Welcome to the Citizenship Department.
“One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai.
This quote expresses the power of studying Citizenship completely- the fact that we want our students to know they have the ability to make changes and become active citizens.
In Citizenship you are given the tools to make decisions and to take responsibility for your own life and your community’s. It is not about making you think in a certain way, but making you think! It’s about making you an active part of society- helping to understand society and people. Citizenship studies are- real, topical, sometimes sensitive, sometimes controversial and always interesting! We look at issues such as politics, the law, knife crime, conditions in prisons, immigration, protesting methods and the media. We look at case studies of Baby P, Jamie Bulger, Malala Yousafzai, the government’s handling of covid, free university places in Scotland, Marcus Rashford, Greta Thunberg and so much more! We have debates, arguments and heated discussions. Lessons are lively, interesting and rewarding and the best part is that our results are consistently high! We have a 20% higher pass rate at grade 4+ than the average across the UK. Studying Citizenship can help you to further your studies at A-Level in subjects such as Politics, Sociology, Law and many more, or go on to do vocational courses in Public Services and more. Careers related to the subject include journalism, police, barristers, charity workers, army, social worker, community worker, youth worker, counsellor, council worker, teacher, fire service, health worker, environment careers, emergency and devastation work, campaigner, union rep, human resources, politician, child care, business owner… the list is endless!
Citizenship links to all of the British Values, with democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and celebration of differences being at the heart of each of the modules. Most importantly, Citizenship is about real life, with real case studies of real people and how our students can influence the world around them.
Studied through PSHE- units on active citizenship, the law, human rights, multiculturalism and diversity and democracy. Students can take part in community events like a Sedgley Clean up and even put themselves up for election in their democracy studies! They will complete an assessment on human rights in Year 8 and investigate the impact of crime on their communities.
All students study Citizenship through PSHE and look in greater depth at politics, the law, human rights and democracy.
At GCSE Option, students study 4 modules that further their understanding of society and the way democracy, human rights and the law function in the UK. The modules are-
1/ Politics and Participation- politics, power, local councils, national government, protesting
2/ Rights and Responsibilities- human rights, the law and the legal system
3/ Life in Modern Britain- identity, British Values, global organisations, immigration, refugees etc.
4/ Active Citizenship- group projects
The final unit, Active Citizenship is where our students get to take responsibility for their own learning- In Year 11, they get to research, plan and carry out an activity of their choice about any Citizenship issue.
They will work in groups and carry out primary and secondary research into their subject. They then will take action-they could start a protest, raise awareness, make a petition, write letters to their MP, start a website, hold an event or stall- whatever they want!
Then then analyse and evaluate what change they have made.
How we assess
At the end of every module, students take an exam on that unit from a past GCSE paper. These are marked in accordance with the AQA mark scheme and grades are awarded. Students will therefore sit
1/ Politics and Participation exam in December of year 10
2/ Rights and Responsibilities at Easter of year 10
3/ Year 10 exams in Summer on both units- P+P and R+R
4/ Life in Modern Britain exam in Autumn year 11
5/ Year 11 mock 1 December- P+P and R+R
6/ Active Citizenship exam Spring year 11
7/ Year 11 mock 2 Spring LIMB + AC
Subject specific websites to support independent learning and revision
Every lesson has an accompanying YouTube video to teach the information in case students are absent or want to revise a topic. The YouTube channel is ‘Mrs Downie Citizenship’. There are revision videos on there also.
Students can use Parliament Education to find useful resources and develop their understanding further- https://learning.parliament.uk/en/
The most important thing students can do is to watch the news daily and keep up with current affairs.
Trips and Visits
In year 10 we visit the Houses of Parliament and go on a guided tour of Westminster Palace- popping off for a quick trip on the London Eye too!
We visit Shrewsbury Prison where students are dressed up as prisoners, locked in cells and taken on a guided tour of the old prison, shown where the hangings took place and have a chance to ask questions of real prison guards.
Finally, we visit Wolverhampton Crown Courts, where students sit in real life case studies and get a chance to experience the legal system in full swing
Non Required Work
Pupils are asked to sign up to ‘The Knowledge’- a daily newsletter on current affairs. They can sign up here-
Sign up referral – The Knowledge
They also are asked to sign up to ‘Mrs Downie Citizenship’ channel on You Tube. They can watch the corresponding videos with what they are learning.
Mrs Downie Citizenship – YouTube
Pupils also can use resources from Parliament UK. All of these will deepen students knowledge of key concepts.
There are huge benefits to studying Citizenship, enhancing all British Values and offering real life studies of current affairs and societal issues. We hope that our students enjoy the subject and gain an important insight into modern life in Britain..