'A footprint means pressing down and global means world, so 'global footprint' means pressing down on the world and we don't want to press too hard' (child's definition of a Global Footprint)
what is Global Learning? CoreKnowledge Key Skills Values and Attitudes what is sustainability? what about climate change?
what about climate change?

Core knowledge in global learning

Core knowledge in global learning

Bringing together these two aspects of the curriculum may seem paradoxical, but it cuts to the very essence of decision-making in a ‘slimmed down’ national curriculum.

Core knowledge
‘The National Curriculum should set out clearly the core knowledge and understanding that all children should be expected to acquire in the course of their schooling.’ (White Paper: The Importance of Teaching.(2011)Para 4.7)

Global learning
‘The global dimension explores what connects us to the rest of the world. It enables learners to engage with complex global issues and explore links between their own lives and people, places and issues throughout the world. The global dimension can relate to both developing and developed countries. It helps learners to imagine different futures and the role they can play in creating a fair and sustainable world.’  (The current National Curriculum)

In addition to the ‘acquisition’ of knowledge and the conceptual framework, there is the matter of pedagogy – the structuring of learning activities (or how it is taught) which is not specified by the national curriculum. Help with activities is available here http://www.globalfootprints.org/classroom

“It is intended that the new curriculum will provide a benchmark for all schools including those that are not required by law to teach the national curriculum.” DfE

With the draft National Curriculum available, we can see a provisional programme of study

Key Stage 2

Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area and the United Kingdom to include Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical tools and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe and North and SouthAmerica and concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities
  • name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, including hills, mountains, cities, rivers, key topographical features and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time
  • identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, NorthernHemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, and time zones (including day and night)
  • understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region or area of the United Kingdom (different from that taught at Key Stage 1), a region or area in a European country, and a region or area within North or South America
  • describe and understand key aspects of:
    • physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
    • human geography, including: settlements, land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals, and water supplies
  • use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied
  • use the eight points of a compass, four-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the
    United Kingdom and the wider world
  • use fieldwork to observe, measure and record the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

Source: DfE (March 2013)

Choosing South America
In anticipation of the World Cup Football and Olympics, Brazil may be a good option.

Hola Perú http://www.holaperu.org.uk/ This would be a great choice for a new country topic. Lovely visuals and music - Spanish language learning - all round global learning.

Core knowledge might include the location of:

  • South America as a continent, a land mass with many countries
  • five named countries in South America
  • Atacama Desert, River Amazon and Rainforest
  • varied landscapes spanning the equator

Core knowledge might include identification of:

  • similarities in urban lifestyles
  • goods grown for export to Britain
  • significance of food and water supply

However… this does not make a scheme of work and this core knowledge would not be taught in isolation. We need a topic ‘wrapper’ (scheme of work or some new name for it) which will be seen to include this slimmed down national curriculum. It leaves us with selecting appropriate contexts and learning activities. This can be done in terms of previous units (or topics) and can continue to make effective use of existing learning resources.

Ask yourself, how have I taught this before? What resources have I used?

It might be in connection with trade of products such as bananas or cocoa beans.
You may have used a country study pack for Kenya or, say, Ghana. What would you need for Peru or Brazil?

What do you have on food supply and water?

These learning resources may need updating. You will need to ensure you can cover sufficient content on, say, the climate zones of the whole continent. Check your atlases or search online.

The Global Footprints website section on global issues makes a good start.


Next section: Skills in global learning >