Heaton: A Fair Trade School.

This month saw us celebrate Heaton’s 6th year of commitment to Fair Trade with our annual art exhibition at Trade Aid Merivale. We were also joined by Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, as they celebrated their first year as a Fair Trade School. A number of joint art workshops were held where we shared skills and developed our ideas for a body of work to be exhibited. These were huge fun

An initiative this year, by Art Extension, was to introduce a poetry competition. A selection of the best entries became art works in their own right.

Last week Art Extension led our assembly as the Fairtrade Poetry Prizes were handed out, poems read, a rap performed and a slide show of work and students helping on World Fair Trade Day was watched.

Below is the link to this slideshow. The music is by kind permission of Gareth Davies-Jones.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHfQurBD2wQ

Gaylis, the shop manager from Trade Aid Merivale, came to hand out the prize winners’ certificates. She spoke about how honoured and grateful Trade Aid was to have Heaton students involved in World Fair Day. Gaylis also commented on how many members of the public had been overwhelmed by the maturity and quality of both the artworks and poems.

At the end of our assembly we all watched ‘The Chocolate Song’. This had been produced by Max Havelaar, the first company in the World to use Fair Trade labelling. A bilingual story about Cacoa production in Ghana set to fabulous rhythms, guaranteed to have you singing along. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuuuyUdX3do https://fairtradebelgium.be/sites/default/files/max-zoekt-klas/lyrics_nl.pdf

I was immensely proud of all our students. They had written poetry, produced artwork, baked Fair Trade biscuits, played music, talked to the public about Fair Trade and their work, helped hand out samples and showed organisational skills that many an adult would be envious of.

Many thanks also to some of our extra helpers who came to assist.

We are most grateful to Gaylis and all the Trade Aid team for being so encouraging of our participation, and for providing us with a real opportunity to communicate to the wider public the principles and benefits of ethical trade.

All too soon it was time to take down the exhibition at Trade Aid so that it could transfer to South Christchurch Library in Beckenham, where the work now hangs

More information may be found on the Heaton Art Blog.


It was great to see so many people inspired by the art we showed them and the message behind it. I’m sure that most of the people that left the shop on World Fair Trade Day are making a renewed effort to be an agent of change. All the art and more is now in the South Christchurch Library. It will be on  show until the 14th of June. Come and see our learning!

South Christchurch Library, 66 Colombo Street, Beckenham

Kate: Kākano Mano Visual Art