PSE/Citizenship is present as a non-statutory framework within the new primary National Curriculum documents. The framework allows opportunities for developing knowledge, skills and understanding that lead to self-awareness and a recognition of the role of an active and informed citizen in local, national and international communities.
A global citizenship dimension can be introduced through looking at similarities and differences between people and places and in considering how the choices we make affect people throughout the world. Resources are available that build upon traditional topics in the primary classroom e.g. food, shelter, homes and families whilst introducing a global perspective. There are clear links to the geography curriculum.
The 'Living in St Lucia' materials support an investigative approach to finding out about life on the Caribbean island. Children can easily compare and contrast their lives with those of their peers on St Lucia by looking at large photographs that depict varying aspects of life on the island, reading case studies of people living there and watching a video featuring a day in the life of the Harvey family.
'Making a meal of it!' is an Oxfam resource that investigates how our food links us to the rest of the world, why people who grow food can go hungry themselves, the shopping choices we can make and includes a case study on the cocoa industry. Global Eye issue 12 provides a more detailed case study of cocoa farming in West Africa for older pupils.
The methodology of citizenship education is as important as the content. Children can learn to listen, co-operate and participate from an early age. Ideas for developing citizenship skills can be found in 'Take part! Speak out!' co-produced by Manchester City Council and Manchester Development Education Project.
School linking projects that allow children to exchange first hand information about their daily lives and countries through letters, photographs, email etc. are becoming more popular in primary schools. The Central Bureau provide support for teacher exchange, curriculum development and examples of existing link projects.
The Global Eye website for primary schools has been online since September 2000.
Page prepared by Kim Stephenson, free-lance development education worker.
"Some of the biggest questions facing primary teachers concern moral and social development. How do you help children build the qualities and skills that lead to emotional and spiritual intelligence?
Since there is no longer a single authority, such as an official religion, it is difficult even to know what constitutes good behaviour. Is it just a set of arbitrary rules or is it - as at West Kidlington primary school in Oxfordshire - the building of an individual conscience and a strong inner life by means of example, discussion and encouragement?"
"At key stage 1 you might look at the simple, natural things you notice on a walk, such as sunshine. Older children may consider how wanting expensive things complicates their lives and how a simple existence might be better."
Frances Farrer, TES Primary, December 2000.
See also Francis Farrer, 'A Quiet Revolution", Rider Books, £9.99