Dates for your diary
- Monday 26th April – Wednesday 12th May – Year 10 Exams
- Monday 26th April – Friday 14th May – Year 11 Assessments
- Monday 3rd May – May Bank Holiday – Academy is closed
- Monday 10th – Sunday 16th May – Mental Health Awareness Week
- Wednesday 12th May 2021 – Year 9 Photograph day
- Friday 21st May 2021 – Year 11 – Deadline for buying Prom tickets
- Friday 28th May 2021 – Year 11 Leavers’ celebration
- Friday 28th May 2021 – Academy closes at 2:50 pm for half term
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to our new look newsletter and website. We hope it will make sharing and viewing information much more accessible to everyone in our community. We also hope to publish lots of articles showcasing the great work of our students over the coming weeks and months. As always, we welcome your feedback. If you have any comments about our new website, or newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far, it’s been a productive start to the term, and students are continuing to cope well with the current situation. I have shared with them my thoughts for the future this week. If the government road map continues as planned, we may allow ourselves to start thinking about relaxing Academy restrictions. This will allow them to experience the specialist teaching and equipment in Technology, the Arts, and Science. We are working on possible plans, and when the time is right, I will share further details with you. Our number one priority is to continue keeping everyone as safe as possible. That will always be at the forefront of our thinking.
Year 10/11 Assessments
I want to acknowledge the brilliant attitude and commitment from our Year 10 and 11 students who are completing assessments at the moment. For Year 11 in particular, they form an important part of the grades they will achieve this summer. Year 11 are clearly taking this seriously. The feedback from staff so far is that the assessments are going well, which reflects the hard work and preparation from our students.
Over the Easter break, we were informed of a number of Covid cases. All of these cases were picked up by lateral flow tests and confirmed by PCR tests. Since we returned on 19th April, there have been two confirmed cases in Year 10, resulting in 48 students having to isolate. We continue to go through the contact tracing process when we have a positive case. As always, I apologise for any inconvenience that this causes you and your child.
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 initially been picked up by these, and in many cases, the child or staff member had either mild symptoms or none at all. They otherwise would not have suspected they had the infection, and for this reason, the lateral flow tests continue to be a valuable tool in the fight against the virus.
Before the break, I wrote to ask you to use the Easter break to purchase any outstanding items of uniform. Since March, we had allowed flexibility but need all students in the correct uniform, looking smart at all times.
I want to thank parents/carers who have ensured your child has been dressed smartly for a day of learning. However, there are still a small number of students who are not wearing the correct uniform. This is most evident on the days where students need to wear their PE kit. Further, we have had some incidents of inappropriate hairstyles and jewellery.
We have prompted any students who need to fix these issues. I would ask that time is taken over the long weekend to address them. We have issued a warning of sanctions to students should the issue with their uniform not be resolved by next week. Heads of Year will have been in touch with you if this applies. They will support you in resolving any issues.
If any families are experiencing hardship and need support with uniform, please contact us at email@example.com, and we will do what we can to help. Full uniform expectations can be found here.
I wish you all a great weekend ahead, and we look forward to welcoming our students back on Tuesday.
Useful Links and Information
Year 6 Transitions Portal is now live!
We warmly welcome all of our incoming Year 7 students for September 2021. The Transition Portal will be regularly updated through the rest of the year with information and activities for our new students and their families.
Over the past fortnight, a nasty TikTok hoax has prompted us, once again, to focus on internet safety. Net Aware is a site that is sponsored by O2 and the NSPCC and is packed full of information for parents/carers on how to keep children safe online.
GM Higher – Parents/Carers HE week
During the week beginning 10th May 2021, GM Higher are hosting a series of virtual workshops and talks, aimed at parents, on the theme of Higher Education. You can find out more by clicking the link above and book onto workshops about student finance and future decision making.
My name is Daniel Henshaw, and I live in Boothstown. I was drawn to being a Governor at Co-op Academy Walkden, as I have grown up and lived in the area all my life. Outside of work, I am active, playing cricket at Worsley Cricket Club, and can’t wait for Parkrun on the Loop Line to return.
I have only been a Governor for six months. I applied through working in the Co-op Support Centre in Manchester. One of the Co-op’s founding principles was the promotion of education, and I wanted to be a part of that. In the last six months, I have been blown away by the teaching staff’s passion and commitment. They work incredibly long hours in a stressful job and come out smiling and full of optimism. I have nothing but admiration for them.
My aim, as a Governor, is to support the fantastic teachers at Walkden to improve the student experience.
Many of us are worried and anxious right now, about the future, and it’s easier said than done to say: don’t worry about it, it will all be fine. Remember that if you are always looking for the positive in a situation, you will always find it. Think positively, be kind to each other, and we’ll come out the other side together.
What’s going on at Walkden?
On 12th May 2021, we have a professional photographer coming in take the Year 9 Academy photographs.
We would ask that all Year 9 students come to school in their full uniform that day, not their PE kit.
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 school for distribution, providing they are ordered by a specified date.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Combined Cadet Force is back up and running and Mrs Bawden is looking to recruit new cadets to the unit.
Our Combined Cadet Force is the first extra-curricular activity to start running after the pandemic, and we are so pleased to be returning to some sort of, albeit Covid safe, normality.
The Combined Cadet Force will be back to their drills, first aid qualifications, and Duke of Edinburgh Award preparations, as well as taking part in fun team-building activities.
Find out how your child can get involved here.
We are pleased to announce the return of our PE extra-curricular activities too. From last Monday, the PE department started to offer extra-curricular activities in bubbles. Activities for Year 7 are on a Monday, Year 8 activities are on a Tuesday, and Year 9 activities are on a Wednesday. Dance and PE catch-up are being offered to Key Stage 4 on a Friday.
Clubs are open for everyone to attend and full PE kit is required to be worn by students. If students do not have PE on the day that their extra-curricular is running, they will be able to change after school. The PE changing rooms will be deep cleaned every evening.
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. The aim of the programme is to deepen the young people’s understanding of themselves and the lives of others.
Read more about the Roots project from Samuel, in Year 8, and Mr Mangas, Assistant Principal of Participation and Engagement at Co-op Academy Walkden.
We love featuring our students art work! They are so talented and creative.
In this newsletter, we are featuring an optical illusion picture, drawn by Louisa, in Year 8.
We picked to feature this as we couldn’t stop marvelling at how Louisa has made the picture look so 3D! We also loved her use of colour in the picture, very striking.
Well done Louisa!
In February, we celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight. As part of these celebrations, Mrs Hall ran two competitions. The first competition was a Fairtrade Quiz, and the second competition asked students to get creative and tell us about their vision for a fairer, greener future.
We are now pleased to announce the winners of the quiz and the creative competition.
You can find out more, and see the winners creations here.
Sophia, in Year 9, designed and made this Alice in Wonderland themed cake for her own birthday.
We think it is amazing! We especially love the realistic details on the roses and the intricacy of the watch details!
Well done Sophia! We hope it tasted as good as it looked.
Literacy Corner: Reading Bingo
The Literacy Team has launched a new challenge this term – Reading Bingo. Reading Bingo will last for 12 months, with one new challenge issued to the students per month.
Reading Bingo has been launched to get students reading more frequently and more widely, pushing them out of their comfort zone in their reading choices to fulfill the challenges.
The first challenge, launched on World Book Day, was to read a book by a British author. Last week, the Literacy Team launched the second challenge to students, which was to re-read a book that they had previously enjoyed, and find something new in it. It could be a new fact or something they hadn’t noticed about a character in their first read.
The second challenge will run until Thursday 13th May 2021.
Students can log their reads via Instagram stories every Thursday or email email@example.com with their completed challenge book titles.
Mr Sutcliffe’s Maths Puzzle of the Week
What’s the difference between a match, and the gun used at the beginning of a race? One starts the fire, the other fires the start!
If you had six matches, it would be easy (wouldn’t it?) to make two identical triangles. But your task is to take six matches and make FOUR identical triangles. Do you think you can do it? The matches don’t have to be the same length. If you can do it, then you can call yourself a Match-ician!!
We would love to see your child’s efforts in solving this brain teaser! If you think it’s safer, you can ask your child to use straws to solve the puzzle. If you decide to allow your child to use matches, we would always advise supervision. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish them in the next newsletter.
Mrs Corry, our Pastoral Family Support Worker and Young Carers lead, has been celebrating the excellent work our young carers do, as part of Young Carers Week, last half term.
As part of the celebrations, Mrs Corry invited all our young carers to a special lunch in their honour. Students tucked in to pizza and cake, whilst discussing the issues that they face as young carers, and the support that we could give them.
It is estimated that there are 700,000 young carers in the UK right now. Young carers often take care of a family member who has a physical disability, mental health needs, learning disability, or is affected by drug, alcohol, or another substance misuse. A young carer will also help by taking care of other family members, such as brothers and sisters.
Young carers do more chores than other children. It can be hard work being a young carer. Sometimes other children don’t understand their responsibilities, and they have less free time than others. Many young people cope well with caring, especially if they have support from other family members, but it’s still important that they look after themselves too.
Sometimes, being a young carer can get too much to deal with. Young carers miss an average of 48 days of school because of their role, and 68% have reported being bullied. Organisations are set up to help young carers recognise all of these problems and have people and strategies to support them.
Do you feel that your child needs support in their role as a young carer? Please contact your child’s Head of Year or email Mrs Corry at email@example.com.
We know our students are wonderful and we want to celebrate their success with everyone else!
Now we are back in the Academy, we want to start re-issuing our Newsletter more regularly, and the most important section of the Newsletter is our student highlights. This we where we need your help!
We want to celebrate your child’s successes, both in and outside of the Academy. We love getting to know what they are baking and making. We want to know about their sporting successes, their achievements in music, and their charity fundraising.
If your child has done something brilliant in the last month or so, and you want to shout about it, we want to listen, and more importantly, share it.
You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.