Citizenship is a subject that helps students identify with the UK and to live in it as a responsible, informed citizen. It is a part of the requirement of schools to teach Citizenship but the range of subjects and topics is wide; the aim is to build on common knowledge and common questions.
Education for citizenship equips young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding to play an effective role in public life. Citizenship encourages them to take an interest in topical and controversial issues and to engage in discussion and debate. Students learn about their rights, responsibilities, duties and freedoms, and about laws, justice and democracy. They learn to take part in decision-making and different forms of action. They play an active role in the life of their schools, neighbourhoods, communities and wider society as active and global citizens. Citizenship encourages respect for different national, religious and ethnic identities. It equips students to engage critically with and explore diverse ideas, beliefs, cultures and identities and the values we share as citizens in the UK. Students begin to understand how society has changed and is changing in the UK, Europe and the wider world.
Citizenship addresses issues relating to social justice, human rights, community cohesion and global interdependence, and encourages students to challenge injustice, inequalities and discrimination. It helps young people to develop their critical skills, consider a wide range of political, social, ethical and moral problems, and explore opinions and ideas other than their own. They evaluate information, make informed judgements and reflect on the consequences of their actions now and in the future. They learn to argue a case on behalf of others as well as themselves and speak out on issues of concern.
Citizenship equips students with the knowledge and skills needed for effective and democratic participation. It helps students to become informed, critical, active citizens who have the confidence and conviction to work collaboratively, take action and try to make a difference.
At Key Stage 4 students study topics such as Power and Politics, The Environment, Work-related topics, Rights and Responsibilities and Law and the Media. Year 9 pupils have the opportunity to undertake a presentation that can become part of a much wider project. Students do not have to sit a Citizenship GCSE but in 2011-2012 an after-school group sat the Edexcel exam and achieved a 79% pass rate.
Citizenship is taught through many other ways and all subjects make an impact. The subject benefits from its direct relevance to pupils lives and many lessons use real-life experiences to enhance this.