Our Home Learning challenges this term (Term 6) are linked to Awareness of our World and encourage the children to look into global issues, research them and find ways to help people all over the world. Bessie chose to research Fair Trade and where chocolate comes from. She wrote a Haiku poem linked to chocolate and Fair Trade and I am blown away by how thoughtful and heartfelt her poem is.

As part of Fair Trade week this year,  Class 5 played a game called the Christian Aid Paper Bag game which is based on the lives of paper bag makers in  Kolkota. In the game you had to work with your group pretending to be a family making paper bags out of newspaper. Unfortunately, this game was not designed to be fair; in fact it was designed to be unfair. You then had to sell your paper bags to a bag distributer. The distributer could change the number of bags you had to make, the size of bags and their shape to suit their needs. This meant that it was very hard for the families to make enough money to live on even though they worked very hard. The whole class really enjoyed the game and it helped everybody to understand how people can become stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty. Have a look at some of our views on the game.

We then looked at a Fair Trade lesson where we had to sort belongings and supplies into needs and wants for people. We were surprised by what things we classified as want items. We discussed how the world’s poorest people often do not earn enough to buy the things needed for all their basic needs e.g. nutritious food, clean  water, medication and education. This made us think about how we would want the world to be. We ended up writing our own list of Human Rights – things we felt everybody in the world should have access too. I think we did a pretty good job with this!    

Finally, we looked at the difference Fair Trade is making to the lives of Cocoa growers in Sierra Leone. We discovered how they are helping people to farm  sustainably, protecting the rainforest while still improving the lives of the people in their families and communities. We designed a Fair Trade chocolate bar reflecting the work of these Cocoa growers and Fair Trade.  

During Fairtrade Fortnight, Class 4 have learnt all about bananas, chocolate and cotton and how the people who farm these products are often not treated fairly for their incredibly hard work. We talked about Fairtrade and how they are fighting for living wages, safer working conditions and lots of other amazing things they do for these people. As a result, we have written letters to some of the biggest supermarkets and chocolate companies encouraging them to support Fairtrade and ensure all of their products, where possible, are Fairtrade. Here are a few of our letters for you to see!

We were really impressed with the Fairtrade Premium, which allows farmers to invest in their business or community. We loved seeing all of the schools, hospitals and water tanks built across the world to support the people who work so hard. One community in Mali even used their investment to build a medical centre with a midwife!

We also watched this video: https://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/resource/make-bananas-fair-a-film-for-schools/ and discovered more about Foncho, a banana farmer from Colombia and saw how Fairtrade makes a real difference to the lives of Foncho, his family and their community.