Head of Department: 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.
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
British culture, diversity and identity
How to be an active citizen project
International institutions and Britain’s role in the world
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:
- Living together in the UK
- Democracy at work in the UK
- Law and Justice
- Power and Influence
- 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.
Historical context of the UK political system
Government in the UK
Political Participation in the UK
Core political ideas
Non-core political ideas
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
Textbooks and revision resources
Citizenship Today (Jenny Wales, Collins Publisher)
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.