News‎ > ‎

One World Week

posted 20 Feb 2014, 06:55 by Sian Granville
As a part of the One World Week in school, Y5 and Y6 joined forces for the Paper Bag Activity! This involved 'families' of varying sizes being created across the four classes who were then allocated a carefully marked area, or 'bustee' in which to work. There was a presentation about people in Kolkota who arrive from the countryside and make paper bags from old newspapers to sell (10 bags = 1 rupee) to shop keepers. The families were offered the opportunity to have a 1:1 session with an expert to help them make bags which would pass the very rigorous testing procedure. This session cost each group 1 rupee per person attending, who then returned to their family to teach them how to make the bags correctly.
During the morning there was a fire which destroyed four of the bustees, leaving those families to rebuild and in the process they lost money because they weren't making bags and had to replace the materials. Fortunately a local charity heard of their problems and brought them money, which had been raised by a British school, to help them out. The children were encouraged to think about the precarious nature of this kind of existence, the random nature of good and bad luck and the fact that every member of every family had to make 260 bags each day just to provide them with the bare minimum food, water and clothing.

We were really impressed by the great team work we saw and in the case of two families, their offer to help those who had lost everything in the 'fire'. Thinking about the activity, most agreed it had been an interesting morning (some said 'fun'!) but that the idea of making paper bags for 10-12 hours all day every day was definitely NOT something we'd enjoy!