Scheme for citizenship

A "flexible resource that teachers can dip into" is how a Qualifications and Curriculum Authority spokeswoman described the citizenship scheme of work that was sent into every primary school at the end of last term, writes Adam Jezard.

The optional framework was tested by some 25 teachers to make sure the materials would work in the class and the community, and that they would link through to other curriculum areas, such as the early learning goals and PSHE. Citizenship is not a mandatory subject in primary schools, although it is in secondaries.

"Traditionally, primary schools have done very well in this area, and we wanted to draw on good practice," the spokeswoman said. The scheme also acts as a reference point for secondaries that lets them know their pupils are not starting from scratch in this subject.

The guidance contains a list of suggested resources for each unit. These include website links to organisations and charities that publish online resources, such as the RSPCA and the RSPB. These can be accessed via the QCA website.

"Many printed resources quickly go out of date," the QCA spokeswoman said. "We felt it would be better to give web links to non-commercial organisations that regularly update and review their online resources as an additional aid for teachers."

As well as a teacher's guide, which contains a suggested framework for whole-school planning and auditing of the subject, an additional booklet suggests how opportunities can be developed for children to participate in activities both in school and in the wider community. The 12 units look at issues ranging from animal care to the transition to secondary school.

www.standards.dfes.gov.ukschemes

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