Special School Linking
At The Linking Network, we are here to support all kinds of schools, to form thoughtful linking partnerships that benefit everyone who is involved. Special School – Mainstream Linking is an important part of the Network. We are sharing case studies here of different links that have taken place, with examples from Bradford, Bolton, Buckinghamshire and Tower Hamlets.
In Bradford, Hazelbeck Special School and Beckfoot School, were allocated funding this year from the All in Award. Within the space of only ten weeks, they were able to bring together an amazing Performing Arts Link, leading to a fabulous evening performance for parents. The two schools plan to sustain this highly successful link into the future.
‘It was overwhelming to see my child in this’ Parent at Hazelbeck review meeting
‘It was such a special evening, very moving and full of such talent from both schools. The inclusivity of the event was brilliant and seeing the huge smiles on everyone’s faces was so special: ‘ You did that!’ The Hazelbeck staff were an absolute inspiration the way they make every student feel special, get totally immersed in what is going on and make such a difference. I was genuinely moved and loved the whole evening, such very special staff and students on show that made such a difference to so many people.’ Head of Music Beckfoot School
‘My favourite part was the interaction between students and the way the students looked after each other. It was a really positive place to be… students get the vibe from you. Backstage was as fun as front of house! It’s what we love to do so it was great to feed it through to the children.’ Lead Teachers
In Buckinghamshire Dr Challoner’s Grammar School (a selective grammar school for boys) and Stony Dean School (a community special school and specialist SEN college) began linking two years ago. The first year’s Linking Project focused on working with the Town Council and Amersham in Bloom. Students designed and planted a planting scheme for spring bulbs and then did tree planting. The students produced a video documenting and reflecting their experiences and their spring bulb display featured in a BBC documentary about Britain in Bloom shown in April 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l53sX7BqBo
Bolton: School linking between Pendle View Primary School and Holly Grove Primary School started when both lead teachers were invited to a CPD course at Burnley Faith Centre in October 2018. Both schools are special schools, based in east Lancashire, in neighbouring districts, and cater for children aged 3-11 with a range of special educational needs. It was agreed between the lead staff members that due to the backgrounds, needs and developmental levels of our pupils (all from special schools) that the linking would focus on social skills including meeting and interacting with new people appropriately, developing friendships; beginning to recognise similarities and differences between ourselves and others and celebrate/ begin to show respect for these.
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