This project supports the National Framework for PSHE and the National Healthy School Standard, as well as supporting the development of Citizenship throughout the school with some 1400 pupils
The main aim of the project is to establish Kirkley High School as an Eco-school. To achieve our aim, local and global environmental issues have to be developed through discrete curriculum time, through cross curricula links and through extra- curricula activities. To be successful, a whole new area has to be developed throughout the school.
It was decided that the project would focus on whole school issues, which also supported the development of Citizenship at Kirkley High School. These were:
1. Seek to develop and work towards achieving Eco-school status across the curriculum 2. Embed the School Council into the school framework 3. Develop global citizenship on the discrete curriculum. 4. Seek to develop global links with schools abroad. 5. Develop policies with help from all parties on issues such as citizenship, equal opportunities and multi- cultural education.
6. Support the formation of issue based groups at the school promoting issues to do with global awareness.
This is the order of priority, which was attached by the group to the particular elements of Global Citizenship, which we wanted to develop at the initial stage. By the end of the pilot there were changes to the issues, which were to be developed and the priority given to them. This was largely shaped by the experience itself.
The number of objectives was determined by the degree of interest and enthusiasm of the staff attending the meetings and while in hindsight it might have been better initially to focus on fewer issues this may well have reduced the level of interest and empowerment. Staff and pupil involvement in the pilot has been voluntary and this goodwill has had to be sustained and supported throughout the project.
The scale and the nature of the task means in effect that the whole school has to be involved, that is the Senior Leadership Team to the caretaking staff. It meant raising awareness of the project amongst staff and pupils, creating a working group to conduct an environmental audit of the school and create an environmental action plan, it meant re-evaluating the existing PSHE/Citizenship curriculum to determine where it might be possible to teach local and global issues discretely and to explore ways in which subject areas might be able to support the Eco-School scheme. It would necessitate a review of the existing PSHE/Citizenship policy to ensure representation of environmental and global issues.
This meant that a number of the initial objectives could be combined and addressed thus hopefully ensuring future support from as many staff and pupils as possible. The objective was to achieve the Bronze Award in the first year of the project, the Silver Award in the second year and the Green Flag Award in the third year.
Calendar of events
May 2003: Inset Presentation by Alison Wood (Environmental Education Advisor) to Global Citizenship task group. Increased staff and pupil awareness. Formation of an Eco-School Committee.
June 2003: Discussion of aims and objectives of project, activities interested in doing, financing of project, launch Targets set for Years 1,2 and 3 of project. Recycling, Eco-garden, Eco- Matters Day. Visit to Eco- Centre at Swaffham.
September 2003: Wacky Races. Eco- School Assembly. Pupil and Staff Awareness Developed. Eco School Committee established. Eco School audit undertaken.
November 2003: Visit to Eco-Centre. 25 pupils and staff visit Eco-School Centre. Maintained interest in Project.
April 2004: Eco- Matters Day. Subject areas develop themed lessons across the curriculum. Successful attempt at cross curricula linking.
July 2004: Ongoing Curriculum Development. Year 9 and Year 11 Global and Environmental issues to be incorporated into Key Stage 3. Tutorial programme and Key Stage 4 Citizenship programme. Get Global Package Inset for Year 9 tutors. Collaboration with Year 11 citizenship team to produce a scheme of work.
The Eco-matters Day, 2 April 2004, was the culmination of the process, which began with its inception in May 2003. The main aim of the day was to see if it was possible for departments across the school to create a lesson with an environmental theme and deliver it to pupils within their subject either at Key Stage 3 or Key Stage 4.
Previous activities had been concerned with raising awareness amongst staff and pupil alike and about maintaining participation and enthusiasm. This task was more concerned with building on this and trying to sustain the project on a long-term basis. It also provided the opportunity for departments to become more aware and involved in the project on a voluntary basis and judge the extent of support for it. In doing so it would allow them to adopt a slightly different approach to their own teaching, perhaps a more active one.
The cross curricula approach had already been identified by the Global Citizenship Task group as an essential element of delivering aspects of global citizenship on a whole school basis so again. This was a way in which this could be developed and then evaluated.
Departments were encouraged to participate and given advance notice about the morning at Heads of Department meetings prior to the Eco-Matters Day. Prizes were offered for the most supportive and innovative department. Due to the timetabling of the morning it was not possible for all departments to become involved but certainly staff made an extra effort to put together an environmentally friendly lesson. The idea of giving prizes to departments and support from NEAD in effect meant that lessons would be observed and monitored (a cunning plan which OFSTED ought to adopt) but on a friendly basis.
In the event the participation was extensive with the core subjects English, Maths and Science happily participating alongside ITC, Modern Foreign Languages, Technology, History, Geography and R.E. Key teachers, supporters of the Global Citizenship pilot would either produce the lesson and pass it onto members of their department to deliver or would encourage a more individualistic approach to producing and delivering a lesson.
It wasn’t felt necessary that departments had to standardise lessons. This might reduce creativity and experimentation by teachers. Equally, it was recognised that more work should not be pressed on to an already busy workforce at a crucial time of the exam phase. Therefore it was appropriate for department to adopt whatever approach, which best suited them. As expected both approaches were adopted.
In the event pupils in both key stages had their morning lessons in whatever subject they were doing taught through an environmental theme. For example the ITC department discussed issues surrounding transport and the environment and then asked pupils to complete the national internet survey on www.youngtransnet.org.uk/survey
, the History department reviewed/ revised work on the beliefs of the Plains Indians, Modern Foreign Languages encouraged their Year 9 pupils to design Eco-friendly poster in French and Spanish, English groups examined different leaflets to do with re-cycling and to identify key elements of a non-fiction text and Maths using the similar theme of re-cycling spent time calculating the answer to the question “How much land-fill space is wasted in Britain when we don’t crush our cans before we throw them away?” Geography and Science also created imaginative lessons.
It was clear from the lessons observed and the products created from the different sessions that both staff and pupils were receptive to the environmental theme. In the MFL area the posters are displayed. The ITC survey was completed; the Maths Re-Cycling calculation was recorded and stored for another day. Likewise English poetry based on the phrase “the earth is the earth is the earth…” was completed.
These were the tangible outcomes but clearly there were other outcomes, which resulted from the Eco-Matters morning. There hadn’t been a great deal of disruption to normal teaching practices. Lessons had been either ‘tweaked’ or created specially for the day but essentially they were English, Maths, History, Science, ITC, R.E., Geography or MFL lessons. The Mathematics department had produced its own lesson for the day. This was innovative since traditionally Maths had been an area, which up till then had found it difficult to incorporate citizenship into its schemes of work. Now it had a better understanding of citizenship and can demonstrate its links with it. Interestingly enough Maths is now developing another strand of citizenship i.e. financial literacy to Year 11 pupils.
Cross curricula linkage was possible and possible on a whole school basis, without it entailing a great deal of extra work for departments. This means that this can now be incorporated into the calendar on an annual basis and hence sustained. The previous awareness raising activities, the simplicity of the task, and the popularity of the theme had created firm foundations on which the exercise could be based and developed in the future.
The next major development, which also addressed the issue of sustaining Global Citizenship within the school and moved it towards Eco-school status, was the creation of a programme of study in both key stages. This tied in with the development of citizenship itself now the theme for the National Healthy School Standard accreditation process and the National Framework for PSHE.
The Global Citizenship task group had taken the decision in May 2004 to become the necessary task group because the aims and objectives of the Global Citizenship readily coincided with those of the N.H.S.S. for the citizenship theme. To create another working group seemed unnecessary duplication. Essential to successful accreditation for both Eco-School status and the N.H.S S. accreditation process is the need for a progressive programme of study at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
A curriculum audit of work completed in the Middle Schools indicated that global citizenship had not been addressed sufficiently and that the Year 9 tutorial programme would be a good starting point for this development.
Year 9 tutorial programme
This was the natural place to develop a programme of study focussing on Global Citizenship because it provided the opportunity and the time to develop Global Citizenship on a whole school basis, rather than through a departmental approach. The success of this or lack of it may well pave the way to examine the possibility of delivering citizenship through the humanities area. This depends on the outcome of the project, which will not be known until Easter 2005.
The main obstacles to overcome were to decide on a programme of study which was accessible to all the group tutors concerned, which was flexible to allow them to concentrate on a style of delivery which they felt comfortable with, allow pupils to have a great deal of input and enable it to be monitored and assessed as part of the pupils’ tutorial report. This should fulfil the citizenship requirements and allow consistency of practice across the year group.
The package chosen was ‘Get Global’ and before it could be introduced the group tutors needed familiarising and training with the approach and the materials themselves. Fortunately, the Global Citizenship Pilot Fund was able to finance the programme for each group tutor and time was allocated in June 2004 within the Year 9 group tutor inset for the training to take place. Response to this was positive and tutors felt more confident about its delivery. The starting point was to be September 2004 but other tutorial priorities delayed this so it was not until mid October that the programme has began. Thus evaluation will not take place until the spring term.
Year 11 curriculum development
As a consequence of the pilot it was felt that progression at Key Stage 4 was necessary. The only place this could be delivered was on the discrete time allocated to the Citizenship programme in Year 11. Whilst a programme covering aspects of Global Citizenship had already been developed it was felt necessary by the team of Year 11 citizenship teachers to review this and plan a more coherent programme, which was more challenging for Year 11 pupils. It was also felt that a new programme would avoid duplication of themes studied in R.E. in Year 11 such as Human Rights, Refugees and Racism. Moreover it would be the product of collaboration rather than just the ideas of the PSHE/Citizenship Co-ordinator. The team and pupils alike once delivered could then effectively evaluate it.
The programme was created at a twilight inset meeting, which focused on the key questions, What’s global citizenship got to do with you? What’s going on in the world? “Dying is simple” so why can’t we stop it? What are you going to do to help? From these questions a new programme of study was created to be introduced in the spring term 2005.
These developments would not have occurred without the inspiration of the Global Citizenship Pilot. Whilst much work needs to be done to further develop the Eco-School Project and place Global Citizenship firmly on the curriculum the foundations have been created and it is still well-supported by everyone involved.