The Schools Linking Programme
DECSY is working as part of the Linking Network to deliver the Schools Linking Programme. The programme is running in Sheffield and Rotherham in 2017 and 2018, and its aim is to bring together sets of two classes from demographically diverse schools, creating year-long, curriculum-rich class links for pupils in Key Stages 2 or 3. School Linking has just been endorsed and funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for Education (DfE).
The Schools Linking Programme builds on the success of the Building Communities through Dialogue Project which was run by DECSY and took place from 2011 to 2014. This project was funded by the Paul Hamlyn foundation, and used dialogic learning methods to encourage young people to communicate constructively and build trust with people from different backgrounds to their own.
“The linking model can have a positive impact on many aspects of pupil’s skills, attitudes, perceptions and behaviours, particularly their respect for others, their self-confidence and self-efficacy, as well as broadening the social groups with whom they interact.” – The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) evaluation of School Linking.
Three linked visits have taken place this year at Scotia Works in Sheffield, including Philosophy for Children (P4C) and visits the the Grayson Perry Tapestry at the Graves Art Gallery, which can be seen in the photograph below. The tapestry’s depiction of what it means to be British sparked some exciting discussion on ‘British Values’.