Judge and Gavel

citizenship

“I just felt I couldn’t be a part of this…I said to myself, sorry, I’m not going to be a

collaborator in this scheme. Then I asked myself, ‘What can I do?”

 

Desmond Tutu

 

 

Subject Intent:

 

At Smithills School the Citizenship curriculum engages pupils with the world around them both locally, nationally and internationally with practical tasks and direct contact.  Pupils ask questions about the issues that face their communities and world and are challenged to take action meaningful to them and the community to make a difference. The taking action element of Citizenship should be meaningful to them and the wider world.  Pupils are empowered to and supported to select their own focus , embodying the true values of citizenship, they need to be knowledgeable and passionate about the action they are engaged in to do this.  The curriculum equips pupils with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions about identity, political systems, law and the UKs role in the wider world.  It actively promotes taking an active role in society seeking to make a difference, this is therefore embedded at every opportunity, in conferences, in Session 0, in the GCSE and in campaigns as part of the school’s wider SMSC.  The teaching of Citizenship makes links between the systems of law and politics studied and the roles and responsibilities we as individuals can play within these both to uphold and improve them.  The teaching of Citizenship is vital for pupils to understand how society functions and make connections between their own values and identity and those of others.  Our role to ensure pupils become inquisitive by asking questions about the world around them and allowing them to gain the experience of a citizenship curriculum that is current, well-resourced and offers pupils as many opportunities for a wider experiential curriculum as possible.   Our curriculum offers the opportunity to engage their minds and hearts in the world around them to change it, to challenge it and improve it.  The curriculum helps develop responsibility and respect for all aspects of diversity, whether it be social, political, legal, cultural or religious, and prepares pupils well for life in modern Britain.

 

We built the curriculum with the intent that students will be:

 

  • experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum that students build on limited prior learning from Key Stage 2 to broaden their understanding and appreciation of different world views. They are challenged to learn through the use of ‘BIG Questions’ and are required to think hard in lessons using ‘higher order’ skills such as analysis and evaluation.

  • be literate and numerate through developing their verbal and written literacy skills. Through debates and discussions pupils develop their ability to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject.

  • have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement by showing respect and understanding of different viewpoints which may differ to their own. 

  • develop their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical development by promoting a wide variety of learning opportunities, with an emphasis on ‘real life’ learning  that ensures all pupils have the opportunity to become actively involved in the life of the school and its community.

  • be prepared for life beyond the school by helping pupils think critically, listen empathetically, speak thoughtfully, and write clearly.  These are all skills that will be of great use to pupils in all areas of life. In an increasingly diverse society and global world it will aid pupils to formulate their own opinion with respect and become resilient individuals that support changes to come. 

  • have a practical knowledge of specific systems such as voting, roles and careers such as the role of an MP, the police, the role of a member of a jury gives pupils practical careers knowledge and knowledge about how systems that will impact their life operate.

 

Subject Implementation:

 

  • KS3 Curriculum is taught largely through conferences.

  • The Year 7 Conference covers Politics, Power and You – Political Parties and Rights such as the right to an education

  • The Year 8 Conference covers The Law and You – How Laws are Made, Civil and Criminal Law, Courts and why Laws are important.

  • Pupils gain experience of extended writing and annotation of key images connected to the conference topic to connect and build upon their prior learning and experiences. 

  • A love of learning is embraced early on in the conference with pupils having the opportunity to approach the topics from a controversial and engaging angle such as would you vote for this party based on this party political broadcast and why? How would you rule an island if you were shipwrecked and why? How should we punish people who break the law? Are the punishments for youth offenders too soft?

  • Conferences work up to an element of taking action, year 7 participate in Send my Friend to School and year 8 create a piece of work to explain the importance of following the law.

  • There is additional cross over with the taught Religion, Ethics, Philosophy and Citizenship SOL in KS3- Diverse UK identities taught in Year 7 SOL, including radicalisation,  How do behaviours and attitudes impact on the community? – Taking Action, Year 8 Do we treat creation correctly? Pressure Groups, Budgets, Rights and liberties, Do We Value Life? Covers the Law concerning Knife Crime and Alcohol and How do relationships impact our lives covers the Law on issues such as homosexuality, equality, abortion and consent. 

  • There is also cross over content covered in the Session 0 Curriculum which is covered in the following places All -  Stalls in the Hall, Year 7- Justice and fairness, Fairtrade, Why should we make a difference? Year 8 – Laws and Rules, Volunteering, Year 9 – British Values and Justice, Human Rights Genocide and Amnesty, Year 10 Identity the Campaign for recognition, Power of the Media, Misuse of Information, What are my rights – Human, Consumer, legal? Project, Democracy

  • At KS4 pupils then have an opportunity to further deepen understanding and knowledge through building on prior skills and knowledge and opting to take the GCSE in Citizenship.  The questions the curriculum covers are   “how is our country run and what is our role within this?”, what is the UKs role in International organisations?, how can we take action to bring about positive change? and what laws govern us and how can we bring about change to the legal system?

  • A broader curriculum is also explored away from GCSE examination content to support pupils with making links to cross curricular subjects such as History, Religion, Ethics, Philosophy and Geography.  Studying the topics such as what does it mean to be British allows pupils to question the very nature of “Britishness” and how people through history have dealt with crisis in Britain as communities for  example how the people of Eyam managed their response to the plague comparing it to the current pandemic.

  • Assessment is rigorous and reliable, with success criteria determined in advance and shared with pupils.  Progress is tracked through exercise books and assessment folders at KS4 which are monitored through work scrutiny. Assessment outcomes are compared to targets to monitor progress. Specific groups such as SEN, DP, MA are closely monitored and intervention, where necessary, is planned in order to reduce gaps and recorded on departmental SOAPs/COAPs as appropriate.

  • In particular where pupils are not able to access class learning, we will provide blended learning. This will enable all pupils to access work from home using remote learning. To further support pupil independence knowledge organisers are being imbedded in learning to recall and revisit learning. All pupils are given the opportunity to communicate with staff through remote learning systems and the classroom.

 

Subject Enrichment:

 

  • Virtual Political engagement via the Politics Project.

  •  Zoom meeting with the local council / mayor

  • Conversation with PeaceJam representatives about the importance of effective campaigns

  • Taking part in the 1 Billion Acts of Peace Campaign – actively recording our acts as part of the international campaign as staff have completed additional training.

 

Development:

  • London Trip for visiting The Houses of Parliament

  • Bolton visiting the local council chambers and office

  • Visiting courts during trial to see law in action ( trial dependent) / tour of law courts

 

Subject Impact:

 

  • Adaptive curriculum that allows pupils to tackle controversial issues in the current world such as pandemic and impact of quick laws passed as a result, the impact on the country of events such as this policing the policy, the reaction of people both positive and negative. Supports pupils social, moral spiritual cultural through guidance and support as events unfold.

  • Develop a wide range  of vocabulary that supports pupils’ understanding of real life issues such as radicalisation.

  • Develop pupils’ skills to articulate their own opinions based on evidence presented to them.

  • Give pupils techniques to support their leadership and group working skills, encouraging team work that will allow them to become independent resilient learners and creating real life taking action campaigns that can make a difference to the community.

  • Helps pupils build empathy skills to ensure they have the opportunity to grow  and support the community.

Knowledge and Skills

 

Year 7:

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Political Systems

  • Different political parties

  • What they would and would not vote for

  • Voting systems

  • The role of the Prime Minister

  • The difference between wants and needs

  • The Rights of the Child

  • The campaign – Send My Friend to School

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Promoting reading skills through comprehension exercises such as looking at the role the PM and information about voting systems.

  • Explain how views/teachings on a topic might influence a person’s choices using the party political broadcasts.

  • Learn how to give a personal opinion on a topic with reasons to support it through group discussion and feedback.

 

Year 8:

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Law

  • How laws are made

  • The difference between civil and criminal law

  • Why we punish criminals

  • The reasons for specific laws

  • Crown and Magistrate Courts

  • The age of Criminal Responsibility

  • Youth offending

  • Specific legal cases to determine if they think justice was done

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Promoting reading skills through comprehension exercises such as looking at legal cases and court systems.

  • Discussion in groups and reaching justified agreement on the case studied

  • Describe different views on issue/topic in the case to reach a reasoned conclusion.

  • Learn how to give a personal opinion on a topic with reasons to support it.

 

Year 9

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Britain, It’s Values and Identity

  • The Media and its Role in Society

  • The UK’s Role in International Organisations

  • Taking Action

  • Making a Difference in Society

  • Statutory RHSE and RE

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Promoting reading skills through comprehension exercises such as looking at current articles.

  • Explain how views/teachings on a topic might influence a person’s choices.

  • Describe different views within a society on an issue/topic.

  • Explain how difference of interpretation within society leads to different views or beliefs about the same issue.

  • Learn how to give a personal opinion on a topic with reasons to support it.

  • Use laws / examples to support extended writing. 

  • Explain clear reasons for differing views within extended answers.

  • Give clear conclusions in extended answers.

  • Complete a taking action project ideally as a group as these are often the most effective campaigns, pupils will be offered guidance in planning and structure of the campaign but must ultimately carry this out and analyse the effectiveness themselves as this is an assessed part of their exam.  We have access to the PeaceJam resources to further support them with this following training.

 

Year 10

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Political Power in the UK

  • Local and Devolved Government

  • Where does Political power reside?

  • How do others govern themselves?

  • Bringing about Political Change

  • Laws in Contemporary Society

  • Rights and Responsibilities within the Legal System

  • How Laws Protect Citizens and Deal with Criminals

  • Universal Human Rights

  • Bringing about Change in the System

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Promoting reading skills through comprehension exercises such as looking at current articles.

  • Explain how views/teachings on a topic might influence a person’s choices.

  • Describe different views within a society on an issue/topic.

  • Explain how difference of interpretation within society leads to different views or beliefs about the same issue.

  • Learn how to give a personal opinion on a topic with reasons to support it.

  • Use laws / examples to support extended writing. 

  • Explain clear reasons for differing views within extended answers.

  • Give clear conclusions in extended answers.

Contact Head of Department:

Miss Khan - S.Khan@smithillsschool.net