skip to main content
Sport, PE and global learning

Send us your Stories

We love to hear news from schools on global learning. Email us at:

Sport, PE and global learning

26 March, 2018

The days are getting longer, the mornings are getting brighter and the weather is slowly getting better. Looks like spring is finally on its way! After months of being stuck inside, now is the perfect time to take your global learning outside. Although neither PE nor sport seem like they'd be natural partners for global learning, the subjects provide loads of opportunities to incorporate a global dimension into your lessons.

PE and global learning – How do they connect?

There are a variety of ways sport, PE and global learning can complement each other very effectively. Values such as teamwork, respect for diversity and inclusion can all be developed through PE teaching. Our colleagues at Think Global have created a quick summary outlining the key connections between PE and global learning. Moreover, teachers can use international sports as a way to encourage pupils to think on a global scale.

There are some massive sporting events coming up. With just a few months to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, football fever is on its way. You can harness this energy to really inspire your pupils through global learning. You could even hold your own World Cup using footballs made from recycled materials! The international NGO Send a Cow has created a resource to help your class repurpose old plastic bags into usable footballs. This resource was inspired by the charity’s work on the African continent, where children sometimes make plastic bag footballs due to lack of other materials.

You can also use the upcoming football frenzy to teach about Fairtrade. The Fairtrade Foundation has developed an excellent presentation explaining how footballs are made and how Fairtrade can help workers who produce footballs. The presentation is supported by an accompanying video.

The World Cup is not the only massive sporting event happening this year. In just a few weeks, the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast is going to begin. To help schools engage with the Games, the Government of Queensland has developed the ‘Embracing 2018 Global Education Program’. This features a wide range of subject-specific resources for school children of all ages, which explore themes like diversity. Although designed for the Australian curriculum, the material can be easily adapted for use around the world. All resources are free to access and perfectly fuse global learning and sport.

Want to learn more about the Commonwealth? The Department for Education has just launched a new education pack, which explains all about the Commonwealth and its 53 member states. There are lots of great activities in this pack, including one highlighting some of the great women of the Commonwealth.

Even if you’re short on time, you can easily incorporate some global learning into your weekly PE classes. The now defunct International Inspiration Programme produced a couple of excellent traditional games resources, which provide instructions for playing playground games from around the world. Almost all of these games require little to no equipment and so can be used as an excellent starting point for teaching pupils about different cultures.

In need of some more ideas to get outside and get active? You could mix things up this year by holding a recycled sports day. This resource from Send a Cow will tell you how to get started! Instructions are included to help pupils construct all the equipment prior to the big day. Why not get parents involved as well by inviting them to come along and watch all the fun events?

Send a Cow has a number of other resources combining PE and global learning, which can be found here. Just select 'PE' as the subject area in the box on the left hand side of the page. Additional resources on 'PE and dance' are also available via the Global Dimension website.

With the summer term approaching and a big few months of sport ahead, now is the perfect time to bring sport, PE and global learning together in your teaching practice. Don't miss the opportunity to get active and inspire your students to learn all about the world. Here’s hoping it stays dry so that we can get outside!  

Resources to Support Classroom Practice and a Whole School Approach

Global Learning is supported by a wide range of organisations and initiatives:

Get updates from Global Learning Schools NI straight to your inbox!