Schools celebrate efforts to bring children closer together

Date published: 22 July 2022

Schools across Oldham have recently come together to celebrate efforts to build cohesion and solidarity within the borough’s communities.

This follows the work of 26 local primary schools and their involvement in the Schools Linking Project, a national initiative aimed at building relationships amongst younger people who may not otherwise meet.

For the past 12 months, children aged 8-11 have had the opportunity to meet pupils from other schools and learn more about their own experiences during visits to different schools, Gallery Oldham and the Castleshaw Centre.  

Participating pupils have also accessed workshops, physical activities, trails and online resources, with teachers encouraging pupils to develop a sense of belonging in their community and foster a commitment to support their own communities.

At the heart of this work has been the sharing of time, experiences and conversations with other children and young people from different backgrounds.

Councillor Mohon Ali, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “Oldham is a vibrant and diverse borough and it’s important we celebrate this as we have a rich history of people from different backgrounds and cultures living and working together.

“The Schools Linking project is the perfect tool for us to do this as it provides our children and young people with a fantastic opportunity to learn more about different communities who they may not have previously met.”

Headteacher Trish Burton, from St Hilda's CE Primary School, added: “The Schools Linking Project provides our children with the opportunity to build confidence and develop vital communication skills.  

"Through a series of carefully planned, shared experiences, children from different settings build friendships and recognise that they share many of the same values and aspirations.  

"Schools Linking enables children to understand the way in which they can unite and influence their own future for the better.

"It is most certainly a powerful platform for building community cohesion and supporting global citizenship."

Thousands of classes across 29 local authorities took part in the Schools Linking Celebration Week in June, with 65 classes in total coming from Oldham.

As part of the celebrations, Oldham’s schools showcased some of the work children had been involved in as part of an exhibition held in Gallery Oldham.

The exhibition included things such as banners that the children created during their activity day at Gallery Oldham and other materials displayed as part of team building activity days at Castleshaw.

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