Students working happily together

The three schools had a day of co-operation

The three schools had a day of co-operation

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

THREE Weymouth schools celebrated their shared historical roots.

Wey Valley, Wyvern Academy and St Nicholas and St Laurence are all members of a co-operative trust whose origins date back to 1844.

The three schools came together to form the Aspect Trust in 2009 and share a campus in Broadwey. To mark the schools’ Aspect Trust Day before the end of term, students took part in a range of activities designed to illustrate the values of the co-operative movement.

The principles of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity, were drafted by the Rochdale Pioneers more than 170 years ago.

The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers founded the movement in Rochdale in 1844. They created the Rochdale Principles – the foundation for the principles on which co-ops around the world still operate.

Students spent the day taking part in activities including curling, orienteering, mock wave-boarding and design and construction projects.

Wey Valley principal Phil Thomas said: “As a co-operative academy believing in co-operative values is one of the things that makes our school different and we live it every day.

“The trust day is a chance for the students to work alongside those from other schools and put the co-operative values into practice. Above all it is fun and exciting with eight different activities all outside if possible.”

He added: “It is also good for the staff to be working with fellow professionals and we hope that the spirit of co-operation will be taken forward by students after they leave school into their adult life.”

Sue Hoxey, head of Wyvern Academy, a specialist school for children with complex needs, said it was great to see the co-operation between the three schools in action.

She said: “Students spent the day working in mixed teams – comprised of students of different ages and abilities, from different schools – and they all had a fabulous time.”

The day was also a chance for others involved, and local councillors, governors and staff from Weymouth College and Dorset County Council, to see how the co-operation works when it is in action.

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