StudyingSubject Introduction

Head of Department: James Butler

Staff Contact Details: Debbie Smee [Main teacher]
James Butler

Citizenship education is a core National Curriculum subject. It aims to give students the knowledge, skills and understanding to play an effective role in society at local, national and international levels.

Students enjoy studying Citizenship because the issues are real; they affect everyone, and are always topical, in the news and often controversial. We focus in particular on developing understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld, but underpinning this is our aim to produce informed, thoughtful and responsible citizens.

Students are encouraged to think about the moral perspective; what is right or wrong, good or bad about a situation. Ultimately this process allows students to think for themselves, to weigh evidence, debate and develop considered and reasoned opinions.

We are unique in the Borough with Citizenship being taught as a discreet subject and by two subject specialist teachers, Miss Smee and Mr Butler.

Results over the past 5 years have consistently been among the best in the school in terms of attainment and progress made by students. Results are consistently, and significantly, above national average for the subject.

The Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Citizenship is timetabled as a discrete subject for one period per week in Years 7 to 9. In Key Stage 3 the units of learning involve a wide range of interlinking elements including:

  • knowledge and understanding: about topics such as laws and rules, democratic processes, human rights, diversity, money and the economy, conflict, Britain’s part in the global community; and about concepts, such as democracy, justice, equality, freedom, and the rule of law.

  • skills and capabilities: eg critical thinking, analysing information, expressing opinions, discussions and debates, negotiating, and participating in community action.

  • values: eg respect for justice, democracy and the rule of law, openness, tolerance, courage to defend a point of view, and a willingness to listen to and work with others.


  • How democracy works in the UK

  • Who’s running the country

  • Voting

  • Human Rights

  • British culture, diversity and identity

  • How to be an active citizen project

  • Activism

  • International institutions and Britain’s role in the world

  • Conflict resolution

  • Financial matters


Key Stage 4 - GCSE

GCSE Citizenship is a popular and successful option with two classes running in Years 10 and 11. Following the Edexcel exam board we study 5 themes:

  1. Living together in the UK
  2. Democracy at work in the UK
  3. Law and Justice
  4. Power and Influence
  5. Taking Citizenship action


Parliament, Law-making, UK Constitution, role of Government, importance of voting, voting systems, Justice system, criminal and civil law, power of the media, identity, culture and immigration, human rights, consumer rights, political rights in the UK and abroad, employment rights, pressure groups, the UK’s role in the world, the role of international organisations, UN/EU/Commonwealth/NATO/WTO, free and fair trade, peace-keeping and making, planning and taking action to address an issue.

Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form

The closest subject pathway for Citizenship is the Politics A Level which follows the Edexcel board and is covered in depth on the Politics curriculum info page.


Year 12

  • Historical context of the UK political system

  • Government in the UK

  • Political Participation in the UK

  • Core political ideas

Year 13 

  • Non-core political ideas

  • Global politics



Citizenships offers many opportunities for further enrichment, including weekly Politics Club meetings; a trip to the Houses of Parliament in Years 9 and 12; Sky Skills studio trip for Year 10s to put together a news broadcast on a topical citizenship issue; Able and Ambitious Year 9 trip to the Guardian newsroom visit to put together a ‘live front page’; guest speakers from world of politics, law, media, campaigning.


Citizenship aids the study of Government and Politics A Level, and builds on subject knowledge that will assist the study of Geography, Religious Education and History in our Sixth Form.



Exam Board: Edexcel

Course Code: 1CSO


Past papers:

Textbooks and revision resources

Citizenship Today (Jenny Wales, Collins Publisher)

Revisions resources
There are no published revision guides for Citizenship. These will be provided by the Citizenship teachers.

All students are encouraged to keep up to date with the local and national news through television news programmes like Newsround and the Six O’clock news in Key Stage 3, or the Channel 4 News and later BBC and ITV bulletins in Key Stage 4.

Reading quality national newspaper (eg The Times, Telegraph, Independent, Guardian) is recommended. The Library has a daily copy of The Times and Guardian and the Week Junior, and for GCSE students there are politics periodicals like the Spectator and New Statesman. We also recommend keeping up to date with local news via The Richmond & Twickenham Times website and various local social media feeds.

Being aware of topical local, national and international news and issues improves general knowledge and can only boost pupils’ ability to discuss issues in depth, ask critical questions, and examine different viewpoints on current local, national and international events.

All the above have content online, and pupils are encouraged to research different websites to gain a range of viewpoints and ideas.




  • 08:25 PM - 13th December, 2018 What a moving Carol Service put together by Mr Wilson and our talented musicians and choirs. Thank you again to the wonderful Holy Trinity Church for hosting us. Read more
  • 12:59 PM - 6th December, 2018 Reverse Advent calendar challenge goes from strength to strength. Our students have been incredibly generous so far and the box in reception keeps growing! Richmond Foodbank will be receiving a Christmas donation. Read more
  • 12:25 PM - 4th December, 2018 It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....celebrating the Christmas story. Read more
  • 05:18 PM - 26th November, 2018 Interesting turn of events for staff during fab led inset on differentiation today! Lots of ideas out into practice this afternoon. Read more