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There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of citizenship. Pupils need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding.
a. Participating actively in different kinds of decision-making and voting in order to influence public life
b. Weighing up what is fair and unfair in different situations, understanding that justice is fundamental to a democratic society and exploring the role of law in maintaining order and resolving conflict
c. Considering how democracy, justice, diversity, toleration, respect and freedom are valued by people with different beliefs, backgrounds and traditions within a changing democratic society
d. Understanding and exploring the roles of citizens and parliament in holding government and those in power to account.
a. Exploring different kinds of rights and obligations and how these affect both individuals and communities
b. Understanding that individuals, organisations and governments have responsibilities to ensure that rights are balanced, supported and protected
c. Investigating ways in which rights can compete and conflict, and understanding that hard decisions have to be made to try to balance these.
a. Appreciating that identities are complex, can change over time and are informed by different understandings of what it means to be a citizen in the UK
b. Exploring the diverse national, regional, ethnic and religious cultures, groups and communities in the UK and the connections between them.
c. Considering the interconnections between the UK and the rest of Europe and the wider world
d. Exploring community cohesion and the different forces that bring about change in communities over time.
Democracy and justice: This focuses on the role that citizens can take within the political and justice systems in the UK. It includes: freedom as part of democracy; fairness and the rule of law as part of justice; power and authority; and accountability. Pupils should understand that accountability happens at many levels, ranging from a responsible opposition in parliament challenging, testing and scrutinising what government is doing, to citizens in local communities challenging decisions that affect them.
Pupils should learn about the need to balance competing and conflicting demands, and understand that in a democracy not everyone gets what they want. Linking teaching about democracy, elections and voting with the student council provides a way for pupils to apply their learning to real decision-making situations. Active participation provides opportunities to learn about the important role of negotiation and persuasion within a democracy.
Rights and responsibilities: There are different kinds of rights, obligations and responsibilities – political, legal, human, social, civic and moral. Pupils should explore contested areas surrounding rights and responsibilities, for example the checks and balances needed in relation to freedom of speech in the context of threats from extremism and terrorism.
Identities and diversity: living together in the UK: This includes the multiple identities that may be held by groups and communities in a diverse society, and the ways in which these identities are affected by changes in society. For example, pupils could learn about: how migration has shaped communities; common or shared identity and what unifies groups and communities; and how living together in the UK has been shaped by, and continues to be shaped by, political, social, economic and cultural changes. The historical context for such changes should be considered where appropriate.
All pupils, regardless of their legal or residential status, should explore and develop their understanding of what it means to be a citizen in the UK today.
From the Department for Education