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The ACT Building Resilience Project

Key stage 3 (ages 11-14) • Sensitive & Controversial Issues • Curriculum planning

The ACT Building Resilience Project involves teachers in schools developing innovative teaching strategies to build children’s criticality and resilience to extremism and being drawn into terrorism. The project draws on the principles set out in guidance from the Expert Subject Advisory Group for Citizenship and ACT: The Prevent Duty and Controversial Issues: creating a curriculum response through Citizenship.

The ACT Building Resilience Project supports Citizenship teachers working in different school contexts across England in developing the skills and knowledge pupils need to:

  • think critically, explore and discuss controversial and sensitive issues
  • recognise and challenge extremism and terrorist ideologies
  • build resilience to radicalisation; and
  • understand the value of democratic citizenship and take citizenship action.

ACT invited a number of schools to participate in the project with funding provided by the Home Office Prevent Innovation Fund. The project developed:

  • Opportunities for teachers to use a variety of pedagogies in Citizenship to support aspects of Prevent
  • Case studies that exemplify effective practice and how teachers working in a range of school contexts provide practical teaching and learning strategies and approaches. These will include short videos.
  • Learning resources including lesson plans, schemes of work, teaching resources and approaches to assessing pupils’ progress and the impact on learning
  • Evidence of the impact of such approaches on pupils and schools through a full evaluation.

All teachers involved in The ACT Building Resilience Project worked within their school’s safeguarding policies.

Stewart Vaughan, Headteacher of Priory School in Portsmouth, talks about the importance of the Citizenship curriculum in building resilience to extremism.

ACT used an independent expert to carry out a detailed evaluation of The ACT Building Resilience Project. The evaluation report consists of

  • an executive summary
  • a description of the methodologies used
  • teacher and pupil findings
  • perceptions of the impact of the project on pupils and teachers and
  • concluding recommendations for teachers, senior management and government.

You can download the reports here.