Over the years Friezland Primary School, like many Oldham schools, has been working on the usual awards such as Tooth Friendly, Healthy Schools and Eco Flag.
Our local community must have been proud of us when we gained the Green Flag Award in a short space of time as we were finalists in the Schools Category of the Prideof Oldham Awards in 2011. This was fantastic as we were able to reward some of those children who had worked hardest on the initiative by taking them to the award ceremony.
Once we had achieved our Green flag award, the next step on the eco journey seemed obvious to us…to look at promoting Fair Trade. It helps our children to think about how lucky they are and is a continuous way of Making a Positive Contribution and understanding Economic Wellbeing.
One of our Reception teachers, Rebecca Keeley leads the Eco Team which consists of staff, children, governors, a representative from the Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents’ Association and parents who meet at least once every half term. The agenda always contains Fair Trade items for discussion. Fair Trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
To further help our children to understand about developing countries, we sponsor a child through the Love of Learning in the Gambia charity. The money we send allows a girl called Abbie to go to school; she gets a uniform provided as well as her mid-day meal and other resources. In addition to sponsoring Abbie we continuously collect toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, pencils and
crayons for other children who live in her village.
We try to use Fair Trade products in school when available; we only buy Fair Trade tea and coffee for staff, governors’ meetings and community events. We hold a termly community event such as a coffee morning, with entertainment from our choir and an invitation to other schools in our cluster to send representatives from their own school councils.
During Fair Trade Fortnight our group attends the local Tesco Store to tempt shoppers with tasty Fair Trade treats in order to try to persuade them to swap some of their items for Fair Trade versions. Our Christmas and Summer Fayres always carry a Fair Trade stall and there are always Fair Trade items in our lists of raffle prizes – mostly thanks to Community Champion Greg Barrat and our local Co-op stores.
We are very proud to be one of only five schools in Oldham who have achieved Fair Trade Status. It is very rewarding to think we are ‘growing’ responsible citizens who will look after the Earth, its resources and each other as the twenty first century races by.
If other schools would like to become involved in the Love of Learning in the Gambia charity, feel free to contact school and we will pass on the details of Janet Saggerson, one of our governors.
Headteacher, Friezland Primary School