Fairtrade award success for C of E primary school

First published on: 1st April 2022

Class Teacher, Claire Donnelly, with the ‘Eco Warriors’ at James Knott C of E Primary School.


A primary school in South East Northumberland has taken its first steps towards becoming a certified ‘Eco School’ after receiving the FairAware Award from the Fairtrade Foundation.


James Knott C of E Primary School in Ashington, which operates as part of Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust, achieved the award in recognition of the efforts its pupils and staff have made to become more environmentally aware and conscious of the positive impact of using Fairtrade products.


Driven by the school’s ‘Eco Warriors’ group, pupils took part in a special assembly during the national ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ event held earlier this month to introduce the topic of Fairtrade – what it is and why schools should support it. Staff and pupils then participated in a series of audits to assess what Fairtrade products were already in use within the school, how Fairtrade was included in the teaching curriculum and what level of understanding the children had about Fairtrade.


The data was then submitted to the Fairtrade Foundation for analysis which resulted in the school receiving its FairAware Award.


“We’re absolutely delighted to have achieved the FairAware Award. The Award is the culmination of a huge amount of work to help us take the first positive step towards becoming a fully-fledged Eco School,” said Claire Donnelly, Class Teacher at James Knott C of E Primary School.


“The enthusiasm shown by our staff and pupils throughout the project has been incredible. Our Eco Warriors – a group of pupils from Years 5 and 6 have been fundamental to the success of the project having given up their break times and even stayed late after school to help compile the audit results and complete the online application forms.


“Looking to the future, we hope to achieve our second Fairtrade Foundation accredited award – the FairActive Award, by Christmas 2022 and to grow our eco community in school even further by electing a Fairtrade ambassador for each form class. The ambassadors will be responsible for suggesting ideas how we can improve our Fairtrade status, such as switching to Fairtrade tea and coffee in the staff room and stocking Fairtrade produce as part of our annual Market Stall day.”


Alan Hardie, CEO at Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust, added: “At NCEAT, we are passionate about encouraging our pupils to become conscientious global citizens, tuned in to the wider impact that they can have on the world around them through small actions taken in their own lives.


“I’d like to congratulate all of the pupils and staff at James Knott C of E Primary School on their FairAware Award and wish them every success with the continuation of the project.”


For more information about James Knott C of E Primary School, visit www.jamesknott.ncea.org.uk or to find out more about the Fairtrade Foundation awards for schools, visit https://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/fairtrade-schools-awards.

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