Global Perspectives

Bedales is unique in the UK, in making Global Perspectives part of the core curriculum rather than simply an 'extra'. Since introducing Global Perspectives, Bedales has used the Harvard Education School / Asia Society definition: "Using 21st Century skills (critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration and communication) to understand and address global issues".

The skills learnt and developed within the Global Perspectives curriculum are highly transferable, and well regarded within the academic community.

Designed in collaboration with both students and other academic departments, the Global Perspectives Bedales Assessed Course (BAC) is horizontal rather than vertical – connecting to many other subjects but occupying its own place and addressing issues that have traditionally been absent from the secondary curriculum. 

The emphasis is on Politics, Economics, Law and Anthropology, making this both an excellent introduction to developing a global mindset and a useful foundation for A level subjects such as Politics, Economics and Business Studies, as well as the A Level in Global Perspectives.

  • Block 3 (Year 9)
  • Blocks 4 and 5 (Years 10 and 11)
  • Sixth Form

Students will be introduced to the concept of ‘perspectives’ and how to use different lenses to view, deconstruct and reconstruct global issues as well as the importance of reflection and communication. The focus will be on developing the skills of research and self-evaluation through studies relating to Global Cultures, Charity and Ethics, Immigration and Refugees and Ethics in Conflict.

Throughout Block 3, Global Perspectives students will be introduced to the concept of social entrepreneurship and start developing the skills which will enable them to become effective changemakers as they continue through their education and beyond. Students will be encouraged to work with our partners – local, national and international, developing relationships and carrying out community action. This real- life learning will equip them with vital 21st century skills as well as ensure that looking outwards remains at the heart of their learning.   

Global Perspectives BAC

Inspiring and feeding an appetite for change is key to the Global Perspectives BAC. Initially we place an emphasis on students acquiring research skills and analysing different points of view followed by undertaking a groundbreaking collaborative project. The students begin with a very loose idea of a topic which they would like to cover, and they refine this through concentrated research and the setting of specific goals. Students choose to work with one of Bedales’ partners – local, national or international and community action is expected. In 2022, a group of Block 5 GP students were responsible for the Rural Refugee Art Sale which raised £50,000 for the RRN enabling them to continue to provide vital services for young refugees and strengthening the relationship between Bedales and the RRN.

Autumn Term Block 4

Global Issue 1: The Status of First & Indigenous Peoples

Key Concepts

- What makes us Human?
- Identity Circles
How can a study of First Peoples help to develop a global perspective?

How does our own tribal identity influence our perspective?
- What is lost when indigenous cultures are lost?
- What is lost when rainforest cultures are lost?
- What does it mean to be human?


- Practice data response questions on unseen materials.

Global Issue 2: Human Rights

Key Concepts

- What are human rights?
- Who needs human rights & why?
- Why is poverty “the worst human rights violation in the world today?”
- What are the best ways to help people out of poverty?
- Why does it make economic sense to invest in women?
- Why is education one of the best ways to protect children’s rights?
How can the media help to protect human rights?
- How do the most successful campaigns get people’s support & money?   
- How can we effectively analyse successful campaigns?
- How is the UDHR incorporated into law?
- Why and how do the US and UK differ in protecting civil liberties?


Analysis of an advocacy campaign; 10% of final BAC grade.


Spring Term Block 4

Global Issue 3: Human Rights and Global Health

Key Concepts

- What is the Right to Health?
How is the universal Right to Health applied to different groups?
- What are the top stories in Global Public Health?
- Why haven’t we eradicated more diseases yet?
- Case Study: HIV and AIDS
- Are routine vaccinations the most effective way to improve global health and alleviate poverty?
- What is the relationship between health and human rights?         
- Why is pain worse in some parts of the world?
- What can a case study on FGM teach us about global health and human rights?


- Create a poster for exhibit on a chosen global health threat; 10% of final BAC grade.

Global Issue 4: Human Rights and the Global Economy

Key Concepts

- What roles do the IMF and World Bank play?
- What is economic global governance?
- What is the Human Development Index?
- What is the impact of globalisation?
- What is the impact of colonialism?
- Have the Sustainable Development Goals achieved their aims?


- Research Project on the importance of international aid; 10% of final BAC grade.


Summer Term Block 4

Global Issue 5: The Arms Trade 

Key Concepts

- What is the significance of the global arms trade?
- What is the role of the UN?
- What can a case study on landmines teach us?


- Write a New York Times editorial on why the US should either sign and/or ratify either the 1999 Ottawa Treaty or 2014 Arms Trade Treaty 10% of final BAC grade.

Autumn Term Block 5

Global Issue 6: Peace and Conflict including Case Studies on Rwanda and West Papua

Key Concepts

- How effective is the Genocide Convention?
- What are the 8 stages of Genocide?
- Using definitions to define current situations, particularly Rohingya and West Papua
- What happened in Rwanda in 1994?
- Has the Genocide Convention failed?
- What role does the media & public opinion play?


- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Genocide Convention; 10% of final BAC grade.

Global Issue 7: Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

Key Concepts

- What is social innovation / entrepreneurship?
- How can we effectively define social innovation and entrepreneurship?
- What can case studies of some of the most successful innovations teach us?
- What are the problems associated with social innovation and entrepreneurship?
- How can case studies help us to design our own campaigns?

End of BAC assessment

Students will undertake a synoptic paper in which they will need to analyse unseen campaigns using skills developed using the collaborative and individual projects and write an argument assessing what they believe to be the biggest global issue in the 21st century.

Global Perspectives A Level

The Global Perspectives A Level is suitable for all students, regardless of whether they have taken the BAC in Global Perspectives. It places academic specialisation in a practical, real-world context, being a seminar-based opportunity to research and explore a range of issues challenging people across the globe. Developing critical/analytical, research, and problem-solving skills essential to higher education, students will learn to place their personal perspectives in a global context, finding new inspiration and challenges for their studies.

During their study, students consider at least four topics taken from different themes. For example, genetic engineering, medical ethics and priorities, standard of living or quality of life, ethical foreign policies, or the religious-secular divide may be studied under the Ethics theme. Typically students develop the necessary skills to embark upon a realistic and meaningful research agenda.

Students will complete a team project on a topic of their choice, submit an essay from their portfolio and sit an examination. The Independent Research Report gives candidates the chance to dig still deeper into a particular subject, or to cross boundaries by doing interdisciplinary work, or to make a new departure by investigating a subject not covered by traditional school syllabuses. Students submit a single piece of extended work on their chosen theme. Students can choose whether to take the Global Perspectives AS Level or to study for the two year A Level. 

An increasing number of UK and international universities are providing statements of recognition for Cambridge International A Level in GPR. In their view, the A Level is an excellent preparation for undergraduate study since it gives real evidence of independent, critical thinking. This is applicable across all undergraduate subject areas due to the nature of the skills developed throughout the course.

Head of Department: Abi Wharton