Global Issues CurriculumAt Lionheart we believe that our curriculum must be broader and deeper than ever before. So, in 2021, we launched our own Global Issues Curriculum Series.
In an ever-changing world, reduced by the pandemic, globalisation and 24 hour media, the words of Marian Wright Edelman ring true: ‘Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world, better than you found it.’
Lionheart's Director of Curriculum, Alex Petrie, explains how the global curriculum came about in her blog.
We want to encourage our students - across all of our Leicestershire schools - to be hopeful, to be upstanders and to channel their passion and energy in the fight against injustice to make positive change for the future.
We pledge to support this aim by teaching our students:
- To understand how they can really make a difference.
- How they can learn to read on global issues - and read widely.
- How to talk about these topics and how much words matter.
- How to listen and how to really hear.
As we teach, read about and discuss these global issues, we signpost students towards organisations which they can support through further action, however, our intention is to help students understand, pick up empathy, become active champions and ultimately allies for life for vulnerable groups and causes.
So far, our curriculum has included:
- Afghanistan, its conflict, the plight of their people and hope for the future.
- Climate change, the realities of our actions, the responsibilities of world leaders and our pledge to fight against climate change as schools and individuals.
- Refugees and the traumatic realities faced by many around the world
- Women's Rights, misogyny and the need for gender equality in society
With plans to next focus on:
- The LGBTQ+ community, culture and attitudes, homophobic/transphobic experiences and the impact they have, and how to become an ally.
- Forced movement of people, focusing on Uganda 50 in Leicester, and the current movement of Ukranians.
a closer look at some of the topics studied so far
TOPIC: forced movement of people - uganda and ukraine
Through the development of a dedicated set of resources by the Trust's Director of Personal Development, students across Lionheart schools were educated about the expulsion of Asians from Uganda in 1972, the subsequent settlement of many in Leicester and how the city in which they live are now celebrating 50 years of rich diversity; a campaign known in Leicester as 'Uganda 50'.
Through teaching and class discussions, students were asked to consider the similarities that the people of Ukraine are facing today. Following this, students wrote messages of hope for Ukrainian people which have been shared in two ways:
- Via a national online message board, hosted by the National Youth Agency, and on postcards which schools across the Trust have developed into eye-catching displays for school visitors to see.
Whilst learning about the global refugee crisis, student support was overwhelmingly passionate, with thoughtful and heartfelt messages produced by students across all age groups. In response, we took the decision to display their messages on two Leicester billboards, so that the community in which we live - and hopefully beyond - could also hear their voice. Billboards were live for two weeks in February 2022, in Oadby's Asda car park and on Melton Road, Leicester.
As a further demonstration of students' solidarity and support for refugees, Lionheart students undertook a powerful silent vigil at their respective schools.
TOPIC: women's rights
The learning and discussion students undertook included:
- The history of women’s rights
- The more recent rise of misogynistic views and toxic masculinity through social media influencers
- Roe Vs Wade
- Protests for freedom and equality in Iran
Students were then encouraged to write a speech on their chosen topic around women’s rights, then performing speeches to their class. The best selected will go forward to a Trust-wide initiative with a host of students at a Ted-Ex style event later in the 22-23 academic year.