This project focused on integrating Fair Trade purchasing throughout the school and raising pupil and staff awareness of global issues

The theme relates to:

Curriculum change – fair trade in Home Economics, Geography and RE.

Student participation – many pupils actively took part in different events.

Whole school change – the school now buys fair trade goods for functions and for sale in the canteen.

The theme made an impact on:

Geography: incorporated into schemes of work. Linking project to school in Kenya. Have sold fair trade goods to raise money also developed an awareness of children’s lives around the world.

RE: ethics of fair trade explored in the GCSE OCR Philosophy and RS course. Pupils have examined the ethics of fair trade and the difference it makes to individuals.

Home economics: fair trade tasting sessions and exploration of different qualities and sources of food products.

PSHE/Citizenship (RESPECT): the environmental global sustainability of fair trade goods.

Assembly / Collective worship programme: several different groups led class assemblies on fair trade issues. Also outside agencies. Themes for different terms have included global aspects – i.e. Think Local act Global, Community and Citizenship.

Challenges

Once the launch took place at a staff training of the idea of becoming a fair trade school it was agreed that products once run out should be purchased as fair trade.  They were not. I eventually tracked down the buyers, and the bursar had to be confronted that although this did have a cost implication the school was a lead learner and this was a vital part of the education process (approx 10% more ) .

Sourcing fair trade sugar sachets proved to be a problem also at first. Once a list of suppliers had been given to the finance office and a little time spent on researching the best deals for the school the problem was resolved. Also it is important to remember that hearts and minds take a while to change!

(Several heads of departments also now purchase fair trade goods now for their areas).

Planning

1.       I decided that it would be a good idea to launch the global citizenship project at a training event, with some SMART targets to achieve which the Fair Trade schools scheme provides. 

2.       At the training event a Fair Trade double bar and free samples of tea and coffee were given to all present. A Fair Trade stall was also present in order to promote goods. 

3.       The CDEC project on fair trade schools has several clear points that could be delegated and arranged with different individuals or departments. Action was decided.

4.       I organised stalls with products supplied by CDEC on a sale or return basis.

5.       Displays were arranged by ACES (environmental group) and as a direct result of curriculum work.

6.       I personally challenged individuals with purchasing power in school to buy fair trade goods, sought commitment from the headteacher and provided the finance department with relevant supplier details. 

Practicalities

1.       Launch at global citizenship training, all staff and school council present.

2.       Contact with stakeholders through school newsletter, press release on a harvest assembly and direct letters to governors.

3.       Several lead assemblies to whole school.

4.       Attendance at school council meetings.

5.       Sourcing products from CDEC for Fair Trade stalls.

6.       Contact with canteen supervisors.

7.       Letter writing campaign to director of education of Cheshire.

8.       Displays by pupils. The fund provided money for display boards, as there were none available for prominent display in school.

9.       Sourcing sugar sachets for school use was an initial difficulty.

10.    Fair Trade citizenship day for year 7, materials prepared by CDEC and one hour inset given prior to event by CDEC.

11.    Visit of Fair Trade sugar producer. All school council, year 6 pupils from a local primary school and representatives from other development projects in Cheshire attended.

12.    Constant messages in school pupil and staff bulletin re events, letter writing, and kindly reminding cost centres to purchase Fair Trade products.

13.    Postcard campaign, Fair Trade and lift the label postcards sent to various shops and businesses.

14.    CDEC vital in supplying goods on sale or return basis, support for launch, materials and providing a speaker. Fair Trade organisation vital in providing good relevant, cheap and appropriate materials.

Achievements

Parents have purchased several goods and leaflets have been distributed enabling many different stakeholders to become aware of the issues surrounding Fair Trade and the benefits it can bring to others in different parts of the global community. Pupils have developed a consciousness that purchasing Fair Trade goods, i.e. introducing a small change in their own lives can make a huge difference on others’ lives.

Pupils through school council have exercised their skills of campaigning negotiation and decision making.

Fair trade goods are sold in school and provided to parents and guests who visit. Fair trade goods are served to staff at training events.

The school is developing links with different communities around the world. The school wishes to become a sports and language college and the logo is FIT FOR THE WORLD. The issues of global citizenship are on the SDP.

The theme addressed the Citizenship curriculum in the following ways:

KS3 1f: the work of community- based, national and international voluntary groups.

KS31g: the importance of resolving conflict fairly.

KS3 1h: the importance of the media in society.

KS3 1i: the world as a global community.

KS3 2b: Justify in writing and orally a personal opinion

KS4 1e: how the economy functions inc. the role of business.

KS4 1f: the opportunities for individuals and voluntary groups to bring about change

KS4 1h: the rights and responsibilities of consumers, employers and employees

KS4 1j: the wider issues and challenges of global interdependence and responsibility

KS4 2a: pupils to research a topical issue.

KS4 2b: express and justify opinions

KS3 2c and KS4 2b and 2c: contribute to group and exploratory class discussions and take part in debates

KS3 3ac and kS4a: to consider other peoples experiences

KS3 3b and KS4b: negotiate and take part responsibly in both school and community debates

KS3 3c KS4c: reflect on the process of participating

How does the theme illustrate a global dimension?

Knowledge and understanding

How people in one part of the world by a change in their consumer activity can have dramatic effect on the lives of others.

The global inter-dependences of the world.

Social justice and equity.

Skills 

Critical thinking

Ability to challenge injustice

To argue effectively

Co operation and conflict resolution

Respect for people and things

Values and attitudes

Commitment to social justice and equity

Value and respect for diversity

Belief that people can make a difference 

How does the theme contribute to a broader ‘ideal’ of education in the school?

  • The project provides an opportunity for the school to lead by example.
  • Fair trade demonstrates to the pupils how the independence of the global aspects of the world can affect all our lives.
  • It encourages pupils to take action to help others, to develop the skills of care, empathy and participation.
  • Fair trade encourages the pupils to be aware of the ethical issues of trade and business.
  • It encourages pupils realise that they can make a difference.
  • A pebble makes a small ripple in the water but several stones enable a substantial change to take place!

Lasting benefits

  • Fair trade ideas incorporated into schemes of work
  • Canteen stocking fair trade goods
  • Fair trade goods served to visitors of the school
  • A feeling by pupils of I have made a difference
  • Improved self- esteem gained by participation
  • Development of campaigning skills
  • Development projects completed by the fair trade producers!

Lessons learnt

Delegate more staff to take part in different activities, or seek volunteers. For example, the letter-writing campaign was not well pushed by tutors, only when I mentioned it following a whole school council meeting with the Fair Trade producer and made personal requests to individuals did it take off. Could I have approached a subject i.e. English as part of their curriculum? I would have spoken to the bursar earlier to establish buying patterns.

The head teacher displayed his commitment at the launch. This was imperative in getting the project moving. Perhaps I could have supplied him with more products at this earlier stage to push with others. I later did pass on products to the office to use, but perhaps should have financed these earlier from fund.

Comment! When Brain Narmarta, a Fair Trade sugar producer from Malawi spoke to the school council he brought home the personalities behind the products! Buying fair trade sugar produced in Malawi will enable his community to build a waterhole saving time for the women and young children who now fetch water. The water will be clean. The borehole will also save lives because the river where the water was collected contained crocodiles and each month young children were taken. Once the water project is completed the next project will be to build a secondary school. At the present time there are only 15 in Malawi, about the same number in the district of Cheshire where Hartford school is!

Category: