Secondary Schools Linking
04 July, 2023
‘At first I was thinking I didn’t want to come here today… it’s just awkward – I’ve never seen these people before. Then after a while you do like them and you want to stay in touch!’. Just one of the reflections from a recent face to face linking day with a pair of secondary schools in Bradford.
Our Secondary School Linking Programme is designed to break down barriers and to enable students to build empathy, respect, and confidence in contact. This past academic year has seen a return to face to face linking for our secondary students and it has been a joy to see young people connecting together despite any initial nerves!
As with our primary linking programme, we explore the 4 key questions to linking – Who am I? Who are we? Where do we live and how do we all live well together? With secondary students we dig deeply about the responses that emerge as we look into themes around differences between us, how we connect with others and how we can take action to help others.
Our hope is that we create meaningful and fun opportunities for students to connect with other students they otherwise might not meet. Students and teachers tell us that our linking programmes allow students to work alongside others to develop critical thinking, explore identity, and celebrate commonality. Through meaningful interaction and collaborative activities, the students build a sense of togetherness and trust.
One Bradford teacher commented after a recent face to face link day, ‘Brilliant day. Lots of important things to think about and a brilliant opportunity for our students – thank you’.
We’re really excited to launch 2 pathways for secondary linking – schools can choose between Connecting with Others or Taking Action. Some may even chose to offer both to their students. Both programmes include a range of activities and challenges which allow students to work together to feel connected to those around them, develop a sense of belonging to their local, national and global communities and commitment to taking action to create welcoming, kind and connected communities.
There are also opportunities for local areas and schools themselves to take their own approach to secondary school linking – it’s always inspiring to see the creativity and collaborations which bring secondary linking to life. We’ve loved hearing the success of the programme in Blackburn, Bolton, Buckinghamshire, Kent, Pendle, Rotherham and Sheffield . We’re delighted that the programme will continue to grow with more areas and schools exploring linking for secondary students in the next academic year.
You can watch a short film showcasing our Secondary Schools Linking programme here.
If you’d like to join our Secondary Schools Linking Programme please contact your local facilitator – you can find their details here.
If there is not a Schools Linking programme in your area you can contact The Linking Network to explore other ways we can support you to link.