Following the devastating terrorist attack in Manchester, many schools will be dealing with questions and concerns from pupils about what happened and why. It is important for teachers to provide curriculum space to talk about questions and concerns, and challenge misconceptions but not be rushed into a reactive response, particularly while information is still emerging.
Nick Hills, Head of Citizenship, led work on The ACT Building Resilience Project at the Anglo European School in Essex.
This project focused on critical thinking, problem solving and enquiry skills, and taking informed and responsible actions through five Citizenship lessons with Year 7 pupils. Pupils developed understanding of the concept of community, explored diverse viewpoints and learned why some people hold extreme opinions and undertake terrorist acts.
'The Prevent Duty and Controversial Issues: creating a curriculum response through Citizenship' is a new publication that offers guidance to schools and teachers as they consider and develop their response to the Prevent Duty.
Explore International Human Rights Day with your students. Our Professional Officer’s updated blog provides a list of ideas and suggested resources. Draw on the lesson and assembly plans, activities and more to address SMSC and FBV and to strengthen citizenship in your school. Contact us if you require further advice
Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz there is still much for Citizenship teachers to do in helping pupils make sense of the past and reconciling this with the present, especially the turmoil over events in France this month. At the 2015 Holocaust Memorial Day lecture, Professor Christopher Browning reflected on the role played by the ordinary men and women who actually did the killing by shooting or other means. This is very different from concentrating on the policy makers and organisers.
The role and work of the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) has been commended by DFE Minister, Nick Gibb.
In recent correspondence with ACT, Nick Gibb who is the Minister of State for School Reform, has stated his appreciation of the expertise and support that ACT provides to schools and acknowledges the time and effort that goes into providing this.
Following much debate and discussion, DfE has finally produced new guidance called 'Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools'. The guidance applies to all maintained schools and is a response to the so-called Trojan Horse cases and concern by DfE and Ofsted regarding the requirement to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain. ACT is pleased to see the guidance published but is disappointed that though there are clear links to Citizenship and SMSC and Citizenship teaching and learning, there is no specific reference to the subject.
The recent discussions about British identity, the success of UKIP in the European elections in May and the Trojan Horse incidents in Birmingham have all focussed attention on the importance of high quality Citizenship being a core part of education for young people and also at the heart of the way the school relates to the community it is set in. Citizenship teachers can initiate conversations with colleagues in school about these matters and also create powerful lesson opportunities to help pupils explore the complexity of living together in the UK.