At Dulwich College Beijing (DCB), we are on a journey to connect with, care about, and act for people and our world. This statement is underpinned by our mission to Live Worldwise and reflects our commitment to educate our students as the next generation of global citizens.
But what is global citizenship and how are we empowering our students to take their place in the world? In this instalment, we speak to DUCKS teacher and Global Citizenship Lead Zoe Hatton, who shares with us how even our youngest students are being empowered to embrace their place in the world as global citizens.
For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.
Empowering young children to be global citizens is challenging, but not impossible. Ensuring that Global Citizenship – or Living Worldwise – is lived out in our DUCKS community is Zoe Hatton, who this year has volunteered to be Global Citizenship Lead for the DUCKS school.
Zoe Hatton, Kindergarten teacher at DCB
What is Global Citizenship?
Simply defined, global citizenship is the journey to connect with, care about, and act for people and our world. In other words: to strive to be good citizens of the world. And despite their age, our DUCKS’ multicultural and dual language environment along with the guidance of their empowered and well-trained teachers ensure that they are well on their way to becoming truly global citizens that will make a difference.
And at DCB, global citizenship isn’t taught; it’s lived. As shared by Ms Hatton, “In DUCKS, we strive to put Global Citizenship at the heart and soul of what we do. It is not an additional subject; it is our curriculum, it is our culture, it is our identity.”
During Empathy Week, the children enjoyed in-class activities and explored key themes based on the book My Pet Star
How can young children learn about global citizenship?
Though our young students may not necessarily have the vocabulary to fully comprehend the 17 different SDGs, they can understand the concepts when introduced in an age-appropriate and relatable way. Instead of calling it SDGs for example, our DUCKS teachers introduce it as the Good Life Goals (GLGs).
The Good Life Goals is an effort to translate the SDGs in understandable and reachable goals for every individual.
On how our DUCKS curriculum is taught through the lens of Global Citizenship, Ms Hatton explained, “When planning the units at the beginning of the year, we selected one SDG per unit to ensure coverage of and exposure to all 17 SDGS across a child's journey at DUCKS. However, in some units we may reference multiple, which is why we must look at it through the Global Citizenship lens, which is all-encompassing, and to the key values across these SDGs, which are our Global Citizenship competencies.”
DUCKS’ Dulwich Values Characters
Students have numerous opportunities to learn more about SDGs and our Dulwich values through the many special events that take place throughout the year such as No Carbon November, Empathy Week and Kindness Week. These events encourage children to step outside of their comfort zone and experiment with, explore and learn more about our SDGs in more detail. Ms Hatton shared further, saying, “DUCKS students will have the opportunity to connect with nature, build relationships with others, practice mindful living, live sustainably and encourage fairness and belonging. Through our special events, children have the opportunity to dive deeper into an SDG or Dulwich Value – like kindness for example, where we focused on our Dulwich Values character Kind Kate."
Spotlight on Kindness during Kindness Week
No Carbon November in-class challenges
What’s Ms Hatton’s advice on raising global citizens?
You always think you should be doing more, but here in DUCKS we take small steps which we know adds up to make a difference. We have a saying at DCB and across the Dulwich schools: Teaspoons of Change.
Each teaspoon of change, when put together, can make a huge difference. We've got a lot of projects going on, but I think the main goal is that children have the skills, values and the competency to go out into the world and be a good person.
As Co-Founder of Together We Can Change the World Jana Stanfield said, “we cannot do all of the good that the world needs, but the world needs all the good that we can do.”