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Calculating the school 'global footprint'?




Is your school an institution actively promoting global citizenship?
Does it encourage a global perspective?
Are children and the whole school community aware of their responsibilities as global citizens?
Do they realise what actions they can take to become more active global citizens?

Oxfam defines a global citizen as someone who:

  • Is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen
  • Respects and values diversity
  • Is willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place
  • Takes responsibility for their actions

USER NOTE:by clicking highlighted text (see 'global school' below) an information box will appear with more information about the item. Click 'close' in the information box to close it and return to the quiz.



By trying the global school challenge below you can find out whether your school is encouraging active global citizenship; whether you are treading heavily or lightly on the earth.
The questions are divided into three areas: social, global and ecological. For each question choose only one answer. Where it is felt that more than one answer applies choose the answer that you consider to be the best fit.

Relates to the social impact the school is having within both the school community and the local community.


  1. Valuing the individual

To look outwards, and value the world, it is first necessary to have a strong sense of self-esteem. "Every child and teacher in the school and every one of us has infinite worth and potential" (Values and Visions. intro. p xii)

Primary school is a place where children should be able to explore their individual strengths and qualities, and learn to recognise and value their hopes and feelings. This means teachers valuing the whole child - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual - and also making sure that differences of race and gender are fully affirmed. "If a black Muslim girl comes into school and all the stories are about little white boys, if the history is about white men, if the images are of men, if the only faith valued is Christianity (or if no faith is valued) that child's experience of herself finds no reflection in school. Structures and policies on equal opportunities are needed to support the activities". (V&V p.4)

Giving children responsibility and making sure they are listened to are important in offering affirmation. "When children are involved in reflecting, making decisions and taking responsibility they blossom. The individual's sense of self cannot be separated from his or her sense of being part of and valued by the community" (V&V p.4) close
For activities to encourage a sense of self, see V&V pp5-20
Values and Visions, Manchester DEP, pub Hodder and Stoughton 1995.


The school has a policy, regularly monitored and reviewed, of ensuring that each child is valued for him or herself, regardless of race, culture, class, ability or disability. Disabled pupils are integrated into school life

Staff actively try to nurture the abilities and bring out the talents of each child
Children are encouraged to conform to social and academic norms of school
Only the bright and well-behaved are valued

  2. Multiculturalism and awareness of diversity
The school recognises and respects the festivals, beliefs and customs of a wide range of cultures and religions and celebrates them as appropriate within the life of the school
The school ensures that the festivals, beliefs and customs of all the cultures and religions represented in the school are recognised

Children are encouraged to conform to social and academic norms of school

There is no acknowledgement or celebration of cultural diversity in the school

  3. Anti-prejudice
We have a school policy on Equal Opportunities which is regularly monitored and reviewed. We teach the children about prejudice and its effects, both individual and institutional and help them develop skills to challenge their own and other people's prejudice.
We try to teach the children about prejudice and its effects. We have a school policy on Equal Opportunities

We deal with situations involving prejudice of whatever form as and when they arise

No one in our school is prejudiced, so no one suffers

  4. 'Positive behaviour management' policy
A positive behaviour management policy, which aims to raise self-esteem and encourage self-discipline and conflict resolution through a democratic group process such as Circle Time, is central to the school ethos
The school has a behaviour management policy that the whole school community is fully aware of and which clearly identifies rules and sanctions that work to encourage positive behaviour

The school has a firm discipline policy: children and staff understand clearly the rules and children know they will be punished if they break them

The school does not need a behaviour management policy; our children behave well through fear of the consequences

  5. Involvement in local community projects and local community involvement in the school
· Regular exchange of communication and information between local projects or outside agencies and school
Link with projects or agencies established but little exchange of communication or information occurs

Links/ link currently being explored with local community groups or agencies

No link with local community and no link planned

  6. Participation of children in decision making
An effective School Council, known and recognised by the whole school community, is involved in policy decisions and often discusses global, social and environmental issues relevant to the school and local community
A school council or similar process of pupil representation and participation exists and is recognised by the whole community

No school council, but the school believes that children should have a voice in the school

Pupils do not need representation

  7.Health promotion
A wide ranging health education programme is offered including education on sex, drugs and healthy food which has a social, global and environmental dimension, e.g. considerations of where our food comes from, the health and quality of life of producer communities, organic foods versus conventional
The school has a wide ranging health education policy, but this does not include a global dimension

Health education is limited to science and PHSE

The school has no health education programme and it is not considered a priority

Relates to the impact the school is having at a global level both on the global environment and on communities in the south



8. Global citizenship across the school curriculum

Global citizenship is a fundamental part of the school ethos and permeates all areas of the curriculum including literacy and numeracy
Global issues and teaching about sustainable development are central to the geography curriculum and are taught to varying degrees through other areas of the curriculum

Assemblies and PSHE often include a global dimension

Children need to think about their own locality only. Global perspectives can wait until they are older

  9. Link with project or school in a developing country
Regular exchange of communication and information with project or school in developing country
Link with school or project established but little exchange of communication or information

Interest in developing links/ link currently being explored

No link with project or school in developing country and no link planned
NB For some rural or virtually all white schools, a link with a school in a more ethnically varied area within the UK may be a wise and useful first step. Rural white schools who have made such a link should click on the second option to gain a score of 3

  10. Fair Trade tea and coffee
All tea and coffee in the staff room is fairly traded and staff are fully aware of the benefits to Third World producers of Fair Trade products
A system exists that enables staff to choose if they want Fair Trade tea and coffee

Fair Trade tea and coffee have been considered but rejected on the grounds of extra cost

We have any old tea or coffee in our staffroom just as long as it has plenty of caffeine


Relates to the impact the school is having on the environment and to what extent the school is actively promoting sustainable development

11. Practical environmental education
Environmental education is planned into the curriculum and delivered practically 'in the field'; the school offers a range of practical environmental education initiatives, e.g. school journeys, outdoor environment centres, school vegetable gardens, tree planting etc
Environmental education is planned into the curriculum and delivered through as wide a range of activities as possible - geography, science, art, drama and assemblies

Environmental education is only delivered where the curriculum dictates, e.g. through geography and science

We are too busy with numeracy and literacy and other important subjects to be worrying about the environment

  12. Transport to school
The school has a 'School Travel Plan' which actively encourages car sharing among staff; walking, cycling and public transport are encouraged amongst the whole school community and the school has identified safe walking/cycling routes to school and/or is part of the 'Safe Routes to School' initiative
Children are often reminded about the importance of walking, cycling or taking public transport to school; staff do make a conscious effort to cut down on car use

The benefits of promoting alternative modes of transport are acknowledged by the school, but how children and staff travel to school is not a pressing priority

Most children and all teachers arrive at school by car and we see no problem with that
(If you are a rural school there may be no choice but for children to arrive at school by car. However, rural schools can still develop School Travel Plans which encourage car sharing)

  13. Energy efficiency
The school has an action plan for reducing energy consumption and costs and uses energy indicators with targets. These are fully acknowledged by and involve the whole school community. Measures include insulation, heating and water temperature controls, sealed/double glazing and low energy lighting
The school has a clearly stated aim of reducing energy costs but no specific action plan: measures such as fitting low energy light bulbs, and better controls on the heating are being adopted

The school has 'turn it off'/ 'save It!' stickers around the school to remind pupils and staff to save electricity

The school has made no efforts to save energy

  14. Waste reduction and re-use
The School has a waste minimisation policy which particularly aims to reduce paper and card use and lunch/snack waste. Examples might include re-using envelopes, re-using card and paper used for displays wherever possible, avoiding the use of disposable cups, plates and cutlery and encouraging all staff and pupils to cut down on packaged food .
The School encourages waste reduction: the school has a paper re-use policy with a scrap paper drawer in all classrooms and in the office and encourages the use of scrap material

The school teaches about the importance of waste reduction and reuse

The school does not encourage any minimisation of waste or reuse of any material

  15. Recycling
The school operates a recycling scheme for paper and actively promotes local recycling schemes for cans and glass.
The school encourages the school community to use local recycling schemes and facilities which recycle paper, cans and glass

The school teaches about the importance of recycling

The school does not engage in teaching about recycling nor actively promotes any recycling schemes

  16. Purchasing policy
A 'green/ethical purchasing policy' ensures that reusable and/or recycled products are purchased, harmful chemicals and tropical hardwoods are avoided and the 'ethical' reputation and environmental credentials of companies are considered before purchasing decisions are made.
The school purchasing policy recommends the purchase of reusable and/or recycled non-harmful products wherever feasible

The school is concerned about the 'ethics' of its purchasing

Purchases are based primarily on price; we will buy anything from anyone as long as the price is right

Now it's time to...

Categories for end of quiz scores
The main purpose of this quiz is to identify areas for development in becoming a school promoting a global perspective and the principles of sustainable development. However you can use your score to identify the size of the school footprint and use this as a starting point for the school community to address social, global and ecological issues which would help reduce the school footprint.


Score 76 or more: Tiny footprint. Your school has a truly global perspective and actively promotes global citizenship. The school offers opportunities and strategies for action to reduce or improve the social, global and ecological impacts the school community has on the world. Sustain your sustainable development agenda! It is clearly at the heart of all you and your school community does!
Score 64 - 75: Small footprint. Your school has a series of effective strategies in place for generating awareness of global citizenship and sustainable development. There may be a few issues identified by this quiz which the school could address to turn awareness into more active global citizenship.
Score 24 - 63: Medium footprint. Your school has its heart firmly set on its footprint, but you will probably be aware from completing this quiz that there are areas which the school needs to address to further promote a global perspective, sustainable development and active citizenship.
Score 9 - 23: Large footprint. Your school is failing to create much awareness of global citizenship or sustainable development beyond the basic minimum requirements of the National Curriculum. There are precious few opportunities for those in the school community to reduce or improve their social, global or ecological impact.
Score 0 - 8: Giant footprint. Your school is a walking (stomping) disaster! Pupils and the school community will have to learn how to become active global citizens elsewhere.

Teacher's notes are available here: