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Citizenship Course Information

Citizenship Education was anticipated in 1988 by the Education Act of the year. Eleven years later, it was seen as a subject in its own right, as an integral part to the preparation of students for full predication as adults in a democratic and global society.

In 1999 ICD became part of a Social, Civic and Political Education Project. It was a joint venture between the University of Ulster, CCEA and the Citizenship Foundation. It aimed to prepare young people for participation in:

  • a culturally diverse and inclusive society (social values)
  • a fair and safe society (civic values)
  • a democratic society (political values)
  • in a local, national, european and global context.

Having participated in this pilot, Citizenship was introduced into the curriculum in September 2002. It was advantageous to have had experience with the pilot and therefore it was not uncharted territory.

At ICD there are three strands which students have investigated within KSIII.

Year 8 – Human Rights

Year 9 – Equality and Justice

Year 10 - Democracy

Citizenship promotes discussion about what it means to be a global citizen in a world which is riven with contradiction and constant upheaval. It also raises complex questions about our Human Rights, duties and the role of the individual in our fast changing society. The ‘Equality and Justice’ theme builds upon the themes of Diversity and Inclusion and examines issues such as fairness, inequality, poverty and inclusion. Included are activities in which pupils are invited to look at our world through the eyes of others. It also aims to help future citizens distinguish between law and justice.

At KSIV ICD has embraced the new ‘Learning for Life and Work’ GCSE. It is a qualification where learners will be geared for Life Long Learning and work in dynamic and competitive markets – wherever they may choose to live and work.

Recently, as young Citizens at ICD we embraced the BT Citizenship Challenge where, if we entered a competition and were successful, we would gain £2,000. The Citizenship Department and the Geography Department worked together on this challenge and in April 2005 we achieved this award. The College called the initiative “A Small Voice, a Big Say.” Selected senior students in the school are part of a buddy system set up within the College where they facilitate befriending some Year 8 students who are finding it hard to adjust to their new College life.

In order for the buddy system to get up and running the buddy scheme idea was put forward to the Student Council. They met and discussed strategies on how to move the buddy scheme forward. It was decided that the ‘Social Action Committee’ in sixth form should undertake the responsibility for it. They would organise buddies for the year 8 students. At the next Student Council meeting the Social Action Committee members will report how the buddy scheme is going. In order to choose who the buddies will be, Pastoral Care Co-ordinator and the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) met initially to discuss the five students in year 8 who would benefit the most from this scheme. They then met with the Social Action Committee and discussed the strategies they would involve within the scheme. It was decided that it would be kept as discreet as possible.

Students are to use the outdoor picnic seats and tables purchased by the BT Schools Award as their meeting point. It will be kept as informal as possible. However, it is hoped that when an initial friendship has been created students will be confident to confide with their older buddies. Hopefully, the additional money which will be used for gardening equipment for the green house and school grounds will help to provide a comfortable and relaxed environment for the students to meet in the mornings, at break time and at lunch time.

Janice Vennard (Head of Citizenship)