Planning with your Link Partner
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It is very important to plan carefully with your partner. You will need to spend at least one planning meeting discussing the bigger picture - why both schools want to link, explore similarities and differences between schools and agree joint aims and the purpose of the link. It is good practice to draw up a partnership agreement that can be signed by both schools. This can then be referred to when developing ideas for the link. Further planning meetings can then focus on planning actual curriculum activities.
Partnership agreements take many different forms here are two very different examples:
Questions to ask when planning with your partner:
- What are both schools reasons / aims for linking? What do you both hope to achieve?
- Have you written down and agreed your key aims in a partnership agreement?
- Have you considered visiting each other's schools to gain a better understanding of the differences between the schools?
- Have you shared what each school can offer? What expertise can each school offer?
- Have you shared School Development plans?
- Is there a good time for teachers from both schools to meet? What are the different timetables for the schools?
- What is the best way to communicate with each other? Fax / email?
- How much time will it take to plan your link? What would be a realistic time scale for activities?
- Are there any staff training needs in relation to the link? Could this be done jointly and be part of the link activities?
- What activities could you do?
- Have you explored curriculum themes for the link? How do they fit into schemes of work? Have you exchanged schemes of work?
- Have you considered preparation activities you need to do to support your link and prepare your students? Do you need to do anti-racist work/disability awareness at the start of your link? What do you pupils already know? Have you considered doing baseline assessments?
- Have you considered what teaching resources you might need to support your link? Have you visited LGEC's resource library or your local DEC? (see Support Available pages)
- Who is going to be involved? Which classes? Which teachers?
- How will you evaluate your link?
- Are both heads / management teams on board with the link? Have the headteachers met?
- Do the governors support the link? Do they need any training?
- Have you considered parental responses to your link?
- How could you local community be involved in the link? How will you involve parents in the link?
- How will you ensure your whole school knows about the link? Could part of link activities be to do assemblies/presentations/displays?