We are very excited that Leeds City Council and Leeds DEC, who launched their linking partnership with TLN at the end of 2019, were able to bring some of their 14 classes of linking children together before lockdown began in March. Their linking year actually began for teachers with a full training day back in November 2019 and was followed by additional training days in January and March 2020. In 2020-21 we are excited to still be linking and to have already delivered online training to some of our teachers.
Last year it was an exciting launch to the Leeds Linking Programme, with classes meeting for the first time at a neutral venue (Leeds Art Gallery) organised by Leeds DEC, and linked to wide ranging aspects of curriculum. Over the course of the year the children would have come together and corresponded with each other in between meetings; ending the year with a celebration.
We did achieve 4 neutral venue visits at the Art Gallery before lockdown started. Classes from Hovingham Primary, Beechwood Primary, Weetwood Primary, Greenmount Primary, Grimes Dyke Primary and St. Chads Primary enjoyed playing games, creating a sculpture in small groups, exploring the gallery and creating portraits of their partner.
It was interesting and encouraging to see how much the children grew in confidence throughout the day, and how some of the children bonded very quickly with children from their link school.
Here are our favourite overheard quotes:
(When the children were drawing each other in pairs) “My nose looks like a carrot!” “My nose looks more like a boot!”
“Can we sit with our new friends?”
“The children from our partner school are really confident and kind!”
” This is so much fun!”
One answer to the question ‘What have you learnt today?’
“I learnt my partner is the bestest friend I’ve ever made. He is really kind!”
The teachers also shared their impressions of the programme:
“Brilliant initiative, its made us think we want to start even younger with our children”
“Really nice for our kids to have this kind of interaction. We have used the games and activities with key worker children and the themes of identity and community have been really important to focus on during this time”
“Our school doesn’t really mix with any other schools so this is really important. The children gelled together really quickly and had a wonderful shared experience.”
“The most useful piece of training I’ve been on for a long time because you are speaking from practical experience.”
It was such a shame that lockdown prevented the other schools meeting, but all the teachers that took part in the programme are keen to carry on with the programme next academic year.
If you would like to find out more, please contact Hannah Langdana at Leeds DEC firstname.lastname@example.org
tel: 0113 3731767
Find out more about Leeds DEC here
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