Launched in November 2020, Bristol School Linking enables Bristol’s children to build friendships with those from very different backgrounds and communities to their own. It provides a space within classrooms and across classrooms for students to discuss issues of identity, belonging, race, faith and community. This is especially important in Bristol as Bristol is the most culturally and ethnically diverse area in the south-west. It hasn’t been the easiest start to a programme, but there has still been lots of energy and creativity for Linking, as shown by these Linking children sending ‘hello’ message to their partners (below).
Bristol School Linking will provide teachers with the lesson plans, resources and confidence to digitally connect with a partner class, from a demographically different school, over an academic year.
Using the questions: Who am I? Who are we? Where do we live? and How do we all live together?, the programme will focus on a sense of belonging in our home, school and city communities – enabling Bristol’s children to connect and reach across difference.
The pandemic separated children from family and loved ones, and also from each other, at a time when issues of racial justice and identity have been at the forefront of current events in the city. We believe that Bristol School Linking can help children to reach across the distance and divides caused by the pandemic to forge relationships that will help Bristol to build back better and help the children of Bristol to build a tolerant, inclusive and more understanding city for the future. We’ve had such positive comments; this is what Bristol Linking teachers have to say about the project:
“One of the most powerful aspects was children beginning to reflect about themselves – they learnt more about who they are, what they do, and what they take for granted.”
“They saw that kids living 20 minutes away had a really different life experience than them.”
“They want to do it again next year – either with the same schools or different, and take it further!”
Anna Wright, Project Manager, at Bristol School Linking firstname.lastname@example.org
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Take a look at our website to find out more: https://www.bridgesforcommunities.com/linking