GoaLco - Golborne and Lowton Co-operative Learning Partnership Trust
Goalco is unique to Golborne High School. It is an innovative partnership between Golborne High School, Lowton Junior and Infant School, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, The Co-operative College, UCLan and Wigan & Leigh College. It is an Educational co-operative formed in 2010. We raise awareness of the Trust through assemblies and work through school and with our other Trust partners.
Over the years, our partnership has gone from strength to strength with significant interest from outside organisations. A business strategy with objectives is updated annually and partners contribute time or provide learning activities.
We have Trust meetings each half term and the pupils meet fortnightly. We follow cooperative values and we have a chair, vice chair and other roles within the group. We have raised a significant amount of money over the years, for example through events such as a Fashion event and a bag pack. Our Spanish and French exchange schools are also very interested in our Trust work.
There are many successes to date but our most ambitious project is the creation of a Wetlands on a derelict playing area. Through engaging with community contacts, a local construction company, Murphy’s, has landscaped the area. Expertise has also been provided by Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles on the design of the site. Students from Wigan & Leigh College have built fencing and we also now have a hide and some paths in place. We hope to have some other learning areas and bridges built in the near future.
In order to put some trees on our wetland we ordered some hedges from the Woodland Trust and some Alder trees were also donated from the Three Sisters.
The Wetlands will be utilised for the delivery of learning activities that will benefit the lives and change attitudes of many local people. This is an outstanding example of how young people can learn co-operatively and we believe this project will be recognised, valued and provide inspiration for other partnerships. The official opening was combined with a Family Fun Day and enabled all the community to visit and enjoy the beautiful landscaped Wetlands area.
The Wetland Committee
In addition to GoaLCo Trust meetings, a Wetland Committee was established in 2016 to manage the Wetland. Representatives from members of the Trust, community groups, local companies, outside agencies and educational establishments work closely together to ensure that the Wetland and the wildlife there is monitored and that there are opportunities available for all to learn about our environment.
Any organised group visits to the Wetland area can be arranged by contacting the school reception.
The Trust partners have continued to work with one another. One example of this is UCLAN who have provided an insight into university life and activities free of charge for children who perhaps may not have considered university in the past.
The Trust offers our students unique opportunities to enrich their learning. Our partnerships are very special to us and allow us to expand our student’s horizons and provide them with experiences which both support and extend the learning in the classroom.
Relationships with other groups in the community have also gone from strength to strength. An example of this is that the Trust has been fully supported by these groups during the last assessment for the In Bloom ‘In Your Neighbourhood Award’. Volunteers from our Wetland Committee Group welcomed the assessors who were very impressed with our Community Wetland Project and smaller linked projects.
ECO Schools Award
In July 2018 Golborne High School was awarded the Green Flag Award by the Eco Schools Assessor. This is a very prestigious award and it was due to the Trust, the strong network of community support volunteers and pupils that we were fortunate enough to receive it. As a result representatives from GoaLCo at the school were invited to an annual Eco Conference and were proud to share their story and Wetland photos with other schools and environmental groups.