Leicester & Leicestershire
Leicester and Leicestershire Schools Linking Project.
The Leicester Schools Linking Project, locally owned and managed by the St Philip’s Centre since 2018, provides children and young people with the opportunity to get to know others from different parts of our region. We are now recruiting for 2022-23, please get in touch if your school would like to link with another school, or with a care home.
The project provides activities for teachers that enable their pupils/students to explore their own identities and the identities of their link partners in a different school from across the city and the county. The work builds self-esteem and confidence when meeting new people and offers opportunities to recognise similarities and celebrate differences. The project challenges stereotypes and promotes the power of diversity, through carefully planned activities and opportunities for dialogue. Every activity is rooted in curriculum outcomes, from PSHE and Art to Geography and English as all provide powerful, joyful ways to improve skills in oracy, reading and writing. Engaging in this project supports and enhances many aspects of school provision considered by Ofsted.
In 2018 we were filmed for the local BBC News; take a look at our video.
Schools Linking supports communities to become stronger and more positive places for all. It is a simple, powerful and practical way to facilitate a sense of a shared Leicester/shire identity and build the self-esteem and critical thinking of our young people
The Leicester and Leicestershire Schools Linking Project is growing year on year and becoming embedded in the work of many schools across two local authorities, Leicester City and Leicestershire County Councils; both of which are promoting this work actively now as its impact increases. By 2019/20 we had reached 34 classes from primary and secondary schools, engaging over 1,000 students and despite the necessary Covid-19 restrictions in place during 2020/2021 the project adapted to operate successfully and since then we have increased significantly to engage 72 classes or around 2,100 students.
To keep us all connected through lockdown, we collaborated to produce this short video
The relationship between City and County has been strained during this difficult time and Schools Linking work is one way we can address this damage and benefit our community as we adapt and improve after the pandemic. Schools Linking plays a key role in supporting communities to become stronger and more positive places for their citizens. Schools Linking is a simple, powerful and practical way to facilitate a sense of a shared Leicester/shire identity and build the self-esteem and critical thinking of our young people.
The work still focuses on the same goals – to break down barriers, challenge misconceptions and prejudices, get to know new people and learn how much we all have in common.
We are continually recruiting schools and will hold virtual CPD sessions for teachers throughout the year to allow schools to join at any point during the year. We train all the class teachers involved to deliver the programme and provide access to a wealth of free, adaptable age-appropriate lesson plans, resources, videos, recommended book lists and much more from the TLN website and on-going support throughout the year from the local facilitator Ruth Sinhal (Linking Projects Officer).
We are now also able to offer the opportunity to link a class/ classes with a local Care Home and engage in Intergenerational Linking, Here are some of the lovely, encouraging comments that the residents of one care home have sent to the class that links with them.
Leicester Intergenerational Linking is part of Care Home Friends and Neighbours: Intergenerational Linking. This is a national initiative from My Home Life England and The Linking Network, linking young people from schools and youth organisations with older people living in care homes across England. The project is funded through the #iwill Fund. In 2021-22 we have currently 12 active partnerships bringing older and younger people together and aim to build on this figure in 2022-23.
Recent comments about linking from teachers who have taken part in secondary linking:
The linking classrooms project provides a great opportunity for students to consider what makes a vibrant community. The resources on concepts such ubuntu are highly engaging and extremely powerful.’ Nick Rigby-The Winstanley School
‘I really enjoyed it and would welcome being involved with another school again.’ Liz Mills- Bosworth Academy
‘Here at Countesthorpe Academy, we were delighted to get the invite to take part in the Schools Linking Project. Students have engaged really well with the activities, exploring the issues around identity and values. Building a sense of community and feeling like we all belong are such important parts of the education we strive to provide our students.’ Angela Howe- Countesthorpe Academy.
Comments from linking students:
‘I think that these sessions are important because we are learning the true meaning of equal’
‘One thing that stood out to us was how people feel like they have to change to meet others expectations and how they feel like they can be judged by someone who doesn’t even know them.’
‘We should all work together in union as we all have to live in this world and 14 billion hands are better than two.’
‘We should share this information because if other people see this then we can make the world a better place.’
Some fabulous lines from the students’ I am, We are poems:
I am, We are
I dream about a better world
I worry about the world
I am unique
I say everyone is different
I worry about others
I hope I belong here
To find out more or get involved, please contact:
Ruth Sinhal, Leicester and Leicestershire Schools Linking Facilitator – Email email@example.com
Follow us on
Facebook Leicester Schools Linking Project
Take a look at The SPC website www.stphilipscentre.co.uk/our-community