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Early Years and Primary Citizenship

During the early years and primary education, Citizenship helps children's social development enabling them to engage with others, to devlelop understanding of their communties and society, and providing opportunities for responsible and active citizenship.

In primary education, Citizenship is part of a non-statutory National Framework. There is a framework for citizenship at key stages 1 and 2 that sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills that should be taught.

In addition the Expert Group for Citizenship has produced a leaflet, 'Citizenship Ready' for secondary school setting out the expected knowledge, skills and values that children develop through primary citizenship in readiness for secondary citizenship education.

It is helpful for teachers and children to understand the relationship between the Citizenship and PSHE and make connections between the personal and public aspects of learning. For example, bullying can be seen as a matter of interpersonal relationships, but it is also a rights issue and something that the school as community addresses.

Some primary schools may choose to provide Citizenship as a discrete subject, others opt for a joint programme, teaching the subject alongside PSHE. Opportunities for Citizenship can also be planned as part of other subjects. For example, a school might decide to address particular Citizenship issues through the discussion of stories as part of their approach to teaching literacy.

Primary CPD modules

These modules have been developed by our members to support the development and provision of high quality primary citizenship. Each module has:

  • an introductory task
  • two main activities and a plenary; and
  • a supporting PowerPoint presentation and resources.

A. ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP (Primary) This module is an introduction to active citizenship for primary practitioners. It aims to clarify the role of active citizenship in the primary curriculum, and how it might be implemented in the classroom and beyond.

B. CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN CITIZENSHIP (Primary) The aim of this module is to demonstrate how to engage children in discussing and exploring topical and controversial issues so that they might think critically, make informed decisions, judge bias, recognise and respect different perspectives and begin to formulate, articulate and defend their developing views and values.

C. CHILDREN'S RIGHTS (Primary) The purpose of the training session is to find out about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Rights Respecting School Award and how children’s learning about their rights is integral to citizenship education within a whole school context.

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