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ACT Council develops strategy for new Citizenship curriculum

Post date: 
Mon, 30/09/2013 - 10:45

The ACT Council new curriculum action group met on Saturday September 14th and have outlined a series of tools and resources that ACT will develop over the coming months to support teachers with the new curriculum. The folowing are key actions that ACT Council will be taking forward:

·         To develop a new Big Picture of the Citizenship curriculum, a diagram presenting a clear positive structure for the subject, focusing on skills, concepts and experiences that can be displayed in the staffroom and teaching spaces, shown to pupils and parents and governors alike so that all have a deeper understanding of the subject. Other graphic charts and posters will also be produced.

·         To develop a series of Explanatory Notes, in effect some indications about how to interpret some of the new content in the proper spirit of Citizenship. For example the phrase Precious liberties as seen in the Key Stage 3 Programme of Study.

·         To write a series of comprehensive topic briefings which would describe teaching ideas and starting points for exploring ideas relating to the new Citizenship Programme of Study in the classroom. In particular there would be some brief case studies from initial pilots of curriculum development and reviews of resources likely to be most useful for teachers and others. Likely themes would include: Electoral systems and political parties, Constitution and political system, Liberties and the la, Personal and public finance, Volunteering and active citizenship, Citizenship pedagogy, Critical exploration of political and social issues and SMSC.

·         ACT has revised its well-known Citizenship Self Evaluation Toolkit for secondary schools and will be making this available shortly as well as revising the Primary schools edition.

·         Regarding CPD, ACT is looking to support a number of events across the country, particularly in the spring of 2014 when practice will be more understood and developed so look out for those events. Similarly ACT Council is keen to develop some Teach-Meets about evolving new practice and will be contacting members about this later in the school year.

·         There will also be a new focus on assessment. Whilst the situation regarding assessment in the new curriculum is still unclear, ACT Council will seek to develop new advice and guidance and make this available to teachers by spring 2014.

ACT Council realises that much of the focus of recent discussion has been about Keys Stages 3 and 4. ACT Council is very concerned that Primary phase has been more or less overlooked, especially regarding Citizenship. As there is likely to be no further development by DfE of Citizenship in Primary as part of a PSHE and Citizenship non statuary framework, ACT Council is developing its own new non statuary curriculum framework for Citizenship at Key Stage 2. This will be written over the next few months and published in draft form for consultation and review by ACT members and others. We hope that by September 2014 to have a new Citizenship offering in Key Stage 2 that school might choose to base their teaching upon that strengthens Citizenship further and can still be taught within existing arrangements.

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