poem  structure has been used by hundreds of children in linking schools over the years. It seems to unlock children’s thinking about their own identity and create poems that are then fascinating to read in a partner class.

I Am, I Wonder (PowerPoint)
Structure of the Poem (Word doc)

I Am Who I Am Because of Everyone

The old Orange advert continues to be a powerful inspiration for children and young people to think carefully about the people that have had an impact on their identity. Round the world cyclist Mark Beaumont describes all the people who have contributed to his journey. Classes go on to write poetry describing the people who have made them who they are, concluding with the final line I Am Who I Am Because of Everyone.

I Am Who I Am (PowerPoint)
I Am Who I am Because Of Everyone (Video clip)
I Am Mark Beaumont (Word doc)

People Equal

‘People Equal’, written by James Berry is a wonderful poem that explores diversity through the lens of our diverse and varied personalities.  The series of lessons we have written include reading the poem, performing the poem and writing a class version inspired by the structure. We are grateful for permission from the publishers to share these resources inspired by the phrase ‘Yet- people equal. Equal’.  One class wrote, ”Some people think Man U rules, other people think Liverpool are cool yet-people equal. Equal”.  The resources include some examples of class poems exchanged by pairs of linked classes and some art work. If you are looking for a class assembly this is a great place to start!

People Equal (PowerPoint)

Portrait Gallery

Portraits are a really great way to discuss identity and diversity in a thoughtful way. Here are some ideas of activities you may choose to do in the classroom. Included in the PowerPoint, is artwork inspired by Hockney, Picasso and Klee.

Portrait Gallery (PowerPoint)

Scenario Cards

These are some ideas for straight forward role plays that help children rehearse social situations generally and linking in particular in the environment of their own classroom.

Scenario Cards (PowerPoint)
Editable Scenario Cards (Word doc)

Circle Games

This PowerPoint has instructions for three key circle games that are invaluable for supporting children to talk to one another – Change Places, Visible and Invisible Differences and 1,2,3.The Word document includes instructions for lots of different circle games.

Circle Games (PowerPoint)
Circle Games and Ice Breakers (Word doc)

Circle Game - Change Places

This activity works well as a way to open a linking meetings between two classes and we recommend you practice it first in your own class . Lots of teachers choose to play it at the start of all meetings through the year as a familiar routine.

Change Places (PowerPoint)

Circle Game - Visible and Invisible

This circle game activity gives a structure for children to talk and structures meaningful interaction. It works well if you practice it first in your own class before playing on a link visit. We find this activity can be repeated at all visits through a primary year.

Visible and Invisible (PowerPoint)

Circle Game - 1, 2, 3

This circle game activity can be really fun if led in a very lighthearted way. To play the game eye contact is needed and it fosters interaction.

123 Circle Game (PowerPoint)


‘Now you have met the other class what would you like to ask them?’

Reflection back in class after visits makes a huge difference to the learning from the project and this PowerPoint and the Word document of sentence starters are written to support teachers with reflection in class. Evaluations of Schools Linking over the years have highlighted the importance of reflection to embed learning.

Reflection Questions (PowerPoint)
Reflecting in Class (PowerPoint)
Sentence Starters (PDF)
Editable Reflection Sentence Starters (Word doc)

Using a Map to Locate Schools

We hope that taking part in linking will help children feel a sense of belonging to their local area and a sense of civic pride as well as enjoying learning and socialising with the other link class.  You can paste a map of your own district into this PowerPoint so that children to see where they will be going through the year. Use the Word document to add the district map and question prompts for children.

Editable Map with Questions (Word doc)
Using a Map to Locate Schools (PowerPoint)

Words and Your Heart

Words and Your Heart is a fantastic book, which can be used to start a classroom conversation about the power words can have on others and the importance of choosing the words we use carefully if we want to have a positive impact on others. This PowerPoint contains some ideas of activities you can do with your class after reading the book.

Words and Your Heart (Word doc)

The Hueys

We have been using The Hueys and the New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers as a book for CPD1 for a couple of years now. The book explores the way we all want to fit in and how we react to  difference within our own communities.  In the book Rupert knits himself a jumper which creates a stir as ‘the thing about the Hueys is that they are all the same’.   It can provide a gentle structure to discussions about allowing individuality.  It also lends itself to artwork on linking days or is an enjoyable art based exchange. We have created a PowerPoint here for you to use. You’ll need a copy of the book to teach the lesson.

The Hueys (PowerPoint)
Lesson Plan (Word doc)
Pupil Example (PDF)

Under the Same Sky

This is a really lovely new set of resources developed by the Stockport Schools Linking Programme. This is a great book for younger classes taking part in linking and this PowerPoint offers different lesson possibilities – all embedding the wonderful line ‘We all live under the same sky.’

Under the Same Sky‘ (PowerPoint)

Something Else

Something Else by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell is a classic book for helping primary children to consider the ways in which they include others who are new or simply a little bit different to themselves.  We recommend it for the Autumn term of a linking year.  It provides an age appropriate backdrop to develop concepts around a sense of belonging, kindness, welcome, inclusion, identity and diversity.  It develops empathy for the emotions connected to exclusion, playground cliques, new arrivals. We interviewed some children who arrived in Bradford primary schools part way through the year an their comments form part of these lesson resources.  You will need a copy of the book to teach these lessons.

Something Else (PowerPoint)

Incredible You

Incredible You is a fantastic book, with a wonderfully inspiring message- you don’t need to change to be incredible. This PowerPoint contains ideas for art activities, that you could do with your own class and possibly even exchange with your link class! So, whether you’re wanting to make an ‘Incredible’ bookworm or an Incredible You poster, this PowerPoint makes a great starting point!

Incredible You! (PowerPoint)
Bookworm Template (PDF)

Parent Homework Activities

These homework activities are a great way to get parents and carers involved with the Schools Linking work that is taking place in school. Each activity has been carefully designed to explore aspects of identity and diversity so that conversations that are starting in the classroom can be carried on at home.

Parent Homework Activities (Page link)

Identity Circles

This classroom activity helps children reflect and understand that we all have multiple identities and cannot be summarised in simplistic labels and this helps them relate to others they will meet through linking.

Identity Circles 1 (PowerPoint)
Identity Circles 2 (PowerPoint)
Identity Circles (Page link)
Example Pupil Outcome (Word doc)

My Stories

Gathering stories from the pupils, families, school community, school caretaker can be a rich shared theme.  Many years ago in Bradford we worked with two schools on a Journeys Project and all the families shared stores of journeys – whether it was a bus ride home from work or the story of migration.  Kirklees Schools Linking led by Yorkshire Spirit created a shared theme this year called Carry My Story where each linking class gathered stories from their families and community and carried the story to their link class on their class visit.

Lesson Plan (Word doc)
Lesson Plan (PDF)
My Stories (PowerPoint)
Example Pupil Outcome (Word doc)

You Can't Judge a Book By its Cover

This lesson is one of six in the TLN Identity pack. It helps children think about aspects of their identity that can’t be seen and then seeks to help them apply that to other people that they ‘see’ and understand that we all hold multiple identities and that only some of our identity is visible.

You Can’t Judge a Book By its Cover  (PowerPoint)

Magic Box Poem

The wonderful Magic Box poem is often used in literacy lessons in KS2 and is a fantastic resource for helping children to think about the multiple aspects to all our identities.  It is a structure children can replicate.

Magic Box Poem (PowerPoint)

Hopes and Dreams

This activity asks children and their families to share their hopes and dreams for themselves and for the world. It is inspired by a line in the book Skin Again. If both classes gather hopes and dreams they make a great exchange between the classes deepening shared understanding.

Hopes and Dreams (PowerPoint)
Lesson Plan (Word)
Session Plan (PDF)
Template (Word)

Skin Again

This PowerPoint resource helps teachers and their pupils explore the fantastic ideas in Bell Hook’s book ‘Skin Again’. This powerpoint supports the TLN Identity Pack – there are 6 lessons in the TLN Identity Pack which can be found in Linking  Resources on the TLN website.

Skin Again (PowerPoint)

I'm Speaking I'm Listening

This simple activity helps children practice the skills needed to listen and speak with a partner or in a group. Asking children to identify and practice what good listening looks like is so helpful for their development.

I’m Speaking I’m Listening (PowerPoint)

A Tale of Two Beasts

This is a really lovely new set of resources developed by the Stockport Schools Linking Programme.  ‘A Tale of Two Beasts’ is a great book to help children grasp the idea that we all see life from a different perspective.  I can’t wait to try these out in my own teaching.

A Tale of Two Beasts (PowerPoint)

Big Sing and Big Sing Lyrics

We have worked with the Music Education team in Bradford to select these songs about friendship and peace We sung them at a linking celebration in Bradford. Songs listed include Aint no mountain high enough, Consider Yourself from Oliver;  Kis nah banaya and Don’t worry by Bob Marley.  You might choose a couple of songs to learn as a linked pair for a celebration. Many of the songs are available on Singup. The resource here includes a PowerPoint with all the words on and a song booklet in word.

Big Sing (PowerPoint)
Big Sing Lyrics (Word doc)

Bradford Music and Arts Service

What better way to bring people together than through the gift of Music?! We have worked collaboratively with the Bradford Music and Arts Service to create a playlist of friendship songs for linking schools. Schools could choose to pick a song to learn in class and then sing together during a link visit or simply enjoy singing these songs in their own class (and even teach to others). The Bradford Music and Arts Service have very kindly offered to host these songs on their website, the link is included below. Here you will find PowerPoints containing the lyrics and music to each of the songs (you will have the option of downloading the audio with or without backing vocals)- happy singing!

Bradford Music Service – Linking Schools (Web link)

Pupil Questionnaire About Social Skills

This questionnaire for pupils is a simple but powerful classroom activity asking children to self evaluate their own social skills. The questionnaire was designed with real thought several years ago by a TLN colleague  looking at many different ways of evaluating social skills. Critical to this activity succeeding is a light touch with the activity introduced in such a way that they feel comfortable to share social skills they find tricky or easy in order that they can identify ways in which they might want to move forward.

Pupil Questionnaire About Social Skills (Word doc)

Pupil Booklet

Rochdale Schools Linking programme have created this wonderful editable Pupil Booklet which you are very welcome to adapt and print for your pupils.  It helps with reflection, exchange, thinking, identity work… Thank you Rochdale!

Editable Pupil Document (PDF)


Here are some template assembly PowerPoints and scripts that have been written by teachers to share the linking work with parents and across school. You’ll have your own ideas but these are a starting point to add your own photos and examples to.

Assemblies (Page link)


A range of resources for teachers to download and print to try to save you some time if you are creating a Schools Linking Display in your own school.

Displays (Page link)

Website- Sample Text

This is a very brief starting point for text for a school website connecting Schools Linking and spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development.

Sample Text for School Websites.  (Word)

Sample Letters to Parents

These are some sample letters that have been used to explain the linking project to parents/carers. We know you will want to adapt these to your local  schools situation but we hope these provide a starting point.

Letter 1 (Word doc)
Letter 2 (Word doc)

Curriculum Links of Linking Activity

This document lists the aspects of the Primary English and the non statutory PSHE curriculum objectives covered by Schools Linking. Depending on what curriculum focus you choose for activities will determine other curriculum objectives you will cover.

Curriculum Links of Linking Activity (Word doc)

Linking CPD1 Resource Handouts

This link will take you to all of the resources given out by the TLN team at CPD1 in September 2018-2019.  You may have additional resources in your area – please contact your local facilitator.

Linking CPD1 Resources (Page link)

Photo Gallery from BIB (Born In Bradford)

These are just brilliant modern photos of children growing up in Bradford taken by the brilliant artist Ian Beasley at the inspiration of Ann Barratt. They can be freely used. They have been used in science, assemblies, work on identity and diversity. You can choose from a variety of different galleries – Twins, Dads and Families are all especially fantastic.

Born in Bradford Families (Web link)