Skip navigation
Online CPD

How to plan a GCSE Citizenship Studies Lesson

Whether you’re new to teaching GCSE or would like to develop your skills, join us to discuss what the key components of a good lesson looks like.

About this event

Once students reach Key Stage 4, we often think that the style of lesson needs to change as our focus shifts to examination specifications and terminal examinations. 

However, what should a GCSE Citizenship Studies lesson really look like? While we have to ensure students understand the enormous amount of information in the specification, does this mean there is no place for the more active elements to lessons you used lower down? What are the fundamental elements of good planning for Citizenship lessons and planning sequences of lessons, and do these need to change when you reach Key Stage 4? 

In this session, Assistant Principal Kelly Allchin, a Personal Development lead with 15 years Citizenship teaching experience, shares her experiences of working at Leeds City Academy. Kelly will provide practical advice on planning GCSE lessons for students of all abilities, including those with EAL or SEN needs. She will also explore the pedagogy that leads to successful outcomes in a GCSE Citizenship Studies classroom.

Who is it for?

This workshop is designed for any teacher who is new to teaching GCSE Citizenship studies. Whether you are still in your early years of teaching or training, or if you have recently begun teaching Citizenship as an additional subject, you will find this workshop useful.

Why attend?

By the end of this workshop you will: 

  • Gain practical hints and tips you can immediately put into practice in your planning.
  • Improve your understanding of the expectations of a GCSE Citizenship Studies lesson.
  • Understand how to include powerful knowledge and allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of this knowledge in lessons.

Links to the CCF and ECF criteria

This CPD will support the Initial Teacher Education Core Content Framework (CCF) and Early Career Framework (ECF), addressing the following areas:

  • Discussing and analysing with expert colleagues how to plan formative assessment tasks linked to lesson objectives and think ahead about what would indicate understanding (e.g. by using hinge questions to pinpoint knowledge gaps).
  • Discussing and analysing with expert colleagues how to choose, where possible, externally validated materials, used in controlled conditions when required to make summative assessments.
  • Working with colleagues to identify efficient approaches to assessment is important; assessment can become onerous and have a disproportionate impact on workload.
  • Using assessments to check for prior knowledge and pre-existing misconceptions.
  • Prompting pupils to elaborate when responding to questioning to check that a correct answer stems from secure understanding.
  • Discussing and analysing with expert colleagues how pupils’ responses to feedback can vary depending on a range of social factors (e.g. the message the feedback contains or the age of the child).
  • Discussing and analysing with expert colleagues how to ensure feedback is specific and helpful when using peer- or self-assessment. 
  • Discussing and analysing with expert colleagues to develop an understanding that written marking is only one form of feedback.
  • Discussing and analysing with expert colleagues how to identify efficient approaches to marking and alternative approaches to providing feedback (e.g. using whole class feedback or well supported peer- and self-assessment) and deconstructing this approach.

This workshop will support the CCF and ECF through discussion and analysis with expert colleagues in the following areas:

  • Reducing learning distractions (e.g. keeping the complexity of a task to a minimum, so attention is focused on content).
  • Breaking complex material into smaller steps (e.g. using partially completed examples to focus pupils).
  • Identifying possible misconceptions and planning how to prevent these forming.
  • Linking what pupils already know to what is being taught (e.g. explaining how new content builds on what is already known).
  • Designing practice, generation and retrieval tasks that provide enough support for pupils to experience a high success rate when attempting challenging work.
  • Balancing exposition, repetition, practice and retrieval of critical knowledge and skills.
  • Providing opportunities for all pupils to learn and master essential concepts, knowledge, skills and principles of the subject.
  • Planning activities around what you want pupils to think hard about.
  • Including a range of types of questions in class discussions to extend and challenge pupils (e.g. by modelling new vocabulary or asking pupils to justify answers).

CPD strand – GCSE Network

Building on our current strong network of GCSE teachers, we have developed a bespoke strand for members who teach GCSE Citizenship Studies. The focus of sessions will include improving outcomes for the Citizenship Investigation (active citizenship), examination technique, and opportunities for teachers to support each other with moderation of assessments.

Event team

Meet the team who will be running this event

Kelly Allchin

Assistant Principal, Leeds City Academy

Zoe Baker

Head of Education and Professional Development (ACT)


These are some of the questions we are most often asked about our training sessions. If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to help.