Pushpanath Krishnamurthy - International Campaigner for Fairtrade and Climate Justice
A small school with big dreams - We, at Captain Shaw's C of E Primary School, are passionate about using our learning to make real-life, positive changes for ourselves, our community, the environment and most recently, the wider world, through our Fairtrade campaign.
Our Journey began with...
Children, throughout the school, from Nursery to Year 6, explored the idea of Fairtrade using chocolate as a starting point (who wouldn't love that)! Each class then explored it's journey (and that of other products); considering the impact for farmers and their families before and after Fairtrade Standards...
With a continued, deepening understanding of Fairtrade through our English, Geography and Design & Technology lessons, our children have become passionate about the issues raised and wanted to help in some way. This passion was further ignited by the wonderful, inspiring and humbling visit from Pushpanath Krishnamurthy and Val Towndrow.
From here, children decided to take action and use their skills to inform and persuade more people to buy Fairtrade products in our local community...
Creating campaign posters... Practising our persuasion skills... Searching for Fairtrade products... Persuading people to pledge to buy at least one Fairtrade product during their shop!
In just under an hour, after approaching 79 customers, the children persuaded 70 to buy at least one Fairtrade product (some children even checked their bags on the way out)!
However, we haven't finished there... this is just the beginning! As part of our new topic, we are exploring plants and wildlife; developing our own allotment further. As part of this, we will be exploring...
Often I visit schools in Cumbria -I am always amazed at the way schools, students, syllabus and activities are used to enable the student’s ability and understanding in a holistic way. When I visited Captain Shaw’s school during the Fairtrade week- It just lifted me off my feet and nourished my heart. Here is a small school, impacted by its geography and industrial history “fall out” - it was so easy for it to be left behind. But the leadership and the staff team have proved what can be done with vision, passion, commitment and knowledge as well as wisdom, in what many would have felt was an impossible situation.
The students, young as they are, are sharp, inquisitive, familiar with current issues, full of optimism and keen to engage and make a difference.
The vision of the school:
“Captain Shaw's CE Primary School may be little but our dreams are big! We want to make every experience worthwhile for every child, every day. We are a part of their journey and, as such, endeavour to do our utmost to ensure each child fulfils their academic, personal and spiritual potential and succeeds beyond our school and far into the future.”
I saw every one of the statements above, with the school pioneering every word into action. I kept telling the story of the school to other teachers and schools I met in Cumbria following this visit. I saw in the school a pioneering spirit and an amazing place of breakthrough in these very bleak times.
I feel really honoured to have visited the school- what a great place!
Where there is visionary leadership- there are no walls or barriers for innovation, providing sustainable solutions in this climate wrecked world where Fairness and Climate safety can be addressed at the very grass root level.
Thanks for a truly visionary, encouraging and informative visit.
International campaigner for Fairtrade and Climate Justice
“Go Push Go!” was the motto for my visit with Pushpanath Krishnamurthy to Captain Shaw’s school during Fairtrade Fortnight. We came to give the children first hand experience of action being taken to support Fairtrade producers whilst also tackling climate change and injustice around the world. Yet we left the richer, because of what we saw happening already in the rich ‘family’ ethos of the school. Children are involved in choosing projects through which the curriculum is taught. These projects directly impact the local community equipping the children to recognise that their voice matters. That they can instigate and create changes for themselves, their community and the world through the choices they make. This awareness of fairness, through learning about Fairtrade, sustainability and climate justice was affirmed by Push, but from what we experienced in our visit… you are already well on your way! Congratulations and a very sincere thank you from us both.
Chair of Millom F.L.A.G.