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Global Citizenship and Curriculum for Excellence

The aims and practice of Global Citizenship complement and support those of Curriculum for Excellence, in particular by offering a way of unifying the curriculum. Areas such as Enterprise, Citizenship, Sustainable Development and Health, which are often seen as add-ons, can be built into the curriculum framework in creative ways which can raise motivation and achievement through innovative learning and teaching.

A Curriculum for Excellence and Global Citizenship both recognise the indisputable fact that we now live in an interdependent global society. Global Citizenship incorporates key concepts of human rights, diversity, conflict resolution, social justice, interdependence and sustainable development. The content and methodology contribute to young people's awareness of the role of values in public life, and supports the development of young people as effective contributors, successful learners and confident individuals – reflecting the aims, purposes and principles of A Curriculum for Excellence.

Elements of Global Citizenship can be introduced in early education with primary schools building upon and extending this with more complex concepts being embedded in learning activities. An element of this is that pupils can be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for framing and organising their work.

However, the subject-based organisation of the secondary curriculum, subject choice and the pressures of certification create particular challenges for secondary schools in securing an appropriate broad, progressive and relevant experience of the global dimension at this stage. Nevertheless the secondary curriculum abounds with contexts for developing the knowledge, understanding, skills and values associated with Global Citizenship. This catalogue highlights many excellent resources which abound with ideas on how teachers can do this in creative and innovative ways.

The aims of Global Citizenship sit well with other educational priorities and have been shown to motivate young people and thus contribute to raising achievement. It ensures a broad and balanced curriculum and helps learners see connections across the curriculum and in the world at large. In doing this, Global Citizenship can have a significant role to play in helping make sense of the connections between and among the subjects and courses of the curriculum.

A Curriculum for Excellence


  • Wisdom
  • Justice
  • Compassion
  • Integrity


  • Successful learners
  • Confident individuals
  • Responsible citizens
  • Effective contributors

Global Citizenship and cross-cutting themes

  • Sustainable Development
  • Enterprise
  • Diversity
  • Rights and Participation
  • commitment to sustainable development
  • Belief that people can make a difference


  • Critical thinking

The Key Elements of Global Citizenship

Global Citizenship and cross-cutting themes

  • Social justice and equity
  • Diversity
  • Globalisation and interdependence
  • Sustainable development
  • Peace and conflict

Values and attitudes

  • Sense of identity and self-esteem
  • Empathy
  • Commitment to social justice and equity
  • Value and respect for diversity
  • Concern for the environment
  • Ability to argue effectively
  • Ability to challenge injustice and inequalities
  • Respect for people and things
  • Co-operation and conflict resolution

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