Co-operative Academy students give a Royal performance

Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited Manchester on Thursday 14 November, and were greeted by students from The Co-operative Academy of Manchester at each point of their short tour of the city.

The Queen officially opened The Co-operative Group’s new head office in Manchester which has been declared the most environmentally-friendly building in the world. As the academy has strong links with The Co-operative, our students were invited to attend. The royal party entered to the wonderful sound of the Academy Big Band and flowers were presented to the Queen by Year 10 student Sarah Siddiqui who said, “The Queen was really nice and kind. I was really excited to be there.”

Also in attendance with Principal Mrs Leaver were students who had worked with architects and staff from The Co-operative Group to learn about the company’s new building and use this knowledge to design our own outdoor teaching space. The band played ‘Rock Around The Clock’ as the visitors left Angel Square.  

Later in the morning the Queen visited the Factory Youth Zone in Harpurhey, where some of our students were representing the community. Jade Hamer in Year 8 goes to musical theatre sessions at the Factory, and performed for dignitaries on the day. “It was a really good experience” she says.

The monarch then had lunch at Gorton Monastery, alongside representatives from various youth cadet programmes, including the Volunteer Police Cadets who train at the academy each Thursday. Academy student and Volunteer Police Cadet Hassan Khan was chosen to represent all Greater Manchester police cadets at the lunch, and he later reported back to the cadets that he was very proud to represent them. Academy Sixth Form student Ryan Saunders met the Queen in his role as a Sea Cadet. Ryan spoke to the queen and says, “she was really interested – she was asking how long I’ve been in the cadets and what I’ll be doing when I leave education. I told her I want to go into the police force and she thought that was a really good idea to stay with uniformed services.”

Although the Royal visit was a short one, it is testament to the enthusiasm and positive nature of so many academy students that they were invited to represent a number of groups and projects in Blackley, Harpurhey and North Manchester, and show what people like us are really like. 

See The Co-operative Group's photo gallery of the opening of 1 Angel Square here.

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