A summary of the legal position:
Citizenship became a statutory national curriculum ‘subject’ in for pupils in secondary schools (Key Stages 3 and 4) based on a programme of study that allows flexibility in the breadth and depth of coverage and in the way in which the area is organised within school. It is non-statutory in primary schools based on a framework which it ‘shares’ with PSHE.
Post 16 Citizenship
This is non-statutory but seen as a necessary contributor to the personal and academic entitlement of students and guidance is available, from the DCSF and others about how to address Citizenship is this phase of education. The report of the Advisory Group on Education f or Citizenship and the Teaching of Democracy in Schools identifies three inter-related components that should run through all education for Citizenship.
- Social and moral responsibility:
Pupils learning – from the very beginning – self-confidence and socially and morally responsible behaviour both in and beyond the classroom, towards those in authority and towards each other.
- Community involvement:
Pupils learning about becoming helpfully involved in the life and concerns of their neighbourhood and communities, including learning through community involvement and service to the community.
- Political literacy:
Pupils learning about the institutions, problems and practices of our democracy and how to make themselves effective in the life of the nation, locally, regionally and nationally through skills and values as well as knowledge – a concept wider than political knowledge alone.
Schools need to keep their provision and the pupils’ response to such provision under review. A self-evaluation toolkit has been developed by DCSF in collaboration with ACT ( Association for Citizenship Teaching), NCSL (National College for School Leadership) and QCA. Not only will the use of this help you to see where your school is currently with regard to its Citizenship provision (and the response of pupils to it), but by identifying areas for development, it will assist in the construction of an action plan for the future. See National Curriculum on-line: Citizenship and National Curriculum in Action
Citizenship in the Primary School
The non-statutory PSHE and Citizenship framework provides a basis to help schools promote high standards in these important areas of pupils’ personal and academic development. The two areas share much in common but also have some distinctive emphases. Both can be effective ‘vehicles’ through which the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development opportunities provided for pupils can be enhanced. Within the Advisory Service Kent, Allan Foster is Lead Curriculum Adviser and has responsibility for PSHE (in both primary and secondary phases). He and Pamela Draycott work closely together to provide support in these areas. Visit the PSHE and Citizenship primary curriculum pages. (link to follow)
Citizenship in the Secondary School
Key Stages 3 and 4
Schools have the flexibility to decide how they will provide Citizenship across Key Stages 3 and 4, based on the programme of study which provide an entitlement for pupils to have opportunities to develop:
- knowledge and understanding about becoming an informed citizen;
- skills of enquiry and communication; and
- skills of participation and responsible action.
Some Possible Options:
- Discrete ‘Citizenship’ lessons with some links with and delivery of ‘Citizenship’ within other curriculum areas and extra-curricular activities and out of school opportunities as appropriate;
- ‘Citizenship’ delivered through certain ‘lead’ subjects of the curriculum (such as PSHE, RE, English and/or History for example) with other subject areas acting as ‘carrier’ subjects as appropriate;
- a ‘mixture’ of ‘Citizenship’ being taught discretely, alongside Citizenship elements identified and delivered through other subjects and through Citizenship conference days with links to extra-curricular and out of school opportunities also.
The Personal Development Curriculum
The aim of the national curriculum is to promote high standards in both academic and personal development. Bearing this in mind guidance has been issued for the 14-19 age-range on identifying and co-ordinating the personal development curriculum to which Citizenship makes a vital contribution.
Citizenship (Short Course)
Schools need to consider whether or not to follow a GCSE short course for pupils. The examination boards (e.g. ACA, Edexcel, OCR) have all developed such courses based on the Key Stage 4 progamme of study for Citizenship.