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Teachers' Notes


Welcome ...

Welcome to the Teachers' Notes for this, the first edition of the Primary School section of Global Eye News. Global Eye News (GEN) was launched in January 2000, the online edition of the very successful Global Eye magazine, written by Worldaware and funded by the Department For International Development. The magazine is produced each term and is now in it's fifth year. It provides interesting, well-illustrated and stimulating information about developing countries and development issues. Although its main purpose is to support the geography curriculum, it is relevant to many other curriculum areas e.g. English, PSHE and Citizenship. Written for secondary school pupils, one copy plus teachers' notes/activities is sent free to every UK secondary school, with sets of 30 available (also free) to those who request it. As a result the current circulation is over 90,000 copies per term.

For some time there has been demand for a primary 'Global Eye'. With such high costs involved we are unable to produce and distribute a free primary magazine, but are able (thanks to additional support from DFID) to extend the online service to include a primary Global Eye News (GEN) section from this term onwards. Please note that the site is accessible from the opening screen via two routes - the standard html route and the shockwave route (with more interactive features).

Primary school pupils (and staff) may also find the secondary school section of Global Eye News useful and relevant to their work in school - sections can be accessed separately or via the site map. There is also an archive of all the past issues of Global Eye magazine and Global Eye News online. The primary sections will, of course, be archived as new editions go live.

The main features of the primary section will be similar to those which appear in Global Eye magazine including:

  • News ... recent events in the developing world
  • Eye on ... a specific country in the developing world including maps, photo and data, plus information about its people and its geography.
  • On Camera ... images from a location in the developing world
  • Focus on ... looks at a specific theme and how it impacts on development and development issues
  • Development Awareness in Action ... shows how a school, group, company or organisation is helping to raise awareness about a developing country or a particular development issue. If your school is actively working in this field, let us know and we may be able to feature what you are doing in a future edition of Global Eye
  • Competitions ... quizzes and competitions for individual pupils, one of which will have prizes available, plus at least one competition for a curriculum based project where pupils can work in groups to win a prize for the school and have their work displayed on the Global Eye site.

There will also be a variety of interactive features included in each edition of Global Eye News e.g. talkboards, ask-an-expert events, areas for pupils to display work and exchange ideas on development issues.

Two characters (Cecile and Harry) are used throughout Global Eye News to help link parts of the features; ask questions; give instructions and to help break up the text and illustrations - we hope this will help pupils access information more easily.

Eye on... Mexico

Mexico is a good choice for a locality study. In addition to the information in this edition of GEN, Worldaware publishes a wide range of material about Mexico and the village of Tocuaro for both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (see end of this section of notes). The Key Stage 1 resources are recommended in the new QCA schemes of work for use from September 2000.

General information, data, map and flag.

The Land
Describes the main geographical features of Mexico e.g. rivers, mountains, deserts and forests. Lists the range of natural hazards e.g. volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes.

Considers why Mexico has a range of different climates (altitude and latitude being the main determining factors). Graphs for Acapulco and Mexico City are shown, plus references to a map to show location. A simple activity is included asking pupils to study the graphs and locations, noting the differences and giving reasons for them.

A brief history of Mexico, mentioning three major civilisations - the Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs - prior to the arrival of the Spanish and eventual Independence. It also touches on some modern day problems, especially urban growth, overcrowding and pollution

Work and Industry
Tables listing main imports, exports and industries plus pie charts for employment structure. The growing importance of tourism to the economy.

Useful web sites

** = of more use to teachers rather than primary school pupils


The following resources about Mexico are all available from Worldaware:

Mexico Mapcard
Pack of 15 A4 colour laminated mapcards plus information about Mexico and Tocuaro (village) on the back.

Tocuaro Key Stage 1 Picture Pack
8 A2 colour photoboards, plus activities, information, 32 page teachers' handbook and A1 poster (for display). Looks at the village of Tocuaro in Mexico and the lives of the Horta family.

Tocuaro Pupil's Book (Key Stage 2)
Colourful 36 page book for KS2 pupils about the village of Tocuaro, the Horta family and the local environment.
£5.45 or £49.50 for 10.

Mexico Posters
2 posters - Flora and Fauna + Physical Geography.
Available singly @ £6.00 each or £10.00 the pair.

Traditional Crafts from Mexico and Central America
A book about crafts and cultural traditions with clear instructions and a variety of practical activities. Includes photocopiable templates.

Colours of Mexico
A very colourful book looking at Mexico through colours e.g. red chilli peppers. Good for stimulating creative written work.

Opossum and the Great Firemaker
A traditional Mexican story about an opossum bringing back fire to the people after it was stolen by Iguana the Great Firemaker.

For further details about all these resources and how to order them, please CLICK HERE and go to the Resources section.

The Geographical Association booklet ICT in primary schools by Stuart May (£5 to members, £7 to non members) contains an article by Karl Donert, first published in Primary Geographer and looking at how to use the internet to study both Tocuaro and Mexico. GA web site =

On Camera ...

Looks at the Horta family (featured in Worldaware's resources about Tocuaro, a Mexican Village). There is a photograph of the family (parents and children) and a simple activity for pupils to draw a family tree (they can click to reveal the correct version).

A plan of the Horta family home is shown with an activity asking pupils to look at similarities and differences between the Horta home and their own. A second activity asks them to consider what the plan of the house tells them about the way the Horta family lives, giving reasons (evidence) for their answers. There is a click and reveal button for some help, but this is an open-ended task, culminating in what they think a plan of their OWN home would say about the way they lived.

Useful web sites

See lists above under Eye on ... Mexico


See lists above under Eye on ... Mexico

Focus On... Mountains

Unit 15 of the QCA's schemes of work focuses on the Mountain Environmnet, recommended for study in Year 6 at Key Stage 2. The information in this feature covers such environments via two case studies, concentrating on some of the environmental/conservation issues facing specific areas in the Himalayas and Andes Mountains.

Includes an interactive map showing the world's highest mountain ranges and a mountains factfile. Pupils are invited to name them and where they are found before revealing the answers

It also describes some of the problems of living in such regions and the conflict between preserving these often fragile environments whilst using them as an asset to provide jobs and money in what are often fairly poor, developing areas of the world.

Machu Picchu, the Andes, Peru
The Inca Trail, leading to the ruined city of Machu Picchu in the southern Andes of Peru, is a good example of an area where there are increasing concerns about the increasing numbers of visitors beginning to cause environmental problems and pollution. It outlines some of the ideas put forward for the future development of the area. An activity is included for pupils to consider these options and what they would do.

Mt. Everest, the Himalyas, Nepal/India
This case study concentrates on how climbers and their support teams have left rubbish from the base camp at Everest as they attempt to climb the world' highest peak. It looks at why this has become such a problem and what is being done to clear it up. Pupils are encouraged to think about the types of rubbish left behind and how this can be classified - and which causes the most damage ... and why.

Talkboard: Protecting Mountain Environments
This section finishes with a talkboard giving pupils the opportunity to express their views about how mountain areas can be protected, yet used to help people earn a living. It explains the idea of sustainable development and invites questions, ideas and opinions from pupils.

Please note that comments are posted on the site via the editor, so there will be a delay between pupils posting comments and them appearing. This avoids repetition, allows time for answers to be given and prevents inappropriate comments from appearing.

Useful web sites

Everest and Himalyas:

Machu Pichu and the Andes

** = of more use to teachers rather than primary school pupils

Development Awareness in Action: Richmond Primary Parliament

We are extremely pleased to feature the work of the Richmond Pupils Parliament in the first 'Development Awareness in Action' section of our new GEN section for Primary Schools. We hope that it will prove useful to teachers and pupils in a number of ways:

  • explaining how a pupil parliament works (and can be set up)
  • looking at good practice of how schools are raising awareness about development issues
  • raising awareness about the issue of refugees
  • presenting and displaying work done by primary school pupils

We would also like to encourage you to let us know what YOUR school is doing to promote awareness of developing countries and development issues - and perhaps feature in a future edition of GEN (*see below for details)

Rationale for Pupil Parliament

The London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames Pupil Parliament for primary schools has been running for six years. It was set up to help promote the democratic process of:

  • campaigning
  • voting
  • public speaking

    .... and to encourage positive and active citizenship.

Each year after the Easter holidays, Year 5 (KS2) pupils in the boroughs' primary schools are given the opportunity to stand for election to represent their school as Members of the Pupil Parliament (MPPs) for one year. They each campaign on a given theme, decided upon by a Steering Group of interested teachers. The themes covered so far include:

  • improving leisure facilities for children in the borough (add more)
  • children's rights in the millennium
  • citizenship 2000: What it's like to be a good citizen

Once a pupil has decided to stand for election they gather together their campaign team consisting of a Campaign Manager and Campaign Assistants. The candidates and their teams can prepare posters, badges and speeches. The speeches are delivered to the rest of the school by the candidates at assemblies and on the hustings. On the chosen election day the whole school votes for two MPPS - one boy and one girl - to represent the school at the Richmond Pupil Parliament.

We are fortunate in Richmond to be able to use the Council Chambers in York House, Twickenham, where all the MPPs meet for their first Pupil Parliament Day. We meet on the given day, with the newly elected MPPs taking their seats - the ones which Richmond's Councillors use. In recent years the local MPs for Richmond and Twickenham have been invited to address the RPP at the start of the day and to tell the MPPs about the life of a real Member of Parliament and the duties they have to carry out. This has proved fascinating for the pupils involved.

Once the introductions and addresses by the visiting MPs have finished, the real business of the day can begin. Each MPP addresses the Parliament, reading the speech they used in their school campaign. During the speeches the MPPs grade each other so they can vote to elect a Pupil Parliament Mayor at the end of the day. The various MPPs are then grouped with other MPPs who have made similar, like-minded speeches. Each group works with a teacher to put together a resolution they would like to work on, presenting it later to the rest of the Parliament to vote on.

The winning resolution is then used as the theme for two follow-up mornings during the time that the MPPs are in Year 6. These sessions consist of a range of workshops exploring aspects of the resolution. The work that is generated from the workshops is then put together in a pack which can be sent to all participating schools. This might include work for use in lessons or a theme for assembly.

The Richmond Pupil Parliament has proved to be a highly successful vehicle in the promotion of the democratic process. It has introduced and built on the important concept of citizenship - a topic which will be formally introduced into the National Curriculum in September 2002. The chance for all pupils to participate in the voting process provides a great experience for later life and, hopefully, will instil into pupils at an early age the importance of every individuals right to express their own views.

If you would like further information or details about the Richmond Pupil Parliament and how it is organised, please contact:

Adrian Corke, Stanley Junior School Tel: 020-8977-4858
Suzanne Maille, Sheen Mount Junior School Tel: 020-8876-8394

*If your school is actively involved in raising awareness about development and development issues e.g. via a unit of work, extra-curricular activity, visit or school link with a school in a developing country and would like to be featured in future editions of GEN, please contact the editor at or write or telephone the editor at Worldaware, 31 - 35 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TE, telephone: 020 7831 3844


There are two quizzes - one for fun and one competition with prizes on offer. Quiz One can be answered by using the information on Global Eye News; Quiz Two will need some extra research by pupils. If pupils wish to enter the competition quiz, a teacher must countersign the entry form. When the winning entries are drawn, schools will be notified to verify that the pupil does attend the school and is of Primary School age.

The School Project is based around the feature on Mountain Environments. It is intended to be carried out in school in small groups, but we will accept entries completed outside school time. Again, verification is required on the entry form. For this competition, a prize is awarded to the winning schools and their entry displayed on the Global Eye web site.

Closing date for entries for Quiz Two and the School Project is 8th December 2000,

"Cable & Wireless are sponsoring Childnet International's competition for students of all ages to reward children, and those working with them, who are developing outstanding internet sites and activities which directly benefit other children. Winning projects will receive up to £2,500 and an expenses paid trip to the awards ceremony in Washington DC. The closing date for entries for the 2001 competition is 21st October 2000. for more information, visit Childnet International's Website at

Please let us know what you think about the new primary section - what you would like to see featured; work your pupils have done by using the information on Global Eye News, or on development issues in general, plus your ideas and comments. We need your input to help the site develop and grow.

The Editor, Global Eye News,
Email address:

Worldaware, 31 - 35 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TE.
Tel: 020 7831 3844 Fax: 020 7831 1746

Worldaware web site (including Resources Catalogue)