Latymer Upper’s Global Goals Course

Posted: 31 July 2018

The Global Goals Course at Latymer Upper School ties into the school’s strategic aim to help pupils become active global citizens. The students identify a UN goal to research and devise a plan to realise  this goal. Their resulting project is celebrated at a ‘Global Goals Festival’.

Author and position: Andrew Matthews, Deputy Head and Round Square Rep 

School: Latymer Upper School 


We have a strategic aim to help all our pupils become active global citizens (it is part of our Learn Profile) and have been looking for ways to encourage and develop this. We also wanted to give our students more opportunities to develop those ‘21st century’ skills such as teamwork, independent research, problem-solving, and communication skills. We already had a distinctive, Latymer-designed and externally recognised (GCSE equivalent) World Perspectives course for our 14-16 year-olds that has been highly successful, and were looking for ways to extend provision to more junior years with a slightly different slant. In thinking through what might prove a stimulating and useful framework for the course we decided to use the 17 UN Sustainability Goals. 


I established a working group of interested teachers to develop the year-long programme and proposals were discussed with a group of pupils (those involved in helping us in our early Round Square days). This planning took place during the academic year 2015-2016 and the programme (90 minutes per 10 days for seven groups of 24 students) was included in the curriculum/timetable plan for 2016-17. The course ambition and outline was presented to parents at a curriculum evening. 


The subject matter is aspects of the UN 17 Sustainability Goals 

Key Principles: 

Term 1: 

Terms 2 and 3: 



Pupils have a chance to explore and develop their own ideas and learning; the chance to engage in a creative problem-solving project and develop skills of research, team-work, risk-taking, problem-solving, and communication, whilst ‘making a difference’. When parents came to the Global Goals exhibition, it was clear that they were proud of their children and their efforts. 

As many projects focused on helping the local community – be it school, pre-school, or their neighbourhood – the local community also benefitted from the programme.  

Staff received real professional development due to the collaborative nature of the programme and the adventurous teaching involved. 

Initiatives such as these also help our reputation and profile and contributed to the school winning the TES School of the Year in 2018. 

The Future

The nature of the course is dynamic and we seek to improve each year. We hope to involve parents, local businesses, and charities more in our work, and consider ways that students can take the best projects forward after the programme ends. We are also looking for opportunities for international collaboration and participation in international efforts sponsored by RS schools, such as Project 2050 


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