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The overall curriculum aims are the same three for each subject both in Primary and in Secondary education. This appears at the start of the Citizenship programme of study. It states that the curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:
Citizenship is therefore at the heart of the curriculum. Its purpose is to empower young people with the skills, knowledge and conviction to participate in democratic and public life. Citizenship builds students’ sense of agency: their belief that they can effectively exercise political power in the world around them. To achieve this, there is an emphasis on key processes – the skills that enable young people to think critically, express informed opinions, and take effective action. Citizenship now has an attainment target on an eight-level scale. This gives citizenship parity with all other foundation subjects and provides a clear basis for assessment.
Education for citizenship equips young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding to play an effective role in public life. Citizenship encourages them to take an interest in topical and controversial issues and to engage in discussion and debate. Pupils learn about their rights, responsibilities, duties and freedoms and about laws, justice and democracy. They learn to take part in decision-making and different forms of action. They play an active role in the life of their schools, neighbourhoods, communities and wider society as active and global citizens.
Citizenship encourages respect for different national, religious and ethnic identities. It equips pupils to engage critically with and explore diverse ideas, beliefs, cultures and identities and the values we share as citizens in the UK. Pupils begin to understand how society has changed and is changing in the UK, Europe and the wider world.
Citizenship addresses issues relating to social justice, human rights, community cohesion and global interdependence, and encourages pupils to challenge injustice, inequalities and discrimination. It helps young people to develop their critical skills, consider a wide range of political, social, ethical and moral problems, and explore opinions and ideas other than their own. They evaluate information, make informed judgements and reflect on the consequences of their actions now and in the future. They learn to argue a case on behalf of others as well as themselves and speak out on issues of concern.
Citizenship equips pupils with the knowledge and skills needed for effective and democratic participation. It helps pupils to become informed, critical, active citizens who have the confidence and conviction to work collaboratively, take action and try to make a difference in their communities and the wider world.
The key concepts in the citizenship curriculum provide a framework to organise your citizenship teaching and learning. Students need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their skills and knowledge. The key concepts may have most impact on students when they are introduced within the context of an issue they are investigating. For example, the best way to help students understand the key concept of justice is likely to be through investigating and taking action on an issue of injustice.
These are the essential skills that students need to learn to make progress. They form the core of the programme of study. These skills may be built most effectively when they are part of a learning experience that is relevant to young people, draws on appropriate knowledge and enables them to take action. The challenge for citizenship teachers is to enable students to develop the higher-order thinking skills of synthesis and evaluation, which are essential for informed and effective action.
This section of the programme of study outlines the breadth of the subject on which teachers should draw when teaching the key concepts and key processes. Teachers have the flexibility to select content which is relevant to their students’ needs and the context of the school.
Curriculum opportunities for citizenship must extend beyond the classroom, to the culture of the school and the wider community. The best citizenship learning occurs when what is taught in the curriculum enables students to have an impact on the wider community and reinforces (and is reinforced by) the culture of the school. The curriculum design to aim for is one that combines this rich mix of learning experiences for all students, supplemented by a range of optional enrichment activities.
The programme of study, as outlined above, started in September 2008 with all year 7 pupils. This cohort will be the first pupils to experience the new programmes of study in year 8 (from September 2009) and in year 9 (from September 2010). In summer 2011 they will be assessed using the new attainment targets for the first time.
In September 2009 the new key stage 4 programme of study for Citizenship became statutory for all pupils in year 10 and alongside it there was a full course GCSE in Citizenship Studies.
The secondary curriculum (overview)
Uploaded : 19 March 2010
Filename : bigpicture_sec_05_tcm8-157430.pdf ( 444 K )
Description : Thinking about the Secondary curriculum-the Big Picture
Uploaded : 22 April 2008
Filename : new_curriculum_diagram.pdf ( 54 K )
Uploaded : 29 July 2008
Filename : citizenship_ks3_pos.pdf ( 475 K )
Description : Revised Key Stage 3 curriculum and 8 level scale
Uploaded : 29 July 2008
Filename : citizenship_ks4_pos.pdf ( 551 K )
Description : Key stage 4 Citizenship curriculum
Uploaded : 03 August 2009
Filename : identity_diversity0.doc ( 248 K )
Description : This is the title of the new topic to be taught through Citizenship from September 2008.
ACT has found that there is a distinct lack of good teaching resources out there for delivering this new topic. Although there is a general abundance of teaching resources touching on certain aspects of identity and diversity, other aspects are hardly covered at all and much of what is available is undemanding for the learner and remote from real issues in the UK today.
Identities and diversity are complex issues that many adults grapple with. Even here at ACT (can you believe it?) we’ve struggled to define what Britishness means to us. Our personal and group identities are complicated and multiple and like young people we have many influences local, national, personal, international, religious etc that affect their identities.
So what of the resources? Where do we find them?
Good resources are those that make pupils think about the issues of identity and belonging. What is Britishness? Is it simply a case of buying into a series of cultural icons such as the union jack, the bowler hat, fish & chips and roast beef? (Can a vegetarian be British?) Do you have to participate in the British democracy in order to be British? The resources below will help you think about these issues and help you discuss them with your pupils. This topic has the potential to be one of the most interesting ones you will ever teach and we’re sure you’ll learn a lot too.