World on your Feet

This resources was developed by Stephen Cole with his class at Springfield Primary School, Sheffield.

Age Group: Year 6

Concepts:  Global Trade, Fair Trade

Key Words: trade, fair, global, location, map,


In geography, help children to develop their understanding of:

1.        people, places and the spaces they live and work in

2.        the way that people and places are connected

3.        environmental change and sustainability (including an understanding of a changing physical or human process)

4.        that geography can be viewed through different lenses at different scales (see Key Concepts)

In Global Learning, help children to

1.        critically examine their own values and attitudes

2.        appreciate the similarities between people everywhere, and learn to value diversity

3.        understand the global context of their local lives

4.        develop skills that will enable them to combat injustice, prejudice and discrimination


Although it is clear from the way this project developed that Stephen had a good idea of what he wanted children to experience and learn, he also allowed the direction of learning to evolve as the project progressed.  This way of working meant that he had to do a good deal of initial research himself and also make extensive use of his facility with ICT to maintain the children’s interest.  Children were encouraged to participate fully through a Blog that he set up for them –  

He also kept a detailed diary for the six week project. The diary entries below are selections that I have made to provide a taster of the project.  There is much more information, video, copies of letters etc on his Blog so please have a look.

The project Plan below has been put together by me as a way of proving an overview of the project.  Stephen probably didn’t have all these things in mind when he set of on the journey!   Wendy North, Project Coordinator for the Geographical Association


Diary Entry 3 Jan 2012  Stripped a wall and put this poster in the middle:

Diary Entry 5Jan 2012  

Then in the afternoon we had our first Community of Enquiry.  The class (and me) are new to P4C – this was only their second enquiry.  For the stimulus we used two videos from You Tube.

Diary Entry 7 Jan 2012  “Ok – have definitely got a buzz around footwear in the class.
Given arty stuff or concepts like the publicity leaflet they go all quiet and involved.

Now we have to shift this engagement to the next dimension – this is where the dramatic provocation comes in.  In my imagination I had to firstly get the children out and about into the neighbourhood shops, under some pretext and then subject them to a dramatic experience.  The latter being harder than the former possibly.

I had been imagining somebody who looked as if they came from Indonesia to accost the children to deliver a message, as if in the first person.  Thinking this difficult I thought it might have to be a found message but then realised it could be any anybody acting as a second party message deliverer.

I walked a possible route today while musing on ways in to this for the class.

So, we have a route.”

Diary Entry 8 Jan 2012  Distant relatives should stay distant

Introducing a dramatic element into the enquiry in the form of a letter:

Diary Entry 11 Jan 2012Message Delivered

Today we went out on our survey of shops selling footwear.

The map, from open street map was very clear and children enjoyed following it – opens up lots of possibilities for the future.  Before we went out they had a sheet of thumbnail pictures of local landmarks and had tried to stick them on the map, using their local knowledge.  This had helped orientate themselves on the map before using it in the field.

The delivery of the letter created a lot of excitement and interest.

Random points:

  • Two children independently suggested on the way back to school that a philosophical enquiry would be a good way to digest what had happened (and this is after only two P4C sessions)
  • Some children spontaneously spent dinner time trying to get handwriting samples from school adults to match with the envelope.
  • The member of the class with knowledge of Indonesian was able to translate the letter (with a bit of help from Google Translate) and provide that to the class before dinner time:

Diary Entry 12 Jan 2012:  In the news!

Diary Entry 17 Jan 2012: Suwandi’s story

Yesterday the class managed to track down Suwandi so we started this morning looking at his story in more detail.

We read that he was  ”The son of Sumatran farm labourers, Suwandi is 30 years old and “still single.” More than ten years ago he crossed the Sunda Strait to try his luck in Tangerang, Jakarta’s burgeoning garment precinct. He found a job at an adidas factory called PT Panarub.”

This prompted us to explore that moment when he left his farm labouring parents to travel to the big city.

We then used this an opportunity to use our skills in writing dialogue:

Diary Entry 3 Feb 2012: Big Questions

Today we tried to formulate responses to the Big Questions we received.

In the morning groups of four people each took one question.

Here a group is formulating a concept around different kinds of rich people:

You can continue to follow how this project developed at:

Diary Entry 6 Feb 2012:  Splitting the Proceeds

This morning we had a session in the hall….

We took a £50 trainer:

Finally: Thoughts on the BIG QUESTIONS

After discussing the Big Questions in groups, each person wrote their individual response to one question.  Here are some extracts:

Question 1 – When we buy things, should we think about where they come from?

“Firstly, I need to remind you that I respect the shoe makers.  However, with regard to the shoe makers I feel they have nothing to do with me.  Additionally, if the shoes are nice and good quality I do not mind about anything else.  Against that, I do care what location my shoes come from. – RK”

Question 2 – Are people different or the same?

“You may think money is the answer to everything, but it is not.  Imam may not have a good job, but he is happy.  If you were in his shoes would you be greedy or thankful?  If I was in Imam’s shoes I would find a higher paying job. – MW”

Question 3 – Are we linked to the rest of the world?

“I think Sheffield could be a normal place without links with the rest of the world, however it would be way better if we did have connections.  We would learn more and understand things better.  If we knew what was going on in other countries we would never take anything for granted because we would know how lucky we are. – AE-S”

Question 4 – Can the world carry on like it is?

“This was actually a chewy question! – BA”

Question 5 – What about rich and poor?

“Firstly, I’d like to say that poor are poor because the world can’t afford for them to be rich. Also, the people who are rich are very lucky or just have dream jobs.  The first thing that struck me and my mates is that you don’t have to be rich to be happy.  All you need is a loving family, human rights and fairness – not forgetting shelter.  We think there are two kinds of richness.  One of them is being selfish and wanting everything for themselves.  the other is being very generous and always giving. – WH”

Question 6 – Can we, should we, try to make things fairer?

“I think that little helps would make a big difference to poor people.  People like Imam and his friends could get in a Union to improve their situation. – SA”

You can read more of the children’s answers here:


Background Information about the School:


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