fairtrade2015fFairtrade Day was held at Chesterton Community Sports College on Friday 27th February as part of  Fairtrade Fortnight. The day used the national theme of core Fairtrade products especially chocolate and focused on the life stories of the producers.

The showpiece events, staged in the school foyer and involving the whole school, were  'Fairtrade Chocolate Tasting Market' and 'Meet the Cocoa Farmers'. Pupils and staff visited these at break and lunchtime and during lessons classes came to visit in turn.

The chocolate tasting stalls were decorated with African table cloths and artefacts and gave everyone the chance to sample a variety of Fairtrade chocolate types including milk, dark, white and flavoured chocolate bars. This proved to be extremely popular, with everyone having their favourites but also enjoying some surprising tastes with flavours such as salted caramel and chilli chocolate. All the chocolate was very kindly donated by local supermarkets with the major donor being the Co-operative Store in Chesterton. Sainsbury's on Liverpool Road, Newcastle, Asda at  Wolstanton Retail Park and Morrisons at Milehouse also kindly donated chocolate.

After tasting the different types of Fairtrade chocolate, pupils visited the 'Living Tableau' of a Ghanian farm to 'Meet the Cocoa Farmers'. They learnt all about how cocoa is grown and what life is like for cocoa growers and how Fairtrade has made a difference. Pupils, Jacob Walton, Year 10, Elizabeth Dunn, Year 9, Joel Edgington-Plunkett, Year 8, Corbin Ball, Year 8 and Isobelle Hulme, Year 7 played the parts of a family of cocoa farmers. They wore authentic African clothing and used a range of African items including hand tools, cooking pots, woven mats and calabash bowls. Their farm was surrounded by cocoa palms and orange trees and even had animals including goats and (slightly surprisingly) a camel, named 'Caramell'.

The Fairtrade theme had been introduced to students earlier in the week with an assembly given to the whole school by Mrs C Tilt. She talked on the theme of life stories, shared her own experiences of living and working in West Africa and encouraged pupils to think about their own life stories and how they can connect with those of people overseas via Fairtrade.

This annual event involved every faculty delivering lessons with a Fairtrade theme to Key Stage 3 pupils. In English pupils in Year 9 used their skills in 'writing to inform' to produce information leaflets on Fairtrade. Other groups studied the cultures of Fairtrade producing countries and yet others wrote acrostic poems on the theme of chocolate. In Mathematics pupils studied percentages in the context of Fairtrade chocolate production and worked out the percentages of the cost that goes to cocoa farmers, the chocolate companies and to form the Fairtrade premium that supports producer communities.

Fairtrade sugar was the theme in Science with pupils doing an exciting practical called the 'Screaming Jelly Baby' to test for glucose. In MFL students used their skills in French and Spanish to study Fairtrade food production. Geography lessons had a focus on Fairtrade cotton and the clothing industry whilst in History pupils considered historic working conditions on plantations and contrasted them with modern conditions in Ghana.

Technology lessons included studying Fairtrade cotton production and Fairtrade foods used in desserts whilst pupils doing practicals in the workshops enjoyed some Fairtrade snacks. PE lessons included the concept of fairness related to both sport and Fairtrade, the Performing Arts department studied World Music and in ICT pupils used digital skills to make sound files with messages for young people in Fairtrade producing communities.

At lunchtime the library hosted a screening of the fim, 'Fairtrade Matters' and there were several competitions and quizzes for pupils to take part in. The Sentinel newspaper visited the school on Fairtrade Day and the event featured in the paper on 3rd March. The Fairtrade theme engaged the whole school community with this fun and informative event.

A gallery of photographs from the day can be seen below. Please click on an image to enlarge it.

Mrs C Tilt

Fairtrade Coordinator

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