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Community Cohesion

Community Cohesion


Marland Hill Community Primary School adopts the Department for Education definition of community cohesion to mean working towards a society in which:

  • There is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities the diversity of people's backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued

  • Similar life opportunities are available to all, and

  • Strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools and in the wider community.


Our Commitment

For a number of years, we have been committed to promoting community cohesion as part of the response to the legal duties outlined in previous legislation.


We understand that Community Cohesion is the process that should happen in all communities to ensure that different groups and individual people get on well together. It should also allow for new communities and existing communities to adapt and integrate with one another.


The school will promote community cohesion within a number of dimensions including:

  • the school community
  • the community within which the school is located
  • the community of Britain
  • the global community.


To link together all of the five British Values pupils take part in Community Cohesion sessions.  The project is based on bringing together children from local primary schools and the sixth form college. The children and mentors meet together to discuss creating a ‘New Town’ in the area. This Town must be a place where they will feel safe, valued and be given respect. The children work in mixed groups, with the support of mentors and discuss their ideals for a ‘New Town’. Positive lists are created of the attitudes, values and behaviours they believe the community should bring to their ‘New Town’.  They also look at negative behaviours that they would not want to see.

The year’s Community Learning Sessions have a structure, which will eventually lead to the children and mentors writing speeches. These speeches are presented to local councillors and the local police, encompassing their views about the Town in which they live. The speeches are written quite passionately and include information about what they feel needs to be changed in their local community. Their three wishes for improvements in the local community are also presented to the councillors and police.

The children are organised into groups (one mentor from the college with one child from each primary school) to present their speeches and they are taken to a place of cultural heritage, which is the Town Hall in Rochdale. The event is also seen as a networking opportunity between the three schools. They are given a tour of the Town Hall, followed by a buffet, enabling time for social interaction between the schools to take place. Friendships over the three terms flourish and it becomes an excellent Secondary Transition Project. The children and mentors also participate in parachute games before they present their speeches, as many of them are nervous at performing a presentation in such a grand place.
The councillors and police respond to all the speeches after they are delivered. We have follow up visits from the councillors and police to ensure the children’s comments are given full attention. Following this event, the children also take a walk around the local area, highlighting to the police the ‘hot spots’ of their concern, which include drug related issues, alcohol and vandalism.

The project’s activities are enhanced by the active involvement throughout the year by the police, who join us for a number of sessions. The project also has a Magistrate and counsellors, who deliver sessions to the children and covers topics such as Young Offenders. Both headteachers attend sessions to ensure the children understand the importance of the project. The programme is interspersed with many games, which include parachute, bowls, musical interludes, red and blue rhythm sticks and many other games.


Overview 2017-2018


We are looking forward to another exciting year of working in partnership with Rochdale Sixth Form College and Hamer Community Primary School. The school’s Community Cohesion Ambassadors for 2017-2018 are currently being decided and the first session is coming up very soon. Watch this space as the year unfolds as we share the great work our children will be doing across different communities in Rochdale!

Overview 2016-2017


The project is based on bringing together 24 children from Hamer, Lowerplace and Marland Hill we are also working with 14 students from Rochdale 6th Form College. The children and students meet to work on ten sessions throughout the school year. The work is centred around creating a “New Town” a place where they will feel safe, valued and be given respect. The sessions are structured which lead the children and students to write speeches which they will present in the summer to local councillors, Police and Mayor and Lady Mayoress and other V.I.Ps at Rochdale Town Hall.


Autumn 2016

A fabulous was had a Rochdale 6th Form College.

Presentations were given by Heather Mellalieu (Youth Worker) She discussed Pupil Voice.

Michelle Walton (RDA) and Paul Ambrose (Planning Team) discussed: - How would you regenerate Rochdale?


Everyone enjoyed a lovely lunch and the day was finished off with a tour of the Sixth Form College inspiring the children of next steps with their future.


Spring 2017

Sessions have centred around how the children would like to improve Rochdale.

We’ve looked at sorting New Town cards into negative and positive groups showing the type of behaviour we would like to see in our New Town.  We worked on a scenario about stereotypes and how to challenge this.


Sixth Form students have started working together with Marland, Hamer and LowerPlace to form the basis of the speeches they will present at the Rochdale Town Hall.


Summer 2017

Barbara Kenyon(Magistrate) discussed her role, how she sentences people, the history of magistrates and the court system. This made for a very interesting presentation the children and young people had lots of questions for Barbara.






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Community Cohesion Presentation Day - June 2016


On 29th June 2016, we completed our final Community Cohesion session this was held at Rochdale Town Hall we enjoyed a beautiful lunch in the Reception Room followed by the speeches in the Council Chamber.  Lots of dignitaries attended the Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Councillor Janet Emsley, Mark Robinson Assistant Director of Planning and Development, Andrew Riley – Greater Manchester Police, Sandra Bowness – Assistant Director Early Help & Schools, Gail Hopper – Director of Children’s Services to name but a few.


This year the project has included:
•         How to develop good relationships and respect differences between people
•         Learned about the role of a Peacemaker
•         Worked alongside a town planner to create a “New Town”
•         Voiced opinions on how to improve their local area
•         Written speeches to deliver at the Town Hall on how to improve Rochdale


Each group delivered their speech with confidence and the attendees responded to all points raised.

It was a fantastic day and we are all very proud of Marland, Hamer and Rochdale 6th Form College for highlighting and trying to change issues within Rochdale.

Rochdale Diversity Awards 2016


Marland Hill, working alongside Hamer Primary School and Rochdale Sixth Form College were delighted to be nominated for the Rochdale Diversity Awards 2016 by Mr Yasin Khan, Equality and Community Cohesion Officer for Rochdale Borough Council.


Rochdale Diversity Awards are now in their 5th Year and aim to recognise and promote positive role models from diverse backgrounds and organisations to empower and inspire the wide breadth of communities within Rochdale. 


We were finalists in the "Diversity in Education Award", along with Wardleworth Community Learning Centre and Maker Space Project.  Representatives from the Community Cohesion Project attended the Town Hall on Thursday 26th May for the Awards Evening and although we didn't win, we did have the opportunity to celebrate the fabulous work that we do and it was lovely for this to be recognised by so many. 


Please see our Community Cohesion page for more information on what the projects have involved.

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Summer Term  2016

Our latest Community Cohesion session was held at Marland Hill on Wednesday 13th April 2016.


Ambassadors from Marland Hill, Hamer Primary School and Rochdale Sixth Form College spent another day working collaboratively.


Barbara Kenyon, Magistrate,  talked to the group at length about her role.  Barbara explained her background, when she was sworn into Magistracy and what her roles have been in the past.  She gave interesting facts about being a magistrate including what they wore and the fact that they didn’t get paid apart from expenses etc.  She also told the group that 50% of Magistrates are female and the first woman appointed was in 1919.


She continued by asking the children various questions such as ‘What is the Law – what does it mean etc.’  she said that one of the qualities necessary for a Magistrate is to be able to listen and use good logic in all situations.  We looked at the Royal Coat of Arms and that if we placed one on our wall that room could be used as a court.

During the power point which was a picture of the courtroom – she described the seating arrangements.  The Chair sits in the middle of two wingers with a legal adviser who advises on all situations making sure that they stay within the letter of the law.  The defendant is in the dock.  The Prosecutor works for the Crown Prosecution Service.  There is always an Usher.  The Public Gallery is open to the public and anyone over 14 years may be present.
She explained the role of the non-police court ie; Attendance issues, Animal Cruelty, Council and Environmental.  Some of the group appeared surprised when she said that the age of criminal responsibility was 10 years and this was as a result of the James Bulger case.

At break time Marland and Hamer played football together – great to see!


After Barbara had shown the power point the group were given 5 minutes in their triads to think of questions to ask her.  They put these on post-its and fed back.  Barbara answered their questions in great detail and spent considerable time doing this.

At lunch time the group chatted with each other and appeared to enjoy their time together.

Brett from Rochdale Sixth Form College brought us up to date where the students were up to with their speeches.  The groups worked on speeches in their triad groups.  Each group read out their speeches and feedback was given.


The students will colour co-ordinate the speeches making it easier for each primary school child.


The next session is on the 25th May at Hamer Primary School

The sessions on 25th May and 8th June have been concentrating on the children and the students practising their speeches for the session at the Town Hall on 29th June 2016.  Everybody has been working really hard, and the content of the speeches is some of the best we have ever had as part of this Community Cohesion group.


The project was nominated for a Diversity Award through Rochdale MBC and although we didn't win we were very proud to be nominated!

Spring Term 2016

Session 5 - Wednesday 10th February 2016
The children all met at Hamer Primary School for the 5th session of Community Cohesion.


The first activity of the day involved some reflection time for the children to look at types of bullying behaviour.  Responses included: -

  • Hit a friend in an argument
  • Kicked a ball in the face
  • Hit on the head
  • Teased people
  • Name called
  • Criticised someone’s clothes in a nasty way
  • Excluded someone out of a group deliberately


Children then fed back how they could turn this sort of behaviour from a negative into a positive.  They were then asked to think about solutions which included:-

  • Tell a teacher
  • Tell parents
  • Apologise
  • Sort it out yourself buy talking to them and explaining you didn’t mean it


The group discussed what ‘serious bullying’ meant. Responses included: -

  • Cyber bullying
  • Every day – hitting and kicking
  • Inappropriate image that goes viral
  • May cause children to harm themselves
  • Name calling continuously


The group looked at how to keep ourselves safe and also talked about self-preservation.


The children carried out some role play around keeping themselves safe and the strategies they would use to deal with bullying behaviour:-

  • Ignore them
  • Tell somebody you trust
  • Take someone with you
  • Take another route
  • Contact the Police
  • Take other people with you to educate them and/or appeal to their better nature


The children came up with some great ideas and suggestions.  Well done to all who took part!

Autumn Term 2015 - SpringTerm 2016


This years sessions started in October 2015 and included 8 ambassadors from Marland Hill Primary School and 8 ambassadors from Hamer Community Primary School and representatives from Rochdale Sixth Form College.


The first session involved a successful introductory session where the aims of the project were discussed and the group thought about the purpose of the next twelve months, which is to try to make Rochdale a better place to live.


At the second session two PCSO's attended and discussed with the group how they could be of help to the police and in particular how they rely on "intelligence" to help them do their job effectively.  The group discussed in detail what they would ideally like in their "New Town".


The third session took place at Rochdale Sixth Form College where all ambassadors and 8 sixth form college students attended.  They were given a talk by Planning Officers, Rochdale Development Agency, Police and Children's Empowerment Officers.  This took the forms of question and answer discussions and interactive activities.



Summer 2015

Our wonderful Community Cohesion children took part in their final session at Rochdale Town Hall on the 24th June 2015.


Over the past nine months our children have been working with pupils from Hamer Primary School and students from Rochdale 6th Form, talking about what Rochdale means to them.


Before starting to write their speeches, each of the triads created a manifesto deciding what they felt as individuals they should bring to their groups. The triads then designed fantasy maps, drawing and reflecting on what they wanted the ‘ideal Rochdale’ to look like.  This then led onto lots of discussion about what they wanted to feature in their speech.


Over the past few weeks the children and students have been working hard to learn their speeches.

Mrs Cunningham, Ms Regan and Mrs McAdoo had the pleasure in accompanying the children to Rochdale Town Hall today, and as always they made us proud to be a part of Marland Hill Primary School.  The children delivered their speeches in the Grand Hall to some very important people from the council, police and education department, who fed back and answered some of the points raised in their speeches.

All the adults in the room were blown away with not only the high standard and quality of the speeches, but how well the students and pupils presented themselves.


Click here to watch the video!