The Junior School has been awarded the FairAware Award from the Fairtrade Foundation which recognises schools that are supporting Fairtrade. This award demonstrates that the Junior School is part of a global movement where young people learn that whatever their age, they have the power to make a difference in the world.
FairAware is the first Fairtrade schools’ award and is about finding out where your school is in terms of understanding Fairtrade and using Fairtrade products.
A number of Junior School pupils were involved in a Learner Audit to measure their understanding of what Fairtrade is and their habits around this. Questions included how often children spend their free time finding out about issues that interest them, who Fairtrade helps and which products are produced locally and which are imported from abroad.
The Junior School curriculum ensures children as young as five are learning about Fairtrade topics across a number of subjects including English, Geography, Drama and Art. Fairtrade assemblies, events and visits from experts ensures children learn about this area in a variety of ways, leaving a long-lasting impact and making learning memorable.
Mrs Maggie Pollock, Junior School Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning), said:
We are so pleased to be recognised by the Fairtrade Foundation as a FairAware school. Many of the children cared deeply about this topic while learning it, so much so that Junior 4 successfully persuaded Senior Management to stock Fairtrade tea and coffee in the staffroom following a persuasive letter writing campaign.”
Perhaps the biggest Junior School highlight in this field is the annual Junior 4 Sustainability Social that has run the past two sessions. As part of their Sustainability and Fairtrade topic, J4 children hosted an event to share everything they’ve learned with their parents including what the Fairtrade Foundation is and how it positively impacts people and the planet, using the journey of cocoa beans and cotton to demonstrate this clearly. Pupils highlighted the difference in working conditions for Fairtrade farmers and factory workers versus those who do not work within it.
Mrs Pollock, added:
Pupils served homemade Fairtrade treats for their parents to enjoy at the Sustainability Social and they designed sustainable outfits to highlight the importance of using Fairtrade cotton. Feedback from parents was extremely positive and most said how informative the event had been and how impressed they were at how knowledgeable pupils were on the subject. It was an extremely successful topic!"
The Junior School is now embarking on its next Fairtrade Foundation award, FairActive, and hopes to achieve this by the start of next session. This award is all about taking action and plans are already in the pipeline!
During the summer, the Junior School was also awarded the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Gardening Awards Level 2.
To achieve this level, the Junior School demonstrated its Outdoor Education Committee has started growing plants, is taking inspiration from children as to what to grow, basic gardening terms are used, hand tools are used safely and everyone involved has the skills to prepare the soil, sow, plant and water. A huge congratulations go to Junior School PE Teacher Mrs Emma McConechy and Drama Teacher Mrs Alison Dougherty who run the Outdoor Education Committee and ensure pupils have the skills to be green-fingered!
Miss Heather Fuller, Head Teacher of the Junior School, said:
In classic Junior School fashion we were back from the summer holidays with a bang and had not one, but two, awards to celebrate! I’m very proud of the children and members of staff who worked so hard to ensure we were in a position to be awarded two such prestigious awards in important areas. Well done, I can’t wait to see what else we can accomplish this session!”
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