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Top Fairtrade accolade awarded to Harrogate school

Pupils at an eco-friendly Harrogate school have secured a top accolade for the way they "live and breathe Fairtrade."

Top Fairtrade accolade awarded to Harrogate school

Pupils at an eco-friendly Harrogate school have secured a top accolade for the way they “live and breathe Fairtrade.”

Ashville College has again been awarded FairAchiever status - the highest award level - by the Fairtrade Foundation.

The school has held the honour since 2009 for the way its pupils understand the connections between themselves and farmers in some of the poorest countries in the world through the things they buy.

To achieve the award, the children have also demonstrated their passion for changing the system to make trade fair.

After a Fairtrade Foundation assessment, the school’s approach was hailed as “one of the most outstanding applications” it had seen.

In confirming its FairAchiever status for the next three years, it said:

“Ashville College lives and breathes Fairtrade.

“Fairtrade is integrated into the curriculum and ethos. The quality of Fairtrade learning opportunities and activities is amazing.”

The assessor went on to tell the school:

“You are really providing pupils with all the tools to be the changemakers that we need in our world.”

[caption id="attachment_61246" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Pupils from Ashville College celebrate their Fairtrade award.[/caption]

Fairtrade and the concept of fairness is a core part of the College Development Plan and sits at the very heart of whole school activities and in a range of lessons.

These include business studies, PSHE (personal, social health, and economic), modern foreign languages, geography, food and nutrition, and international English studies.

Pupils are taught where their food comes from, what is meant by “fairness” and how Fairtrade is working to address unfairness in supply chains.

The school, which also supports the Harrogate Borough Fairtrade Group as part of its campaigning work in the community, has pledged to use Fairtrade products wherever possible – such as bananas, chocolate. coffee and sugar as well as sports balls.

Its work during Fairtrade Fortnight, when a daily series of family-friendly challenges to complete together at home, was also highlighted. Activities included making Fairtrade lemonade, brownies and banana splits; Fairtrade coffee and tea tasting; designing Fairtrade socks and coffee bars; and playing a Fairtrade board game.

Head of Ashville College, Mrs Rhiannon Wilkinson, said:

“We are proud to be a Fairtrade school. It means joining a worldwide movement co-owned by almost two million farmers – a movement where young people can learn that, whatever their age, they have a power to make a difference in the world.

“We are passionate about inspiring our pupils to tune in to the positive impact that can have on our world around them through small actions they can take in their own lives.”

Teacher Cathy Price, who leads the school’s Green Committee, said:

“The enthusiasm shown by all our pupils and staff in supporting the school on its Fairtrade journey has been incredible.

“It offers a great opportunity to explore global issues, such as where our food comes from and how we are connected from the classroom to people throughout the world.

“We have held Fairtrade quizzes, run gift stalls for Mother’s Day, sold chocolate and gifts at drama productions, and given out Fairtrade chocolate prizes for our Easter egg hunt.

“We are even having a Fairtrade stall at our school party to celebrate King Charles’ Coronation.”

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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