What is School Linking?

Link Ethiopia has run a successful school linking programme for over twenty years. We invite schools to join us in changing lives through education by engaging young people to learn more about the world around them.

A school link is a sustainable partnership that a primary or secondary school, or college enters into with a school in Ethiopia. Each link is focused on developing understanding between international schools and Ethiopia, and Link Ethiopia works to support and sustain the collaborative work, commitments, ideas, goals and experiences between the schools and individuals involved.

Start your link journey today!

Already linked and looking for lesson plans and school resources? Click here.

What are the benefits of School Linking?

Linking encourages your pupils to appreciate diversity both locally and globally and to challenge stereotypes. The UK needs global citizens and we encourage all schools and young people to engage in a meaningful, sustainable and equitable relationship with their Link partners.

Engaging Young People

Linking offers a unique opportunity to communicate with and learn from young people of different cultures.

  • Learn from workshops that integrate with Geography, PSHE, Economics, Citizenship, RE and other subjects
  • Forge friendships, build international bridges and learn alternative values
  • Develop confidence, self-esteem and personal growth

Teacher Development

Teachers also have the opportunity for personal and professional development.

  • Visit a linked school to work on joint projects, further develop friendships and experience Ethiopia first-hand
  • Learn about communicating a message, and fundraising methods
  • Participate in accredited training workshops with partners like the British Council / Make a strong application for the International School Award
  • Help develop strong student and staff leadership

Busting Myths

The School Links programme is designed to encourage children in developed countries to question the single story about ‘poor Africa’ which is often told.

  • Introduce children to different aspects of Ethiopian culture they may not be aware of, such as the food, music and history
  • Present different stories from Ethiopia outside of the aid and development narrative, so they learn about developing industries, owning health foods, and political systems
  • Invites pupils to question what they may have been told in the media about different countries and people

It takes time and effort to build up a relationship of trust between the two schools – and Link Ethiopia are always there to help.

Lynn, Teacher in Leeds

We had an Ofsted inspection... The inspector came on the day my class was introducing the link... and judged the assembly to be outstanding! Thank you.

Carolyn, Teacher in Suffolk

Involve the whole school if you can – it is much more fun that way!

Helen, Teacher in Ipswich

We found that the resources provided were so thought-provoking that they impacted on the whole ... curriculum.

Lyn, Teacher in Hertfordshire

What does a School Link look like?

What Does a School Link Look Like?

We have two school linking options so you can choose the model that best fits your school’s needs. You can build a long-term direct link with a school in Ethiopia through our School-to-School Connection, or set up a year-long Ethiopia Education Connection to engage pupils through workshops and fundraising for a school in Ethiopia.

School-to-School Connection 

A School-to-School Connection is the best option for schools wanting to work with an Ethiopian school directly enabling you to build a relationship over several years. The link will allow students to learn about a new culture and gain in-depth knowledge of another country. This is done by providing themed lesson plans each half-term, facilitating shared learning activities between your schools, and regular newsletters from our staff.

Education Ethiopia Connection 

An Education Ethiopia Connection is the best option for schools who are looking to engage their pupils with another culture and the power of practical action, without making an annual financial commitment. The link will allow pupils to gain knowledge over the year about Ethiopia and daily life there while providing an opportunity to support a specific school in Ethiopia through a fundraising activity.

Resources 

Our teaching resources are comprehensive packs including presentations, lesson plans, teaching objectives and exercises. Each resource explores a different aspect of Ethiopia, encourages children to consider how their own situation relates, and is connected to the current curriculum. The resources are available on our website and each half-term we recommend a teaching resource that is related to current events.

Welcome Assembly 

At the start of new school links a member of staff from our UK team can come to your school to deliver an assembly introducing the new school link. The assembly will introduce students to Ethiopia, explain the purpose of the link and provide students with an opportunity to ask questions about the country and international linking. When our staff visit from Ethiopia, they can also come to your school to do a workshop or assembly directly with the pupils.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Each half-term you will receive a newsletter from our UK team with selected stories about news from Ethiopia, a teaching resource recommendation with notes to relate to current events and updates and case studies from the work we are doing with children in Ethiopia. We encourage teachers to go through the newsletter with pupils and make it available on their School Link noticeboard.

Student and Teacher Exchanges

Visits by teachers in linked schools to Ethiopia, or student trips to an Ethiopia school, are a great way to cement the relationships forged through school linking. We have supported dozens of schools to successfully apply for teacher visit funding, and can support you to arrange your own student visit, or facilitate a development project visit with our partner Inspire Worldwide.

Shared Learning Activities 

School-to-School Connections complete an annual shared learning activity together. This involves students from both schools working on the same exercise and producing drawings, essays, collages that are then shared with the link school. The activities are designed to get both schools thinking from the other’s perspective and learning a little from the other along the way.

Fundraising and Taking Action

Ethiopia Education Connections hold a fundraising activity at their school to raise awareness of projects in Ethiopia and raise funds to support a school in Ethiopia. Projects include providing safe drinking water, building new classrooms or toilets, or stocking a school library with books. On completion of a fundraising project, students in the UK get a certificate to commemorate their efforts and a photo update of the completed project. School-to-School Connections are also welcome to fundraise for our project school or their linked school, and we will send photo update and certificate too.

The Backwell School & Angereb Secondary Link

Backwell Secondary school in Bristol has had a School-to-School Connection with Angereb Secondary in Gondar since 2007. This has allowed a generation of Backwell and Angereb students to communicate directly through shared learning activities and school visits. The students have participated in a shared learning activity every year and even contributed to our lesson resources by developing a shared curriculum on water use and sustainability in 2010. Backwell students have driven the link themselves, and built practical skills and first-hand knowledge of global learning, by organising fundraising activities to build new IT and toilet facilities in Angereb in 2007 and 2015 and by visiting their partner school as teaching volunteers.

FAQ’s

Why is a School Link with Link Ethiopia different?

Link Ethiopia is the only organisation dedicated to linking schools with Ethiopia. More than twenty years of experience have given us a real insight into the challenges of successful school linking and, because we work on the ground in the communities where these links exist, we have personal relationships with the schools and in-depth knowledge of their situations. Our support will ensure you avoid potential pitfalls and embark on a truly committed and productive relationship with an Ethiopian school.

Our teaching resources are designed in line with the UK curriculum across a range of subjects as well as the PSHE and SMSC requirements. Being part of a school link thus makes a valuable contribution to Ofsted requirements, as well as making your school eligible for the International School Award, and giving the opportunity to participate in British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme, which funds teacher and student exchanges between linked schools.

What does it cost?

Link Ethiopia is a registered UK charity and as such is entirely non-profit making. We keep the cost of our school links as low as possible.

A School-to-School Connection – the basic cost of managing a School-to-School Connection is £500 per annum. However, we recognise that schools have different budgets and therefore we subsidise the cost of school links for our state-funded schools.

Independent School: £500

State Secondary School (subsidised): £350

State Primary School (subsidised): £250

An Education Ethiopia Connection – we don’t want cost to be a barrier to school linking, so our Education Ethiopia Connection agrees a fundraising target for the school for the year of the connection. This is usually around £350 depending on the size of the school.

Will I get any support?

Yes! Link Ethiopia started as a school link and we have gained a great deal of experience in managing these over the last twenty years. There is a team of people in the UK on hand to help you whenever needed, we also have a Managers in both our Ethiopia offices who visit schools regularly, monitor the links and evaluate our ongoing development projects.

Our termly newsletter provides access to teaching resources, ideas and inspiration to support your link on our website, blog and social media. You can access ongoing telephone and email support from dedicated Link Ethiopia staff in London and the support of our field offices in Ethiopia. If you choose to visit Ethiopia, we will provide help and advice with organising the visits to your partner school, and in-country support from our local Ethiopian staff. We can also provide support and advice for applying for the International School Award (ISA) and for funding of collaborative projects and reciprocal visits.

How does it work?

A School-to-School Connection – At the start of a School-to-School connection we will send you a welcome pack with information about your linked schools, both the UK and Ethiopian school will be encouraged to set up a ‘school link’ noticeboard and we can arrange an assembly at your school by one of our UK team. Each half-term you will receive a newsletter and recommended teaching resource to enable your class to learn about Ethiopia. Once a year you will be sent details for a shared learning activity for your class to complete and send to Ethiopia. Your Ethiopian school link will complete the same exercise and their work will be sent to you. Our UK team will be on hand to help with any questions and can support with the arrangement of teacher and/or student visits to Ethiopia.

An Education Ethiopia Connection – At the start of an Education Ethiopia Connection we will send you a welcome pack with information about education in Ethiopia and we can arrange an assembly at your school by one of our UK team. Each half-term you will receive a newsletter and recommended teaching resource to enable your class to learn about Ethiopia. You will be sent details of a school project for your class to support and guidance on running a fundraising activity to meet your target for the link year. Our UK team will be on hand to help with any questions and can support with the arrangement of teacher and/or student visits to Ethiopia.

How long does a link last?

A School-to-School Connection – there is no formal time commitment for a School-to-School Connection, but we do ask that schools consider a period of at least 2 or 3 years to enable pupils to gain the maximum benefit.

An Education Ethiopia Connection – these last for one academic year, but the school is always welcome to renew the link.

Could I visit Ethiopia?

Yes! Our staff have experience supporting schools to arrange their own teacher and student visits to linked schools in Ethiopia. Visits breathe new life into links, cement the relationships forged through shared learning activities, and offer up a wealth of new ideas for shared global learning experiences for pupils and teachers alike. Our staff in the UK and Ethiopia are happy to help and advise you on any aspect of a school visit, from the booking of international flights, to the arrangement of accommodation near the link school. For student visits we also recommend organising a visit with our partner Inspire Worldwide who specialise in arranging overseas visits for linked schools. Many of the colleges we work with also send students to work with us on our Volunteer Placements.

Create your partnership today

Discover how a school link can make a real difference in your classroom. Get in touch with a member of the School Links team by contacting [email protected], or use the form below.