The Newsletter – 17th December 2021

The Newsletter – 17th December 2021

Important Dates

Key Dates

21st December 2021 – Break for Christmas

5th January 2022 – Students return to the Academy

W/B 10th & 17th January 2022 – External exams for some Year 10 and 11 students

20th January 2022 – Year 8 Parents’ Evening

Week 1 or 2

20th December 2021 – Week 1

5th January 2022 – Week 2

10th January 2022 – Week 1


Walkden, Co-op Academy Walkden, Salford, High School, Secondary School

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to the last edition of the newsletter for the Autumn Term. What features strongly in this one is our new approach to praise and rewards. It’s been wonderful to see so many exceptional students being recognised for their efforts. This week alone, we’ve had the Advent prizes, the Golden Tickets, and all the prizes in the final year group assemblies. Our updated rewards strategy intends to capture the brilliant efforts, attainment, progress, and contributions to our community by as many of our students as possible. I look forward to seeing our student’s successes throughout the year ahead.

COVID update and plans for testing in January

We’ve had a recent rise in the number of confirmed positive COVID cases in the Academy over the past couple of weeks. I am incredibly grateful for your support in helping to keep our community as safe as possible through regular lateral flow testing and for sending your child in with a mask. Testing has helped identify cases early, which has meant a reduced risk of transmission to other students. Despite this, we are moving into a critical phase of the pandemic, and I know that it’s an unsettling time for everyone, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

When students return in the new year, we plan to operate a Testing Centre again. The Testing Centre will run on our INSET day – 4th January 2022. The Testing Centre will be open from 10:30 am until 3:30 pm. It will be held in the Sports Hall, and students can arrive at any point during that time. Access to the Sports Hall will be from the staff car park.

Please complete this form if you intend to send your child for a lateral flow test at the Academy on the 4th January 2022.

We understand that some families prefer to test at home, and as always, I would encourage you to log your results with the NHS. Please also let us know if you, your family, or your child has a positive result and needs to go for a PCR test.

At this stage, we assume that the current process of close contacts completing lateral flow tests for seven days will continue into the new year. Results of these can be reported to the NHS here.

Christmas Jumper Day and Christmas Lunch

Wednesday this week was our annual Christmas jumper day. It was great to see so many students joining in. Christmas lunch was a great success, with nearly 1,000 traditional Christmas meals served to students and staff. The lunch break was split for different year groups, which meant more space than usual for students to spread out and eat their lunch to the sound of Christmas songs in the central atrium. A lovely time was had by all! 

I want to send my very best wishes to all of our families at Co-op Academy Walkden for a safe and peaceful Christmas period. We look forward to welcoming all students back to lessons on Wednesday the 5th January 2022.

Matt Hacker


Rewards – Written by Mrs Hammond – Praise and Rewards Co-ordinator

Students are now becoming familiar with the new rewards system. We have two weekly winners in each year group for zero lates and zero behaviour points (for the previous week), winners are announced in assembly.  

During staff meetings, we have been working together as a whole Academy team to develop opportunities throughout the year to celebrate the subjects we offer and run regular competitions. Watch this space for more information on how your child can get involved with those.  

We have been running an Advent prize draw throughout December where one lucky student has been selected each day to win a fantastic prize. To qualify, students have had to be well behaved and punctual!

This week, we held our first ‘Golden Ticket Week’. All staff have been praising students in and out of lessons.  Golden tickets are worth 5 achievement points! Well done to your child if they received one.

What’s Going On

Thank you – Show Racism the Red Card

Thank you to all students, parents and carers who supported our ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ day back in October.

Our students wore red accessories to the Academy and donated money towards this important charity as part of Black History Month.

As an Academy, we raised £255.

Thank you all for #DoingWhatMattersMost and succeeding together.

Student Poster Competition 2021: How Maths Helps People – Written by Mrs Meah

Here are the details of a poster competition. Why not encourage your child to get involved?

The Brief

Make a persuasive poster which shows how maths can be used to help people, aim it at secondary school students.

The winning posters from students in each category (Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4) will receive an Android Tablet.

There will also be five ‘highly commended’ certificates awarded in each group . All winning and highly commended posters will be on display on the Maths Careers website during February 2022.

Please give your poster to Mrs Meah or submit it to your maths teacher via Google Classroom.

How Maths Helps People – Poster Criteria

  • Make your poster about one way in which maths is helping people. This could cover a whole theme such as medicine or the environment or it could cover just one way in which maths helps us.
  • A4 size – you can use a computer, draw it by hand or use a mixture of methods.
  • It should look good as well as being informative.
  • Remember your target audience – secondary school students. Think – would your poster look good on your classroom wall?
  • Make sure it is all your own work – no copy and pasting text. If you download an image, provide a credit/link for the photo (or you may want to include your own drawings).
  • Do your best – you could win an Android tablet!

LRC Lunchtime Activities – Written by Ms Bainbridge – Teaching Assistant

I am privileged to manage the new lunch time LRC activities, which are open to all year groups throughout the week.

Our new timetable includes a rich variety of activities, which have been carefully thought out after students voiced their opinions about what they would like from the Academy library.

The new activities have been a big success with our students, and the library is once again buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm, which is so amazing to be a part of.

All of our clubs have a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, where pupils have the opportunity to relax, make new friends and express themselves, whilst also playing an important role in keeping the Academy library relevant to them!

Manga Monday 

Manga is a style of graphic novel or comic book which originated in Japan. Manga Monday is often a very busy club which reflects its popularity with young people. In Manga club we discuss, read and draw manga style illustrations. We are currently developing our Manga journals and have a competition running until the end of term for the best 2 Manga journals. Two gift voucher prizes are up for grabs for ‘Forbidden Planet’ in Manchester, so students can treat themselves to a new Manga book!

“I really enjoy Manga Monday, I truly believe it has made me a lot more friends than I thought it would. It’s also really nice to speak to people that have the same interest in the stuff that you like.”

“I like this club because when you’re bored you can come here.”

“Best club ever”

“I enjoy the many other Anime, Manga or other reading books here!”

“I enjoy going to Manga Club as I get to spend time with my friends and enjoy discussing about our favourite Anime/Manga!”

Book club

Book club is a very welcoming and quiet space for students to relax and enjoy a book, or complete any homework they need to finish. 

Wellbeing Wednesday 

Our Wellbeing Club focuses on the 5 ways of wellbeing to help students strengthen their self esteem, self awareness and social interactions. Within a quiet and relaxing space students engage in a variety of activities to support their wellbeing. These activities include origami, meditation, reading, relaxation techniques and mindful colouring.  

“It’s a nice way to spend your lunchtimes – it helps you relax from lessons you have had throughout the day. It’s a nice way to catch up with your mates and have fun”

Book exchange

This is an opportunity for students to take out books from the Academy library and exchange them for a new read! Students are encouraged to reflect and talk about their books to friends and staff. This club is generally very busy and full of enthusiastic readers. 

Friday Quiz club

Quiz club is highly popular with students, who get very competitive at times! It is a great fun way to end the week. We play Kahoot quizzes on topics such as ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and other relevant topics which students may be studying within the Academy. Students also have the opportunity to win prizes each week!

“Kahoot Club is my new definition of fun!”

Drama Trip Review – Written by Natasha – Year 10.

On 24th November Year 10 and 11 were given the amazing opportunity to go to watch ‘Everybody’s Talking about Jamie’ at the Liverpool Empire. This was to help us with our GCSE Drama and to support us to write about live theatre.

The performance was absolutely incredible and the cast members blew everyone away with their acting skills. We all enjoyed watching Layton Williams star as Jamie New. Jamie New is a 16 year old boy from Sheffield. He has big dreams and high ambitions. Amy Ellen Richardson, who played Margaret (Jamie’s mum), had such a talented voice and delivered her songs with so much emotion. Shobna Gulati brought comedy and humour to the stage with her character, Ray.

My favourite part of the play was the story of Loco Chanel, a drag queen with an interesting backstory. This was told through the song ‘The Legend of Loco Chanel’. My favourite part of the song was when she transitions from her silky white dress, to the crimson, blood red one. This song was sung by Hugo, who owns a dress shop and who was played by Bianca Del Rio/Roy Haylock.

I found it very interesting learning about the context of the play and how significant it is.The play was inspired by the story of 16 year old Jamie Campbell, which was made into a documentary in 2011. Jamie was told he wouldn’t be allowed to wear a dress to his Year 11 prom, despite the fact he wanted to. He was faced with prejudice from his community and family on his journey to becoming a drag queen.

It is crucial that we recognise the compelling messages that the play delivers. The play includes the important theme of finding your identity and being true to that. Throughout the play, we see characters change dramatically and for the better. For example, we see the school bully, Dean, realise how everyone deserves to be treated the same no matter who they are.

Overall, this school trip was amazing and the show was absolutely astonishing. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to watch this performance and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

Language Ambassadors – Written by Mr Collins – MFL Teacher

Well done to the Year 10 French students who have stepped up to become Language Ambassadors (LAs)! In doing so, they are helping to raise the profile of Modern Languages at Co-op Academy Walkden whilst also developing their own leadership skills.

LAs are available to support any Year 7 or Year 8 students on Monday lunchtimes in G9/10.

We asked several LAs why they thought learning a foreign language is important. Here is what they said:

I chose GCSE French as one of my option subjects because I enjoy learning the language and knowing another language can really benefit you later on in life. The lessons are really interesting and I always feel like I’m learning a lot when I am in them. Knowing another language can also help you in a wide variety of careers and help you obtain a high paying job in the future as it will give you a very specific skill set that employers will look for. Being able to speak more than one language also allows you to appreciate other cultures and retain friendships with people from other places better. It can also be beneficial if you speak French and then one day visit France as it gives you the opportunity to converse with locals and order food in the native language.” – Abigail

Languages gives a lot of opportunities and it is fascinating when you know more than one language. Knowing more than one language is a good thing and it helps you earn more benefits. Fun fact: you can earn a 5%-20% increase to your wage if you know more than one language. Also, it helps you have greater abilities at communication and multi-tasking which is important in any job.  Moreover, languages are fun to learn, however, it does take a lot of dedication and interest to be able to learn a language. You can also learn about different cultures around the world.  Did you know? Learning a new language can help you if you don’t want to watch a film or series with subtitles. I do French as part of my GCSE and for me it is enjoyable and I hope to do well in it.” – Kamilla

We also asked Year 9 students what they considered important about learning languages. Here are the thoughts of one student:

Language is a vital skill in all of our lives; without it we wouldn’t have the ability to communicate to any large extent at all. Being fluent in one language means we can talk to others, but the group of those who we can is severely narrowed. Why should we not make the effort to learn new languages rather than relying on others to provide for us? Instead of assuming everyone speaks English, we should open ourselves up to new cultures and experiences, widening our horizons while also bonding with others. By taking the time to even learn the basics of a language, it can change how we converse in our day-to-day lives. When visiting another country, if we know even some of their dialect, our opportunities broaden and the barrier between cultures collapses.” – Louisa

Student Success

Cadet success – Written by Cpt. Murphy

On Saturday 27th November 2021, the Cadets started their Navigation training for the Duke of Edinburgh expedition which was aimed at getting the Cadets to walk in their boots for two hours outside and to make a start on practical navigation techniques.  This is a short paragraph from one of our Cadets:

On the 27th November 2021, some of the Cadets took part in a navigation exercise. We got maps with 6 numbers on them and were told to find the Academy. We were put into groups of 6-7 Cadets and 1 staff member. The one I was in was called Murphy’s Mob. At 10:00 we went to the loopline and we were reminded about how to use a map and compass. We went northwest up the loopline and were taught how to correctly find our way with 6 figure grid references, see where we are on a map and to follow handrails. On our way back to the Academy, southwest, we were told to pick up 3 things of different colours: red, blue and yellow. By 12 o’clock, 3 of the people in our group had all three. By the time we all got back we all got tested about what we were doing or at least were told what our test was.

Our next navigation exercise will be in February where the Cadets will spend 6 hours walking while carrying packs with some weight. On this navigation exercise we will practice more advanced techniques, make a hot drink in the field and start the introduction to group leadership training.

Academy Christmas Card Competition Winners

In September and October, the Art Department ran a competition for Key Stage 3 students to design our Academy Christmas card.

We were so pleased with the quantity and quality of the entries that we received this year! They were so good that Mr Hacker decided that he couldn’t choose the winner alone, and so, the vote went to the weekly SLT meeting.

The Senior Leaders choose Halle’s design. Halle is in 7RHU and she was thrilled to win the Christmas card competition.

Halle won a selection box and a framed A4 poster of her design, along with some of the professionally printed cards. Halle’s design has also been sent out to our local community members, dignitaries and Co-op leaders.

Well done to all of the students who entered.

Freddie Fights to Success!

Freddie, in Year 8, passed his black stripe belt in Tae Kwon Do last weekend.

This is the last level before Freddie can go for his black belt!

His Mum got in touch to say, “We are very proud of him!”

We are very proud of you too Freddie – well done for doing what matters most and being yourself, always!

Summer’s Christmas Advert TV debut – Interview conducted by Mrs Saunders, Head of Drama

One of the faces on the Morrisons Christmas ad might look very familiar this year! Year 9 student, Summer, only went and nabbed the main part in it and we are absolutely delighted for her! 

You can find the advert here.

Mrs Saunders caught up with Summer to ask her about the experience and her future in acting:

How did you get into acting? 

I joined an agency two years ago, after my dance teacher saw that the agency had space and suggested I audition. 

What’s your favourite part of acting/performing?

 I get to pretend to be somebody else. 

How has drama at Walkden helped you with your acting/performance skills? 

It has made me more confident because we have to perform in front of the class, and that makes it easier to perform in front of people I don’t know. 

Do you do outside classes – what are they and how have they helped you to develop?

I have singing and dancing lessons outside of school. 

How did you manage to get the starring role in the Morrisons ad? 

The agency sent a picture of me, then I had to go through three stages of auditions. So I had to learn a script, have a video call and improvise some of the ideas from the advert. 

Tell us about the filming?

All the stunts were really fun to film, and I got to stay in a 5 star hotel in London while filming. 

What next for you?

I want to carry on acting, maybe do something like a TV drama, I’m also going to be in the school production of ‘We Will Rock You’. 

Top tips for other students who might like to get into acting? 

  • Be confident and be yourself
  • Put yourself out there because you can’t get into it if you don’t try. 

England Rocks – Timetable Rock Stars Competition – Written by Mrs Meah

Our Academy enrolled on the ‘England Rocks’ TimeTable Rock Stars Competition.

It ran between the 8th – 11th November 2021.

The top three classes were:

  • Mrs Cutting’s Rockers
  • Superstars
  • 7S/Ma2

Well done to all students in those classes – you succeeded together!

Language Nut and Bedrock Success

Well done to all of the students who have been working hard on improving their literacy through Bedrock this month.

  • 12% of students scored 100 or more points this month
  • 7E/Li1 were the top performing class and scored 257 points. The average score for this class was 99 points – this was almost double the rest of the Academy.
  • Students made a 15% improvement this month, with 8S/Li3 making the most improvement this month with a 43% rise in points.

Students learnt the following words:

  • Amiss
  • Mercenary
  • Accord
  • Embargo
  • Citadel
  • Deter

Students have also been working on their foreign language skills this month too. Our Academy continues to be in the top 100 schools in the country – ranked at 61.

Well done to our top three classes, who are:

  • 7R/Fr1
  • 7R/Sp1
  • 8R/Fr1

Sophia Runs Towards Success

Sophia, in Year 8, came 2nd in the Greater Manchester County Cross Country Championship at the weekend.

She’ll go on to represent Greater Manchester in the UK Championship next March.

Well done Sophia!

DT Club

Well done to DT club students who made some wonderful wooden Christmas trees. Mrs Johnson is very proud of you all.

Featured in the photo are two of the club members, Thomas and Dylan, both in Year 8, holding their creations.

Well done for doing what matters most and being yourself always.

Maths Puzzle – Provided by Mrs Meah – Maths Teacher

Our last Maths Puzzle for this term is animal themed:

There once was a farmer who ran a farm. On the farm, he raised sheep, turkeys and pigs. He also loved dogs! They were useful to work the farm. Between the dogs and the turkeys, there were a total of 99 feet.

There were twice as many turkeys as there were dogs.

How many of each are there?

Email your anwer to Mrs Meah via and get a shout-out in the following newsletter.

The answer for the last puzzle was 12.5.

Celebrate Success

Has your child done something amazing inside or outside the Academy?

Why not get in touch and let us know about it?

We want to feature our students’ successes in the newsletter and let our community celebrate with you.

Email success stories and feedback to

Got feedback about the newsletter? Let us know at the same address!

We always appreciate your feedback.

Have a fantastic weekend, a restful Christmas, and a Happy New Year!