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 PDFUnderlying 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).

Changes to the English national curriculum from 2013

The Government is currently reviewing the English national curriculum, which means that the way in which global learning relates to the curriculum is likely to change considerably over the next two years. In the current secondary curriculum, ‘global dimension & sustainable development’ is one of five cross-cutting themes, which means it should be integrated into all subjects. Indeed, in many subjects such as Geography and Science there is explicit reference to global issues and to sustainable development as part of the curriculum content. In the current primary curriculum, ‘global dimension & sustainable development’ comes into several of the subjects and is encouraged as a way to make links across curriculum subjects.

A new, streamlined curriculum will be introduced in schools in September 2013. This curriculum is unlikely to emphasise the links between subjects in the same way. Instead, links to the global dimension and sustainable development will be made within specific subject curricula. The government envisages this new curriculum taking up around half to two-thirds of the school day, meaning that schools should have some freedom to develop local curricula according to their own priorities. 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.


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 >>