Pupils, teachers and special guests from across Rotherham and Sheffield celebrated the first anniversary success of the Rotherham School Linking Project, at a special event held at Winterhill School in Kimberworth this week
The project has involved 17 primary and secondary schools from across Rotherham and one from Sheffield, who have been matched with a school with pupils from different backgrounds than their own, as part of building confidence to meet new people and awareness of how we are all part of One Town One Community. The project is being funded by the Schools Linking Network, which is based in Bradford and is backed by Rotherham Council and the Catholic Diocese of Hallam. All of the schools who took part made presentations and showed videos of their experiences and the pupils said in their own words what they had got out of the project.
Clifton - A Community Arts School, St Bernards’ Catholic High School and Dinnington Comprehensive also showed an animated film they had made of their recent adventures when all three schools linked up on a residential weekend at Crowden Activity Centre.
Most of the students had visited either Don Valley Stadium where they took part in sports related activities with Rotherham United Community Sports Trust or with the Rotherham Titans RUFC. They then visited each others’ schools to find out more about the other pupils. Winterhill School went on a day trip to Cleethorpes to discover more about the history of the area with Saint Pius Catholic High School and also took part in tree planting as a symbol of the friendships that will grow and flourish. All the schools linking activities have included teamworking, confidence building and learning new skills, such as IT, finance and making ethical decisions.
Cllr Mahroof Hussain, Cabinet Member for Community Development Equality and Young People’s Issues, said: “It is fantastic to hear today so many positive comments from the
Cllr Mahroof Hussain, Cabinet Member for Community Development Equality and Young People’s Issues, said: “It is fantastic to hear today so many positive comments from theyoung people themselves of what their experiences of the School Linking project have been. We have heard about good team building, how they have made long lasting friendships and how they have mixed with pupils from different backgrounds that they would not normally have the chance to meet. They have shown how it has helped to increase their confidence and break down barriers between pupils, showing just how much they have in common. This has been a hugely successful project and we expect that we will see benefits from this for a long time into the future.”
Cllr Shaun Wright JP, the Mayor of Rotherham, presented a certificate to each individual school which had completed the project. John Cape, Co-Director of Education for the Diocese of Hallam, said: “Young people learn from experience and it is activities like this that bring people together in our community and help to build lasting relationships. We are delighted that the Schools Linking programme has been such a success in Rotherham, helping to improve the life chances of young people and contributing to a more just and cohesive society.”
The following school links were represented at the celebration:
St. Bernard's Catholic High , Clifton , A Community Arts School and Dinnington Comprehensive.
Winterhill School and St.Pius Catholic High.
St. Mary's (Herringthorpe) RC Primary and Sitwell Junior
St. Mary's Catholic Primary (Maltby) and St. Catherine's Catholic Primary, Sheffield
St. Gerard's Catholic Primary and Canklow Woods Schools
Meadow View and Blackburn Primary Schools
One Town, One Community is about creating a feeling of belonging to one community here in Rotherham, where individuals demonstrate unity, mutual understanding and shared values, celebrating our differences and what binds us all together.