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What is Global Learning?

At Ashley High School we value the importance of our pupils becoming critical thinkers in this 21st Century globalised world. Through cross curricular teaching and learning we create opportunities for our pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and values needed to become educated global citizens. Global Learning helps our pupils to develop empathy, flexibility of thought and creates opportunities for them to look at the world from different perspectives.

Ashley High School is part of a national network of schools which support each other to deliver effective teaching and learning about international development and global issues through the 2014 National Curriculum. We are affiliated with Chestnut Lodge Special School who are the lead local school for Global Learning.

What kind of issues do we discuss and learn about?

  • Fairness and equality (e.g. Fair Trade)
  • Sustainable living (e.g. ECO activities)
  • Diversity (e.g. Different cultures)
  • Rights and responsibilities (e.g. School Council)


Our pupils took part in a 'Wider Perspectives' Fairtrade project with students from Hope University. They experienced a range of activities linked to life skills and social communication. Activites included:

  • visiting local supermarkets to audit the number of fairtrade products on sale
  • meeting and interviewing a Fairtrade banana producer from Ghana
  • reflective, critical thinking activities linked to fairtrade products (bananas and chocolate production)
  • learning how bananas are grown and how the fairtrade premium helps to fund projects such as schools, safer working conditions and small business enterprises.
  • Planning and holding a Fairtrade coffee morning making and selling fairtrade items


Pupils debated the question:

'For every £1.00 made from producing and selling chocolate in the UK, how much should/do each of the following earn? - Farmers, Cocoa Buyers, Importers, Chocolate Companies, Shops, Government.'

Pupils were able to show understanding of all the different stages in the production of chocolate, thinking about each role and from their own point of view were able to reflect on the amount of work each one does.

Pupils could express how they thought the farmers worked the hardest and so should get the largest share. The farmers were at the top of the list with the cocoa buyers at the bottom. Some pupils were puzzled and questioned why the UK government was involved, whilst others were able to explain their views that the UK government takes a share of everything that comes in to the country because it 'supports the selling of the products'.

Once the actual amounts were shared with the group (differing greatly from what they had thought), they were shocked at how little the farmers receive.

This enabled them to reflect on the importance of buying and promoting Fairtrade products as a way of helping the low paid farmers to achieve a fairer wage for their hard work. They were able to put into words why they thought buying Fairtrade products was a good thing and began to understand how this can impact positively on people's lives. They were also made aware (many for the first time) of how the UK government takes taxes from imported goods.

We are always keen to further develop global learning at Ashley High School and this project certainly enabled our students to begin to see things from a more global perspective.

Please see below download links for two case studies:

Global Learning Programme Supporting Empathy and Communication

Ashley School's 'Wider perspectives' Fairtrade project