• News & Updates
  • What advice would you give to children starting Schools Linking?

What advice would you give to children starting Schools Linking?

01 July, 2024

At first it might be scary but later on it will get better because they become one of your friends.”

This was the advice that Ava would give children starting out on their Schools Linking Journey. Ava is a pupil at Burley Woodhead CE Primary School in Bradford and her class have been taking part in Schools Linking this year with children from Dixons Music Primary. Schools Linking is centred around four key questions: ‘Who am I?’ ‘Who are we?’ ‘Where do we live?’ and ‘How do we all live well together?’

The children started the year thinking about the multiple aspects of their own identities in their classrooms. They created ‘identity maps’ and sent them to each other. By reading about the children in their link class, children began to find similarities and differences and develop curiosity to find out more about others in their linking class.

Next the two classes connected via a video call to play games before meeting together twice in each other’s schools. These class visits often start with nerves and apprehension but through carefully planned team-building activities, connections and friendship between different groups of children are strengthened and the real joy and magic of Schools Linking is evident. 

These children are now excited to share their top tips with the next year group in September. 

For another pupil, Sam, exchanging identity work before meeting really helped him feel more confident when meeting face to face, “Just don’t be scared, just go in there confident and you know who they are sort of because of the identity maps so just try and make friends.”

Our fully resourced Schools Linking programmes take place in 25 local authority areas in England. There is strong research evidence that meaningful, positive contact between people from different backgrounds, such as that which occurs in Schools Linking, can reduce prejudice and increase trust and understanding between groups, leading to a greater sense of togetherness. Research tells us that preparation prior to meeting can reduce anxiety about contact (e.g. Turner & Cameron, 2016). What is more, taking part in Schools Linking enables children and young people to develop skills of enquiry, critical thinking, reflection and communication, building empathy, trust and dispelling misperception and fear. 

We are recruiting schools now for Schools Linking next year. Click here to get in touch.

Finally, Zef, one of the children taking part in Schools Linking in Bradford, summarizes his thoughts: “It’s more than a linking project. You’re inviting people into your life, meeting new friends that you didn’t even know existed but we have so much in common. It’s just really fun.”

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

Sign up