Students at Walkden explore their Roots

Students at Walkden explore their Roots

Our students at Co-op Academy Walkden have been taking part in a very special virtual project called Roots. The Roots Programme was set up to help bring young people from different countries and cultures together to deepen their understanding of themselves and the lives of others.

The idea behind the Roots Programme is that through young people from different communities connecting, nurturing friendships, and finding commonalities, they can build a:

‘more connected, compassionate and curious society, one built on dialogue rather than debate.”

(Vision –

The Roots Programme enables small groups of young people to virtually meet up and share information about their identity, their families, and relationships, and how they feel they play their part in society, both locally and globally.

Mr Mangas, Assistant Principal, who facilitated the Roots Programme at Co-op Academy Walkden, said, “I thought this was such an important programme to bring to our students. Over the past few years, political and social turmoil has led to greater cultural divides. It’s been great to show our students that our future can be more united and that working together to succeed in overcoming global issues is what matters the most.”  

Samuel, in Year 8, has been part of the project and has enjoyed every moment; he said, “The Roots programme is all about bringing people from different backgrounds together and helping us build friendships between people we wouldn’t normally interact with.

My time at Roots was shared with a group of people from a school in Geneva in Switzerland.

We filled in Google Jamboards that showed each other our roots. We filled our Jamboards with where we came from, information about our family, and hobbies. We used the Jamboards to share our information whilst also learning about the lives of the other participants in Geneva. I loved it, and it gave me something every week to look forward to.

We used Zoom to its full advantage and got to know each other pretty well. I am pretty amazed that most of the people from Geneva could speak about three languages. I can only speak English and a tiny bit of French!

On the 8th of May, we have our final session coming up where we will meet another Roots group, so four schools will all interact together. Hopefully, this will make a session I will never forget. I’m very excited.

If you ever get the opportunity to sign up for Roots, you should go for it! I have enjoyed everything about it.”

Mr Mangas concluded, “Our students have got a lot out of this project, and we must thank the Roots Programme for setting it up and facilitating it. It has been such a crucial and impactful programme.”