Children are naturally curious and want to learn about the natural world and where things come from. Wool, which grows naturally on sheep, is a hit with school-aged children. They can touch it, smell it, and play with it – all while learning about how it is made into sweaters, socks, and so much more. The International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) highlights two national education programmes that are teaching children about the journey wool takes from farm to store.
Educating Children About Wool
Many wool-producing countries have education programmes dedicated to teaching children about the wool production chain, and the uses and benefits of the fibre. Two in particular, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, are currently running successful initiatives designed to relate the story of wool to children.
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New Zealand’s ‘Wool in Schools’ Programme
Campaign for Wool New Zealand (CFWNZ) operates a mobile education programme called Wool in Schools. It involves two containers travelling throughout the country, visiting schools and teaching children in an environment that is inspiring and entertaining. The programme makes use of a variety of resources to help children engage with the story of wool. While learning how wool makes its way from pastures to store shelves, the children also gain real-life skills outside the classroom. Schools have been very positive in their response to the programme, which is now booked six months in advance and has been in operation since 2015.
CFWNZ also champions education in other ways including secondary, tertiary and training organisations, to support better skills and upskilling for shed hands and shearers, as well as design and innovation.
British Wool’s Learning Website
British Wool takes a different approach. The British Wool Learning website includes a wealth of digital resources to help teachers, parents and other community leaders teach children about the story of wool from farm to product. The resources include lesson plans, worksheets, assembly ideas, quizzes, games, activities and more. The learning materials are presented in age-appropriate packages: for Early Years, 5–7-year-olds and 7-11 year-olds.
These initiatives, and others like them around the world, have a dual purpose. First, they ensure that consumers are better informed about how wool products are produced and the benefits they provide. They also encourage young people to enter the wool industry and contribute to its continued success. Find out more on IWTO’s Wool Education page.
Learn More About Wool and All Its Uses and Benefits
For more information on wool and its multiple uses, as well as the international producers that make up our membership, explore our website and the endless resources available.
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