Three Weymouth schools came together as one this week to celebrate a tradition that dates back more than 170 years.

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 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" in 1844.

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



Wey Valley principal, Phillip 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.

“Aspect 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.

“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 disabilities, said it was great to see the co-operation between the three schools in action.

 “They 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.”

Aspect Trust Day was also a chance for others involved in the co-operative movement, and local councillors, governors and staff from Weymouth College and Dorset County Council, to see how the co-operation works in action.

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 operate to this day.