In 2013, we decided to work towards becoming an accredited Fairtrade School. We wanted to add an international dimension to our learning, involve the local community and also find a project that the children could lead themselves.
Fairtrade is all about justice and making the right choices. Children are learning about the lives of children in other parts of the world. They are making comparisons and understanding that people around the world have similar needs and values. This learning supports our Christian ethos and also opens up many topics for higher thinking skills and discussion.
In May 2014 St Peter's was accredited at the highest level for the Fairtrade Achiever Award. Assessors said:
" Well done St Peter's! You have provided so much evidence to show that your children have a great understanding of global food production and the motivations behind promoting Fairtrade. You have made great efforts to take the message out to the local community and have also brought fair trade issues into all curriculum areas."
Younger children understand the meaning of the Fairtrade symbol in simple terms such as the farmers receiving a fair price for their produce. Older children are exploring world trade and investigating who makes most money from a jar of coffee or a chocolate bar. They are beginning to think about why some countries have many natural resources but remain poor, while others have no resources and yet are comparatively wealthy.
We have a Fairtrade Committee comprising children, staff and parents and have organised and will continue to organise events promoting Fairtrade. Children have run a promotional stall at Parents’ Evenings and Fairtrade gifts are sold at the Christmas Fair. During Fairtrade Fortnight, some children conducted research with customers at local supermarkets and children have also organised a whole school Fairtrade sale. Staff are encouraged to use Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar and our cookery sessions promote Fairtrade ingredients wherever possible.
From September 2014, the new national curriculum has enabled us to embed Fairtrade issues wherever possible. Our award will be renewed in 2017 so the learning will be developed further.