Owls Class (Year 4) are very excited to be taking part this year in school linking with Holly Grove special school as part of 'The Linking Network'.
The 'Linking Network' is a national organisation which works to bring groups of children from different schools together with the aim to help children develop spiritually, socially, morally and culturally. It was agreed with the lead staff member at Holly Grove that due to the needs and developmental levels of our pupils the linking work between us would focus on social skills including meeting and interacting with new people appropriately, developing friendships and on beginning to recognise similarities and differences between ourselves and others and celebrate/ begin to show respect for these.
Our work so far
In the Autumn Term children from both schools were introduced to the idea of 'Making New Friends'. Discussions took place in Owls Class about how we felt about making new friends and whether we thought children in the other class would be the same or different to us.
We read the story 'The Hueys in the New Jumper'- The story follows the character Rupert who decides he doesn't want to be the same as the other Hueys anymore and so he makes a new Jumper. After the other Hueys being horrified at first about him deciding to be different, gradually the idea of being different catches on and everyone wants to be different. This lead to some talk about what is the same/ different about different children in Owls Class e.g. do we like to do the same things?, do we look the same? etc.
Each child then created a Jigsaw piece with some information about themselves on, including their picture, a drawing/ symbols to show their family and some writing/ symbols about things they like to do.
At the beginning of the Spring Term Mrs Heginbotham took Owls Class work to share with the class at Holly Grove. Their teacher then came to visit us.
The most exciting part of our work so far was when we finally met each other!
We had a fantastic day at Burnley Youth Theatre. Before hand we all created our own T-shirts, just as the Hueys eventually all make jumpers in the book, so that we would look like one team rather than 2 different schools. We played ice-breaker games including singing and drama activities and question games to find out more about each other. Although we were from 2 different schools we found out that lots of us had things in common! The activities really helped both groups build confidence in interacting with each other and by lunch time a number of children were playing together independently.
In the afternoon we split into 2 groups to take part in a drama about our 2 schools coming together which incorporated talk about how we felt at the beginning of the day compared to the end of the day and some dancing! Amazing!
We look forward to continuing our linking work over the rest of the year and hopefully beyond. More updates will be posted as we continue our work together.
Mrs Heginbotham (Owls Class Teacher)