North Tyneside Schools

We visited St Thomas More High School in the morning. James and Anane gave presentations to the Fairtrade group and to half the sixth form. It’s a huge school, so even half the sixth form was a huge room of students. The assistant head teacher gave a very impressive rousing final speech calling on the teenagers to take what they had heard out beyond the school walls, to their families and communities. He seemed like an example of one of those really important and committed teachers who are holding together and driving forwards Fairtrade activism in the school.

We also went to Beacon Hill School, where we had the opportunity to watch the children give a presentation to us, rather than the other way around. When we arrived, they had gathered a choir in the entrance hall to sing us in. They sang a sweet song that turned out to have been based on the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. That sounds like it could be quite dry, but the lyrics were actually lovely and simple.

Then they presented to us some of the things they had found out about Fairtrade, before James and Anane had their first go using our cloth cocoa pod, wooden machete and cloth plantain leaves to tell the bean to bar story. They added some twists to using the props that we had not thought of, like getting the children to carry the cocoa beans in a basket on their head, explaining how cocoa farmers have to carry their fermented cocoa beans several miles from the jungle to the village to lay them out on the drying tables.

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