Curriculum info

The global dimension is a key aspect of the curriculum in all parts of the UK, and can be taught through every subject.

Here we explain and suggest links advising how the global dimension fits into the curriculum in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.


8 key concepts - click to enlarge in PDF

Global Learning 

Underlying the idea of the global dimension to the curriculum are eight ‘key concepts’: Global citizenship; Conflict resolution; Diversity; Human rights; Interdependence; Social justice; Sustainable development; Values and perceptions.

Taken from Developing the global dimension in the school curriculum (PDF).

See also Exploring together: A global dimension to the secondary curriculum which suggests global dimension activities for each subject (and can also be useful for primary subjects).

Also guidance from QCDA The Global Dimension in Action – A Curriculum Planning Guide for School (PDF).

The National Curriculum

A new, streamlined curriculum was introduced in schools in September 2013. This curriculum does not emphasise links between subjects in the same way as the old one did. Instead, links to the global dimension and sustainable development must be made within specific subject curricula. We are keen to support schools to incorporate global issues into these local curricula to meet the needs and wants of your pupils and parents.

Subjects such as DT, geography and PSHE all refer to building diverse, relevant and contextual knowledge within pupils, key to adding a global dimension to learning.

The citizenship curriculum emphasises the importance of ensuring that pupils develop the ability to think critically and debate key political issues, as well as supporting them to understand the importance of social responsibility.

Refer to the following links for further information on citizenship programmes of study:

Key Stage 1 and 2 programmes of study

Key Stage 3 and 4 programmes of study


The government suggests that the primary curriculum should take up around two-thirds of the school day, meaning that schools should have some freedom to develop local curricula according to their own priorities. This time can be used to develop pupils’ investigative and critical thinking skills and allows time for themed days and whole school projects.


Secondary teaching can feel more time constricted as lessons are usually taught by subject specific teachers who feel pressure to cover a syllabus in a restricted amount of time. However, in order to add a global dimension to teaching, educators can refer to our resources for teachers and search for subject or topic specific content. These resources simplify the process of planning lessons covering specific global topics, through engaging stimuli, relevant media content and positive learning outcomes.


Refer to the following websites and documents for further information:

Learning & Teaching Scotland Global Citizenship web pages >>

Developing Global Citizens within Curriculum for Excellence (PDF) >>

International Development Education Association of Scotland (IDEAS) >>

Northern Ireland

Refer to the following website for further information:

Global Dimension in Schools NI >>

Northern Ireland Curriculum >>


Refer to the following website for further information:

ESD&GC – Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship >>

Cyfanfyd >>