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This section outlines the breadth of the subject on which teachers should draw when teaching the key concepts and key processes.
Citizenship focuses on the political and social dimensions of living together in the UK and recognises the influence of the historical context. Citizenship also helps pupils make sense of the world today and equips them for the challenges and changes facing communities in the future.
a. political, legal and human rights, and responsibilities of citizens
b. the roles of the law and the justice system and how they relate to young people
c. key features of parliamentary democracy and government in the constituent parts of the UK and at local level, including voting and elections
d. freedom of speech and diversity of views, and the role of the media in informing and influencing public opinion and holding those in power to account
e. actions that individuals, groups and organisations can take to influence decisions affecting communities and the environment
f. strategies for handling local and national disagreements and conflicts
g. the needs of the local community and how these are met through public services and the voluntary sector
h. how economic decisions are made, including where public money comes from and who decides how it is spent
i. the changing nature of UK society, including the diversity of ideas, beliefs, cultures, identities, traditions, perspectives and values that are shared
j. migration to, from and within the UK and the reasons for this
k. the UK’s relations with the European Union and the rest of Europe, the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the world as a global community.
Political rights: This includes the development of universal suffrage and equal opportunities, which can be linked with the study of the development of democracy in history.
Human rights: Human rights and the rights of the child can be revisited in many different contexts. Linking teaching to topical issues provides a way of engaging pupils in learning about the values and principles underpinning human rights, including exploring decisions that need to be made to balance conflicting rights and the extent to which conventions and declarations have been enshrined in national law.
Law and the justice system: This includes the criminal justice system. Some topical areas of law, such as antisocial behaviour legislation, can provide a focus for exploring the difference between criminal and civil justice.
Key features of parliamentary democracy and government: This includes an understanding of the role of political parties, the ‘first past the post’ system of elections, the role of government and opposition, and cabinet decision-making.
The constituent parts of the UK: This includes how democracy has changed in recent times with the devolution of power to the Scottish Parliament and the assemblies in Northern Ireland and Wales. This can be linked with the study of the origins of the UK in history.
Environment: This provides opportunities to evaluate individual and collective actions that contribute to sustainable practices. Pupils could consider the different ethical implications of actions, policies and behaviour. This work can be linked with work in science and geography.
Changing nature of UK society: Change is a constant feature of UK society and pupils should understand some reasons why change occurs (eg migration, economic factors, globalisation) and how communities change as a consequence (eg shops, food, schools, languages).
Diversity: Diversity includes our different and shared needs, abilities and membership of groups and communities such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, physical and sensory ability, belief, religion and class. Learning about diversity involves recognising that culture, including the language, ideas, customs and traditions practised by people within a group, also forms part of identity. Pupils should explore the diversity of groups and communities and examine the changes that occur. They should also explore things that unify us, including the shared values that UK society is committed to, and what groups and communities have in common as we live together in society.
Europe: A European dimension can be incorporated when exploring many topical issues, including human rights, the environment, immigration, trade and economic issues, diversity and identities.
The Commonwealth: This includes the development, membership and purpose of the Commonwealth. It can be linked with the study of the British Empire in history.
The United Nations: This includes exploring the role of the United Nations in the context of topical events such as conflict situations affecting the international and/or global community.
From the Department for Education
Range and Content