Tags: Case study | Citizenship and PSHE | Classroom Teacher | Developing Citizenship Project | Disability | Equality | PSHE & Citizenship Coordinator | Teaching & Learning Coordinator
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Citizenship Days for Years 7,8 and 9 focused on the global economy, the environment, disability and challenging stereotypes.

This activity related to: 

  • Curriculum change – in the sense that these days will become a regular part of the curriculum. 

  • Student participation – pupils actively taking part in a variety of experiences.

 The work made an impact on:

  • The whole school display area. Large displays in both buildings showing that diversity and global citizenship matter.

  • The art and music department, which developed global awareness.

  • The RE and English departments, because the posters produced show different religions and concepts.

  • The science department, which examined ideas of global sustainability and interdependence.

  • PSHE/Citizenship – which showed that this is fun, lively and relevant !

Challenges included:

  • Obtaining suitable addresses and contacts with reliable agencies that could provide and support the work of citizenship in school.

  • The lack of return of evaluation forms for monitoring and feedback.

  • The lack of return of resources.

The planning for this was complex! It involved:

  1. Deciding the aims of the days for the different year groups. 

  2. Gaining support from individuals in and outside school to take responsibility and run certain workshops.

  3. Organising a timetable of staffing, events, rooms, and groups.

  4. Planning a training event prior to event for all involved in order to familiarise with resources and make necessary preparations.

  5. Sending a letter to parents informing them of aims of the day.

  6. Devising a certificate and evaluation form for pupils and adults.

  7. Writing a press release. 

Year 7 aim: To explore the process of trade in the global economy and understand how each individual can influence local and world markets

The day opened with a special assembly by representatives from the Cheshire Development Education Centre. The pupils were led by their tutors in a range of activities exploring the concept particularly of fair trade. This involved a chocolate trade game, (from Christian Aid), chocolate tasting, (double) poster analysis, video, (Fair Trade from Planet Earth and Nuts) and individual action projects.

Year 8 aim: To celebrate diversity and challenge stereotypes – case study on refugees

The day was led by Hartford High School specialist teams and outside agencies. Pupils visited four exciting different workshops – refugees, run by Save the Children, Indian art by the art department and using Indian art blocks from CDEC, challenging stereotypes workshop using ideas from CDEC and Samba music organised by the music department and led by a local artist.

Year 9 aim: To challenge pupils to take action on issues concerning the environment and disability

The pupils spent half a day participating in activities linked to water, pollution and the environment. This was organised and led by science department. The second work shop was organised by the PE department and led by professional sport personalities from the disability sport association and included activities such as disability football and wheelchair basketball.

All pupils completed a self-evaluation record and received a certificate. Members of the school governing team and local community groups also supported tutor groups with activities. 

Achievements

Pupils were actively engaged in all the workshops and developed their knowledge and understanding of global issues in an exciting, fun way.

Comments on evaluation forms were very positive. One boy wrote that the day was the best day of his education ever!  

Year 9 learned how disabled athletes can do a variety of things and their views to challenge inequalities and injustice were confronted. They also explored the differences between bottle and tap water, the use of plastic and their local environment and how to take care of the environment. The issues of sustainability were carefully examined.

Year 8 learned that diversity was fun and that refugees had many problems.

Year 7 want to know where to buy fair trade products, are keen to maintain Fair Trade status in school. They had great fun playing the trade game and developing skills of empathy and critical thinking. Commitment to the idea that individuals can make a difference was developed. 

Staff commented that it was a great day, enjoyed spending time with their tutor groups but they were tired!

Various community groups and governors were involved; this enhanced relationships. Press release increased status for events in community. 

Areas of the citizenship curriculum addressed:

KS3 1a: the legal and human rights underpinning society.

1b: the diversity of national regional and ethnic identities in the UK.

KS31f: the work of community- based, national and international voluntary groups.

KS31g: the importance of resolving conflict fairly.

KS3 1h: the importance of the media in society.

KS3 1i: the world as a global community.

KS3 2b: Justify in writing and orally a personal opinion

KS4 1e: how the economy functions, including the role of business.

KS4 1f: the opportunities for individuals and voluntary groups to bring about change

KS4 1h: the rights and responsibilities of consumers, employers and employees

KS4 1j: the wider issues and challenges of global interdependence and responsibility

Ks4 2a: pupils to research a topical issue.

KS4 2b: express and justify opinions

KS3 2c: and KS4 2b and 2c contribute to group and exploratory class discussions and take part in debates

KS3 3ac and kS4a, to consider other peoples experiences

KS3 3b and KS4b negotiate and take part responsibly in both school and community debates

KS3 3c KS4c: reflect on the process of participating .

The Citizenship Days illustrated the global dimension in the following ways:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Social justice and diversity
  • Diversity
  • Globalization and interdependence
  • Sustainability development

Skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Ability to ague effectively
  • Ability to challenge injustice and inequalities
  • Respect for people and things
  • Co-operation and conflict resolution

Values and attitudes

  • Sense of identity and self- esteem
  • Empathy
  • Commitment to social justice and diversity
  • Value and respect for diversity
  • Concern for the environment and commitment to sustainable development
  • Belief that people can make a difference

The Citizenship Days contributed to a broader ‘ideal’ of education in the school in the following ways:

Pupils engaged in a variety of active learning experiences thus engaging and motivating pupils with a variety of learning styles.

A variety of adults and pupils worked together and developed respect, cooperation and understanding of each other.

Participants realised that positive and caring attitudes towards diversity, sustainability and global interdependence are central to education, and that pupils fit for the world need to show commitment and have the belief that they can make a difference.

Lasting benefits

Pupils gaining a belief that they can make a difference – campaigns of injustice, inequalities, Fair Trade, access to education and empathy for refugees. Pupils realising the global interdependence of the world and how they are responsible for it – i.e. in their use of water, attitudes towards the environment and political conflicts. Fair trade products brought by individuals, families and the school. Projects completed by the producers!  A memory that education is fun, and global education is important (pupils and staff!)

Lessons learnt

It is vital to gain commitment from various individuals to run workshops in such a complex day. This was helped by departments or individuals taking responsibility for certain areas and the use of outside organisations. I would like to have a list of good agencies that could be used. The CDEC was superb in providing ideas, support, resources and INSET. I would like all departments to be made to contribute to citizenship days by running a workshop themselves or organising an event. This would develop more ownership, provide a wealth of opportunities and take the strain way from the leader!

Only 9 evaluation forms from adults were received, and these mostly from visitors! Perhaps a task for a staff meeting? Year 7 evaluation forms were scheduled to complete on the day, Year 8 and 9 should have been also as there were few sets returned for monitoring.

The work shops could have been longer to enable pupils to develop deeper learning experiences. This was a comment from staff and pupils! Perhaps 2 days together?

Reusable resources were not returned – despite sending round for them later. On the day itself it would have been better to collect them in, label each set with name and make this clear from the outset.

This work © Oxfam GB, Save the Children UK and UNICEF (UK), 2007. Part of the Developing Citizenship project.

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