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ACTive Citizenship Award - Resources to inspire you

What is the ACTive citizenship Award scheme? 

  • An award scheme to celebrate and acknowledge positive social changes children are making in their communities through active citizenship 
  • A toolkit to support, engage and empower children to become change makers, and to lead action on real issues they are concerned and passionate about; and curriculum guidance for teachers
  • Active citizenship is a process to involve pupils in learning how to take part in democracy and use their Citizenship knowledge, skills and understanding to work together in trying to make a positive difference in the world around them.

Find out more about the ACTive Citizenship Award scheme here and you can read more about past projects at First News, and on our website.

The awards are based around three areas: learning, school culture and community. 

To achieve an award, pupils design, develop, undertake and report on an active citizenship project within one of these areas – the project can be on any issue that they care strongly about and want to challenge, change or improve.

Projects can be based on a wide range of issues; the case studies included here will help inspire you and your pupils to develop their own ideas. 

Amy and Nicole, both aged 11 from the Hall Primary School in Leicester wanted to address the issue of litter in their school playground. Noticing that much of the litter was crisp packet which cannot be recycled they found a local company who could use them to created garden furniture. They set up crisp packet collection points in the school and later in the wider community The furniture company donated a penny for each of the 25,000 packets they collected to their choice of charity, a neo-natal unit at the local hospital.

See more on Amy and Nicole's project 

Ben, aged 13 from the Quay School, a special school in Poole was motivated by his own negative experiences at previous schools and developed a school-wide rights charter working with the pupil council and using his learning on human rights.

See more on Ben's project 

Sam, aged 13, also from the Poole school, took on the issue of non-binary students being recognised on school forms. Sam requested changes in national school information data collection systems and continues to campaign for recognition for non-binary young people.

See Sam's project

Year 2 pupils (aged 6-7) at the Christ Church Primary School in London, drew on their learning around food poverty and rights and organised a food collection for a food bank that families including children benefit from. Students created posters explaining how to make donations and raising awareness about the issue. They wrote letters to their local MP to ask her to consider making this issue a topic she looks into when thinking about supporting their community.

Pupils in year 7 and 8 (aged 11-13) at St James's High School in Bolton, undertook a variety of actions across several issues where they wanted to see change, including food poverty, racism, gender equality, road safety and damage to the Greenbelt. Mercy in year 7, wrote to his local MP about providing more black culture in lessons in school, and had a meeting with his head teacher to discuss. His MP has promised to take this up with the education secretary, and different departments in the school are teaching about black culture throughout the year. Mya in year 8, created a video explaining the dangers of drowning and the important work of the RNLI, using digital activism to spread the word, the community collaboratively walked the target miles set out and raised money for the cause. 

Josie, year 7, Brockhill Performing Arts College in Kent, raised awareness about the impacts of bullying on mental health by researching into the issue, developing her knowledge around fairness and making a difference, and creating an awareness poster using artists who specialised in portraying negative mental health and related emotions. Josie used this to educate her peers on the issue.

Pupils in year 3 (aged 7-8) at the Sir John Heron Primary School in London led an assembly in their school about the cause and effects of homelessness in their community. They wrote to their MP and the Mayor of London to recommend that education about mental health and finances be given more prominence, something the Department for Education has recently started to address.

See their project

During the covid-19 lockdown, pupils taught by one of our ACT Ambassadors, Steven, have been doing an ACTive citizenship socially-distanced project. 

His Year 9 classes completed an awareness raising form of Social Action, called 'Angelic Trouble Makers.' It is a mix of articles, podcasts and animations on an array of social issues.

Please do take a look, read, listen and watch on their Wordpress blog.



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