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Oak National Academy weekly ACT Citizenship Lessons for Years 7-11

We're pleased to be the curriculum partner with the OAK national academy for citizenship.  

ACT teachers have been designing and developing lessons for years 7-11. The online classroom and activities club was set up to help teachers and parents support their pupils and children during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are delighted that this work will now be expanded to include a full academic year of lessons for citizenship.

ACT has designed the OAK citizenship curriculum to align with national curriculum and GCSE Citizenship Studies requirements.  

100 lessons for use with key stage 3, 4 and GCSE pupils are available with downloadable slides and every lesson is free to use.

OAK Citizenship curriuculum and lesson in detail

Key Stage 3
Year 7

1. Citizenship - what’s it all about?
●    What is citizenship? 
●    What is active citizenship?
●    Why do we need rules? (ground rules class and school)
●    What does fairness mean?
●    What is a democratic community?
●    How can we get involved in our school community? (introducing class, pupil and school parliaments; roles pupils can play in the school community)

2. What are our identities and communities?
●    What does identity really mean?
●    How do identities change?
●    What are communities like?
●    How are communities changing? (social change, spatial change eg population, migration, planning, covid)
●    How are we all connected? (UK)
●    How are we all connected? (international, global)

3. What rights should all children have?
●    What rights are we entitled to?
●    What does a right to education really mean?
●    What can I do as a citizen to protect the rights of others?
●    How do we protect the right to health?
●    Are you getting your right to reliable and accurate information?
●    Deliberative debate: How well are childrens’ rights protected and supported in the UK?

4. How does local democracy work? 
●    How is local government different to national government?
●    What do local councils do?
●    What is the role of the local councillor? (includes difference between councillor and council officers)
●    How do local elections work? (includes who can vote)
●    Why is registering to vote so important?
●    How can young people be involved in local decision making?

5. What is crime? 
●    What is a crime?
●    What reasons are behind criminal behaviour? 
●    What is the role of the police in dealing with crime? 
●    Is youth crime really as serious and the media suggest? 
●    What can communities do to help prevent crime? 
●    What does a successful crime prevention campaign look like? 

6. How can we make a difference in our communities?
●    What is a community?
●    What role does our school play in our local community?
●    What do charities, ngos and groups do in our local community?
●    How can citizens get involved in community change?
●    What can we do as active citizens to improve our community? (mini action 2 lessons)

Year 8

7. How does the political system work in the UK?
●    What is the difference between government and parliament?
●    How do elections work?
●    What do political parties do?
●    What do MPs do?
●    How is the UK government organised?
●    How does devolved government work?

8. How does the media affect us?
●    What is news?
●    What responsibilities does the media have?
●    What is the role of the media in a democracy?
●    How does the media hold those in power to account?
●    Should we believe all that we read?
●    Does the media create more harm than good?

9. What is the law and how is it changed?
●    What are laws?
●    How are laws made? Criminal and Civil law
●    Can citizens change laws?
●    Should the age of criminal responsibility be changed?
●    How is the criminal justice system applied to young people?
●    Deliberative debate: Is there a case for reviewing the age of criminal responsibility?

10. How can citizens bring about change? 
●    How do citizens take action?
●    What is the role of pressure groups, protest groups and social movements?
●    How can we campaign and influence change?
●    Why do changemakers play an important role in democracy?
●    Why should citizens take action?
●    What can effective change look like?

11. Why was the struggle for the vote important today?
●    How have our political rights changed over time? 
●     How did the Chartists affect the political rights we have today?
●    Which methods were most successful in the fight for female suffrage? 
●    Why does voting matter? 
●    Should 16 and 17 year olds be allowed to vote in elections?
●    How can I exercise my democratic right without a vote? 

12. What can we do about global problems?
●    Is plastic damaging the environment?
●    Why do some people reject climate change?
●    Why is fracking controversial?
●    Why are there still human rights abuses today?
●    How can we take action on global problems t? (campaign case study, active citizens eg Greta Thunberg)
●    How can we take responsible action? 

Year 9

13. How is the UK governed?
●    How is the country run? 
●    What does the civil service do?
●    What are the differences between local, regional and national governance?
●    How does the UK political system compare to other systems? 
●    What are the differences between the UK and the US political systems?
●    How is the UK governed?

14. Are people treated equally in UK society?
●    What is the Equality Act 2010? 
●    What is discrimination and prejudice?
●    What are the effects of discrimination on individuals and groups in society?
●    Why do we need law on equality in the UK? 
●    How far have we made progress on equality in the UK?
●    What can we do to create a fairer society?

15. Why do people move around the world?
●    Why do people migrate?
●    What is the relationship between climate change and migration?
●    Is the conflict in Syria a children’s rights issue?
●    What support is available for migrants?
●    Should immigration be controlled?
●    How does migration affect communities?

16. How to manage our money well? 
●    What is the best way to look after your money? 
●    How can I pay for things? 
●    What are the implications of borrowing money?
●    How can I keep track of my money? 
●    Where can I save my money? 
●    What are my rights as a consumer? 

17. Can digital democracy increase political participation? - NEW
●    What is digital citizenship?
●    Can voter engagement be improved through digital participation?
●    Can political engagement be increased using digital media? (petitions, consultations, participation in select committees)
●    How well has digital democracy worked in other countries? 
●    Should MPs be allowed to vote electronically?
●    Does social media increase political participation?

18. How can young people play an active role in democracy? 
●    How can we contribute to school decision-making?
●    How can we engage in local democracy?
●    Should the voting age be reformed?
●    How can we influence those in power using democratic processes? (democratic methods)
●    How can we make change happen?
●    Should young people have the right to stand in local elections?

Key Stage 4/GCSE Citizenship Studies
Year 10 

1. How well does the media hold those in power to account?
●    What is the role of the media in a democracy?
●    What is responsible journalism?
●    How does the media support democracy?
●    What is misinformation and what can we do about it?
●    Should a free media ever be censored?
●    How well does the media hold those in power to account? Recapping our learning

2. How can we make a difference in society? Active citizenship project 

●    What is an active citizenship project and what skills do we need?
●    How do we decide on the topic to investigate?
●    How can we carry out research for an active citizenship project?
●    How do we plan an active citizenship project?
●    What are the different types of campaigning methods we can use?
●    How can we evaluate the impact and success of our action?

3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UK democratic system?
●    What is democracy?
●    Is direct democracy better?
●    Are elections truly fair?
●    Why is media freedom necessary in a democracy?
●    How can we improve democracy in the UK?
●    Deliberative debate: What are the strengths and weaknesses of democracy in the UK?

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the legal system?
●    How are laws made?
●    Who enforces the law?
●    What is the difference between criminal and civil law?
●    What is the purpose of punishment?
●    What are the types of punishment?
●    Deliberative debate: Does law in the UK need updating?

5. How does the economy work?
●    Understanding the economy. What is the economy?
●    Understanding taxation and government spending. Can taxes be avoided? 
●    Understanding local authority spending. What are the financial challenges facing local authorities?
●    Understanding the debate over privatisation. Should public services be privatised?
●    Understanding risk management. How well does the UK government manage risk?
●    What role can citizens play in the future of the UK economy?

6. How does the UK play a meaningful role in the international community? 

●    What is the UK’s role in the United Nations?
●    What is the UK’s role in the Commonwealth?
●    What is the UK’s role in the World Trade Organisation?
●    How i the UK’s relations in Europe changing?
●    What is the UK’s role in global humanitarian problems?
●    Why is the UK’s role in global conflict resolution?  

Year 11

7. How is UK society diverse and changing?
●    What is identity and how can it be defined?
●    What are the debates around identity in the UK?
●    How is the UK population changing?
●    How diverse is UK society?
●    Is there mutual respect and understanding of diverse groups in the UK?
●    Can a changing and diverse society lead to unity?

8. What is the nature of the British Constitution?
●    Is the physical set up of the House of Commons fit for purpose? (pros and cons)
●    Should parliamentary procedures be modernised?
●    Should our constitution remain uncodified? 
●    Does the bicameral system need to change? 
●    Why do we have a separation of powers?
●    What does the supreme court do?

9. Why do we need the right to protest in a democracy?
●    What are rights and where do they come from? (magna carta to UDHR)
●    What is the right to protest within a democracy with the rule of law?
●    What change has protest achieved? (women’s right to vote)
●    What are changemakers? (case studies of young people)
●    Should protestors ever break the law? (overseas case study Amnesty International)
●    What are pressure groups? ?

10. How do others govern? -coming soon
●    What is the difference between democratic and non-democratic government?
●    How do different systems of government compare?
●    How does government work in a non-democratic nation? (case study North Korea)
●    What are the key differences between the Westminster parliament and the US congress?
●    How does the role of the UK prime minister differ to elected leaders in other countries?
●    How do elections work in different countries?

11. Where does power reside in the UK? 
●    How is local democracy different to national government?
●    How does devolved government operate in the UK?
●    How is local government structured?
●    What do local councils do?
●    How do elections work?
●    What roles do NGOs, charities and civil society play in local communities?

12. GCSE retreival practice 
6 example lessons with retreival and revision for a range of GCSE topics.


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