The Newsletter

The Newsletter

Dates for your Diary

  • 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 17th June 2021 – Year 8 Photograph Day
  • Friday 25th June 2021 – Year 10 Photograph Day
  • 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 a number of items of lost property. The 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.

Principal’s Welcome

Dear Parents/Carers,

It’s the end of a long and challenging half term and I know that all students are ready for a well earned break.  A huge thank you to all parents and carers for your ongoing support. I hope that everyone takes the opportunity to rest and recharge ready for the final half term of the year.

Year 11

Today was the final day in the academy for our Year 11 students. We send them all our very best wishes for their next steps in life and of course, we continue to support them in their journey through our Transition College over the coming weeks. We are so proud of their resilience to the challenges they have faced as a year group, particularly the disruption to their education caused by the pandemic. I think we all recognise that it’s been a hard time to be a teenager, but they should turn their experiences to their advantage and know that if they can cope with this, they can cope with anything that challenges them in the future. Best wishes to them all.

Final Half Term

When we return on Monday 7th June, there will be some changes for students in all year groups. We will make use of the additional space created by Year 11 leaving. Students in all year groups will receive updated timetables on their first morning back and we will explain the new routines and movement around the academy in detail, through assemblies.

In summary, the main changes are:

  • Year 9 and 10 will continue to be based in their own zones, but will have some of their lessons in the specialist teaching areas of Technology, Arts and Science. They will continue to have their own social area outside, however Year 9 will have more dining space on the top floor.
  • Movement for Year 9 and 10 will continue to be restricted and masks should continue to be worn when moving around, to reduce the risk of Covid transmission. Hands will continue to be sanitised on entry to rooms at the start of lessons.
  • Year 7 will mainly stay the same as they are now, however they will have all of their lessons in Global classrooms, making use of rooms which were previously for Year 10 only. Their social space will remain the same, however there will be more space for indoor dining in the zone.
  • Year 8 will have the same teaching rooms, however they will now come down to the main atrium during social times, where they can buy and eat their food and drink. Their outdoor social area will stay the same.
  • When the weather is dry, students with packed lunches will be encouraged to eat outside – there are lots of benches for students to sit at.
  • Classrooms will no longer be used for dining for any Year 7-9 students.

We hope these changes will be a positive first step towards some more normality and I know that students are already looking forward to seeing some other parts of the academy. We will keep the Covid situation under close review and we may reduce restrictions further if we feel it is safe to do so. It would be ideal if we could have Year 7 and 8 having some lessons in other parts of the building too. However, if they do not have the opportunity to do this before the end of the year, we have a familiarisation experience planned, to ensure that they know and remember what the rest of the building is like before coming back in September.

Contacting us

During the half term holiday, please be aware that reception is closed and our communications systems will not be monitored, with the exception of MyEd for Covid reporting. If your child tests positive for Covid-19 during the half term holiday, please report this immediately to us via MyEd. All other enquiries will be picked up on our return on Monday 7th June 2021.

Just a useful reminder about all the ways you can contact us. Our contacts page has all the easy ways you can make contact with us and the ‘Quick contacts’ link has the direct links for key staff.

As we go into the bank holiday weekend and the half term break, the weather is looking good, so I hope you all manage to enjoy it all. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday 7th June.

Best wishes

Matt Hacker

Governor Voice

I’m Steve Nolan and I’ve been working for our Co-op for just over 27 years. I started my Co-op career working in our food stores and I now work in the Support Centre in a role that looks at how we can make working in our shops simple for our colleagues.

My interest in becoming a governor started because of the experience I had when my son was in high school. I can remember having conversations with his teachers and feeling like he wasn’t getting the support he needed. It was because of this that I knew I wanted to get involved with our Academies and I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to join Co-op Academy Walkden.

My role as a governor at Walkden enables me to support the Academy’s plans for delivering high-quality teaching and education for our students. As I mentioned earlier, this was the primary reason I wanted to become a governor, so I feel privileged to be involved. I also get involved with how we manage any risks that we have as an Academy. This is also great for me, as this is similar to some of the work I do for Co-op.

We’ve all been through a very trying time during the last 15 months, with a great deal of uncertainty and understandable worry, and we’ve all needed to draw on our values and principles to get through. I’m so proud of how our staff, students, and parents have co-operated during the pandemic to ensure that our Academy has continued to provide high-quality education. I know this will continue well beyond COVID, and I am confident and excited for the bright future of our Co-op Academy Walkden.

Photograph Day – Year 8 and 10

On 17th June 2021, we have a professional photographer coming in to take the Year 8 Academy photographs. He will return on the 25th June 2021 to take the Year 10 photos too.

We would ask that all Year 8 and 10 students come to the Academy in their full uniform on their assigned photo day. Even if they have PE on their timetables, we would ask that they do not wear their PE kit that day.

Photographs will be available to buy. You will receive a proof card with your child’s picture plus a unique security code. All orders are then placed online at a website listed on the proof. Print packs are delivered free of charge back to the Academy for distribution, providing they are ordered by a specified date.

If you have any questions, please email us at

Useful Links

We are proud to have a strong tradition of extra-curricular activities at Co-op Academy Walkden. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we have had to restrict these over the past academic year, but we are thrilled to be able to start offering some clubs and activities as the lockdown eases. Please check the link above to find out what we are currently running.

As the Year 11 students leave us, their thoughts turn to their future. For any Year 11 who has not decided on what they might like to do after school, it’s worth checking out Co-op’s Apprenticeship Hub. Working for the Co-op has lots of benefits, alongside training on a Co-op Apprenticeship, your child will also earn a wage. It’s a great way to start a career, whilst doing good for the community around them.

What’s going on at Walkden?

A fortnight ago, one of our parents got in touch with us to ask if we wanted a donation of sanitary products for our students to access in the academy, and of course, we said yes. The donations came from Morrisons Bolton Dawes and were kindly delivered to the Academy by Mrs Tyl.

Thank you so much to Morrisons Bolton Dawes and to Mrs Tyl for giving back to their community.

We are re-launching our Student Council, and it is now going to be known as our ‘Student Voice’.

Our Student Voice Panel will be a chance for students to give their feedback and opinions on Academy life. This could be anything from:

  • changes to the dinner menu
  • how they feel about life in the Academy
  • changes they want to see happen
  • problems they can see with the way things are, and importantly, solutions to those problems

Mr Harper, English Teacher, is now in charge of the Student Voice Panel, and he has been encouraging members to sign up. He wants a minimum of 2 members from every form group in the Academy to join the Student Voice Panel. Students can sign up by emailing Mr Harper, and they will have an assembly to launch the Student Voice Panel next half term.

Our Year 11 have had some excellent sessions delivered to them this week as part of the Transition College. Students have been able to pick from sessions such as:

  •  A media make-up taster session, from Future Skills;
  •  Apprenticeship application support, from Salford College;
  •  Support to find a part-time job, from the JobCentre
  • Sale Sharks Hitz, which focused on career goals and aspirations.

and they have found them super useful! 

There are two more weeks of the Transition College for the Year 11 students, starting on the 7th June and running through to the 18th June 2021, where students can experience a range of taster sessions.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Cycling UK for offering two Dr Bike sessions to our staff and students. In these sessions, staff and students have been able to book their bike in for a full service. Thank you Cycling UK for doing what matters most and showing that you care about our community.

On 10th June 2021, Year 10 will be starting their Work Expereince. Due to the pandemic, work experience this year is virtual, with all Year 10 taking part in employer directed projects.

Year 10 students will work virtually with employers, over 6 sessions, to plan and deliver a product or service to meet their needs. They will work as a team, taking on different roles, such as publicity, finance manager or project manager, and pitch their ideas to the employer in a presentation. Read more about this here.

At the start of May, 28 Year 8 students took part in a Cadet Open Afternoon as part of their recruitment campaign. 

Students were tasked with completing a military style command task where they were part of a search and rescue team patrolling through the jungle. The Open Afternoon gave students an insight into what life as a cadet would be like. Read more about it here.

A fortnight ago, Mr Green, Teacher of Science, launched a real life, cutting-edge Science competition. Mr Green has managed to secure students a spot on a fantastic experiment, designed to replicate the conditions on Mars. Students have been asked to design an experiment that will be flown into space! Read more about it here.

This half term, we have been working with UA92 on two important projects. UA92 is a university in Salford, set up by the famous Manchester United Class of 92.

The first has been with Miss Cutting’s Hive group. UA92 representatives came in for 4 sessions to work with Year 7 students from the Hive to develop their sports and fitness skills.

The second project was the highly successful Q and A session with Gary Neville. This was coordinated by Mr Tobutt, and all students, in their form time got to take part in this. Read more about it here.

There has been a lot of work to regenerate the gardens at RHS Bridgewater, and our Academy has been lucky enough to get a chance to take our students to work on some of the 154 acres of land! A group of lucky students have been travelling to RHS Bridgewater each week to work on the gardens, planting, digging and weeding, as part of their community outreach and education programme.

Here are some lovely photos of the plots that our students at Walkden have created, and are now looking after.

Student Highlights

This week, we are highlighting the artwork of Ebony in Year 7. We love this piece of artwork, because of the unusal materials that have been chosen to make it! It just shows that artwork can be made in a variety of mediums, traditional, and not so traditional! Well done Ebony for pushing the boundaries!

Literacy Corner

Top Tips to get your child reading

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 tip two can be found here. We are thrilled to bring you tip number three in today’s newsletter. 

All of the tips have been adapted from

Tip 3 – Help your reluctant reader to find books that they love

If your child appears to be uninterested in reading, it may not be because they do not like to read. The source of the problem could simply be that they do not like to read the books that they have.

Finding the right genre or type of story could be the key to finally sparking your child’s interest.

Try exposing your child to many different types of stories. The more interested your child is in the subject matter inside of a book, the more excited they will be to read it.

Mysteries, science fiction, and adventure stories are particularly popular with young boys and girls with adventurous imaginations. If your child is wildly curious about animals, outer space, or construction machines, try providing them with material about those subjects.

Book Reccomendations – Non-Fiction

Not all students like to read fiction, and often those who fall into this category struggle to find books to engage with. Here are some suggestions from our Literacy Team for your child, if they like to read non-fiction:

Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopeadia: What We Know and What We Don’t by Christopher Lloyd (2020). A beautifully illustrated 424-page compendium of knowledge.

The Usborne World Of Shakespeare by Anna Claybourne and Rebecca Treays (2005). A winner of the TES Information Book Awards.

Albert Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity: Words that Changed the World by Carl Wilkinson (2020).  Broken into ten bite-sized chapters this book uses Einstein’s original manuscripts to explain how he came to write the most famous equation in history.  Suitable for budding scientists everywhere.

The Human Body by Camille De La Bedoyere (2009). A Ripley publication. Includes colourful illustrations, diagrams and informative text.

The Usborne Art Picture Book by Sarah Courtauld and Kate Davies (2017). Amazing stories behind some of the most famous paintings in the National Gallery.

Mr Sutcliffe’s Maths Puzzle of the Week

I have ten boxes, with a total weight of 75kg.

15 kg, 13 kg, 11 kg, 10 kg, 9 kg, 8 kg, 4 kg, 2 kg, 2 kg, 1 kg.

I want to pack the boxes into 3 crates, but each crate can carry a maximum of 25 kg.

How can I pack the boxes into the crates?

(There may, or may not, be more than one way!)

Email your answers to Mr Sutcliffe via