Citizenship education at the Colne involves developing the knowledge, skills and confidence to enable students to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for their own lives and communities. At the Colne we want young people to leave formal education with a strong grasp of political, legal and economic functions of society, and with the social and moral awareness to thrive in it. Citizenship equips pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments.
KS3 Citizenship starts through students identifying the importance of rules and laws and how these play a significant role in both their school life and wider society. Students examine how these rules and laws have a link to the rights and freedoms that citizens of the UK enjoy today. Students spend time developing their knowledge of the differences between life in the UK compared to countries where there is less of a focus on rights. Finally, students learn what it means to be an active citizen.
KS3 study in Citizenship continues in year 8 with students debating and discussing crime and punishment with a focus on the age of criminal responsibility and youth justice. The focus then moves to global issues where students spend time analysing the causes of poverty and the methods used to help reduce the issue such as international aid and debt relief. Finally, students are introduced to government and politics and research the differing types of government as well as the role of Members of Parliament.
KS4 commences with students developing their knowledge of what it is like to be a citizen of the UK and a study of the composition of the UK. They question the issue of immigration and discuss a variety of viewpoints analysing life in a diverse society. They examine human, political, consumer and workers’ rights to develop knowledge of their entitlements alongside an understanding of the responsibilities placed upon UK citizens. During the second half of year nine students develop their knowledge of the democratic system in the UK.
The third theme of study within the KS4 course sees students explore why we need laws and how law affects us in our everyday lives. They consider how the justice system in England and Wales works in practice including the roles and power of the police and the courts. During the second half of year ten students revisit key ideas about democracy, rights and responsibilities as they explore ideas about power. In particular they consider power in relation to the ways in which citizens, governments and the media exercise power.
For the final theme of the GCSE course students carry out an in-depth, critical investigation leading to citizenship action. There are many types of investigation and action that students can take that use different methods and citizenship skills. The choice of action will depend on the issue or challenge they are addressing and what they intend their action to achieve. Consolidation of the course content undertaken throughout KS4 is the focus in the final part of year 11 to ensure success in the public examination.