Schools Linking in Calderdale

27 June, 2024

Children of Calderdale Connecting, Learning Together and Having Fun!

Children from Colden Junior and Infant School, Midgley School and Parkinson Lane Primary School came together as part of Calderdale’s Schools Linking Programme. Supported by Calderdale Council and The Linking Network, this is a programme which connects schools together in a year long ‘link’. Across the district there are 22 classes from 15 different schools involved. The carefully structured process allows children to first explore their own identity before then finding out about the similarities and differences they share with their linking partners in their local area. Having got to know each other via exchanged work and a video call, they then get to meet up face to face at a class visit during which they learn and play together in a safe and fun way.

According to an independent evaluation carried out by IFF Research in 2022, the programme  “was found to have a positive effect on pupils, particularly improving pupils’ confidence in meeting young people of different ethnicities, religions, and economic backgrounds; and improving pupils’ understanding of different religions, and cultures.”

Excitement levels were off the scale on the morning of the class visits! Having met up once already, the children were keen to reconnect at Parkinson Lane Primary which was the host venue.

There was a warm welcome from the children of Parkinson Lane for their special guests:

Children held up letters to form the message, ‘Welcome to Parkinson Lane’.

Connections between the children were strengthened as they chatted and played together. ‘We both love dancing!” exclaimed one child having got to know their partner a little better.

Having fun whilst working together towards a common goal is a key feature of our Schools Linking model.

A moment of synchrony as the children enjoyed dancing together in unison.

One teacher from Parkinson Lane said, “Thank you for organising such a wonderful programme! Our children have loved getting to know the Midgley children and experience the natural outdoor provisions Midgley school has. Likewise, I believe the Midgley children have appeared to enjoy what provisions we provide at Parkinson Lane – it was so lovely watching them play together”.

A teacher from Midgley School said, It’s been wonderful to be linked with … Parkinson Lane. My children were amazed at just how big their school was, but it also made them reflect on what they also loved about our own school. Their end of day dance show was also brilliant, many of ours were sat mesmerised!

This week – 24th to 28th June – is The Linking Network’s national Schools Linking Celebration Week. Classes from across the country will join together to celebrate their Schools Linking achievements this year in a series of live sessions and special events in local communities.

We are currently recruiting schools for next year’s programme, so if your school is interested in getting involved, get in touch with Sarah Hetherington, TLN Advisor on sarah.hetherington@thelinkingnetwork.org.uk

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