Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme: cpd resources Topic 7: Introduction to post-16 citizenship and as/A level Citizenship Studies

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Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme: CPD resources
Topic 7: Introduction to post-16 citizenship and AS/A level Citizenship Studies (AQA Specification)


  • To clarify the aims and purpose of citizenship education

  • To raise awareness of the benefits of citizenship activities for students and college

  • To illustrate some active techniques for AQA ASA level citizenship provision.


Many FE and Sixth Form colleges include citizenship education within a group tutorial programme. However, there is a growing trend within schools, Sixth Form and FE colleges to deliver citizenship as a taught course at GCSE and GCE (AS and A) levels. This session will help prepare staff to deliver citizenship within a qualification.

Preparation and further reading

The following resource is essential background reading:

Citizenship and 14-19 developments: Quick guide 5, GCSEs and GCEs in Citizenship Studies (LSIS 2009)

GCE AS and A Level, Citizenship Studies, approved specification, AQA 2007 –

Getting started with post-16 citizenship (LSIS, 2009) – an excellent introduction to post-16 citizenship in the form of background materials and CPD ideas.

Using Resources from the post-16 Citizenship Support Programme for Units 1 and 2 of the AQA Specification – a review of Programme resources against unit requirements.

The CPD activities

There are nine activities included in this CPD resource accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation with notes.





Estimated time


Opinion finders

A warm up activity to find out what people know and think about citizenship

Handout 1

30 minutes


Discussion carousel

A warm-up activity on citizenship issues

Handout 2

15 minutes


What is citizenship? (1)

A paired activity examining the distinction between PSHE and citizenship

Handout 3

20 minutes


What is citizenship? (2)

A small group activity looking for examples of ‘real’ citizenship

Handouts 4 and 5

30 minutes


Mind Gym

A post-lunch warm up activity involving argument

Handout 6

10 minutes


Mapping existing citizenship activities

A small group mapping exercise

Handouts 7 and 8

30 minutes


Case studies

Small group discussion of citizenship case studies

Handouts 9-14

30 minutes


Mapping citizenship resources

Small group review of post-16 resources

Handout 15

30 minutes


Self-assessment, review and evaluation

Activity 1: Opinion finders


  • To find out what the group knows and thinks about citizenship education

  • To encourage participation and be able to build on current knowledge and experience.


  • This is a flexible activity that can be used to introduce any subject. Participants research what others in the whole group think about one of the questions on a sheet. Everyone receives the same sheet (copies of Handout 1), but they will have different questions circled. Ideally, different coloured paper can be used so that all those asking the same question are using the same coloured sheets

  • The number of questions provided will depend on the numbers of participants, since the activity ends with all those who have researched the same question meeting up to summarise findings. These final groups should not be larger than six people.

  • Give the sheets out randomly to participants so that friends who may be sitting together are not asking the same question. Allow about 20 minutes for individuals to wander around the room collecting information from others, which they should record at the bottom of the page. Then ask groups who were asking the same questions to meet up and summarise the responses.

  • At the whole group plenary, they should pull out any interesting headlines to report back.

Handout 1: Opinion finders

What is citizenship and why do it?

Ask other people the question circled and record answers to your question in the box below.

  1. What do you know or have you heard about citizenship education in schools?

  2. What might be the difference between being an ‘active citizen’ and being a ‘good citizen’?

  3. What might be the benefits for students if the institution offered citizenship as part of the curriculum?

  4. What obstacles can you foresee in providing citizenship education for all students in this organisation?

  5. Do you think citizenship education has any benefits for society as a whole? Why or why not?

Meet up with all the people that asked the same question as you and summarise your findings.

Activity 2: Discussion carousel


  • To seek the views of the group on various issues concerned with citizenship education.

  • To encourage active participation and to build on current knowledge and experience.


  • In this activity, participants sit in two concentric circles facing each other and have a brief conversation with the person opposite, before moving on to the next person, ‘speed-dating’ style. It is a good way to raise all the different points on an issue at the start of a unit or session. It also works as an excellent ice-breaking opening activity, but it must be pacey, noisy and fun.

  • It requires enough space to seat up to 12 pairs in a circle. If there are more than 24 participants, and you decide to run this activity, you will need two circles of pairs, but this would require a much larger space.

  • The questions for discussion are on cards (copied and cut up from Handout 2); one is placed on each seat in the inner circle. People sitting on these seats do not move during the first round. They discuss their question with the person sitting opposite, until, after about 3 minutes; you blow a whistle, or clap loudly, indicating that everyone in the outer circle must move one place to the right.

  • This continues for about four moves.

  • In order to vary the experience for the ‘questioners’, you could change the format by asking each pair to swap places, the card stays with the person now in the inner circle, and the movement of people goes to the left.

  • Debrief the activity by asking for comments on each question.

Handout 2: Discussion carousel cards
(Photocopy on to card and cut up)

1. Some people say that citizenship education is a waste of valuable teaching time and should not be part of the post-16 curriculum. What do you think?

2. What do you know or have you heard about citizenship education in schools?

3. Can you see any relevance of citizenship education for your subject? If so what? If not, why not?

4. Citizenship education should provide students with the knowledge and skills to make them ‘politically literate’. What do you think this means?

5. What links can you see between citizenship education and the learner voice initiative?

6. What might be the difference between being an ‘active citizen’ and being a ‘good citizen’?

7. What might be the benefits for students if the college offered citizenship?

8. What obstacles can you foresee in providing citizenship education for all students in this college?

9. Do you think citizenship education has any benefits for society as a whole? Why or why not?

10. ‘Citizenship education should always involve a critical understanding of the workings of democracy’. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?

Activity 3: What is citizenship? (1)


  • To understand the difference between PSHE and citizenship education.


  • This paired activity explores the confusion that often arises between citizenship and Lifeskills or Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) (or ‘pastoral issues’ as this is more likely to be referred to in colleges). It would be particularly useful to use if the college is considering timetabling citizenship within a pastoral or group tutorial context (use slides 3-5).

  • A copy of Handout 3 is given to each pair and they are asked to devise appropriate questions from each perspective – the personal and the public.

  • It is important to explain that PSHE and citizenship often look at the same topics but that the approach is different.

  • If time is short, different pairs can be allocated different topics on which to devise the questions.

  • Ask pairs to join up to make groups of four, so that they can share the questions they have devised and discuss the differences between the two subjects. Ensure that they understand these differences.

PSHE and Lifeskills aim to give young people the knowledge, skills and attributes required to help them develop as individuals, manage their relationships and have fulfilling, healthy and positive lives. It covers all those aspects of life that affect each of us, every day and can make us happier, or less happy people, depending on the individual choices we make.
Citizenship develops many of the same issues (e.g. drugs, family, health) and considers others (e.g. crime, politics, environment) in such a way that young people get a wider social perspective on each. They learn about the political and economic implications of these issues for the whole of society and the policies that relate to them. They develop arguments to defend their own and others’ points of view. In particular they learn the importance of doing something to improve the world, and they develop the necessary knowledge and skills to help them take such action.

Handout 3: How is citizenship different from PSHE?



(PSHE/Lifeskills approach)


(Citizenship approach)


e.g. Why do think people choose to start smoking?

e.g. Do you think it is right to ban smoking in pubs and bars?



Drugs & alcohol

e.g. What effects can addiction have on your life?





e.g. Should the parents of disruptive children have to undertake parenting classes?

Time management

Personal finance

e.g. How can I keep out of debt?

e.g. What are the implications of students paying fees for higher education?


Sexual health/health issues

Activity 4: What is citizenship? (2)

  • To understand what makes for a ‘real’ post-16 citizenship activity

  • To consider how activities can be modified to make them real citizenship activities.


  • This activity takes the discussion generated by activity 3 further (use slide 6). In the newly formed fours, participants discuss a range of example of young-people led activity, which is often assumed to be citizenship, but is not in all cases. Real citizenship learning takes place when young people learn about the political, economic and social aspects of an issue.

  • The groups are given a set of cards (copied and cut up from Handout 4) outlining case studies A – E, and they decide whether real citizenship learning is taking place in each. In most cases, the answer is ‘it depends…’ but a sheet of feedback (Handout 5) is provided for your use.

  • You could take the activity further by asking groups to say how projects which were not ‘real citizenship’ could be adapted.

Handout 4: Is it real citizenship?

(Photocopy on to card and cut up)


Some students on a level 1 catering course at a college investigate the origins, prices and trade rules of agricultural products, such as coffee, tea and sugar. They organise a session on fair trade for other students at the college, carry out research on the internet and plan a role play. They book a speaker, obtain fair trade products and use the role play to help stimulate discussion. During a review of the activity, they identify what they have learned about the social, moral and ethical issues relating to trade.


Following a tragic road accident in which a fellow-student is killed, some sixth formers create a garden in her memory. They contact a local builder for advice and free building materials, and staff from a garden centre for help in garden design. They organise a collection in the school to pay for the materials and the plants, and spend their free time doing the work. When the garden is ready, they plan and run an opening event, at which they all say something about their friend and unveil a plaque to her memory.


Some apprentices on a level 3 engineering course hear about an earthquake in Asia. Volunteer engineers from a local company, at which the apprentices have worked, have offered to go to the stricken area to help in the aftermath by building new shelters for survivors. The apprentices collect money, through a raffle and car cleaning, to help fund two engineers to travel to the site of the earthquake, with specialist equipment. They raise £500 in a week and they present the cheque to the company, which matches the amount.


A district council wishes to consult young people on a new community plan. Members of a youth group plan a programme of consultation events about a range of local issues, for their peers They create a video of ‘vox pop’ clips which they use to stimulate discussion at the events. These events are also attended by representatives of the district council and the police. The young people at the events vote on aspects of the community plan, and the youth group produces a report for the district council.


A Society, Health and Development class in a college have been working with a residential home for older people. They have become friendly with the residents and are concerned at the lack of visitors and fun. They organise a tea party with entertainment. Some of the students organise the food, some make decorations and the rest prepare the entertainment, including community singing, a dance performance, a short play and a quiz. The party is a great success and the residents thank them, noting how the event has changed their views of younger people.

Write your own

Handout 5: Feedback
Case study A

Yes, this is a good example of a project in which the students find out about some citizenship issues relevant to their own area of vocational study. Fair trade is a good example of a global issue. The students also undertake some action to raise the awareness of other students.

Case study B

No, as it stands, this valuable project is not citizenship. It involves no understanding about the public policy issues involved, nor any action by students which might improve the current situation. To make it citizenship, students would need to investigate the circumstances of the accident, and find out whether a change in policy could prevent future accidents. Should there be a reduction in the speed limit at the accident site? Is new signage required? Was one of the drivers using a mobile phone? The students could, perhaps, run a campaign to bring about increased awareness or a change in by-laws.

Case study C

No. This is a worthwhile fundraising exercise, but is not citizenship because it provides no opportunity for young people to learn more about public policy. It could become citizenship if the trainees investigated whether the impact of the disaster affected people differentially, perhaps there were queries about the quality of the buildings at the earthquake site, or there may have been a slow response by the nation’s government. Young people could, perhaps, investigate the possibility of a ‘rapid response’ force, funded by the United Nations, to take urgent action when natural disasters occur.

Case study D

Yes, this is a good example of active citizenship in that the young people engage in a consultation exercise with their peers on matters of local policy, and they draw up a report of young people’s views for the local council.

Case study E

As described, this is not a citizenship project. However, it would be if, in the rest of their course, the young people learned about public policy on care of older people. They could investigate the range of local provision for older people, including the funding of such provision and the rules about who pays. They could compare provision in this country with others, and the reasons for the differences. The learners could discuss why there appears to be little understanding or contact between old the generations, and take some action to raise awareness among other young people of age stereotypes.

Activity 5: Mind Gym

  • To warm up participants after a break through an activity involving argument.

  • To demonstrate an active learning technique that can be used with learners.


  • In this activity, participants work in threes (use slide 7). The aim of the activity is to re-energise them after lunch, but the context is using the skills of arguing to make the case for the introduction of citizenship into their institution.

  • Participants take on one of three roles: Arguer, Counter-arguer and Observer.

  • Cards copied and cut up from Handout 6 are placed on the table face down. The Arguer picks up a card and reads it to the Counter-arguer, who has to quickly make a counter argument and to give a reason. The observer scores this as follows: one point for a relevant point, two points for a reason to support that point. The Arguer replies with additional points and reasons to support the case he/she is making.

  • Roles now switch the new Arguer picks up the next card and the game continues until each of the three has had two turns.

  • The activity does not need de-briefing, since its purpose is to have fun and wake people up for the afternoon.

(see also For the sake of argument. Discussion and debating skills in citizenship, QIA 2006)

Handout 6: Why do we need citizenship here?

(Photocopy on to card and cut up)

  1. There is no space in the already overcrowded curriculum in this college for citizenship

  1. The students will resent any additional programme that gets in the way of their examination classes

  1. If we allow students to undertake community projects, any problems that arise may get into the local press and bring bad publicity for the college

  1. Staff will be uncomfortable teaching a subject that they are not familiar with. They will be particularly wary of touching on controversy in case conflicts occur in the classroom

  1. We already have enough new initiatives that we are expected to implement: learner voice, personalisation, personal learning and thinking skills. We are suffering from initiative overload

  1. Citizenship may have a place for the students working at levels 1 and 2, but there is no need for students working at level 3, since they are already aware of their rights and responsibilities

Activity 6: Mapping existing citizenship activities


  • To produce a curriculum map of existing citizenship activities against key features of citizenship.


  • This activity is a follow-up from the ‘what is citizenship? ‘session. Participants will be put into groups of three or four, preferably from the same subject specific area (most schools and colleges asks teachers from a variety of backgrounds to teach citizenship: music, PE, science etc). You can use slides 8-16 to provide background on the principles of active citizenship.

  • Distribute handouts 7 and 8. Handout 7 is the mapping grid; in order to complete this grid participants need to be reminded of the key features of active citizenship - contained in handout 8.

  • Ask them to think about what sorts of activities are taking place within their department and to write them down in the first column of the grid. Then examine the activities one by one by looking at the key features of active citizenship and ticking the boxes if they meet the criteria. This will give them chance to think about active citizenship and the type of events they can use to deliver the specification.

  • Ask each group to give feedback on the examples.

  • The outcome of this activity can be used in the planning session.

Handout 7: Citizenship activity mapping grid

Citizenship activity

Active learning

Community involvement

Youth-led activity

Real topical and controversial issues

Handout 8: Key Features of Active Citizenship

  1. Active learning

    • Opposite of passive learning

    • Learner’s own involvement in the process of gaining, and in the construction of, knowledge

    • Involves new experiences (doing and observing)

    • Involves dialogue (with self and others)

    • Requires interaction with others

    • NOT necessarily ‘physical movement’, but active brain engagement with the issues

    • It involves good briefing and de-briefing to clarify learning


Individual engagement with material / Paired discussion work:

Quick thinks, case studies, card sorts
Small group interactions: In trays, Working to a brief, Design and make, Role Play

Large group exploratory activities: Simulations, games and Investigations

b) Community involvement

Examples of community involvement:
Environmental projects


Youth forums

Intergenerational activities

School and college linking

Events such as conferences, consultations, seminars

Good practice:

    • Working with community partners is central, but there are important principles to bear in mind:

        • Clear purpose and timeline

        • Negotiated responsibilities

        • Health and safety/CRB checks

    • Young people need support, while allowing them autonomy. Senior staff at the college will need to know about the work going on

    • The planning stage is very important, so that students are clear about what they are trying to achieve and how

    • It is important to review learning and extent of success

c) Youth-led action

  • Facilitators should support youth-led projects while not taking over

  • It is important to involve everyone and not just a vocal minority

  • Everyone should have a role and feel valued

  • The young people will need training in the skills required

  • People should work to their strengths, while also pushing themselves to try out more challenging activities (e.g. chairing meetings)

  • Time will be needed at the end for reflection and review

  • Celebrations of achievement and recognition from senior staff are important

d) Real, topical and controversial issues:

  • Young people should select real issues of interest to them to investigate and take action on

  • Controversy should not be avoided

  • Students and staff need training in how to deal sensitively with controversial issues

(See ‘Agree to disagree: Citizenship and controversial issues’, LSIS, 2009)

Activity 7: Case studies

  • To understand the m ain features of citizenship education.

  • To learn about case studies of interesting citizenship practice in different post-16 settings.


  • This activity follows a brief input and explanation on the four key features of citizenship education, namely: active learning, youth-led projects, community involvement, and engaging with real topical and controversial issues.

  • Divide the whole group in half and give one half the case studies on Handouts 9-11 and the other half those on Handouts 12-14.

  • Participants work in pairs and discuss the extent to which the example of the approach described involves the key principles.

  • After 45 minutes, the pairs split up and each person joins up with someone from the other half of the group, so that between them they have looked at all the approaches.

  • The new pairs join up to form fours for the next activity.

Handout 9: Case study 1

City and Islington College – citizenship through enrichment
In a pilot project at City and Islington Sixth Form College, all citizenship activities took place outside the classroom with students’ involvement in enrichment activity undertaken on a voluntary basis, additional to their academic timetable.
Citizenship activity was supported by a full-time youth worker who could support and facilitate projects flexibly without being tied to a rigid teaching timetable. This approach helped towards the flexibility and variety of projects that emerged and the students’ strong sense of ownership. There was a major emphasis on student initiative and involvement in all the work undertaken. Activities carried out during the year included:

  • International Women’s Day: students worked with the youth worker to devise a programme for a college event and contributed some items, for example, a talk on homeless women, some music performances

  • Question Time: students worked with teachers in enrichment time to plan and stage a question time with the finalists going through to a national BBC competition

  • Islamic Awareness Week: students joined a working group to plan a programme of talks and performances

  • Black History Month: students devised and staged an evening fashion show exploring African-Caribbean identity and cross-cultural influences

A particularly successful activity at the college was the Citizenship Through Music project. Here a group of students who had learned about elections and voting, and ways in which voters can communicate with politicians, wanted to express their views to local politicians during the general election campaign of May 2005. The group already had a keen interest in music. They had written beats and backing tracks, developed lyrics, and produced, recorded and performed their own songs. They decided, with the support of the youth worker, to use the medium of music to express their views on a range of local and national issues.

Over a period of three months, the students planned and carried out their project. Their project plan included budgeting and developing a timeline for the various tasks to be performed. This included the creation of the music and lyrics, production and recording of the music on to a CD, and the organisation of a launch event at which the songs would be performed to an invited audience. During the project activity, the facilitator put students into small groups and distributed press cuttings and photographs to help them select the topics that would feature in their songs. Students investigated issues that interested them and worked together to write the lyrics that expressed their views on the issues. Backing tracks and beats were developed with support from the technicians at a music studio. The music was recorded on to CD.
The launch event was planned and run by the students. They negotiated the use of college facilities and arranged for refreshments to be available. They decided on their guest list, put out invitations and publicised the event inside college. The five songs were entitled ‘It Ain’t No Game’, ‘Our World’, ‘People of Today’, ‘Join Together’ and ‘Wanna Make a Difference’. Following the event, the students performed on a number of occasions and some were involved in training other interested students.

Handout 10: Case study 2

Richmond Upon Thames College: citizenship through group tutorial

At Richmond Upon Thames College, a pilot programme delivered citizenship learning across 15 tutor groups working at different levels.

The college identified a coordinator for citizenship, who planned a programme of citizenship activities to complement the pastoral activities being undertaken at a given time. For example, when learners joined the college, as part of induction, a module was offered in group tutorial time which encouraged them to think critically about being part of the college community and to investigate concepts of identity, diversity and community through practical activities chosen by the students themselves. One tutor group chose to investigate the self-separation of different ethnic groups across the college’s social and catering areas. The group interviewed fellow students about the perceived problem and they made a video of their findings which they presented to the senior management team, with suggestions for improving the overall sense of community within the college.
In their second term, students were involved in a variety of activities focusing on political literacy, within the broad theme of ‘making a difference’. Part of this work was based on the student union elections. Active teaching and learning methods were used and students discussed democracy, voting, representation, the importance of having a voice and, more specifically, the function of the students’ union and the roles played by members of the executive group.
For those groups of students who were applying to university, a third module examined some of the political issues surrounding higher education. Four tutor groups came together to take part in a specially written network simulation exercise exploring the controversial issue of student loans and the funding of higher education.
Students were also offered community involvement places, linked to their citizenship learning and carried out during timetabled enrichment sessions.
Each tutor working on the pilot programme was allocated an additional hour for planning meetings and staff training. The broad outline of the programme was devised by the staff involved at the start of the year, but there were also opportunities for tutors to negotiate the particular focus for the work with the students in each group.
Handout 11: Case study 3:

City College Norwich: citizenship and learner voice
Student Representation is a guiding principle at City College Norwich (CCN) and permeates the College at every level. Since September 2004, when the Students’ Union was ‘re-launched,’ the Union has worked continuously to ensure that students are both aware of their rights and committed to their responsibilities. During 2006/2007 the College invested £66,000 in the Students’ Union to support its continued growth and development. Two students also sit on the Board of Governors.
The Students’ Union

The Students’ Union at CCN is democratically run by students. Its aim is to act on behalf of all students from across the College, on any issue. The Union has two full-time sabbatical posts for a President and Vice-President and also a permanent post for an Administrator. The role of the Administrator ensures that continuity is present from year to year. At the start of the academic year students from the Executive Committee visit the new intake of learners and give induction talks explaining the work of the Students’ Union and encourage new students to join the NUS and participate in Union activities.

Class representatives

Every tutor group elects two class representatives who will attend their School Council Meeting, which meets twice a term. Class representatives will take any issues which are affecting students in their class to the School Council or to their course review. Each School Council elects two students to the Student Parliament, which considers cross college issues, and one student to bring up course related issues at meetings of the Faculty Board.

Student Parliament

A cross-section of the College meets in the Student Parliament to discuss all issues that are affecting students at College. Class representatives from the student council feed into School Boards (each school within the college has a board) which meet four times a year. At the first school board meetings students are elected onto to the Student Parliament. The Principal and other members of the Senior Management Executive regularly attend Student Parliament to hear views and feedback information. Student Parliament is the decision-making body of the Students’ Union and elects students to sit on the Board of Governors and to attend NUS conferences.

Training, citizenship learning and accreditation

The Student Union offers training to all class representatives, members of the Executive Committee and Student Parliament. The nature of the representative role and ‘sorting out student problems’ are regular themes and are included in all training events. The College offers learners the opportunity to gain a variety of Citizenship-related qualifications with the National Open College Network (NOCN). These are short courses designed particularly to support and extend the citizenship learning of students who take on representative and other voluntary roles in the college and the wider community. The courses form part of the overall Enrichment Programme in the college.

Handout 12: Case study 4

Croydon College: a citizenship event
At Croydon College, students worked with a local school to examine matters of concern to young people. As a result of the success of the initial conference, members of the local borough council asked the students to run a borough-wide event, for all local schools, entitled: Street Issues – play your part’. The event had three aims:

  • to enable young people to work together across the borough

  • for college students to run informative workshops to promote discussion on matters of concern to the young people of Croydon

  • to provide opportunities for local young people to sign up to action to bring about change

The college students planned and organised the conference, working in small groups, with the support of the Head of Enrichment. The groups took responsibility for difference aspects of the conference: workshop planning, marketing, organising refreshments. The marketing group involved a group of graphic design students, asking them to produce a logo, poster and T-shirts based on the title of the event. The event itself was managed and hosted by the students, who contributed the opening and closing speeches as well as running workshops.

150 students from 15 local schools and colleges attended the event, each receiving a specially-prepared delegate pack. The delegates reflected the ethnic and social mix of the area, and as such, mirrored the situation in most London boroughs.
Speakers included Heidi Watson, Chief Executive of the Damilola Taylor Trust, who invited the schools and colleges to create a pledge board for students to sign an anti-knife pledge. The message was reinforced by a workshop run by Ahmet Kara-Kashli, out of prison for the day, speaking passionately from personal experience, about the devastating consequences of carrying a knife.
The impact of crime upon young people was highlighted in the ‘Stop and Search’ workshop, which gave students the opportunity to express their sometimes strong feelings to police officers on Operation Trident, which was set up to bring to an end shootings among young black Londoners.
The Head of Community Protection for Croydon and the Divisional Director of Public Protection asked to speak at the end of the conference. They invited delegates to play a leading role in a safer borough campaign, to have the same name as the conference. Delegates were also invited to attend ward meetings where their voices could influence key decisions, and to participate as volunteers for the Victim Support Service, another workshop topic.
The event has also resulted in college students being involved in running focus groups is the area, and helping to train young people who have turned their lives around to visit primary and secondary schools.
Handout 13: Case study 5

Warwickshire College: citizenship through a qualification

Warwickshire College piloted the AQA, Level 3 Extended Project with students studying the BTEC First Diploma in Media (Level 2). The First Diploma is a Level 2 qualification of 360 guided learning hours that has been designed to prepare learners for employment and/or career development. It offers opportunities to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in working life.

The qualification consists of:

  • three core units: introduction to Media industries; Research for media production; Introduction to media audiences and products

  • four specialist units from a choice of 14 units.

The core units provide learners with opportunities to:

  • develop the fundamental research skills which underlie all media production

  • gain a basic understanding of employment opportunities, job requirements, and working practices in the media industry

  • develop an understanding of how media products are constructed for specific audiences or markets.

The learners’ brief for the Extended Project was to make a five minute documentary on their chosen subject, then produce a 1000 word report. The aim was to use the finished productions to show the various ways in which the students’ research findings can be promoted within the local community. A Citizenship Baseline Activity (from LSN) was used to prompt discussion on citizenship activities they had undertaken prior to starting the Media course. The aim of this discussion was to help ensure they understood what was meant by active citizenship.

The students chose a range of citizenship issues which were of importance to them: e.g. obesity, recycling, crime in Warwick, Graffiti- is it art?
They identified areas of their chosen subject which needed more information, with some going to the local council and local police station. Others talked to canteen managers about the healthy eating policies. All of these sessions were filmed, to be used in their documentaries.
Ideas were developed through research via the internet, newspapers, magazines and books. They had to link these into areas of citizenship and identify how the subjects chosen could make a positive change to themselves or the local community.
The students were also encouraged to develop Personal Learning and Thinking Skills through this activity and asked to identify their current skills and those of relevance to citizenship.
Handout 14: Case study 6

Aylesbury College: citizenship through performance
Aylesbury College offers programmes for learners with difficulties and/or disabilities, entitled Pathways Programmes, and the four special schools in the area are feeders for these programmes.
A citizenship programme, run by the citizenship coordinator, is part of the college provision for students with learning difficulties. His first and second year groups meet over a two and a half day period every week, during which time he provides activities which enable the students to collect evidence for the OCR Citizenship Studies Entry level (3) certificate.
The course is based around the OCR Citizenship Studies Entry level (3) certificate, which consists of four units:

Unit 1: Rights and responsibilities

Unit 2: Identifying communities and participating in community activities

Unit 3: Participating in decision-making and recognising the role of government

Unit 4: Recognising the individual as a world citizen

The course is integrated, so that learning is built across all of the different components of the programme. Students study Units 1 and 2 during the first year of the programme, and Units 3 and 4 during the second year. All teaching and learning is highly interactive and includes role play, card games, visits and speakers. The college has a number of close working partnerships with outside organisations, who are involved at different places in the programme: Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury Youth Action, Harding House School 6th Form Special Needs Unit, Park School, the Limelight Theatre and Aylesbury Development Education Centre (ADEC).

The course integrates a number of approaches including, art, music, drama and dance and it culminates with a show at the end of each year. A dance teacher from a partner special school works with the tutor and the students on Friday mornings at a local theatre.
The performance is the highlight of the year, and provides an opportunity for students to celebrate their citizenship learning, as well as their skills in art & design and performance. Students on the college course work with staff and younger students from Park School in preparing and performing the show. The show is staged at a local community theatre and consists of various performance arts: dance, drama and puppetry. The themes tackled in the performance are often hard-hitting, and the drama sketches are developed using structured improvisation in advance with the students. The themes have included war, racism, pollution, fair trade, domestic violence, and treatment of teenagers. Dance routines are developed by the staff at Park School. The proceeds from the sale of tickets for the annual event help cover costs. Donations also go to an African orphanage.
Activity 8: Mapping citizenship resources

  • To enable participants to review curriculum resources produced by the Post-16 Citizenship Support programme and their suitability for the AS AQA specification.


  • This activity allows participants to look at the LSIS learning resources and familiarise themselves with the materials. The trainer must order the resources in advance or have copies of the resources for the session or download and copy these from the Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme website. This activity only focuses on Unit 1 and Unit 2. Participants can expand this activity in their own time to utilise all resources for the whole four units.

  • Divide the group into threes or fours; give them copies of three resources from the LSIS/LSN post-16 citizenship site. Ask them to evaluate the resources and consider how they would use them.

  • Then direct them to the LSIS Excellence Gateway to download the material titled: ‘Using resources from the Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme for Units1 and 2 of the AQA specification’. This material provides a good overview of the learning resources and how they can be used for teaching AS/A level citizenship.

Handout 15: The Specification at a glance

AS Level Unit 1: Identity, Rights and Responsibilities

Key Questions and issues

  • What is a citizen? What does it mean to be British? How socially diverse is Britain?

  • Are we all equal citizens? Dealing with prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage.

  • What are my responsibilities and rights, and how are they supported?

This unit makes up 40% of the AS and 20% of the A level. Assessment is by a 1 hour 15 minute examination paper with source-based and mini-essay questions.

AS Level Unit 2: Democracy, Active Citizenship and Participation

Key Questions and issues

  • Who can make a difference? Who holds power in the UK? The citizen and political power.

  • How can I make a difference? Getting involved and working together to bring about change; becoming an informed, participating and active citizen.

Unit 2 comprises 60% of the AS and 30% of the A level. The 1 hour 30 minute examination paper includes a source-based question, a mini-essay and a structured question on active citizenship participation. Students bring their Active Citizenship Profile into the exam to use as source material.

A Level Unit 3: Power and Justice

Key Questions and issues

  • What is crime? The roles of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

  • What is justice? Judicial processes.

  • Who speaks on our behalf? Elections, representatives and citizens.

  • How is the UK governed?

Unit 3 makes up 25% of the A level. The 1 hour 30 minutes examination paper contains structured questions in two sections.

A Level Unit 4: Global Issues and Making a Difference

Key Questions and issues

  • Global Citizenship: universal human rights; conflict and its resolution; trade and environmental issues.

  • Active Citizenship: individuals and groups that make a difference (study of a pre-released topic – see below).

Unit 4 makes up 25% of the A level and has a 1 hour 30 minute examination paper. This contains structured questions plus a source-based question on an active citizenship topic. The topic for each year, which may relate to any section(s) of the course, will be pre-released to enable students to undertake research on the background to the issues involved, the nature and roles of key players, and how change may be brought about to resolve issues.

Activity 9: Self-assessment, review and development
For a comprehensive approach to self-assessment, review and development

of post-16 citizenship within an organisation see:

Creating a citizenship-rich organisation: an e-toolkit
This toolkit aims to help you assess the provision of citizenship education across your whole organisation. It provides you with self-assessment tools which give you feedback on your strengths and areas for improvement. Where you wish to develop your provision, making the organisation 'citizenship-rich', it supplies information, suggestions and links to other guidance on the Post-16 citizenship website.

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