17 October 2016

Olympic & Paralympic Heroes Parade in Manchester

Bringing our creative expertise to the welcoming celebrations

We have been commissioned by Manchester City Council to create the lead feature for the Olympic Heroes Parade taking place on at 4.30pm on Monday 17 October through Manchester city centre. The Olympic Heroes Parade has been organised by Manchester City Council on behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Walk the Plank, have been Creative Producers of the annual Manchester Day parade and city wide celebrations since its inception in 2010, and were invited to pitch our creative ideas for a parade piece that would capture the celebratory fervour that will inevitably be experienced when the Olympic & Paralympic heroes make their way through the streets of Manchester. We will also be shaping other theatrical elements to the parade to bring an additional celebratory dimension to the event.

As with much of our work, collaboration with artists and communities is an essential part of our creative approach.

For the Olympic Heroes parade we are working with children from Rushbrook Primary Academy, Gorton; Stanley Grove Primary School, Longsight; Cedar Mount Secondary Academy, Gorton; and Melland High School, Gorton who will be following behind the parade’s lead feature, an emblematic lion, designed by artist Candida Boyes and created by No Eyed Theatre

Ellie Turner, producer of both this parade and Manchester Day said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of such an important moment in the national celebrations for our Olympic heroes.  Our experience of producing Manchester Day and other civic celebrations has given us a wealth of expertise in this area, and we’re really excited about the creative piece we’re producing which will help set the tone and mood for what will be incredible celebration for both our Olympic heroes and everyone who comes to celebrate in their success.”

HEADER IMAGE: courtesy of Cedar Mount Academy

School Backgrounds

Rushbrook Primary Academy is a part of Gorton Education Village in East Manchester. It has 722 pupils on roll with the majority of pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds. There is a significantly high number of EAL pupils with 48 different languages spoken in school. Percentages of FSM, SEN and mobility are above national average. Rushbrook have been working in partnership with the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation for the last two years. Last year pupils participated in a number of sports tournaments including cricket, rugby, basketball, swimming and football. They achieved bronze and silver in the heats of a regional cycling competition organised by Sky. This term they have made a great start to the new academic year with four pupils getting through to the City Wide Cross Country Finals which take place next month.

Stanley Grove is a large Primary school that sits in the heart of the Longsight Community. We have 680 pupils on roll, of which 94% speak English as an Additional Language. A third of the pupils at Stanley Grove are eligible for free school meals. The school’s commitment to sports is reflected in their recent successes: reaching the finals in seven tournaments, becoming city champions in cricket and retaining the gold medal in hockey. Stanley Grove has strong sporting partnerships with Lancashire Cricket Club, Diane Modahl Sports Foundation, Manchester City and other local organisations. We are currently having a 3G sports pitch built as part of a building development and view that as becoming a hub for community sport as well as enhancing facilities for pupils. Stanley Grove recently featured in the Parliamentary Review of Schools as one of the most improved schools in the North West.

Cedar Mount is a Secondary Academy with 676 pupils on roll, situated in Gorton, East Manchester. 59% of students come from an English as Additional Language background with 32 different home languages spoken. 29% of pupils currently qualify for free school meals. The school has had great sporting success and are current City Champions in Rugby League, KS4 girls badminton, Quad athletics and Year 8 and 10 football . One of our students is also ranked number 2 in the UK for his age group in 100m, 200m and javelin so may take part in a future Olympic parade as a medallist! Cedar also works with Manchester City, Diane Modahl Sports Foundation and Manchester Rangers to enhance the opportunities that our students can access.

Melland High School is an outstanding specialist support school co-located with Cedar Mount Academy in Gorton Education Village and part of the Bright Futures Educational Trust.
All students have an Education, Health & Care Plan and experience significant learning difficulties. 50% of the school population is entitled to Pupil Premium Grant and 50% of students are from ethnic minority backgrounds. 40% of students have English as an additional language.
As a BFET SEND lead and a Manchester SEN specialist support high school, Melland also successfully supports the progress & achievement of students with SEND across partner schools.
Sport at Melland continues to go from strength to strength with pupils taking part in a huge range of sporting opportunities around the city and beyond. 6th form volunteers have recently taken part in a residential at Loughborough University and worked at high end sporting events such as the national squash and tennis championships. The girls and boys football teams are highly valued across the county, winning the 2016 City in the Community tournament and the school enjoys continued success in tag rugby, cricket and golf competitions.