During the course of the last year, five Year 12 students from DCGS participated in a number of events with Year 11 students from Stony Dean School. The scheme is a national programme organised by The Linking Network, which brings together two nearby schools that have different backgrounds and address different educational needs. In doing so, it removes misconceptions and supports students from both schools to undertake activities collectively, collaboratively and cohesively.

A huge vote of thanks must go to Mr Spenceley (DCGS) and Mr Brameld (Stony Dean) who were the lead teachers for the three days throughout the year over which the project took place.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/7l53sX7BqBo

Day One

We met at Amersham Town Council. At first we felt a little nervous, but we quickly got to know each other. We did some teambuilding games where we paired up and we had to find out as much as we could about our partner, and then report back to the group. We made tea and coffee, and shared biscuits, stories and jokes. We discussed our hopes for the future and our plans for work and careers. We found that we got along well and it wasn’t nearly as awkward as we expected.

After lunch we went to the High Street to plant some bulbs and flowers for the local community. We had planned out some patterns for planting the bulbs, and now can’t wait to see them in full bloom. It was interesting to try something different, even if it was freezing cold and wet and we’ll credit our success to the hot chocolate break that kept our hands warm!

Esmé and Tom

Day Two

We started at Stony Dean with a tour given by the students. From both perspectives, we were unsure as to what to expect from each other and we may have appeared a little apprehensive. However, as the day continued, we realised we had a lot in common and our attitude quickly turned to one of communication and cooperation.

From a group discussion about where we were from, what our future prospects were and how our communities could become more sustainable spaces, we moved into the active part of the day where we built paper towers. Despite our group’s attempt at a tower failing abysmally, the harmonious spirit coupled with a good level of communication ensured that we had fun, regardless of the outcome.

After lunch, we began our trek down to the nature reserve for tree planting, but along the way we came across some horses in a field, which we admired and petted for a while. In groups of three, we planted trees for the rest of the afternoon and, at the end of the day, we could certainly say that we had an immense amount of fun.

Marshall, Mo and Lillie

Day Three

The day began by giving the Stony Dean students tours around DCGS. We followed this with some refreshments and discussion of plans for the rest of the day. At this point, we were all comfortable with talking and interacting with each other.

Next, we went to the Sports Hall for some rock climbing. The Stony Dean students were excited by the facilities and everyone got involved. Teamwork was essential, and we developed our climbing skills in addition to overcoming the challenges. This was a valuable and enjoyable experience for us, which we followed by filming some clips around the school for a video about the project. We ended the day by ordering pizzas for everyone; we were all extremely happy with our efforts over the course of the day and it was a great way to finish the Schools Link Project.

Jamie and Amiytha

Learning

Our experience of the Schools Link Project enabled us to meet new people and to develop our social skills. We learnt how to work well together in a team in outdoor activities, which also helped us to understand what is involved in some of the tasks that the Council undertakes. Lastly, and importantly, we made new friendships, had fun and enjoyed ourselves very much.

Georgia, Tyler and Jack