Co-operative Academies unite to celebrate cultural diversity.

In April 2014 students from The Co-operative Academy of Leeds came to join Year 7’s Cultural Diversity morning at The Co-operative Academy of Manchester.

Year 7’s Cultural Diversity morning included a drama workshop, a food tasting session and a fair which gave Year 7 the chance to try on Jewish articles of faith, learn Bhangra dancing, practice writing Chinese, rehearse greetings in different languages and learn about the 5 Pillars of Islam. This exciting morning was created by students from the Community Cohesion Taskforce, who took on the role of teachers for the day.

This student-led activity was enhanced by the visitors from Leeds, representing their Stephen Lawrence Standards Group who shared their own work on cultural diversity – poetry and monologues, videos demonstrating how they celebrate diversity in their academy and a moving film about the life of Stephen Lawrence. Best of all, the Leeds’ students held a fashion parade in which they displayed traditional dress from the varied cultures making up The Co-operative Academy of Leeds.

Year 7 were also able to learn from guests from Manchester Jewish Museum, the Confucius Institute and two groups from The University of Manchester Students’ Union – the Muslim Society and the Bhangra Society.

And that was just Year 7 – the rest of The Co-operative Academy of Manchester’s students were also enjoying an exciting morning of activities in a break from their usual lessons.

Year 8 learnt about voting and democracy; choosing whether to share their sweets as a democratic society or live under a dictatorship! They were also joined by Elizabeth Norman from ‘Restless Development’ who taught them more about positive female role models and International Women’s’ day.

Year 9 met guests from the local LGBT Society, encouraging our students to think about discrimination and how society treats the LGBT community. They also took part in practical workshops centred on choosing healthy lifestyles and relationships.

Year 10 practiced their job interview skills with real employers who came in to give them a mock interview – asking questions to discover the students’ strengths and weaknesses and offering feedback for next time. Other professionals also visited to talk about different career options, such as in science and engineering.

Year 11 also had a break from their exam subjects to look at e-Safety and our Sixth Formers had a session on confidence with The Co-operative Group.

A big thank you to all the external organisations that supported our Flexible Learning Day.

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