School is Fairtrade fantastic!

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St Thomas’s CE Primary school, Garstang, has become the first school in the district be granted Fairtrade status.

It is one of fewer than 500 schools in the country to be have received the accolade for the efforts of pupils and teachers.

Over the past few years, staff and children have taken part in a successful record breaking banana-eating efforts, sold Fairtrade smoothies, been involved in various promotions and hosted and worked with visitors from towns in Japan backing the initiative and link schools in Ghana. The school has a Fairtrade school development plan and only offers such products to visitors and in the staffroom.

Headteacher Helen Ife said: “As a Christian school, it is important that our children recognise how lucky they are and show their support of those less fortunate than themselves. The Fairtrade movement is an important part of teaching this message and the children have produced some imaginative and exciting work on this theme.”

Mrs Ife was also keen to acknowledge the support of the community, in particular the Co-op and Sainsbury’s supermarkets for their help.

“Families receive weekly e-mail newsletters. Every month we pull out one lucky winner who has acknowledged receipt of the newsletter to win Fairtrade goodies donated by Sainsbury’s,” she said.

“This is our way of thanking parents for their continued support and raising awareness of the Fairtrade cause.”

She also acknowledged the link with the Garstang Co-op, saying: “Manager Betty Whittam and the team have always been very accommodating and I know that our reception classes love visiting the store to find out about Fairtrade goods and then recreate their own Co-op in the classroom.”

Fairtrade pioneer Bruce Crowther said: “The school has worked hard to support Fairtrade for as long as I can recall, so its accolade as the first Fairtrade school in the world’s first Fairtrade town is more than deserved and perhaps long overdue. I hope that this move will encourage other schools in Garstang and district to follow the good example.”