About global citizenship
Today, as much as ever, we’re in a world full of vast wonders that many of us will never see, and we’re now walking in ever-decreasing circles. With crops of green beans coming from Kenya and a greater understanding of different cultures entering into the UK, young people need to learn how to work alongside changes, as well as the implications for all people involved.
Global citizenship and schools
Young people need to be taught the skills, values, attitudes and knowledge that will allow them to participate in a truly global society. As global citizens, they need to know about aspects of international law including things like Agenda 21.
Young people also need to understand topical issues and their effects on a global scale. Topics such as global warming, migration, the arms trade and the Fairtrade movement should all be understood. These topics will affect them greatly in their daily lives in a world of ever closer communications.
The communications age is, in fact, one of the very reasons why students need to be able to critically assess what they read in the media. It’s also a reason why they need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities in this world and how their decisions can make life difficult or easy for others in different parts of the world.
Tackling global citizenship
The Eco-Schools global citizenship topic seeks to ensure that pupils consider how the environmental, social and economic impacts of the decisions they make on a daily basis, impact on the local and global community – in the future as well as in the present. The concept of fair decision-making runs throughout the Eco-Schools process and is one of the factors Eco-Schools promotes across every topic.
British Council Schools Online
With thousands of Eco-Schools operating around the world, there are many schools you can contact to get a feel of how life is in their country, and how they may approach the same problems in a different way.
Eco-Schools has teamed up with the British Council Schools Online (www.britishcouncil.org/schoolsonline) programme. This offers schools across the UK amazing opportunities to get a global perspective into their school with a school link or an international project on an environmental issue. You can apply for partnership funding with a range of diverse countries through the Connecting Classrooms scheme (www.britishcouncil.org/connectingclassrooms) and access professional development opportunities and the International School Award
If you’re interested in linking with a school, please get in touch with the partner finding team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pod and Global Citizenship
The Pod, EDF Energy’s Programme for Greener Schools, can help you with the global citizenship topic, via their Climate Science activities. The Pod is an interactive online resource for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 teachers and pupils. It aims to make real and measurable improvement to the resource use and carbon output of schools across the country.
All activities on the Pod are accredited by Eco-Schools England and specifically designed to help schools progress through the Eco-Schools programme and achieve Bronze, Silver and Green Flag awards. Both teachers and pupils can use the Pod and joining is completely free. Visit www.jointhepod.org to register.
The Pod's Degrees of Change activity, for key stage 2 or 3, can be run either by a teacher, class or Eco-Committee. This comes with an activity resource pack, lesson plan, interactive game, assembly and an audit to help you track and measure the impact of the activity. Upon finishing an activity you can enter your start and end audit data into the Pod’s special online Pod-o-Meters to measure any savings made. The Pod’s climate science information pack, created with the Met office, helps you understand climate, weather, changes in our climate, how we can react and much more.
The audits that accompany each of the Pod's activities can be used to support your Environmental Review and your monitoring and evaluation efforts; and the activity’s associated lesson plans will help you link global citizenship into the curriculum.
Visit the Pod's Activity pages.
Linking global citizenship into the curriculum
Eco-Schools England have developed a series of lesson ideas designed to inspire you on your journey to embedding sustainable issues into everyday lessons. We have primary and secondary ideas that will encourage your students to solve real-life problems and present their solutions in a variety of ways.
Many of these lesson ideas cover the global citizenship topic as well as link into a range of curriculum areas. Visit our Eco-Schools Free Resources section to find out more and to download these lesson ideas.
See how other Eco-Schools have successfully addressed the global citizenship topic
Valley End Infants saw the link between the curriculum for Sustainable Development (of which Eco-issues are a major part) and ‘Rights Respecting.’ They worked to make those links more ‘noticeable’ in the day to day life of the school, reflected in the children’s vocabulary and behaviours
Gibside Special School help provide clean water for their partner school in Tanzania
Seeing first-hand the impact of climate change during a school trip to Gambia, Queen Elizabeth II High School took action to reduce their environmental footprint
Or visit our case studies section for even more ideas and inspiration from other Eco-Schools
Other sources of global citizenship resources
The Fairtrade Foundation can provide resources and ideas; taking part in Fairtrade Fortnight could be a great way to involve the whole school or you could consider becoming a fairtrade school. The British Council connects the UK's school sector to others around the world to enrich education, promote global citizenship and build international trust and understanding. Their website includes resources, videos and projects to get involved in.
To see a list of other organisations that can provide you with school resources and advice on tackling the global citizenship topic, visit our Useful Links page. Our wider links section also contains more information on the Eco-Schools/Global Gateway partnership.
National Awareness Days and Campaigns
There are many National Awareness Days, events and campaigns that tie in with the Eco-Schools global citizenship topic. Why not use them as a way to introduce global issues or projects to your classes and get your students really interested and involved with them. Click on the titles to find out more.
You can get all the environmental awareness dates for the coming academic year, as well as dates for Eco-Schools and Pod events by downloading the 2012-2013 Year Planner.