Through Citizenship Studies, at The Duston School, we aim to provide our students with the knowledge and skills to play a full and active role in society. In our curriculum we aim to provide an opportunity for our students to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the principles and values of British society, to explore how political power is devolved in the UK, and to examine the role that the UK plays in key international organisations. We also aim to develop our students’ knowledge and understanding of the role of law and justice in our society, how laws are created and the processes that are then enacted to ensure that the laws are enforced.
As part of our provision of Citizenship Studies in KS3 we organise for local groups, such as The Hope Centre, to visit our school and speak with our students about the work that they do to support and enrichen our local community. We feel that providing our students with the opportunity to hear directly from groups such as the Hope Centre will assist our students in understanding the role that local charities can play in supporting community cohesion, and in improving the lives for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We also provide our students in KS3 with the opportunity to take part in The County Schools Challenge initiative each year. This initiative aims to educate students about important social issues such as knife-crime, tackling hate-crime and keeping safe on-line. The programme of study then focuses upon challenging our students to think of solutions to improve the anti-social problems that exist in society, and in addition to enrichening their knowledge in this subject area, through the process of learning whilst completing this challenge our students develop invaluable skills in working as an effective team, learning to budget and conduct research, and to present their ideas to an audience in an engaging and impactful way. Throughout the course of KS3 all of our students take part in this programme of study, and it is seen as an integral part of their development to become responsible and effective active citizens that contribute positively to our society.
Year 8 students representing The Duston School at the County Schools Challenge Semi-final event staged at the Northamptonshire Police Headquarters at Wootton Hall .
The Citizenship Studies GCSE course, that some of our students have opted to study in KS4, provides the opportunity for our students to further develop their knowledge and explore key Citizenship areas of study. These include, ‘Principles and values in British society’, ‘The media and the free press’, The UK’s role in international organisations’, ‘Laws in contemporary society’, ‘Rights and responsibilities within the legal system’, ‘How laws protect the citizen and deal with criminals’, ‘Universal human rights’, ‘Bringing about change in the legal system’, ‘Political power in the UK’, ‘Local and devolved government’, and ‘Bringing about political change’. This programme of study also provides an opportunity for our students to gain an insight into different case studies that demonstrate how different individuals and groups have successfully been active citizens in UK society, and have contributed to positive changes in legislation that upholds human rights and freedoms. Furthermore, it enables our students to develop their active citizenship skills in researching and promoting a campaign issue that will be shared within the wider school community.