Within SNS we take great pride that our students are politically and socially aware of the current social issues affecting their community and the wider world. We believe that if you have a passion to affect change, to create a platform for your voice to be heard and you what to develop a tolerant society than Citizenship is for you. Our programme of study has the power to motivate and enable young people to become thoughtful, active citizens.
Our students are equipped with the understanding and knowledge to deal with situations of conflict and controversy with maturity and tolerance of all. We believe that our students the controversial issues which are addressed within our subject provision is relevant to their learning. We explore a range of issues that can at times be challenging; students can explore and become accustomed to alternate views in a safe and constructed environment. We pride ourselves that students are able to evaluate a range of different arguments and understanding bias using sources of evidence.
Students are equipped with a deeper knowledge of democracy, government and law, and develop skills to create sustained and reasoned arguments, present various viewpoints and plan practical citizenship actions to benefit society. Students will develop the skill set of being able to critically evaluate challenging viewpoints, to identify bias, balance a range of evidence and interpret correct. All these skills are valued by higher education and employers.
We believe our Citizenship course enables students to develop a range of skills that they are able to apply to their studies but further to skills sought after by higher education and employers. Our students develop the ability to:
- formulate citizenship enquiries, identifying and sequencing research questions to analyse citizenship ideas, issues and debates.
- form their own hypotheses, create sustained and reasoned arguments and reach substantiated conclusions when appropriate.
- understand the range of methods and approaches that can be used by governments, organisations, groups and individuals to address citizenship issues in society, including practical citizenship actions.
- present their own and other viewpoints and represent the views of others, in relation to citizenship issues, causes, situations and concepts.
- plan practical citizenship actions aimed at delivering a benefit or change for others in society.
- critically evaluate the effectiveness of citizenship actions to assess progress towards the intended aims and impact for the individuals, groups and communities affected.
Citizenship at Key Stage 3
At SNS, from Year 7 onwards within Personal, Political and Philosophical Studies our students, are equipped with the understanding and knowledge of how to evaluate opinions, exploring a range of alternative views and how to critically evaluate evidence. In Year 7, students explore what their own rights and responsibilities are in the local community and the wider world. Year 7 also explore the importance of human rights. As students enter Year 8 they evaluate the workings of our political systems and how the criminal justice system operates. In Year 9 students understand the importance of voting and by participating in the democratic system we can hold those in power to account. Furthermore, all Year 9 students embark on a social campaign to raise awareness of a charity issue.
Citizenship at Key Stage 4
We have established a popular and well proven GCSE course which follows the AQA syllabus involving two examinations:
- Section A - Active Citizenship – this also involves examination on their active citizenship campaign on a social issue
- Section B - Politics and Participation
- Section A - Life in Modern Britain
- Section B - Rights and Responsibility
If students do not undertake the GCSE options, all students will continue to follow the Political component with Personal, Political and Philosophical studies.
Our GCSE comprises of four components that are taught sequentially over Year 9-11. This enables our students to build on their understanding and knowledge each year evaluating each component.
Life in Modern Britain
This theme explores the make-up, values and dynamics of contemporary UK society. Students also study the concept of ‘Britishness,’ how our identities are formed and how we have multiple identities. This unit will also explore the role and responsibilities of traditional media, the emergence of new media sources and the UK’s role in international issues.
Rights and Responsibilities
Our students within this theme will explore and understand the nature of laws and the principles upon which laws are based, how the citizen engages with legal processes, how the justice system operates in the UK, how laws have developed over time and how society deals with criminality. Students will evaluate how rights are protected, the nature of universal human rights and how the UK participates in international treaties and agreements. Students are also equipped with the knowledge of how citizens can both play a part and bring about change within the legal system.
Politics and Participation
Our students will explore and the nature of political power in the UK and the core concepts relating to democracy and government. This includes how government operates at its various levels within the UK, how decisions are made and how the UK parliament works and carries out its functions. Our GCSE also explores the role of political parties, the election system, how other countries govern themselves and how the citizen can bring about political change.
Active Citizenship – Taking Action
Students understand the overarching principle of how citizens can try to make a difference in society. This theme enhances further students understanding of taking action which is demonstrated through all the above themes. This theme allows our students to explore real life case studies of how citizens have brought about change in trying to make a difference. Students are equipped with the knowledge of how they can be informed active members of society. They apply these skills to their own action where they will campaign on a social issue about which they are passionate and want to raise awareness. These two mutually linked elements enable students to understand and assess the actions of others and draw upon others' experiences when undertaking their own investigation.
- Subject Overview
- Subject Checklist
- Life in Modern Britain
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Politics and Participation
- Active Citizenship and Politics
Our students will be involved in trips to the House of Parliament, this involves a tour of parliament and a workshop with a Lord or MP. To help students understand the criminal justice system students visit the Supreme Court.
Career and future pathways
Politics, Law and Sociology make suitable A levels for students who wish to continue with Citizenship education post 16.
There are also a range of smaller qualifications available and modules within vocational and other qualifications.