The following article comes from David Smith, International Coordinator at Edenderry Primary School, Northern Ireland.

Nurturing Global Citizens requires compassion; to look at the world through a different lens and to walk in the shoes of another person.

This is in essence what we promote in the classroom when we reflect and think critically with the International Partnerships we enjoy with students around the world.

Imagine if this could occur with a great multitude from every nation.

The British Council was my first point of reference for International Partnerships. I was fortunate to make links with students and teachers via the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) schools of North Africa and the Middle East. I regularly speak to Mohammad, Ibrahim, Nesreen and they in turn have introduced me to other teachers who promote compassionate Global Citizens throughout the world.

More recently I have greatly benefited from the Global School Alliance platform, where in particular the GSA Primary International Student Council group has allowed our students to talk and listen first-hand to authentic experiences and shared problem-solving with their fellow Global Citizens such as collaborating in the COP26 dialogue and the innovative A Forest of Promises programme.

One specific GSA meeting that registers with me, was watching our Student Council listen to the first-hand stories from the Moldovan Student Council describing Ukranian refugees walking into schools and villages for assistance and that Moldovan students describe listening to the sound of not so distant bombings across the border.

If ever there was a need for compassion and solidarity with our fellow Global Citizens it is now.

These important and profound discussions were all adeptly facilitated by Tatiana Popa from Heritage International School. If ever there was a need for compassion and solidarity with our fellow Global Citizens it is now; we’re all aware of the challenges but Global Citizenship and Compassionate Understanding must remain an important and central part of all educational philosophy.


David Smith, International Coordinator at Edenderry Primary School

David is a teacher and International Coordinator at Edenberry Primary School in Banbridge, Northern Ireland. A Zealander by birth, he’s been teaching in Northern Ireland since 2000 and has always had a passionate commitment to the enriching global dimensions of teaching and learning. He is a keen advocate for the key power and impactful benefits of student voice.