New Citizenship curriculum for key stages 3 and 4 published
ACT is delighted that the new curriculum for Citizenship at key stages 3 and 4 has finally been published. Released today on the DfE website, the new curriculum provides details of the programmes of study for key stages 3 and 4 to be taught from September 2014. You can download the curriculum from the DfE website and read more about the changes here
ACT has vigorously campaigned with Democratic Life and others for changes to be made to the initial draft. ACT notes that there have been changes, in line with those requested by the Democratic Life specifically in the wording of some aspects of the programmes of study for keys stages 3 and 4, including the addition of human rights and references to participation and skills. ACT is dispappointed that many of the recommendations that both ACT Council and Democratic Life made to DfE have not been adopted. It is important to remember that without the Democratic Life coalition the new curriculum may have been poorer and the rich vocabulary of citizenship reduced further. Well done and thanks to all Democratic Life supporters for their campainging on behalf of teachers and students.
The revised curriculum should be seen as a baseline which citizenship teachers can improve and therefore the real development work will take place in schools and with teachers. As has been stated before, ACT Council is leading such development work currently and advise teachers NOT to rush into changes this academic year but to look for advice and guidance from ACT as to how to evolve new schemes of work that enrich the new programmes of study. There is plenty of time for debate and discussion about how to implement the curriculum, how to develop schemes of work and what resources and approaches might be needed.
If you are a Primary teacher then you need to refer to the Primary curriculum for key stages 1 and 2. Citizenship is no longer mentioned in the Primary curriculum document, to be taught from September 2014. However, the curriculum document for Primary does state on page 5 that schools must provide a curriculum that is 'balanced and broadly based' and 'promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life'. Also the document states that Primary schools are free to include other subjects or topics in their planning and design their own programme of education. ACT advises that this is a reference to citizenship.
Citizenship remains an entitlement across all maintained schooling; there are references to it either directly or indicrectly in the aims, purpose and teaching of the Primary and Secondary phases, in other subjects, in SMSC and notions of community engagement. School leaders, governors, teachers and parents should work together to ensure that learners can always have the highest quality provision in citizenship teaching and be able to enjoy and achieve in the subject.