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ACT Citizenship CPD - full list of training modules

ACT have developed a range of CPD modules to support the training and development of all those engaged in teaching citizenship. Each module has the same structure with:

  • an introductory task
  • two main activities and a plenary; and
  • a supporting PowerPoint presentation and resources.

The modules are intended to be delivered in a three-hour session or twilight CPD session, but can easily be adapted if you have less time available. It is recommended that you select a group of modules relevant to your setting and deliver them on a regular basis for example once a term or half term.

These modules were designed to support the 2007 secondary National Curriculum and the non-statutory National Framework for PSHE and citizenship which was first published in 2001. The modules will be revised and updated once the revised secondary National Curriculum is published later in 2013.

Getting Started

1. CITIZENSHIP CPD This module considers the challenges that citizenship teachers may face in the quest to deliver compelling learning experiences. It looks at the opportunities available for CPD to meet these challenges and would be particularly useful for non-specialist teachers looking to develop their understanding of citizenship education.

2. WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP? The term ‘Citizenship’ means different things, to different people, in different contexts. Citizenship education is therefore often misunderstood. This training session outlines these different interpretations, and clarifies what Citizenship is really all about. It argues that Citizenship is not just a new subject, but a new kind of subject, and more than a subject.

3. ROLE OF THE SUBJECT LEADER IN CITIZENSHIP This module will help focus subject leads towards the actions that can help establish their subject within their school, with the pupils, staff and leadership.

4. GOVERNORS AND CITIZENSHIP The purpose of this training session is to clarify what Citizenship education is and is not and enables Governors to evaluate their school experience against this. The work also explores the aspirations of Citizenship education and reflects on the notion of the Citizenship-rich school.

5. PRIMARY CURRICULUM (Primary) This module aims to provide LA advisers with the opportunity to consider disciplined innovation in curriculum planning and give participants the opportunity to plan a cross-curricular unit of work and develop active citizenship. The work was created at the time of the Rose Review and references the Historical, Geographical and Social Area of Understanding approach to planning and will encourage curriculum renewal.

Making Citizenship work in your school

6. TEACHING ABOUT JUSTICE This module is designed to highlight the importance of justice as a concept in citizenship education and to indicate ways in which teachers can use justice issues in their teaching. Questions of justice offer considerable benefits to teaching and learning in citizenship education; assisting with the development of questioning, argument, discussion, and other thinking skills.

7. POLITICAL LITERACY Becoming politically literate is a central part of Citizenship education. We aim at no less than a change in the political culture of this country both nationally and locally: for people to think of themselves as active citizens, willing, able and equipped to have influence in public life." The Crick Report, Prof. Sir Bernard Crick 1998. The purpose of this module is to help teachers become comfortable with teaching this essential aspect of the subject.

8. STUDENT VOICE IN CITIZENSHIP This module will help participants consider the experience of student voice of all pupils. Does it reinforce or undermine their Citizenship teaching? It may be positive or negative but it will not be neutral. This training session gives an understanding of what linking Citizenship and student voice might mean in participants’ schools, and helps them to understand and benefit from this interdependence.

9. TEACHING ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES This module explores what makes an issue controversial. It supports participants by providing tools and information needed in order to teach about controversial issues in an effective and engaging way.

10. COMMUNITY COHESION AND CITIZENSHIP This session explores what is meant by ‘community cohesion’ and what the unique issues might be affecting cohesion in participant’s communities (both school and beyond). It then explores the opportunity for active Citizenship to address community cohesion.

11. GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP This session gives teachers an opportunity to explore their aims as global citizenship educators, and to critically review a range of approaches to global learning in Citizenship.

12. USING ICT IN CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION The aim of this unit is to look at how information and communication technologies can enhance the teaching of Citizenship and help deliver compelling learning experiences.

13. VOLUNTEERING, COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS AND CITIZENSHIP The purpose of this training session is to clarify the distinctions between volunteering and citizenship, showing how citizenship and volunteering by young people can be enhanced by the support of adult volunteers and through community partnerships.

14. CRITICAL THINKING IN CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION The aim of this module is to examine the nature of critical thinking and its importance in citizenship education and in society at large. Colleagues are introduced to different ways in which critical thinking can be nurtured.

15. ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP This module provides practitioners with the knowledge, skills and guidance to be able to plan and implement compelling active citizenship learning experiences at key stage 3, using community partners.

16. USING MUSEUMS TO HELP SUPPORT TEACHING AND LEARNING This module is aimed at citizenship teachers who may not be familiar with the role that museums and archives can play in citizenship education.

17. LEARNING ABOUT THE EUROPEAN UNION The purpose of this training session is to improve participants’ knowledge and understanding of the European Union and equip them with engaging resources and activities to use in the classroom.

18. ASSESSMENT IN CITIZENSHIP This training session clarifies the principles of assessment and emphasises the benefits. The session enables participants to consider effective assessment practice and the activities allow them to consolidate their understanding.

19. CITIZENSHIP POLICIES AND MANIFESTOS This module introduces teachers to the key elements involved in developing a whole school policy for citizenship education.

20. PREPARING FOR INSPECTION This module looks at the two main ways citizenship can be inspected within schools. It considers how schools can prepare for these inspections as well as the possible outcomes of the survey inspection.

21. MAKING PSHE AND CITIZENSHIP WORK TOGETHER This training session explains the difference between the two subjects and explores the common ground between them. It goes on to look at ways in which learning could be planned to meet both citizenship and PSHE education objectives.

22. INNOVATIVE CITIZENSHIP CURRICULUM DESIGN The purpose of this module is to consider how we can be creative as educators and co-construct with our students new citizenship education learning spaces. The module will provide you with the space to consider a range of different approaches that can be taken to implement citizenship education in engaging, vibrant and relevant ways for our students.

23. ENGAGING CHALLENGING AND VULNERABLE PUPILS This training module is aimed at practitioners working with challenging & vulnerable young people who may be attending Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), Special Schools, Short Stay Provision, limited timetable in mainstream settings, Young Offenders Institutions (YOIs) or other residential settings.

24. CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION AND THE LEADERSHIP OF SCHOOLS This toolkit aims to help school leaders understand how citizenship education can be at the heart of effective and successful schools, raising standards and ensuring the school is at the heart of its community.

25. CROSS-CURRICULAR CITIZENSHIP When Citizenship was introduced in 2002, schools were advised to do an audit of where they were already teaching Citizenship. So some schools looked across their curriculum and said, "We do a bit on democracy in History, we develop communication skills in Drama and we have an after school Duke of Edinburgh Club so we do Citizenship!" Unfortunately this illustrates a common misunderstanding of what ‘counts’ as Citizenship.

  Primary Citizenship

A. ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP (Primary) This module is an introduction to active citizenship for primary practitioners. It aims to clarify the role of active citizenship in the primary curriculum, and how it might be implemented in the classroom and beyond.

B. CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN CITIZENSHIP (Primary) The aim of this module is to demonstrate how to engage children in discussing and exploring topical and controversial issues so that they might think critically, make informed decisions, judge bias, recognise and respect different perspectives and begin to formulate, articulate and defend their developing views and values.

C. CHILDREN'S RIGHTS The purpose of the training session is to find out about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Rights Respecting School Award and how children’s learning about their rights is integral to citizenship education within a whole school context.

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