What’s Global Schools about?
The Global Schools project aimed to bring changes at the three levels of practice, policy and society:
Practice: to support teachers and build their confidence and understanding so that they can integrate global learning into everyday teaching practice.
Policy: to embed global learning into policies and the primary curriculum.
Society: to promote the European Year of Development (EYD) 2015 and the post-2015 agenda, raising awareness and involving teachers, parents and the wider community in the issues.
The Global Schools Trento Position Statement confirming the project's commitments and ambitions was ratified at the Italy conference in Year 3
The project ran between 2015 and May 2018.
Who’s been involved?
Initially, CDEC looked for 10 teachers in Cumbria who were committed to embedding Global Learning in the primary curriculum, had some experience in including this dimension in their teaching and wanted to extend and further develop their skills. With support from CDEC, they formed a community of ‘lead schools’ sharing ideas and activities between themselves and CDEC but also with nine other EU countries. There have been plenty of chances for peer discussion and linking with other European countries.
CDEC and the other EU organisers collated the ideas developed and coordinated a bank of resources and approaches on a central website and through publications. These resources and activities still form a useful collection for all schools to use.
In the subsequent year, each lead teacher shared their enhanced skills and knowledge through cascade peer training with eight teachers from other schools, who had less experience with embedding global learning.
Lead schools have also taken part in and promoted European Year of Development 2015 and the post-EYD agenda through their participation in larger scale global learning events which CDEC helped to coordinate.
The work done by teachers has been supported by an Expert group, which comprised members from Lancaster University, Cumbria LA, and Think Global who all contributed to the development of resources and research/evaluation activities. They have also raised awareness nationally of the importance of this project.
How has it benefited teachers and their schools?
By being involved in the project, lead teachers:
- accessed new, varied and exciting primary resources that provide flexible ways of integrating global learning. They gained confidence in the use of methodologies which are participatory and empowering. KS1, KS2 and Early Years were all covered
- gained free CPD opportunities through training and support which boosting their personal skills and understanding. Teachers were able to develop areas of specialism in global learning, such as global outdoors, P4C, transition to secondary and developing pupil voice
- gained the nationally recognised Global Teacher’s Award Level 1, validated by Liverpool Hope University. This is recognition of the commitment and skill they have as global teachers
- had the opportunity to travel to Italy for an international conference in year 3. Many also took the opportunity to host Italian teachers who visited Cumbria in 2017 and made links with schools and teachers in Italy through personal contact.
- this was a great opportunity to strengthen their school ethos, develop a specialism and become recognised as an excellent Global School
- it was a chance to raise their profile by taking part in larger European Year of Development events
- there have been chances to enhance children’s learning by adopting new approaches and creative ways of integrating global aspects in the curriculum to develop even better global citizens!
- there have been a multitude of opportunities for developing school links in Europe and for children to share their ideas directly with other schools.
"I feel the project has been very effective in raising my personal skills, knowledge and confidence and reflecting on priorities in learning in my schools (I have been headteacher in three schools during the course of the project). It has also been a brilliant opportunity to network and learn from and with other educators from across Cumbria and across Europe." Primary school headteacher from Cumbria
The project’s end was marked by the Big Global Learning Conference where over 50 teachers as well as 30 children from schools involved in the project gathered together to share expertise.
"Cumbria has been one of the most successful counties in England in promoting global learning in recent years. Being involved in the Global Schools project provided me with valuable insights into why this has been the case. These include the expertise and support provided by the DEC, the desire by teachers to broaden children’s horizons and to equip them to have the knowledge and skills to participate in the global society they are growing up into, and a project in the Global Schools project that has been based upon on responding to schools needs and building on existing expertise and experience."
Professor Douglas Bourn, University College London-Institute of Education.