Alma Park – first Manchester school to receive Peace Mala Accreditation

article in Manchester Evening News – March 2013

On Friday 1st March 2013 the Lord Mayor, Councillor Elaine Boyes and the Lady Mayoress Linda Geoghegan visited Alma Park Primary School, Levenshulme to congratulate the school on being the first in Manchester to achieve Peace Mala accreditation. Peace Mala is a non-political, non-religious charitable organisation that promotes equal treatment of all people with the aim of celebrating difference and ending discrimination.

(Back row from left to right, head teacher Charles Parfitt, teachers Denise Samuels and Claire Foulstone; front row from l to r, Evan Kippen, 8, Lord Mayor,Councillor Elaine Boyes, Lady Mayoress Linda Geoghegan, Aleena Khan,8)
(Back row from left to right, head teacher Charles Parfitt, teachers Denise Samuels and Claire Foulstone; front row from l to r, Evan Kippen, 8, Lord Mayor,Councillor Elaine Boyes, Lady Mayoress Linda Geoghegan, Aleena Khan,8)

Charles Parfitt, Head of Alma Park said:
“The aims of Peace Mala fit exactly with the school ethos where children and staff work hard to treat one another with respect, where we celebrate festivals from different cultures and religions and encourage tolerance and appreciation of what we each have to offer. Peace Mala has been an excellent focus for our work on bullying, prejudice and the environment and for our international school links. We are very proud to be the first school in Manchester to achieve Peace Mala status and of the recognition that this gives to our important work on diversity.”

Since the Autumn of 2010 the children and staff at Alma Park have been working to complete the seven accreditation areas specified by Peace Mala. The school council members are the Peace Mala ambassadors and they spread the message of Peace Mala through the school.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Elaine Boyes said:
“Alma Park Primary is an excellent example of a school which successfully celebrates difference and diversity in the most positive way. I congratulate them on achieving this great award which is a real testament to their hard work in this most important area.”

Peace Mala aims to cut through prejudice and discrimination, to confront bullying, to support human rights and to celebrate what makes people both different to one another and connected to one another. The word ‘mala’ is Sanskrit and means ‘garland of flowers’, in the East a mala is a string of beads used in meditation or prayer as each bead or ‘flower’ focuses on a prayer or mantra. The rainbow beads on the mala of peace represent the key aim of Peace Mala which is to treat others as you would like to be treated.

(From l to r, Lord Mayor, Councillor Elaine Boyes, Connie Lupton, 8 , Lady Mayoress Linda Geoghegan, Ibrahim Baig, 9)
(From l to r, Lord Mayor, Councillor Elaine Boyes, Connie Lupton, 8 , Lady Mayoress Linda Geoghegan, Ibrahim Baig, 9)