• News & Updates
  • “One of the best things I did this year was to ask if my school could join Schools Linking!”

“One of the best things I did this year was to ask if my school could join Schools Linking!”

09 April, 2024

So reflected a Year 5 teacher from Luton, having watched her children meet up with their linking partners. “I’m so pleased with the excitement and friendships they have around the project.” Read on to find out what children up and down the country have been getting up to as part of our Primary Schools Linking programme.

Having been introduced to their linking partners and begun to get to know them through their exchanged identity work in the Autumn, the excitement levels go off the chart during the Spring Term as online, face-to-face meetings take place as well as real life opportunities for Social Action. 

Online Meetings: classes deepen their connection

Whilst adults might have a certain jaded attitude towards online meetings, still scarred by the memories of lockdown, this is by no means the case for children! Teachers consistently report that children are fascinated by seeing their new linking partners, matching the names to faces and asking them curiosity questions. Playing games virtually, having fun and simply laughing together deepens the connections established during the exchange of identity work. Whilst initially they might be struck by all the differences – school uniforms, ethnic backgrounds, classroom environments – through the games they play and the questions they ask, they soon find to their delight, so many things they have in common. This virtual meeting is an important part of the process. Not only deepening the connection, but also helping to reduce any anxiety prior to meeting up in person.

Face-to-face meetings: working towards a common goal

Here children in Bristol are meeting for the first time at RWA Bristol, an art gallery acting as a ‘neutral venue’. Having got over those initial nerves via a range of icebreaker activities, the children engage in collaborative tasks, designed to once more deepen that connection established in the earlier sessions. Research has shown that by working towards a common goal – in this case, jointly creating a sculpture – positive relationships, indeed friendships are more readily formed. 

Social Action: connecting via shared values

Connecting via values is another important stage in the schools linking process, again aimed at helping children to appreciate how much they have in common. The value of kindness can be seen strongly through these wonderful Kindness Trees shared between partners! Such creativity!

Children are asked what they would like to take action on in their local community and these are recorded on leaves. They then discuss and agree on which pieces of social action they would like to take part in so that they will actually make a positive difference within their local community. Social Action projects taking place this Spring Term have been varied! From planting seeds and litter picking to gathering and sharing positive news stories. The experience of having a positive impact on the world around them empowers and inspires children, building a tangible sense of shared values across link classes. Some schools are combining this with the Big Help Out, encouraging people across the country to get involved with taking positive action. @TheBigHelpOut24  

Recruiting now for 2024-25!

If you would like your school to have the chance to provide this unique opportunity for your children to make connections with others, with whom they might not ordinarily meet, and help build your local community, then find your local Schools Linking programme here.

Want to stay up to date with the latest information and resources?

Sign up