Heinemann have produced a stunning set of resources to cover the key stage 3 citizenship curriculum. The team of writers is to be congratulated on a most comprehensive piece of work. The three student books (Citizenship in Action 1, 2 and 3) each cover six topics, and form a coherent curriculum, building year on year.
A plethora of cartoons, photographs, illustrations, diagrams and charts, all in full colour, support a readable text that is written in an informed but chatty style that will hold 11 to 14-year-olds' attention. These materials are more sophisticated than many and will stretch and stimulate the able. They will very effectively support a full citizenship course, but could also be used flexibly in a more cross-curricular approach or within PSHE.
The resource pack is very professionally produced and offers brief guidance on using the student books, supported by a range of useful photocopiable activity sheets, all available on pdf files on CD-Rom.
The student books are of a uniformly high standard and include a good range of activities, with extension work to ensure full student engagement. The unit on human rights in Book 2 is particularly impressive. It systematically develops its theme with a richness of content and case studies. Building on a clear set of thorough definitions, it uses the historical examples of Anne Frank and the Nazi state; covers the United Nations, the European Convention on Human Rights and the 1998 Human Rights Act; debates refugees and asylum seeking in the context of equal opportunities in Britain today; addresses victims' rights, children's rights, and bullying. It then gives a global context by reviewing genocide in Rwanda and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.
The chapter on school linking in Book 3 is also a most welcome addition. As more schools seek to root their global citizenship in links with schools overseas, often in developing countries, here is a curriculum development that explains the purpose of linking and ways in which it can be best nurtured and strengthened.
This is a fine set of resources. Schools that can afford to buy class sets will be well rewarded.
David Mansfield is headteacher of Southend High School for Girls