Citizenship education is a core National Curriculum subject. It aims to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding to play an effective role in society at local, national and international levels.
Citizenship is taught by Mr Butler and Miss Smee and results over the past 5 years have consistently been among the best in the school in terms of A/A* grades, A*-C percentage and the progress made by students. Results are consistently, and significantly, above national average for the subject.
Pupils enjoy studying Citizenship because the issues are real; they affect everyone, and are always topical and sometimes 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.
Pupils 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.
Key Stage 3
Citizenship is timetabled as a discreet 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, the media, 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: e.g. critical thinking, analysing information, expressing opinions, discussions and debates, negotiating, and participating in community action.
- values: e.g. 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.
Key Stage 4 - GCSE
GCSE Citizenship is a popular and successful full course GCSE option. Following the Edexcel exam board we study:
- Unit 1: Citizenship Today (20% of final mark through examination) covers three broad topics:
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Power, Politics and the media
- The global community
- Unit 2: Participating in society (30% of final mark through controlled assessment). Students choose an issue of their choice that fits within the programme of study in unit 1, then research to become an expert, communicate with people in positions of power or authority (for example their MP), then take action on their issue.
- Unit 3: Citizenship in context (20% of final mark through examination). Building on the content of unit 1, students study one of three topics in depth: ? Environmental change and sustainable development
- Changing UK communities: social and cultural identities
- Influencing and changing decisions in society and government
- Unit 4: Citizenship campaign (30% of final mark through controlled assessment). Students develop research and campaign skills before planning and carrying out a campaign to influence change in local or national society, then measuring the impact of their efforts.
Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form
The closest subject pathway for Citizenship is the Government and Politics A Level which follows the Edexcel board. Sixth Form students study ‘People and politics’ and ‘Governing the UK’ in year 12, and ‘Structures in global politics’ and ‘Global political issues’ in year 13.
Citizenships offers many opportunities for further enrichment, including weekly Humanities Society 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.
Higher Education/ Potential Careers
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.
All pupils 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.
Regular reading of a quality national newspaper (e.g. The Times, Telegraph, Independent, Guardian) , or local newspaper (The Richmond & Twickenham Times) 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.