Join hands across the world

11th April 2008 at 01:00

We are all citizens of the globe. But global citizenship isn't just about what happens in other countries. It begins closer to home, in the classroom, in the way children take responsibility for their actions.

One exercise involves getting pupils to draw a timeline of what has happened in their lives, followed by two future lines. One line is what they think will happen in the world. The other is what they would like to happen. We then discuss how we could turn their probable future into their preferred future. We look at what they can do individually, what the school can do, what governments can do.

We've incorporated global citizenship into many areas of the curriculum. In literacy, we look at persuasive language, using leaflets and adverts from charities. We study them as texts, but analyse what they teach us about global citizenship. In RE, we discuss how different faiths approach charity. And in maths, we explore number systems around the world.

The course offers excellent advice on establishing links. Our partner school is in Uganda, and is part of a project looking at where food comes from and how it's grown. That's the key to a successful link - both schools need clear goals. If it is largely based on giving, it won't have so much value.

The course looks at ways of measuring the success of global citizenship programmes. It's important to see if we are changing attitudes. Our school is working with the Reading International Solidarity Centre, doing trials of audit activities to look at our impact.

I hope our pupils are becoming more open-minded, and understanding of diversity. We encourage them to look for similarities in people's lives, not differences. And the course has challenged my assumptions and hopefully made me a better role model.

Kirstie Rogers is geography co-ordinator at Falkland Primary School in Newbury. She was talking to Steven Hastings.


Global Citizenship Advocates Training runs over three non-consecutive days and is organised by Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC). The next course runs in Reading on June 10, July 1 and July 15. Cost pound;200. To book, contact Louise Robinson on 0118 958 6692.

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