Global Citizenship blog

Global Citizenship

All posts in the ‘modern languages’ Category

February 5th, 2014

Europe update, February 2014

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 : Categories CPD, europe, ICT, modern languages, professional learning, social studies, technologies

Schools in Scotland have many opportunities to bring ‘Europe’ into the classroom. Curricular and cross-curricular work, projects, competitions, school partnerships, exchanges and study visits are just some of the ways in which teachers address some aspect of life in the European Union and other European nations.

For example: the Scottish European Educational Trust has just announced the winners of its ‘Our Europe’ film competition 2013-14 for secondary schools. Congratulations to Lenzie Academy, East Dunbartonshire, and to the other students taking part. The young people worked hard to create short films which highlighted what being an EU citizen means to them and demonstrated their knowledge of European languages. All the finalist school films will be made available for viewing on the ‘Our Europe’ competition website soon.

For teachers and Headteachers who are thinking about adding an extra European dimension to their curricular work, the European Parliament office in the UK is running Professional Development sessions around the country to offer new resources, update subject knowledge, and a chance to talk to one of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). With the European Parliament elections to be held in May 2014, and the subject of membership of the European Union frequently discussed in the media, these updating opportunities will be very useful. The Scottish teacher event is in Glasgow city centre on Friday 28th February, and participants can choose from a choice of sessions during the day. Details and online booking are available through the EP website.



June 6th, 2013

Join the “Commonwealth Class”

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 : Categories citizenship, Commonwealth Games, Game On Scotland, international, modern languages

The BBC, the British Council and the Commonwealth Secretariat have joined forces to bring you Commonwealth Class, an exciting new opportunity for schools.

Commonwealth Class is a special initiative that provides teaching resources, online debates and interactive activities for schools to mark the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It celebrates the values of the Commonwealth and connects schools and young people as they learn about how to be active, responsible global citizens as part of the Commonwealth family.

The Commonwealth Class education pack is an exciting resource designed to teach young people about Commonwealth values such as rights and responsibilities, protection of the environment, respect for others and what people need to lead healthy lives free from poverty.
Produced by the British Council, the resource pack contains cross-curricular activities, short films and discussion guides with learning outcomes that link to key skills, curriculum subjects and Commonwealth values. Activities include what qualities you need to be a successful Commonwealth athlete, and an exploration of the route of the Queen’s Baton Relay which will visit all 71 countries and territories taking part in the 2014 games.

Get set for 2014 and download the British Council Commonwealth Class education pack today.

BBC online debates
Commonwealth Class partner, the BBC, is hosting a series of monthly online debates commencing this summer. The debates are intended to create a platform for schools in the UK and Commonwealth countries to teach and learn together.
The first debate in the series will take place on Thursday 13 June.
Visit Schools Online and sign up to Commonwealth Class for more resources and interactive activities that support lesson planning and teaching across the curriculum
And a week before the first debate you can visit the BBC’s Commonwealth Class website to find out how you can take part!

November 22nd, 2012

New publication: Sustainable International School Partnerships

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 : Categories citizenship, international, modern languages, sharing practice

British Council Scotland and Education Scotland have recently published SUSTAINABLE  INTERNATIONAL  SCHOOL  PARTNERSHIPS – MAKE THE  DIFFERENCE.

Effective practices, challenges, opportunities and a framework for reflection combine to illustrate how the development of sustainable international school partnerships can ‘make the difference’ within the Curriculum for Excellence..

This new publication draws on the experience of practitioners who have been closely involved in developing international school partnerships.

To read the report, please follow the link: Please use the Google Chrome to open the link and read the publication in the correct format.

To request a hard copy of both the publication and the ‘road map’ please contact Natasha Kozlowska at

September 26th, 2012

Europe and Languages

Comments: none Tags:  : Categories curriculum areas, europe, ICT, international, languages, modern languages

Buna ziua, bonjour and guten tag.

Today is European Day of Languages 2012, and schools and organisations across the European Union will be running special activities to celebrate the excitement and value of foreign languages. Here in Scotland, SCILT is running a competition for schools to recognise their achievements in organising EDL activities which demonstrate four criteria: creativity and innovation; pupil voice and responsibility; interdisciplinary learning; and partnership working or parental involvement.

Education Scotland has launched ‘Passeport pour la Francophonie‘, a new resource for primary school practitioners which offers an introduction to the French-speaking world and resources for learners. It has a particular focus on France, Gabon, Egypt, Madagascar and Polynesia.

The European Commission has published a report on foreign language learning which indicates that children start their learning at an increasingly early age in European nations.

Scottish Government recently announced increased support for the teaching of modern languages in Scottish schools.

May 15th, 2012

Euroquiz success

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 : Categories europe, international, languages, modern languages, primary schools, social studies

Yesterday the national finals of the Euroquiz 2012 competition were held in the Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber in Edinburgh. Congratulations to St Mary’s Primary School, Duntocher, West Dunbartonshire, whose team won this year’s event; and well done to all the teams of Primary 6 pupils from around Scotland who took part in the regional heats and in the finals. The knowledge displayed by the students, and their skills in information retrieval, were very impressive for all of us who saw them in action at the various stages of the competition.

The event was recorded by Scottish Parliament TV, and the archive video footage is now available for viewers on their website.

The Euroquiz competition has been organised annually by the Scottish European Educational Trust for some years, and continues to attract mass participation and enhance  learning about aspects of the European Union.

April 26th, 2012

Business leaders support global education

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 : Categories citizenship, international, modern languages, sustainable development

The Global Skills Gap

December 2011

Three-quarters (74%) of the 500 business leaders polled by ICM Research worried that young people’s horizons are not broad enough to operate a globalised and multicultural economy.

Employers agreed with the statement that: “Unless we better support schools to teach young people to think more globally, the UK is in danger of being left behind by emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil”. The survey conducted on behalf of the British Council and Think Global gauged the extent to which business leaders saw global thinking as an important skill amongst employees and potential recruits.

93% of businesses thought it was important for schools to help young people develop the ability to think globally. 80% said schools should be doing more; only 2% said they should be doing less. In recruiting employees, more employers (79%) said knowledge and awareness of the wider world is more important than: degree subject and classification (74%); A-level results (68%); or A-level subjects (63%).

Read The Global Skills Gap here:

February 9th, 2012

Falkirk Council DGC Showcase and open day at Bo’ness Academy

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 : Categories china, citizenship, CPD, curriculum areas, early years, europe, expressive arts, health and wellbeing, international, languages, leadership, mathematics, modern languages, primary schools, religious and moral education, sciences, secondary schools, sharing practice, social studies, sustainable development, technologies, Uncategorized

Falkirk Council global citizenship showcase and school open day

Venue: Bo’ness Academy, Falkirk

9:30am – 3.00pm

This event will now take place on Thursday 17th May 2012

Theme:  International Education

This CPD event offers practitioners and school leaders an exciting opportunity to visit Bo’ness Academy and attend Falkirk Council’s Global Citizenship Showcase Event.

Bo’ness Academy is an inspiring example of a school that has used international education as a vehicle to engage the whole school in global citizenship activities. Through the Comenius Programme and other well established links the school has developed a rich international programme connecting it to countries across the world including: The Gambia, The Netherlands, China, France, Germany and The Czech Republic.

A focus of the event will be to identify and share the practical lessons and ideas that have helped the school move forward on its journey including: 

  • Making global citizenship a key priority in the school and a focus for the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence
  • Using international links to explore important issues in a global context and to create engaging, meaningful and challenging learning experiences
  • Developing strong international partnerships which can be sustained and which have made an impact on every learner.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the Head Teacher, International Coordinator, staff and learners and also tour the classrooms and school. Time will also be set aside for participants to reflect and share their own experiences.

Following the open day event, participants will also have the opportunity to attend Falkirk Council’s Global Citizenship Showcase event which will also be taking place in Bo’ness Academy from 4pm – 6pm. This will feature exhibitions and displays from leading organisations such as Eco-Schools Scotland and the British Council and will showcase innovative global citizenship practice from many Falkirk schools.

How to book

To book, please contact Megan Farr, Policy Officer, Falkirk Council. Email: or Tel. 01324 506671.

Places for the open day section of the event are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. This is a free event!

Download programme for Bo’ness Academy Open Day >>

November 9th, 2011

Get debating for St Andrew’s Day

Comments: none Tags:  : Categories citizenship, community, international, modern languages, scottish culture, sustainable development

On Monday 28th November, the annual St Andrew’s Day debating championship will be held in the Scottish Parliament with students and senior pupils from  universities and  schools across Scotland competing in debating heats covering a range of issues important in today’s society.  The Final will take place in the Debating Chamber chaired by the Presiding Officer with the opportunity to win the specially engraved Scottish Parliament Quaich.  This year, for the first time, all schools across the country will be able to follow the progress of the competition on Glow throughout the day and then watch the final, streamed live on Glow TV.  This is an exciting opportunity for pupils to get involved in a high quality debate and to learn more about debating.

Sign up here to follow the debate on Glow TV.

For more information on developing your own debates in school go to

September 28th, 2011

British Council supports international school partnerships

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 : Categories africa, china, citizenship, CPD, europe, india, international, modern languages

British Council supports schools in Scotland to make connections in Europe and globally and provide a wide variety of opportunities including accreditation and grants for CPD, exchange visits, work placements abroad and joint curriculum project work with partner schools.

The following up-coming opportunities and deadlines are opened to any school in Scotland in order to develop new and existing global connections:


 Connecting Classrooms:  Project with schools in the Middle East– Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi  Arabia, United Arab Emirates.    Deadline:  21 October

 Schools with existing China school partnerships can also apply on 21 October to receive funding to develop joint curriculum work and involve students in partner visits.

 For more information visit:

 £250 is available for staff costs, travel and subsistence to explore the idea of long term equitable partnerships with schools in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

 Reciprocal Visit Grants (for partnerships with Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean): 1 November- 9 January (deadline)

 For more information:

ETwinning and Comenius:  These projects can help schools to start new partnerships projects with European partners.   In-Service Training on  professional development courses or job shadowing and to host Comenius Assistants in 2012.  under: or

Online resource including partner finding and accreditation to receive recognition for schools’ global citizenship and international work is also available through

September 19th, 2011

Film and Global Citizenship

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 : Categories africa, ICT, international, languages, modern languages, social studies

Global Citizenship teaching and learning within ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ can benefit from the thoughtful, selective and informed use of Film. Many teachers will have their students watch chosen extracts or entire movies, films picked carefully which cover themes or narratives which will add to the knowledge and understanding of their students. Working with films also enables students to acquire and deepen skills in research, critical analysis and media literacy, helping them to handle different sources of information, form and communicate informed viewpoints.

In Scotland we are lucky to have a number of cinema festivals and venues which enable teachers to work with films about global citizenship issues and films from other countries which offer different and diverse viewpoints.

The Take One Action film festival begins today in Edinburgh and Glasgow and runs for the next two weeks. It offers a wide range of movies about global issues such as land, poverty, climate change, food, conflict and much more. There are documentaries and dramas, and many showings are complemented by themed audience discussions, interviews with film-makers and NGOs, etc. I’ve picked out just three of the films on offer, which may have particular use in school: ‘Fezeka’s Voice‘, about an inspirational teacher and musicians from South Africa; ‘Blood in the mobile’, about child labour and mineral extraction in Congo; and ‘There once was an island’, about climate change in Polynesia. For full details of the films show dates and associated activities, check the Take One Action website.

Independent Film venues often host parts of such annual film festivals, but also run their own extensive programmes of film showings which expose teachers and students to alternative perspectives. Glasgow Film Theatre, Edinburgh’s Filmhouse, and Dundee Contemporary Arts are all active in this regard, and teachers should contact their nearest venue for advance programme details which may include special showings for schools (with associated educational elements) or teacher CPD sessions.

These independent venues are also imaginative in working with partners to develop their own festivals and seasons of films which focus on a particular theme. Two examples:

- Filmhouse hosts the ‘Africa in Motion’ festival in early November, running a series of films and events which deal with the lives and issues of young people in Africa. The films include shorts, animations, fiction and documentaries.

- The Discovery Film Festival takes place at DCA in Dundee, and its schools programme runs from 22nd October to 6th November. There are teacher CPD sessions alongside the film programme.

Many venues also take part in National Schools Film Week, which for Scotland in 2011 will be from 27th October to 4th November.

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About This Blog

This blog contains ideas, resources and information to support global citizenship activities in schools - including international, sustainable development and citizenship education and also games legacy.