The Newsletter

The Newsletter

Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 28th May 2021 – Year 11 – Leaver’s Day
  • Friday 28th May 2021 – All students break up for half term
  • Monday 7th June 2021 – Year 7 – 10 return to school for the last half term
  • Friday 11th June 2021 – Year 10 Reports sent to parents/carers
  • Thursday 8th July 2021 – Year 7 and 8 Reports sent to parents/carers
  • Thursday 15th July 2021 – Year 9 Reports sent to parents/carers
  • Thursday 15th July 2021 – Year 11 Prom

Lost Property

We have many items of lost property that need claiming; these items are stored in Student Services. If you think that your child has lost an item of clothing or equipment, please ask them to check at Student Services before 5th July 2021. Any items that are left at Student Services after that date will be donated to charity.

Useful Links

Careers Advice and Guidance Website

We are committed to ensuring that all students access a high-quality careers education programme and impartial advice. Our careers website is regularly updated with information for students and parents, why not head there for guidance?

Mental Health Awareness Week

We are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week this week. You can find out more about it on their website, along with lots of valuable resources and information. 

Principal’s Welcome

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to the latest edition of the newsletter. As always, it’s a great snapshot into academy life, and we hope you enjoy it.

Key assessments

The last three weeks have been really important for our Year 10 and Year 11 students in particular as they have completed key assessments. Their attitude and focus has been exemplary throughout. Well done to all students for their commitment and attitudes during this time.

Year 11 Leavers

Friday 28th May will be the final official day for Year 11 students. We will be hosting a special breakfast and assembly to celebrate their five-year journey with us, along with the traditional shirt signing and leavers’ books. For the first two weeks after the break, we are also running a ‘transition school’ to help prepare them for the next steps into college or apprenticeships. We hope that lots of them will participate.

Covid update and face coverings

We have had two confirmed Covid cases in Year 8 over the past week, and one case in Year 11. Unfortunately, we have had to isolate 67 students as a result. We appreciate the support and patience from parents whenever this happens, despite the frustrations.

Just a few miles away, in the Bolton area, Covid cases have risen at an alarming rate in the last two weeks, including the new variants. This is of concern to our community, and we all need to act cautiously.

Earlier this week, the Department for Education changed its national guidance for the use of face coverings in schools, but they were clear that guidance may be strengthened in response to localised outbreaks. In response to the change in guidance, from Monday 17th May, we will continue to recommend that face coverings are worn in class but will not insist on this. We will require students to continue wearing face coverings in corridors and communal areas where there are larger numbers of students moving at the same time. We will review this after two weeks at the end of term.

I want to thank the families who are continuing to do the lateral flow tests and log the results with us and the NHS. Most of the positive cases we have been alerted to have been picked up by these, and they continue to be a useful tool in the fight against the virus.

Uniform standards

I want to extend a huge thanks to parents and carers for your support with uniform standards over the past two weeks. We have had a brilliant response from students, and they are looking much smarter as a result. We believe that wearing a uniform teaches young people to dress smartly and take pride in their appearance. It also teaches them to have respect for themselves and the community they represent. The school uniform promotes equality for all and reminds us that we’re here to learn. PE days have been the biggest challenge, and we have supported students and families to get this right. To help clarify expectations for all, we have updated the guidance on what is acceptable and not here.

As always, if any families need support with any aspect of uniform, please do contact us at, and we will do what we can to help. Full uniform expectations can be found here.

My best wishes for the weekend ahead.

Matt Hacker

Governor Voice

I am pleased to be able to introduce myself in this edition of the newsletter. My name is Claire Hardwick, and I am in my second term as a parent governor.

I live in Boothstown, and I am a former pupil of Walkden High School; however, my family’s association with the school goes back further as my mum was a teacher at Walkden in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

My background is in education, as a primary school teacher in Salford. I applied to become a governor to continue to be involved in education after leaving teaching due to ill health.

As well as a member of the full governing board and the student standards committee, I am also the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities governor for the Academy. I am very passionate about this part of my governor role as my eldest child was a student with SEND at the Academy. She was the first wheelchair user in the school’s history. I hope that in this role, I can ensure that students with SEND receive equality in their education, opportunities, and experiences that helps them all fulfil their potential.

During the past year, the governors worked hard remotely to support the staff through this difficult time. I realise that there has been a lot of extra pressure on staff with the need for virtual and in-school lessons. I also know that the senior leaders have been working tirelessly to keep all staff and students safe. Understandably the workload for staff has increased, and I appreciate and thank Mr Hacker and his team for their hard work.

On a personal note, I would like to congratulate all the students for settling back quickly into a more “normal” Academy experience. My youngest child, who is in Year 9, and I, are very grateful that the Academy has made this transition a smooth experience. I would also like to say good luck to all the Year 11 students who leave the Academy this year and wish them all the best for the future.

What’s going on at Walkden?

Our Year 11 students’ time is drawing to a close, which is incredibly exciting but probably a little scary. So, to fully support them, we’ve put together ‘Transition College.’

‘Transition College’ will run from 24th May 2021 for three weeks. Students can sign up for college taster sessions, CV writing sessions, and 1:1 careers guidance. All sessions will be delivered by guest staff from local colleges, apprenticeship providers, and JobCentre Plus.

If students book on and attend one of the ‘Transition College’ sessions and let us know where they are going next year, they will also receive their Year 11 Leavers Hoodie for free.

Find out more here.

In March, students took part in Comic Relief to raise money for people living in poverty. Mr Mangas, Assistant Principal, set up a joke competition that students could get involved in. With a donation, students could submit a joke to be judged by the Academy community. It was a tight competition, but Oliver in Year 11 was crowned the King of Comedy at Co-op Academy Walkden.

We were also able to donate £100 to Comic Relief. Thank you to all of our students and parents who donated or got involved by submitting a joke!

A couple of weeks ago, Year 11 students had a virtual presentation by the National Citizenship Service. The National Citizenship Service Programme is for 16 – 17-year-old students to get involved in during the summer holiday. Students work in a team to develop essential skills through taking part in team-building and social action projects. You can find out more here:

This week, we have been supporting Mental Health Awareness Week at Co-op Academy Walkden. This is a national awareness week, and the theme for this year is nature. We have been promoting several activities for our students to get involved in, connecting them to nature to improve mental health. You can read more about our Mental Health Awareness activities and the Co-op/Mind mental health survey results here. You can also learn more about getting support both inside and outside of the Academy.

In readiness for the restart of our CCF contingent, staff members have been updating their training and qualifications.

Staff have been to visit another CCF contingent at Hulme Grammar School to update their Weapons Handling Tests which they all passed.

The staff training finished with a competition. After five shots by each staff member, the results were in, a victory for Mr Green! Word has it he hasn’t mentioned this victory since; he certainly hasn’t left the score sheet on his desk to mention to everyone that he has seen…..!

Year 11, Sonny, scored with an offer of a Premier League Football contract at Brighton and Hove Albion FC. Sonny visited the club but decided to do what matters most, and develop his future career in the North West. We are proud of Sonny for staying true to himself. Read more here.

We are pleased to announce that we have more extra-curricular activities opening up to students at Co-op Academy Walkden. On the week of the 17th May, the Music department will be starting to offer three activities. These are:

  • Ukulele Club for Year 7 on a Monday lunchtime
  • Band on a Monday after school
  • Junior Choir on a Tuesday after school for Years 7 – 9.

If any students are interested in joining the activities, please tell them to see Mr Logie or Mr Holden. You can find a complete programme of the extra-curricular activities currently running at Co-op Academy Walkden here.

Calling all cyclists!

We have organised free bike servicing sessions for our students and staff, as part of a scheme called Dr Bike.

Dr Bike sessions are run by experienced, qualified mechanics, who check everything from wheels to brakes, gears to tyre pressure, and lights to saddles. If they find that your child’s bike needs any minor adjustments, they will fix it right there and then. Anything they can’t fix, the onsite mechanics will give you and your child advice, along with a rough guide to cost.

The first two Dr Bike sessions are being held at Co-op Academy Walkden on Monday 17th and 24th May 2021. With another session planned for the 31st May 2021.

To book a slot for your child’s bike, please access the the following link:

All we ask is that your child’s bike is clean and that you provide a bike lock to secure it. 

On the day, we ask that your child brings their bike to the main bike shed. Captain Murphy will be there to take their bike lock key or lock combination, ready for it to be serviced. If you have any questions, please email Mr Mangas or Captain Murphy via

Student Highlights

This week, we are featuring the work of Harry, who is in Year 7.

Harry has created this vibrant collage of patterns and colours in this piece, and we love it! Well done, Harry. This is a fantastic piece!

Last week, Mrs Crane, Head of PRE and PSHE, emailed us some fantastic work for Year 8. Mrs Crane explained in her email how thrilled she was at the effort and achievements of the Year 8’s in their ‘Spirited Arts’ project. We picked to feature Evie’s work from the project, entitled ‘God’s Good Earth’. Well done to Evie for her colourful and thoughtful piece, and well done to all of the Year 8 students who put a lot of effort into their projects.

Literacy Corner: Parental tip and recommendations for young people’s reads

Our literacy team often gets asked by parents to recommend books for their teens to read. So, here are three adventure books that the team would recommend for your child:

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson. Heavily influenced by Russian folk tales, this is a charming read. It touches on themes of friendship, family, and identity. It was shortlisted for the Salford Children’s Book Award 2021.

Halo Moon by Sharon Cohen. Shortlisted for the Salford Children’s Book Award 2020.

Just Henry by Michelle Magorian. This book is set just after the end of the Second World War.  The main character, Henry, misses his father, who died a war hero. Finding solace in cinema, he accidentally turns his life upside down when he develops an old camera film. It was awarded the Costa Children’s Book Prize 2008.

Furthermore, the team are often asked for tips and tricks for helping children develop good reading habits at home. In a past newsletter, we started a series of advice to help parents/carers with this. You can find tip one here, and we are thrilled to bring you tip number two in today’s newsletter. 

All of the tips have been adapted from

Tip 2 – Encourage your child to read regularly

There are some very effective ways to encourage your child to read regularly. One is to make books available everywhere in your home. Having books at their reading level will signal to your child that reading is important and easily accessible.

Another way to encourage your child to read is to lead by example. Parents/Carers are the ultimate role models for their children, and yours are likely to emulate the behaviour that you model.

Mr Sutcliffe’s Maths Problem of the Week

Mrs Mess was buying a set of garden furniture. The bill was £70.

She gave the attendant what she thought were two £50 notes. They were actually two £100 notes.

The attendant was sleepy and didn’t notice either, so he gave Mrs Mess what he thought were three £10 notes. They were actually three £50 notes.

Who ended up better off than they should?

Email your answers to us at