Citizenship and PSHE

Citizenship and PSHE can complement skills and understandings within other areas, as well as being approached in their own right [eg through work around SEAL].  This section shares ideas for both stand alone and complementary approaches.

Citizenship and PSHE are natural companions to global learning.  The scale of engagement ranges from the global looking at issues and societies, to the individual looking at self, connections and actions.  This includes issues such as sustainability, community cohesion, wellbeing and pupil voice, alongside opportunities for children to develop a sense of their own identity and values.

In the sections below, teachers share ideas for addressing both content and pedagogy. Inevitably there is cross over between them – how can we talk about sustainability, without considering teaching approaches to controversial issues or providing opportunities for active citizenship, or indeed engaging with activities which develop empathy and consideration of other viewpoints? 

We hope that these resources will inspire you to try some global learning activities in your classroom ~ we would love to hear how they went!
Contact us to find out more about the support we offer, including our professional development programme and current teacher projects.

Community Cohesion

What contribution do schools make to cohesive communities locally and globally?Jamaica KS2 poster pack

‘Jamaica’ is a KS2 poster pack which focuses on links between Jamaica and Britain exploring historical connections and contemporary issues today, including questions of personal and community identity.

‘Citizenship in common?’  uses posters to explore the relationship between Africa and Europe focussing on historical links, trade, wealth and future dimensions.

Family Album’ contains photographs of families in the UK which can be used to stimulate discussion about relationships, self and community … including with very young children.

Controversial issues

What is an appropriate response to an earthquake or a famine? How do young people make sense of news reports and appeals for support? When is an issue controversial and when is it sensitive? Many of the topics covered in Citizenship and PSHE such as relationships, faith and human rights can be seen as controversial, and will have been planned for by the teacher. But it is not always possible to plan for controversy. These resources give some suggestions which will be useful in helping teachers respond appropriately. The following article was produced with one earthquake in mind, but offers ideas and approaches that would be useful for teaching about other disasters in the news:   Teaching about Haiti

‘Rehearsing our roles’ shares ideas for using Drama to explore Citizenship issues in a safe and engaging way, and includes some useful support material on teaching controversial issues.

Exploring identity

Citizenship and PSHE provide unique opportunities for young people to explore their own identity and that of others.

In the decade since September 11th Muslim communities have been under a media spotlight which often re-enforces differences. ‘Citizenship and Muslim perspectives’ came out of an interest expressed by teachers to explore Muslim perspectives further, and share ideas for classroom activities.

In ‘Global learning: a challenge to teachers, a challenge to schools’ Dr Fran Martin  shares ideas on how we approach difference, and how this impacts on global learning.

Learning as sustainable development

Professor Bill Scott raised a challenge of how we enable learners to engage critically with sustainability issues.  The result was a series of school based projects focussing on participation in real life issues, including changes to the school itself.  To find out more about these projects and the Bill Scott Challenge, click here.

Science, D&T and Geography all have a specific role alongside Citizenship links in addressing sustainable development.

A suite of resources ‘Towards Ubuntu’, Exploring Ubuntu’ and ‘Comparative education and quality global learning’ were developed as ITE stimulus material to explore the comparisons between education systems. With an emphasis on South Africa, these resources will inspire and challenge students, particularly those who are training to become teachers.

Using images as a stimulus

A powerful image can inspire a range of emotions and raise questions and challenges for learning.  Sharing images between partner schools, for example, can help young people develop a connection with a different place and a diverse group of people.  Teaching ideas for using images along with a selection of downloadable resources are available here ‘Global learning in primary schools’.  This includes material and images for teaching about contrasting localities, in order to understand what people and places have in common.

Many teachers have found picture books and story a powerful way of engaging empathetically with personal and social issues.  ‘Start with a story’ offers a wealth of practical ideas for doing this, and has been widely used for teaching Citizenship topics such as ‘Living in a diverse world.’

Developing enquiry approaches

A starting point for many discussions about global issues has been the Development Compass Rose [DCR]. The DCR framework reminds us to consider a range of perspectives related to environmental, social, economic and political aspects prompting deep engagement while encouraging the development of a range of communication skills.  This process challenges our assumptions and stereotypes, while creating a space to listen to others’ viewpoints of the world.  Comparing questions about comparable activities in our home locality and that of a partner school, for example, offers an excellent starting point for understanding commonalities.

Exploring global learning

Young children and global citizenship’ was written by teachers in response to the challenge of Citizenship education at KS1 and the EYFS.  It includes examples, case studies and guidance on themes such as ‘Celebrating diversity’, ‘A sense of belonging’ and ‘Special places and active citizenship.’

‘Global learning in primary schools’ shares ideas about global learning, proposes an entitlement for young people and is supported by a range of downloadable material which can be used in the classroom or with colleagues in a CPD session. This includes a section on understanding participation.