A User Guide for Primary Schools

Videos, photographs, cartoons, animations, current affairs, infographics …  this website is maintained with a wide range of material covering a range of global development themes and issues.

Here are some suggested ways of using the website to build development education into your lessons plans:

  • Take a look around – use the search facility or tagging system to see what is in each section on the website.
  • Explore the issues & topics section for background reading on a range of human rights, health, sustainable development and ethical consumption debates.
  • Take a look at the Top Tens! Or set your class loose to find one statistic that stands out for them and to discuss it in class.
  • The searchable glossary provides definitions that can be printed off – or put the terms on the whiteboard and ask pupils to guess what they mean. Can they figure it out?
  • Interested in a range of opinion, facts and multimedia materials that are ready to use in class? What’s the resource of the month? Keep an eye on the blog. Or why not get your class project featured on it?
  • We make animations and videos! See our multimedia resources, or why not start with our popular What if the world had 100 people? animation with your class?
  • Looking for some ideas on a topic? Use the tag cloud on the homepage for some quick results.

Resources Catalogue

In our catalogue, you will find a catalogue of over 200 annotated development and development education resources and materials across a number of categories including issues such as climate change, sustainable development, gender, HIV and AIDS, human rights, etc. It is also searchable according to educational categories, themes and authors. The new section enables you to search on-line resources by category, key-words, publisher, title and author.

NOTE: if you have any comments or resources to recommend or would be interested in contributing towards this section send an email to contact@developmenteducation.ie

Using the Curriculum

The curriculum links focus for the primary school section is based on the NCCA curriculum planning tool as used by teachers in the following areas:

  • Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE)
  • Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE)
  • This section complements the natural environment strands of the science curriculum about nature, with a focus on humans, sustainability and the role of people. This section can be used in addition to natural science strands. It can serve as a reference for preparing lesson plans.


Strand: Environmental awareness and care
Strand UnitsContent objectives
Environmental awareness

Identify, discuss and appreciate attractive and unattractive elements of natural and human environments

Explore some examples of the interrelationship of climate, natural features, flora, fauna and human life in different environments in Ireland and in some of the main climatic regions of the world

Recognise and investigate aspects of human activities which may have positive or adverse effects on environments

Become aware of the importance of the Earth’s renewable and non-renewable resources

Foster an appreciation of the ways in which people use the earth’s resources

Come to appreciate the need to conserve the Earth’s resources

Content Objectives

Examine a number of ways in which local and other environments could be improved or enhanced

Identify and discuss a local, national or global environmental issue

Come to appreciate individual, community and national responsibility for environmental care

Strand: Human environments
People and other lands

Study some aspects of the environments and lives of people in one location in Europe and one location in another part of the world

Develop an increasing awareness of the interdependence of people in these places and people in Ireland

Learn to value and respect the diversity of peoples and their lifestyles in these areas and other parts of the world

Become aware of various ethnic, religious and linguistic groups of peoples in Ireland, Europe and the wider world

Develop a sense of belonging to local, county, national, European and international communities

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Strand: Living Things
Caring for the environment

Participate in activities that contribute to the enhancement of the environment

Identify and discuss a local, national or global environmental issue and come to appreciate individual, community and national responsibility for environmental care

Environmental awareness

Identify positive aspects of natural and built environments through observation, discussion and recording

Explore some examples of the interrelationship of living and non-living aspects of local and other environments

Become aware of the importance of the Earth’s renewable and non-renewable resources

Foster an appreciation of the ways in which people use the earth’s resources

Come to appreciate the need to conserve resources

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Strand: Myself and the wider world
Developing citizenshipEnvironmental care
Appreciate the environment and develop a sense of individual and community responsibility for caring for the environment and being custodians of the Earth for future generationsLiving in the local community
Identify some local issues of concern and explore possible action that could be taken to address these issuesExplore how inequality might exist in the local community and suggest ways in which this might be addressedRecognise and explore the positive contributions made to the local community by various organisations, ethnic, social or community groups and individuals

Recognise and understand the role of the individual and various groups in the community

Explore local traditions and folklore and develop a sense of pride in his/her local community

Explore the concept of the class or school as a community

Links to Other Websites

DICE project – The Development and Intercultural Education Project – DICE – aims to address the need for global and social justice perspectives within primary education in Ireland. DICE aims to achieve this through promoting an understanding of development and intercultural issues in Initial Teacher Education through collaborative partnerships with all 5 Colleges of Education in the Republic of Ireland, Irish Aid and a number of key Non-Governmental Organisations.

The DICE project aims to equip teachers with the necessary values, ideas, skills and capacities to integrate development education and intercultural education across all relevant areas of the primary school curriculum.

Irish Aid – Interested in finding out more about the global justice challenges facing our world and our responsibilities as global citizens? In the primary section on the Irish Aid website, you will find information on their different education programmes, on practical teaching resources as well as suggestions on how to engage learners in practical ways.

The Irish Aid primary section offers resources, ideas and information on how to bring global development and human rights issues to the curriculum through SESE and SPHE.

Trócaire – Trócaire’s primary section provides a wealth of information and resources for teachers to use in the classroom, such as whiteboard interactive resources, case studies, teacher’s notes, maps and more.

Green schools – The Global citizenship theme of the Green Schools Ireland is very much cross-cutting and has implications for all of the other themes. The Global Citizenship theme enables teachers and pupils to discover how their work on the Green-Schools programme has positively influenced people and their local environments, worldwide.

Green-schools believe that citizenship does not only refer to our rights and responsibilities that are laid down by the law, but it also refers to our social and moral behaviour. In their resources section for the Global Citizenship theme, teachers will find activity sheets, information sheets (sustainable development, waste and poverty and more), examples of other school projects, downloadable power point presentations, as well as other links and videos.

ThinkandAct.ie – Think & Act is the new online resource for primary teachers interested in social justice issues. The result of a unique collaboration using high-quality animations with age appropriate stories and scenarios, Think & Act resources have been developed by teachers for teachers. The first of its kind in Ireland, the platform offers easy access to Pivotal Arts’ (formerly FOMACS) creative media content and other relevant curriculum resources and lesson plans designed by Educate together.

Think and Act contains 37 ‘lesson ideas’ divided into learn together curriculum, the primary curriculum, class level or teaching packs on subjects ranging from cultural diversity to boycotts.