The Deliberative ClassroomGeneral Guidance for teachers explains why schools need to address topical issues in the curriculum as part of their work to build resilience to radicalisation and extremism and develop understanding of democracy and citizenship.
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.
Immigration and protest - a case study of Dover in 2016
Zoe Baker, Citizenship Teacher, led work on The ACT Building Resilience Project at The Towers School and Sixth Form in Ashford, Kent.
This project focused on problem solving and enquiry skills through four Citizenship lessons with Year 7 and 8 classes. Pupils critically examined the use of social media in radical action, evaluated what is meant by taking informed and responsible action and advocated how social actions need to be balanced in a democracy between rights and responsibilities.
'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.
Have a look at our new Drones activity. It is available for FREE download and is highly topical. New concerns about drone technology are reported daily in news media and the topics strongly links global matters with the domestic in Citizenship.
This resource explores the use of drones and killer robot technology in conflict and beyond. It was written by ACT for the Global Learning Programme. Pupil learn to ask deep questions about automaton technology and consider how law can hold users of drone technology to account. They will consider actions they might take to share their findings and campaign for greater accountability and understanding of drones.
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.