The Linking Programme

Sheffield schools met at DECSY and The Graves Gallery, Sheffield (Museums Sheffield) to carry out activities relating to Grayson Perry’s Comfort Blanket and P4C (Philosophy for Children) sessions.


A Story from Sheffield

Newfield and Hinde House secondary schools have been linking a small group of Year 8/9 EAL pupils. They carried out their neutral venue visit at DECSY visiting the Grayson Perry Comfort Blanket at Sheffield’s Graves Art Gallery. This was followed up by pupils designing, producing and exchanging their own ‘Comfort Blankets’ which now form part of a school display. The groups carried out their first and second class visits (to Newfield School on 19thDec and to Hinde House on 20thMarch). On each occasion a P4C enquiry has taken place led by DECSY. At the Hinde House session the EAL pupils used the ‘Skin Again’ book as the stimulus and generated and chose the question ‘Why is race such a big issue?’ which led to a powerful enquiry and follow-up activity. Staff at the school have been trained in P4C and it is hoped that they will lead future sessions.  A final celebration activity took place on 4thJune where the two groups went ice skating together. They have since completed pieces of reflective writing. At a recent EAL conference, having seen the display about the link, other schools expressed an interest in this type of exchange.


How we feel about the Linking programme

The programme seems to have led to some interesting outcomes around boosting the confidence of slightly marginalised or quieter children and has certainly broken down barriers and widened horizons to the extent that teachers have noticed these benefits. One of the P4C enquiries was particularly powerful.


How others feel about the Linking programme

“We had a really amazing time…Thank you. Getting the children back was hard…they were so excited they would have been happy to stay all day. We loved it. THANK YOU AGAIN.” Teacher Malin Bridge Primary School, Sheffield.

“‘I think other schools should do it because it helps children make new friends and no one judged anyone. We all supported each other’s opinions.”  Pupil

“I got the confidence and support from other schools to be a part of the group.” Pupil



Rob Unwin, Development Education Centre (South Yorkshire)