Major global sporting events like the World Cup taking place in South Africa in 2010 and the 2012 Olympics in London, offer a unique opportunity to explore global learning through PE and Sport.

At a workshop at the Sports Colleges Conference, held in February 2010, secondary teachers started to explore key ideas about the contribution sport and PE can make to global learning.

Teachers identified the value of connecting with other areas of the curriculum, particularly around key events in the sporting calendar, and how thinking globally can help bring ideas together. They also recognised the potential of raising achievement for those disengaged by school.

The resources here come from various subject areas and are offered as a stimulus to help thinking around these key ideas. If there are others that you recommend then please let us know. We would also like to hear from you if you are interested in exploring these ideas further as part of a teacher group. Please contact us at

To support work around global learning in primary schools and the KS3 curriculum see these resources:

Stimulus stories, images and cartoons

The following were used as a stimulus for discussion around global learning in sport and PE at the Sports Colleges Conference. See links for ways of using them with learners or as part of a CPD session.

Boy Overboard, Morris Gleitzman

The story of Jamal and his family who flee Afghanistan and make an intrepid journey to Australia after their mother’s illegal school is discovered. Dreaming, playing and thinking about football gives Jamal hope for the future. Suitable for KS2 and 3.

“I stare at her, half angry, half grinning. This is amazing. My sister is a football natural.A wonderful thought hits me. We can do it together. We can improve our skills and impress the government and start a national team and win the hearts of all Afghans together. When the government sees how talented Bibi is, they’ll change their minds about girls playing football. They’ll have to.”

Bend it like Beckham, Narinder Dhami

The book based on the well-known film, telling the story of Jess who wants to join the local women’s football team, whilst her parents want her to be a “nice, conventional Indian girl”.


Images of athletes [for example Bahrain’s Ruqaya Al Ghasara] can be used for exploring issues of gender, human rights, disability, role of the media, advertising and so on. 

See article Using photographs


Cartoons provide a stimulating and thought provoking resource for exploring issues with children. Contemporary examples include Olympic Torch vs Human Rights Candle from and Angola and the Africa Cup of Nations from See article Looking at Cartoons

The cartoon featured here was drawn in the USA at the time of the
1980 Olympic Games held in Moscow. These games were boycotted by the USA

The Olympics

Youth Sport Trust ~ 2012 Inspiration
The YST works with schools and community groups to improve the quality of PE and Sport for young people. Their website gives project ideas and case studies working towards the Olympics in 2012.  click here

Planet Sport

From the Geographical Association, the Planet Sport project aims to develop resources linking geographical themes such as regeneration, economic development and tourism with global sporting events. London 2012 resources will be available here

The World Cup

Learning with teachers in South Africa : More than just a game of football?
Teachers involved in a study visit to Cape Town have developed and trialled resources for teaching about the World Cup at KS3.

The following articles have been published in Comparative Education and Quality Global Learning The authors participated in a study visit to South Africa where they were able to reflect on their own as well as South African, educational practice.


Learning to lead: The politics of physical education,Helen Miles, Birmingham Advisory and Support Services

Dreams and teams: changing attitudes-changing lives, Liz Bartley, Ken Stimpson Community School, Birmingham 
South Africa 2010, Arthur J Kelly
Primary Geographer, Spring 2010

This article shares ideas for exploring the World Cup through geography with lots of useful links to background information and images.

eLanguages ~ The 2010 Football World Cup Project
eLanguages is an online community of teachers and learners from around the world. This project is for primary and secondary schools and encourages learning about the countries involved in the world cup.  Click here

Bring on the world!
Activities for exploring trade and football with KS2. There are links to citizenship activities and resources for exploring the sportwear industry.  Click here

Also useful…

Sport: Levelling the playing field
This resource comes from Global Education in Australia. It asks the question, ‘Do all countries have a chance of success in international sporting competitions?’ It uses an enquiry approach and has an excellent list of onward links.

Dreams and teams

Managed and developed by the British Council and the Youth Sport Trust with local in-country partners, Dreams and Teams uses sport to develop international Young Leaders and establishes partnerships between schools around the world. Information about this and other sports programmes can be found at

Show racism the red card

Campaign using top footballers to educate against racism. Has excellent teaching resources in the online teachers’ area including packs on Islamaphobia and a pack aimed at tackling racism towards Gypsy, Roma and Travellers. All resources feature successful sportsmen and women.