Global Learning London

How global is your school?

worldThe questions below are designed as a way in to thinking about what global learning is and what it might look like in a school, as well as offering some areas for reflection and some next steps that might help it to be improved.

It is divided up into different aspects of school life. You will no doubt find that some areas of more familiar to you or you feel more confident about, but that’s quite normal – all schools and all staff will have some areas that are stronger than others. These questions will offer some pointers about what you could look at or steps you could take.In the questions we refer to global learning. This term may not be completely familiar. If you want to learn a bit more about global learning’s values and aims then click here. If you are familiar with ‘global citizenship’, then that is a useful starting point for viewing global learning.

Let’s begin ….

Enjoy it and we hope you discover something new!


Please begin by suppling your school name which will be added to the printout: 



1. Ethos and Vision

  • Your school’s values, ethos and mission statements on global learning (or related concepts like global citizenship) affect and reflect the practice of staff and the workings of the school. Staff can relate global learning principals and aims to their own roles in the school.
  • Your school believes it holds the values of global learning but has no statements, policy or aims reflecting this.
  • Your Self Improvement Plan promotes, assesses and monitors global learning in the school. Global aspects are recognized and noted in a positive way in OFSTED and/or other evaluations and assessments. There is a clear global dimension to how the school expresses its ethos, values and aims to the wider world, for example through website and prospectus.
  • Your school has agreed to initiate and develop global learning aims and values in its policy statements and subsequent actions.

2. Participation, democracy and pupil voice

  • There is a democratic structure of representation, which, through using class reps, a school council and class time, allows all students to participate in some way in the life of the school and in decisions.
  • The school recognises the importance of pupil voice and supports pupil participation but there are no democratic systems for that participation.
  • A democratic structure, actively representing all students and based on an accountable constitution, feeds into the policy making of the school. There are many ways in which children participate in a whole range of school and classroom-level activities.
  • The School Council runs most school projects, some of which have a global learning element.

3. Equalities, diversity and inclusion

  • The Equal Opportunities Policy is representative of the school, reflects good practice, is readily available to refer to by staff and students, is used to induct staff, parents, pupils and governors, and seeks to redress any inequalities of outcome for any particular group. It incorporates global learning values such as rights and social justice. Racism is tackled through active learning, linked to a clear and communicated anti-racist stance, and there is training for staff on discussing and responding to discrimination.
  • We never have problems of bullying or racism in our school. Children are treated equally.
  • The school has a delegated staff member to review and update the Equal Opportunities Policy and actively seeks to address any disproportionate representation of any group in terms of underachievement or behaviour. Opportunities exist for pupils to explore and reflect on diversity in their own community and in distant places. Clubs, events, exhibitions and performances reflect this diversity.
  • The Equal Opportunities Policy reflects input from across the school community, it is regularly reviewed, monitored and updated, is reflective of global learning values, and presented so that it can be understood by as many people as possible. It is used in the induction of students/staff/parents. There is an unambiguous anti-racist message supported by a whole school code of conduct and procedures for dealing with discriminatory incidents.

4. Leadership and Co-ordination

  • Global Learning happens naturally in the classroom and does not need leadership or co-ordination.
  • A lead person is allocated in the school for developing and co-ordinating Global Learning.
  • Enthusiastic teacher(s) lead on Global Learning in their classrooms and school projects.
  • SMT support key staff, possibly through a working party/group, who are given time, training and funding to lead on Global Learning in the school. The school ensures that all members of staff attend global learning training, including new members of staff.

5. Communication around global learning

  • Some global learning issues and events are included in some of the school’s communication tools: newsletters, notice boards, assemblies, school prospectuses, website, promotional films or any other communication with the wider world. Some students spontaneously talk about global themes and events.
  • There is no need to plan or support communication on global issues as those kinds of issues can be discussed at home.
  • Most students are engaged in spontaneous discussions on global issues and topics with each other, their parents and the staff, supported by events, displays class activities, student-led research and school policies. Children understand that there are different perspectives on some of the challenges in today’s world and actively participate in debates, as well as expressing their ideas about what can be done to improve situations.
  • Pupils and teachers communicate about the world in a range of ways (through creative activities, discussions, events and in other ways). Children are encouraged, within and outside the classroom, to express their views and thoughts about the world, including about controversial global issues, giving reasons for their opinions.

6. Language and literacy

If you are not a leader in the school, you may prefer to answer this as a personal response, inserting ‘you’ where it says ‘staff’.

  • Staff challenge the use of bullying words or words that perpetuate stereotyping and undermine equality, and have agreed ways of dealing with such language.
  • Words used largely reflect the culture of the children’s families and are not challenged
  • Staff and children are aware of the power of words as a threat to equality, justice and inclusion, and challenge each other and other members of the community. Pupils are shown examples of how language has been used, and can be used, to challenge injustice.
  • Staff are aware of the need to use appropriate words in terms of controversial issues, diversity, inclusion, poverty and global events.

7. Sustainable Development

  • Climate change and global sustainability are topics that are understood by pupils and presented to them, and to staff, as a challenge to everyone for now and in the future. The school community takes concerted action on these issues, relating that action to learning.
  • The pupils learn about sustainability and the eight doorways in lessons and/or assemblies. We make sustainability one of the core values of our school
  • The school has undertaken a school-wide project on a sustainability theme such as waste.
  • Materials around sustainability are available in the school for teachers to use.


8. Planning and curriculum

  • A lead teacher or group ensures that some staff members plan together to develop and deliver global learning.
  • Most curriculum leaders plan together to develop and deliver global learning The delivery of global learning across the school is audited. The school uses enrichment time to explore important global themes, using international ‘days’ or ‘weeks’ (e.g. Fairtrade Fortnight, Human Rights Day) as a focus.
  • All staff reflect on their audited global learning practice. With clear leadership as well as strong co-operation from all, staff from all curriculum areas collaborate in cross-curricular planning, integrating and developing global learning within the broad curriculum, including the use of integrated enrichment or ‘theme’ days, all with input and evaluation from the children.
  • We plan in lessons that include international examples, and these will help teach children about the world.

9. Resources and displays

  • The displays and resources in the school offer balanced views of peoples, places and issues, and support is sought from partner and external groups or organisations for the content. Maps are balanced as opposed to historically biased projections (e.g. Peters Projection) with explanations given to students about why they are used.
  • The school has displays and resources that show places and countries around the world, encouraging people to be charitable towards world poverty, disasters and other global needs.
  • There are few images around the school of anywhere other than local places, and there are a few maps, all traditional ‘projections’.
  • The school has an active policy that ensures that images challenge stereotypes, showing a view of the world that resonates with the aims of global learning, and actively teaches children visual literacy through a variety of educational activities. There are reviews of how displays are used in curriculum activities, assemblies and engagement with local partners and how book corners are displayed and managed.

10. Charity engagement and fundraising

  • Your school encourages children to give and raise money for good causes.
  • Children learn about the issues behind the problems fundraising is trying to address, for example the role of poverty and human rights.
  • School council uses its voice at different levels of governance, in school and beyond, to try and bring about change. The school has one or more social enterprises, with students as primary leaders in this. Learning about the causes of poverty, and the complexity and injustices that caused many problems that charities now try to tackle (e.g. colonialism) is explicit and not avoided due to perceived sensitivities.
  • Children explore ways other than fundraising to address issues of social justice and creating change, such as learning about community development, co-operatives and social enterprise and through learning about political action, power structures, campaigning and lobbying of local, national and international governments.

11. Methodology

  • The school promotes the use of circle time and a range of participatory methods, as an approach to encourage personal, social and emotional elements (PSHE/SEAL) of pupils’ development and to think about global themes.
  • The school leadership is interested in developing a wider range of methodologies in the school to ensure that students are treated as active learners.
  • Methods are used that support children in being critical thinkers, such as Philosophy for Children, OSDE and enquiry based learning, and students are given opportunities to direct their learning through questions, to do research, and to share their findings.
  • A wide range of methodologies are used in school to promote a full array of skills and learning styles. Different learning styles are catered for and actively welcomed and validated.

12. Assemblies

  • Assemblies focus on commonality as well as celebrating diversity. They are used as an opportunity to enhance whole school ownership of important shared projects and develop whole school ethos. They link a range of global themes and topics to learning within the curriculum. Assemblies and related activities empower children to learn, take action and have a voice.
  • Some assembly time is used for issues related to global learning.
  • A global calendar is used to plan global learning assemblies and related activities.
  • Assemblies are used to help challenge negative or stereotyped messages and to convey values and messages that underpin positive global learning, such as active global citizenship.
When you submit your survey results you will have a chance to check your selections before you finally print it out.