Now that citizenship has been included in the national curriculum handbook, albeit as non-statutory guidelines, there is an urgent need for high quality resource material. These publications provide teachers with the tools they need to explore a range of issues in depth.
The teacher's book offers notes on 13 themes including helping, debating, voting, and caring for the environment. Each is presented with aims, key questions, a range of activities and "watch points".
Cross-reference is made to the national curriculum and to the 1998 Crick Report, Education for Citizenship and the Teaching of Democracy in Schools. The notes are well supported by wonderful colour photos in the big flip-over book, and together the two elements of this resource make the package a delight to use.
All children love debates, but for many hard-pressed teachers, the development of debating skills can be a challenge too far. The teacher's book offers a way forward, using thephotos as the starting point. The structure of the unit means the debate is likely to be well under way before the children or the teacher have any cause to worry. The activities are well differentiated, ranging from an unstructured whole-class discussion, used to demonstrate the need for controlled debate, through to making connections with Parliamentary debates.
The teacher's resource book contains useful photocopiable pages including a clear description of sign language, which could be used in other curriculum areas. In addition, a great deal of care has been given in providing lists of useful information, including an extensive list of addresses for further resources.
It is heartening to note that the resource is also available for KS2, and includes teacher's resource books for Years 3-4 and Years 5-6 , along with a related photo pack.
This resource will enable schools to address issues of citizenship with confidence, in a positive and meaningful framework. It is well worth the investment.
Steve Blackman is head of Great Alne primary school , Warwickshire