At Chantry High School we were excited to be involved in the Developing Citizenship project. Our intention was to develop a curriculum that provides students with the opportunity to explore their role as social beings and increase their awareness of the ethics and values which underpin a well-run global community.
Teachers wrote schemes of work based on themes, in which children were encouraged to see the connections between the global and the local. Through our involvement with the Developing Citizenship project the theme ‘Rich world: Poor world’ was developed with key social issues in mind. We concentrated our efforts on two groups in Year 7, to enable us to channel resources effectively and monitor the outcome.
Connecting the Global and the Local
We are all members of a world community that is diverse and exciting, but at the same time unfair and unequal. It is our responsibility to respond to the challenges of ignorance and intolerance to make the world a better place. We chose to do this by promoting knowledge and understanding of:
Schemes of work were developed to encourage children to think critically and argue effectively so that they can challenge injustice and inequality. Moreover, we wanted our students to experience citizenship through active participation.
Chantry High School’s Developing Citizenship Project
Initially, to inspire the children and to give them a basic awareness of the issues on which we could build, we were fortunate enough to work with Dynamix, a Welsh company that teaches children how to set up and run their own co-operative enterprise. They were taught how to respect other people, develop co-operation and how to resolve conflict. The students responded enthusiastically and we had a highly successful Trade Fair where students traded their goods, such as hand-made cards, paperweights and Fair Trade cakes.
With their motivation and spirits high, students were ready to explore the theme ‘Rich world: Poor world’ in greater depth through subject strands.
Focusing on Ghana and Britain, students explored the diversity of the ‘Global Community’. Through careful planning and communication, teachers developed a web of learning where global connections between subjects became evident. Work in History reinforced studies in Art and English, and problem-solving tasks completed in ICT, Maths and Science supported ideas developed in Geography, RE and Music. Representation from all curriculum areas in this project was imperative if we were going to succeed in embedding Global Citizenship across all year groups.
How did we introduce Global Citizenship into the Curriculum?
Schemes of work took into account the different learning styles of individuals and placed an emphasis on student participation.
The intention of the project has been to imbue students with a sense of their own identity and self-esteem and empathy towards others. They have been taught not only to value and respect the diversity of our Global Community but also to believe that people, if committed to improving the environment and sustainable development, can make a difference!
We can all make a difference.
Global Citizenship and Curriculum Change
Following the completion of the above module with the two Year 7 groups, the challenge facing Chantry was to embed Global Citizenship into the school-wide curriculum and to make an impact on the ethos of the school.
The main strength of our project was that it had representation from all curriculum areas; therefore staff can feed back to colleagues about Global Citizenship and where it can be delivered. The resources purchased are available in the school library for staff to use when planning and delivering lessons. We also hope to include an INSET session in the near future to encourage staff to teach Global Citizenship and promote active participation for our students.
This ensures a lasting benefit of our involvement with the project.
The following changes have already been made by many curriculum areas, for example:
One of our main intentions was to look beyond Chantry and share the successful teaching and learning of Global Citizenship that took place with other schools. A member of the Geography department delivered a session on Global Citizenship at a County INSET conference for Heads of Geography. Resource packs were made available for teachers to take away and try in their schools.
Direct links were made with students from another Ipswich school during a Global Citizenship Day aimed at Gifted and Talented students. The focus of the day was on Ghana, and learning what unites us rather than what divides us. This helps to challenge students’ preconceived notions of African children.
Bringing about Whole School Change
Current school policies on citizenship tend to focus on our place within the local community. Our experience with the Developing Citizenship project has encouraged us broaden our horizons and consider the global community. We have examined our School Improvement Plan and identified areas in which global citizenship can be incorporated into the ethos of the school. Raising awareness of global citizenship has already been achieved through the following:
Following our involvement in the DGCP Chantry is including Citizenship as part of the school’s Specialist Status bid for Humanities.
Introducing Global Citizenship Successfully