How British is Britain?

About this Collection

What do I want to find out?

What pupils understand by the term “British” in relation to culture and identity. Substitute the name of whichever country your pupils live and work in.

What do I need? 

  • A piece of paper for each pupil, with an outline of a person on one side, and a continuum line marking Very British at one end and Very Global on the other side. You can download this sheet entitled ‘Activity 1 identity figure’ from the website.

What do I do?

Timing: 15 minutes

  • Ask pupils to decide Is your identity more [British] or more Global?
  • Ask pupils to position themselves along a continuum across the classroom, where one end is ‘very British’ and the other end is ‘very Global’.
  • Photograph the results.
  • Hand out the outline of a person to each pupil.
  • Ask them to draw a representation of the things that make up their identity, they may want to consider the following: What sort of clothes do you like wearing? What food do you like eating? What music do you like listening to? What is your favourite possession? What is your favourite book? Or film? Make sure pupils label the key parts of the drawing with an explanation of why they have drawn them, what they represent and how they impact on their lives.
  • Finally, ask pupils to mark on their individual continuum line how British or how Global they feel.

How do I analyse the results?

  • Record the extent to which pupils consider themselves to be British or Global.
  • Note whether they are aware of the global connections with the items they draw on their outlines. If they draw global items, such as ipods or footballs, do they still consider their identity to be British or Global, or both?

How do I measure the change?

  • Depending on the time between each audit, you can repeat the activity exactly, or use an alternative activity from this set.
  • Look for changes in pupils’ sense of global identity. Are they aware of the global connections with the products they consider to form their identity, or of their cultural or social activities?
  • Observe to what extent pupils are more able to discuss the issues surrounding the topic, whether they are more critical of the activity or less certain about what it means to be British or Global in one’s identity.