Teaching Citizenship journal/ Issue 49 / Summer 2019

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Active Citizenship and Social Action Learning citizenship through doing politics

Also in this edition: The pedagogy of protest, teaching news and current affairs, democracy, fashion and human rights. Issue No 49 Spring 2019

Journal of the Association for Citizenship Teaching www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk


A new vision for primary schools We believe the humanities play a key part in a broad and balanced school curriculum. They have a crucial role in helping children to: know more about the world and its people, explore the purpose and meaning of their lives, build their sense of identity and self-worth and develop the values that will help them to become active, inclusive and thoughful citizens.

Join in our campaign to restore the humanities – History, Geography, RE and Citizenship – to their rightful place in the primary curriculum. Find out more and sign the manifesto... YOUR VOICE COUNTS!

JOIN US www.humanities2020.org.uk Humanities2020

Contents Contents

Autumn 2013Spring 2019

Theme Editorial notes Peace Education Editorial notes 406 Editorial: Active Citizenship and Social Action These are interesting times. Editorial – Peace Education & Citizenship We have rather grandly conceived Hans Svennevig David Kerrthe theme 12 the citizenship education of thisWhilst edition and the previous one CND’s Anna Liddleand introduces 7 ‘Active citizenship’ in schools – empowering young people to act together (Issue 36) community has struggled in recent as our ‘War and Peace’ 07 Teaching Citizenship Special Editorial Liz Moorse yearsand to ensure the government collection our guest editor has Karl Sweeney gives Lee Jerome a vote of thanks 14 First Give commissioned a fascinating range acknowledges and supports our of 08 TheIsaac evolution of modern peace education... Jones articlescontribution to explore to Peace Education school life, we TheChanging progenitorcommunities: of Citizenship? by Charles Harlock and the connection to Citizenship. 16 recognising schools as sites of citizen transformation suddenly find active citizenship and 12 Peace-building through Peer Mediation Thankssocial to Anna from cnd, for Dan Firth actionLiddle, in the spotlight, rather Hagel & Ellis Brooks and create more peaceful schools the amazing job she has done and we 20 SaraCommunity Organising Schools unexpectedly as part of relationships hope you something here that 16 Testimony in the classroom Noelle Doona andfind sex education guidelines. At the inspires you to act. Clearly the tradiJackson howGirls survivor testimony 26 TomThe Tale o’ explains the Glasgow same time, students have declared tion ofstrike Peaceaction Education a particuto drawisattention to Euan Girvan enriches the experience of learning about conflict larly important one whilst we spend their concerns over global climate 28 TheAlegacy Refugee The Making of a Glasgow Girl 19 ofStory: the A-bomb the year ahead talking to young peocatastrophe, and Greta Thunberg Amal Azuddin Tatsuya Tateishi on the Hiroshima Peace Museum ple about War and Commemoration, has emerged as the unlikely 16 30 Glasgow Girls in the Classroom 20 Routes to Peace and Anna has pulled together a good year old leader of an international Claire Dunphy Diane Hawden on the Peace Museum UK range of perspectives. 24 movement. It is timely that this 32 Anti-racism in schools We also welcome back some 21 Coventry: City of Peace & Reconciliation edition focuses on that theme, and Kristina Hedges old friends to the journal. We have Balbir Sohal involves young people in peace projects Hans Svennevig and David Kerr 34 Peace Week the final news update from a major 24 Inspiring Global Citizens by ‘Connecting Classrooms’ explain more in the theme editorial. Isabel Cartwright research project from colleagues British Council’s Andrea Mason links with schools abroad In theannext edition (ourPete 50th) 38 LGSMigrants: No Human is Illegal in York, and update from 26 “Helpless, but not without hope” we will be focusing on economic Sam Björn Pattisson about his experiences in and world financial of citizenship IsraelSchools / Palestine by MattLGBT+ Jeziorski 42 Teaching Supporting to Become Inclusive 32 the wider ofaspects Citizenship. education. Our ambition in that There is also a timely update 28 Much Jacmore Bastianthan ‘statutory requirement’ edition be to clarifyLife and define from act andwill Democratic Gabbett & Mollie Edwards’ peaceful school 46 Chris A Life of Social Action

Lucinda Neall

Features & Research Features 31 Creating citizenship communities 50 From Protest to Pedagogy: Learning at the Gates of Greenham Young people’s place in society by Ian Davies et al Jo Jukes 32 Still at War? 52 Citizenship to Teach News and Current Affairs PeteRichard Pattisson Addisexplores Nepal’s conflicted, post-war education system 36 Curriculum Review Update Regulars ACT’s lobbying activities on the new curriculum by Lee Jerome 6 News 54 of The UK’s Changing Democracy ReviewsReview & Regulars Sera Shortland 37 Seen and Heard by Unicef; Truman on Trial by CND 56 Review of We Are Displaced Teaching resources reviewed by Lee Jerome and Balbir Sohal Helen Blachford 38 ACTually... there’s more to a curriculum than facts 57 Review of Critical Human Rights, Citizenship, and Democracy Education LeeClaire Jerome finds the draft programmes of study offensive Cassidy 58 Review of Fashion’s Dirty Secrets Design & Production Editor : Lionel Openshaw | Telephone +44 (0)7985 979 390 Email lionelopenshaw@me.com Emily Mitchell | Web www.openshaw.uk.net 59 Spotlight on Council Published by the Association for Citizenship Teaching, 63 Gee Street, London ec1v 3rs Email info@teachingcitizenship.org.uk Emily Mitchell | Telephone +44 (0)20 7253 0051 © 2019 Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) ISSN 1474-9335 No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission of the publisher. Teaching Citizenship is the official journal of ACT.

interesting intersections on thethe national curriculum andwhere political and economic education the ‘Actually…’ column focuses meet. If youand would likeneeds to offer on what’s wrong what case studies, reviews, or share to happen next. As we move out your of the campaign and into the thoughtsphase and experiences, then interpretation implementation please getand in touch. phase, act will be very active producing resources and providing Lee Jerome support to members. Please stay in l.jerome@mdx.ac.uk touch to let us know what you want and what you can help with. Cover photo Brisbane School Most Strike (flickr) importantly, share your thoughts on any aspect of the new curriculum Design Production Editor:next Grant Lucas that will be a& focus of the Telephone +44 (0)1386 750412 edition of the journal. We will make Email grant@magazineproduction.com space for a range of opinions on what Web www.magazineproduction.com we do with thisbycurriculum Published the Associationnext. for Citizenship Lee Jerome & Gavin Baldwin, Teaching, The Rain Cloud, 76 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PD Teaching Citizenship Editors info@teachingcitizenship.org.uk EmailEmail l.jerome@qub.ac.uk Telephone 07395 308 806 – or – g.baldwin@mdx.ac.uk

The views expressed in signed articles do not necessarily represent those of ACT, and we cannot accept responsibility for any products

or services advertised within the journal. Printed and distributed by Premier Print Group: www.premier printgroup.com.

Teaching Citizenship | 3 www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2013 / Issue 37 / Teaching Citizenship / 3


Active Citizenship and Social Action Hans Svennevig and David Kerr The overarching theme for this 49th edition of Teaching Citizenship is Active Citizenship and Social Action. This theme is fundamental to the teaching and learning of citizenship education and goes to the core of what being an effective citizen in society is all about. It touches on the crucial interrelationship between the learning and living components of Citizenship and the tricky balance as to how your head and your heart jointly govern your thoughts, emotions and actions as a citizen. That’s why we begin with a more personal touch. For Hans, Active Citizenship and Social Action are in his genes, as he notes: ‘My Mother recalls as a child (and still now as an adult) seeing my Grandmother at protests and hearing her sing protest songs. As a small boy I took part in a Big Sleep Out to raise awareness and funds for the fight against homelessness at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. I still have the poster. At a young age I knew that homelessness must be an overlooked mistake, something that would be quickly resolved. The hurt that little boy inside me feels when in 2019 homelessness is a bigger problem than ever is hard to put into words. I once asked a trainee teacher what they saw as the difference between active citizenship and social action, and they said ‘they both aim to do good things; social action is led by others to help others; active citizenship empowers generations to help everyone’. I thought that this statement encompasses what this edition of the journal is really about. From growing up around active citizenship and social action and enriching the lives of my students as a teacher (whether they be children, teenagers, adults, new or experienced teachers) I have had my ideas of active citizenship renewed through working on this edition of the journal. The challenge in our busy, frenetic lives is who/what to give time to – this edition of the journal has a range of exceptionally important themes to consider and we only touch the surface. You as teachers and readers have to make the choices about who to bring in to

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schools and colleges, what new and creative ideas to enrich your students’ thoughts and inform their actions. As teachers of Citizenship it is your role to facilitate, inspire and provide the skills for knowledge acquisition. Consider getting your students in their first active citizenship or social action to determine what it is that they want to explore. That is the most democratically empowering.’ For David, Active Citizenship and Social Action are one of the main reasons why he got involved with Citizenship in the first place. As he notes: ‘Starting out as a history teacher and teacher educator I was always concerned that my students and trainees did not see history as just being about the past but were able to take lessons to help inform their understanding of and action in their lives both now and in the future. Societies, past and present, have often been strengthened, despite the pain and turmoil at the time, where people have come together to demand and/or take action on political and social issues that matter to them. That’s why the ‘political literacy’ strand in the Crick Report, defined simply as ‘pupils learning about how to make themselves effective in public life through knowledge, skills and values’ is so profound a component of what effective Citizenship is about. Unpacking it takes you through the components of knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes, values and aptitudes that you require to be an informed, responsible and active citizen, able to take action individually as well as collectively with others. It cements the links between the ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ components of Citizenship and hopefully means the more you know the more you are able to do and the more you do the more you learn. This ongoing process helps to build the active and informed citizenry who are so crucial to protecting and strengthening our communities and society.’ Given these sentiments, it is a great pleasure, both professionally and personally, for us to introduce this selection of articles on active citizenship and social action. In this edition we reached out to a number

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Hans Svennevig and David Kerr Hans Svennevig is Academic Leader, Professional Studies at University Centre Croydon. He is also vice-chair of ACT Council and co-editor of the journal. David Kerr is Consultant Director of Education at Young Citizens and Head of ITT at the University of Reading. He is also a member of ACT Council and co-editor of the journal.

of those that we know have a strong commitment to this theme and asked if they could share some of their inspiring and empowering philosophy and practice. The time and effort that writers have put in to these pieces has been exemplary, show-casing the breadth and depth of active citizenship and social action that has been taking place with young and not so young people across the country. It is especially admirable and uplifting given the challenging times in which we live not just in the UK but more widely. One of the powerful impacts of such experiences is that it gives those involved, especially young people, efficacy - a sense that they have the power to try and change things in the world rather than just sit by and accept what is happening. This is very important in giving them increased confidence that they can make a positive difference and take more charge in a world of increasing uncertainty and rapid and continuing change. Liz Moorse sets the scene discussing the political and policy rationale for active citizenship and social action. Then we have a range of articles from First Give, Diversity Role Models, Quakers for Peace and Social Witness, and Show Racism the Red Card all demonstrating the work that you could do with students to empower their knowledge and opportunities for active citizenship and social action. The Glasgow Girls, Dan Firth, LGSMigrants, Noelle Doona and Lucinda Neall give opportunities for us as educators to think about how we can tap into community organising, using local people and projects to inspire campaigns for change – while considering a range of controversial issues to explore in the classroom – which link back to past editions of the journal (see issue 43 in particular). Our social action theme for this edition fills almost the entire journal. Outside of the theme we have two articles, one from The Day and exploring an idea of having a citizenship unit of study to explore the news – perhaps we can all interject a bit more news (outside of Brexit) into the classroom and

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one article on an update on a new resource being developed by CND Peace Education. Still these do inspire conversations around the theme as does our continuation with the review section, Emily Mitchell considers Fashion, Helen Blatchford writes about Malala and displaced people (an area featuring heavily in the minds of students at the moment as reflected in this edition - what hope that gives us). Then we have reviews of new Citizenship resources from Claire Cassidy and Sera Shortland helping us build and maintain the broad knowledge base that we require as citizenship teachers. Finally we end with another spotlight and this time it’s on a new member of council and a recent ACT Teaching Ambassador – Emily Mitchell. ACT is also busy undertaking its role as an organisation committed to advocacy, lobbying and campaigning. We are very happy to support the Humanitities 2020 campaign (see inside front cover) and in recent months we have continued to advocate for greater policy support and resources so that no child is without high quality citizenship education. These efforts have included meetings with government (DCMS, BEIS, DFE) and Ofsted, and we have had some success in influencing policy, for example, winning funding for SLEs for Citizenship. Over 20 years ago, the Crick Report quoted the call of the Lord Chancellor at the time for the introduction of compulsory Citizenship in schools because of concerns about the future of democratic life. As he noted: ‘We should not, must not, dare not, be complacent about the health and future of British democracy. Unless we become a nation of engaged citizens our democracy will not be secure.’ This call and concern is even more pressing today. We hope that you enjoy reading the articles included in this journal as much as we have enjoyed commissioning, reviewing and editing them. Most of all we hope that they spur you on to get your students even more involved with active citizenship and social action.

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Citizenship Update News Roundup

Diary dates

ACTive Citizenship Award

14 June 2019

To have the opportunity of being part of the ACTive Citizenship Award scheme ceremony at UK Parliament, the deadline for submitting applications is Sunday 30 June 2019. Any projects completing and submitting after this date would go forward to be considered for the Award scheme ceremony during the next year. Pupils will need to report on their active citizenship work for First News and teachers will need to complete an application form and the relevant consent forms for sending names and details of pupils’ work. Contact us if you would like advice or to book tailored support. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk/active-citizenship-award-scheme

ICEDC Conference The International Conference for Education in Democratic Citizenship will host its 13th annual event at UCL Institute for Education. For more details contact Hugh Starkey: h.starkey@ucl.ac.uk 17-19 June 2019

Upcoming teacher-led support and CPD

Teaching Politics in an Era of Populism

CPD days. This year we are holding two CPD days in place of a single national event, making it easier for people to get to the days, and giving you twice as much chance of making the date. See upcoming dates for information. To find out more and book online: www. teachingcitizenship.org.uk/events-cpd-training

The first International Teaching and Learning Conference will be held in Brighton this summer. For details visit: www.psa.ac.uk/intteachandlearn19

Regional Citizenship Hub meetings will take place after school on Wednesday 19 June in:

19 June 2019 Regional Citizenship Hub meetings

Leicester (East Midlands), Manchester (North West), Winchester (South East), Exeter and Gloucester (South West), Dudley (West Midlands), Sheffield (Yorkshire and Humber), London.

These regional teacher meetings will take place after school around the country (see news opposite).

‘Free to Speak Safe to Learn’ Campaign Launched by Council of Europe

5 July 2019

The 50 member states of the Council of Europe, which includes the UK, have come together to respond to the rise in tensions in politics across Europe, the growth of extremism and terrorism and the increase in misinformation. We are delighted to support the ‘Free to Speak, Safe to Learn’ campaign, which encourages schools to promote democracy and human rights. The campaign is organised under six themes, which fit perfectly with the requirements for National Curriculum Citizenship in England. Find out more about the programme and sign up to become a ‘Democratic School’. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk/resource/free-speak-safelearn-council-europe

This ACT CPD day for teachers will focus on curriculum planning, personal development and the new Ofsted framework. Sessions are aimed at primary, secondary and SEND colleagues. The event will be hosted at the UCL Institute of Education, London. September 2019

Changing Communities: recognising schools as sites of transformation

House of Lords Chamber Debate

Educators from the five nations of the UK and Ireland gathered in Glasgow in January 2019 for the Five Nations Network annual conference. Readers can access resources and materials from: www.fivenations.net/glasgow-2019

Other news • Liz, ACT CEO, joined the Speaker of the House to present the UK Parliament Teacher of the year awards to two citizenship teachers - Joy Helliwell Ladybridge High School and Simone Ryan St Gregory’s Catholic College. • Ten teachers have secured ACT places at the PES Teaching Institute on 1-3 July, where ACT will be contributing to the programme. • Remember there are now Specialist Leaders of Education for Citizenship and ACT members are encouraged to apply. www.gov.uk/guidance/specialist-leaders-of-education-a-guide-forpotential-applicants

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Citizenship Matters! (London)

In September the ESU will start supporting students (year 10 and above) to participate in a debate in House of Lords in November. To express an interest in your school participating contact: dpt@esu.org; and to find out more about the programme visit the website: www.esu.org/programmes/houseof-lords-chamber-debate 9 November 2019 People, Protest and Change (Manchester) This ACT National CPD Day will be held at the People’s History Museum, Manchester.

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Theme Liz Moorse is the Chief Executive at ACT.

‘Active citizenship’ in schools – empowering young people to act together Liz Moorse In this article Liz Moorse provides an overview of how active citizenship has developed and changed through various curriculum reviews, and how several other related terms have risen to prominence. Her discussion emphasises the distinctiveness of retaining a connection between political learning and action, and in this spirit she outlines a new project developed with First News to support teachers and recognise children’s achievements.

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Citizenship has to be learned and practised in order to build the ‘collective capacities, and resilience’ to contribute to real decision making.


central purpose of citizenship education is to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills that pupils need to become politically literate, active citizens so they are ‘willing, able and equipped’ to have influence in public life and democracy (Crick, 1998). The idea is that citizenship education in schools should build knowledge and skills and give pupils real experiences of working with others and ‘doing politics’ that they can draw on as adult citizens with full political rights. Citizenship has to be learned and practised in order to build the ‘collective capacities, and resilience’ to contribute to real decision making, public policy design and choices about how public money is spent beyond voting in elections (Blunkett and Taylor, 2010). Over the three iterations of the national curriculum for citizenship (2002, 2008 and 2014) the ways in which teaching requirements have interpreted this aim have changed - in part because of different approaches and methods used to construct and develop the national curriculum teaching requirements; and in part reflecting a shift in the ideologies influencing the subject and its core purpose in the curriculum at the time of those changes (see table 1).

Recently there has been a renewed interest in the role of schools and the youth sector in developing responsible, active citizens through initiatives focussed on creating opportunities for ‘social action’ such as the ‘iwill’ campaign and through the expansion of the National Citizen Service. However, there are some key differences in ambition, intention and outcome - where ‘social action’ is focussed on service to others and developing the individual, ‘active citizenship’ is focussed on collective action for real political and social change in communities and society. ‘Citizenship is individuals acting together for a common purpose… people combining together effectively to change or resist change. I call that true citizenship.’ (Crick 2010) At ACT we are working to promote and support high quality active citizenship for pupils in all schools and we are concerned to tackle the obstacles presented by a lack of citizenship subject expertise in some schools and inequality of citizenship subject provision across the country. So we have worked with First News, the UK’s largest newspaper for children, to develop a new ACTive Citizenship Award Scheme to encourage more schools to embrace this essential component of a broad and balanced education and to provide a rigorous approach to linking action with developing citizenship subject knowledge, so that

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Theme ‘Active citizenship’ in schools – empowering young people to act together

pupils take informed action on issues they care about. More about this later.

Table 1: Changing descriptions of ‘active citizenship’

Active citizenship in a changing curriculum Curriculum review and reform The processes used to review and reconstruct the curriculum and how much participation citizens have is an important consideration in its final shape. The consultation and development approach to reform the national curriculum in 2000 and 2006 were arguably more structured to engage a wide range of citizens and education stakeholders perspectives and were organised by an non-governmental department body (NGDP) at ‘arms length’ from central government providing at least a level of independent advice to government. It is also noticeable that the more extended and inclusive development process of the national curriculum in 2008 coincided with a more confident and well-established citizenship subject community and a fuller curriculum specification of what should be taught in the subject. In 2011-13 the curriculum reform process was led and managed by the Department for Education. It was to the surprise of many that government rejected their own expert panels’ view and Michael Gove confirmed citizenship would remain a national curriculum subject in secondary education. This was in no small part the result of extensive of lobbying by ACT as part of the Democratic Life campaign and others including the former Education Secretary and ACT President who established citizenship as a subject, Lord Blunkett. The lobbying was successful in ensuring citizenship continued as a national curriculum and GCSE subject (see Teaching Citizenship issue 38).

1998 Crick report Community involvement

‘ Learning about and becoming helpfully involved in the life and concerns of their communities, including learning through community involvement and service to the community.’

2002 national curriculum for citizenship Participation and responsible action

Key stage 3 teaching requirements ‘Use their imagination to consider other people’s experiences and be able to think about, express and explain views that are not their own.’ ‘Negotiate, decide and take part responsibly in both school and community- based activity.’ ‘Reflect on the process of participating.’

2008 national curriculum for citizenship Taking informed and responsible action

Key stage 3 teaching requirements ‘Pupils should be able to: Explore creative approaches to taking action on problems and issues to achieve intended purposes; Work individually and with others to negotiate, plan and take action on citizenship issues to try to influence others, bring about change or resist unwanted change, using time and resources appropriately; Analyse the impact of their actions on communities and the wider world, now and in the future; Reflect on the progress they have made, evaluating what they have learnt, what went well, the difficulties encountered and what they would do differently.’

Ideology and citizenship Discussions about citizenship education have been influenced by governments’ ideas about what the good society looks like and what roles citizens might take in such a society – as law abiding and compliant citizens who do their duty and vote and serve others, or as critical and active citizens who take a more prominent part in democratic and political decision making, problem solving and policy shaping. Whilst there remains a broad consensus even now that citizenship education is needed if democracy is to survive and thrive, the form, content and teaching approaches required remains subject to debate. 8 | Teaching Citizenship

Source Description

2014 national curriculum for citizenship Volunteering and responsible activity

From subject aims ‘Develop an interest in, and commitment to, participation in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity, that they will take with them into adulthood.’ Key stage 3 teaching requirements ‘The ways in which citizens work together to improve their communities, including opportunities to participate in schoolbased activities’. Key stage 4 from preamble to teaching requirements ‘They should experience and evaluate different ways that citizens can act together to solve problems and contribute to society.’ Key stage 4 teaching requirements ‘Actions citizens can take in democratic and electoral processes to influence decisions locally, nationally and beyond.’ ‘The different ways in which a citizen can contribute to the improvement of his or her community, to include the opportunity to participate actively in community volunteering, as well as other forms of responsible activity.’

2015 DFE GCSE Citizenship Studies Subject Content Taking Citizenship Action

‘Citizenship action may be defined as a planned course of informed action to address a citizenship issue or question of concern and aimed at delivering a benefit or change for a particular community or wider society. Taking citizenship action in a real out-of-classroom context allows students to apply citizenship knowledge, understanding and skills, and to gain different citizenship insights and appreciate different perspectives on how we live together and make decisions in society. It requires them to practise a range of citizenship skills including: research and enquiry, interpretation of evidence, including primary and secondary sources, planning, collaboration, problem solving, advocacy, campaigning and evaluation.’

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The phrase ‘active citizenship’ has reappeared in education policy alongside ‘social action’, but this time in Relationship and Health education which will become statutory in every school from next year.



Active citizenship is too often defined purely in terms of volunteering, social action or learning facts, and too rarely in terms of learning about and practising democracy in the sense of political engagement and democratic participation.


In 1998, the Advisory Group for citizenship stated that, ‘Active citizenship is our aim throughout’. The drive for active citizenship was based on concerns about the democratic deficit, political apathy, concerns about the moral health of the young and the goal of building greater involvement of young people in their neigbourhoods and communities. In addition, Bernard Crick the chair of the group argued there are risks in leaving politics to professional politicians while citizens get on quietly with their private life, because an inclusive democracy requires an educated and active citizenry to ensure constant renewal, discussion and involvement in power and decision making. ‘Politics is too important to be left to politicians’ (Crick, 2010). The first national curriculum published in 1999 required pupils to be taught skills of ‘Participation and responsible action’ alongside ‘Knowledge and understanding about becoming an informed citizen’. By 2008, the purpose of the subject included, ‘to become informed, critical, active citizens who have the confidence and conviction to work collaboratively, take action and try to make a difference in their communities and the wider world.’ Both the 2002 and the 2008 programmes of study included active citizenship built on the premise that students should develop the ability to work together with others within the school and wider community to achieve real change and contribute to public life. In the 2014 citizenship national curriculum there are some noticeable absences of key subject terms including the phrase active citizenship. The curriculum refers to ‘volunteering and responsible activity’ although teaching requirements do make references to learning about the actions citizens can take in democracy. The shift in language can most obviously be attributed to the interests and motivations of the Minister responsible for the national curriculum at the time which resulted in a content led ‘knowledge rich’ and ‘skills light’ curriculum along with a pressure to return to more ‘direct instruction’. It is not surprising that the concept, process and pedagogy of ‘active citizenship’ based on the idea that children need to learn citizenship through doing politics, participating in real democratic decision-making and experiencing the process of taking informed action with others including campaigning, were not made explicit in the revised national curriculum.

(House of Lords, 2018)

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However, the phrase ‘active citizenship’ has reappeared in education policy alongside ‘social action’, but this time in new contexts most recently within Relationship and Health education which will become statutory in every school from next year and is linked to the development of virtues. Here schools are encouraged to provide ‘planned opportunities for young people to undertake social action, active citizenship and voluntary service to others locally or more widely’ (DFE Relationship and Sex education and Health education, February 2019). The new rationale seems to be that students should be an active and good citizen because of the benefits for the individual. The recent House of Lords select committee report ‘The Ties that Bind: Citizenship and Civic Engagement in the 21st Century’ also noted this ‘Active citizenship is too often defined purely in terms of volunteering, social action or learning facts, and too rarely in terms of learning about and practising democracy in the sense of political engagement and democratic participation.’ (Para 13, House of Lords, 2018) In 2019, there will be a revised Ofsted inspection framework that places a greater emphasis on evaluating the national curriculum as the basis for judging the Quality of Education in schools as well as how the Personal Development of pupils is provided for. This is an important moment to reassert that effective citizenship which remains a subject in the national curriculum, including active citizenship: • is issues-based, focusing on real political and social issues and problems of concern to communities; • promotes enquiry, research and critical thinking as key questions, issues and concepts are explored and developed as subject knowledge; • involves pupil led, active and participatory learning with genuine opportunities for pupils to lead and take action and decisions on issues of concern to them, whether in the curriculum, school life or with the wider community and ideally in all three; • supports the development of a citizen identity where pupils see their own identities as relevant and reflected in society at large and this builds a sense of belonging, inclusion, Teaching Citizenship | 9

Theme ‘Active citizenship’ in schools – empowering young people to act together

engagement and motivation to be politically, active citizens; • uses a wide range of active learning pedagogies from role-play and simulations, discussion and deliberative debates to learning beyond the classroom in community-based contexts; • allows space for learners to engage with, reflect on and discuss controversial and sensitive issues that arise in communities and challenge society today. The Ofsted inspection framework will require all schools to be able to demonstrate how they are providing a broad and balanced curriculum including citizenship, as well as how the leadership of the school is ensuring teachers have the citizenship subject knowledge and expertise so that pupils are not held back from making progress in the subject. This should mean more schools ensure citizenship provision is included in a well-planned curriculum, teachers are well trained and have access to resources and more pupils benefit from a high-quality citizenship education including active citizenship. Useful references First News ACTive Citizenship Award Scheme, Teaching Guide and pupil toolkit https://www. teachingcitizenship.org.uk/active-citizenshipaward-scheme NCS Teaching Guide, teaching materials and ‘Make a difference – social action toolkit’ (ACT, 2016) https://www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk/ resource/ncs-teaching-guide Crick, B and Lockyer, A (2010) ‘Active Citizenship What Could it Achieve and How?’ (Edinburgh University Press) includes chapters by Blunkett, Taylor, Crick, Kiwan and many others. Moorse, L (forthcoming) ‘Citizenship education policy and curriculum in England in The Palgrave Handbook of Citizenship and Education (Springer Nature, Palgrave Macmillan)

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Discussions about citizenship education have been influenced by governments’ ideas about what the good society looks like and what roles citizens might take in such a society – as law abiding and compliant citizens… or as critical and active citizens who take a more prominent part in democratic and political decision making.

Key terms • Active learning is a technique or set of approaches designed to encourage pupils to be actively engaged as they plan, undertake and reflect on their learning. • Active citizenship is a teaching approach that uses active learning to equip pupils to take informed and responsible action aimed at making a positive change or difference in their communities or resisting unwanted change. It involves pupils in a process of learning how to take part in democracy and use their Citizenship knowledge, skills and understanding to work together in trying to make a positive difference in the world around them. • Community involvement is a term used by Bernard Crick in 1998 when he set out the case for including citizenship education in the National Curriculum for England. Community involvement is ‘learning about and becoming helpfully involved in the life and concerns of their communities, including learning through community involvement and service to the community’ (Crick, 1998). • Volunteering is usually an unpaid activity where people give their time to do something of benefit to others in the community or society. • Service learning originated in the USA and refers to learning involving pupils in a wide range of experiences (from catering to visiting the sick or vulnerable) which often benefit others and the community. • Social action can be defined as practical actions in the service of others. It involves activities carried out by individuals or groups that are not for profit and aim to bring about a change or benefit for communities. This might involve giving time and/or money. The NCS define social action as ‘meaningful and realistic projects that involve people from the community and deliver a tangible benefit along with the opportunity for social mixing.’ • A Social enterprise is a not-for-profit organisation with defined social goals. Any surplus income is used to contribute to making a positive difference to the community, be that locally, nationally or internationally. Young people may be involved in setting up a social enterprise as an active citizenship or social action project.

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First News ACTive Citizenship Award In many ways schools have an advantage over society at large in being able to smooth out some of the inequalities and barriers that can 1) Choose the issue exist to the participation of citizens in politics and democracy. Providing every child with 2) Who and what opportunities to participate and learn from can help? 7) Time to Tak active citizenship is an essential part of effective ! e t reflect, evalute c aim 3) What kind of and report pa citizenship education. With this in mind as m action? well as a need to ensure pupils have regular opportunities to engage with the news and what 4) How will you know if you’re is going on in the world around them, we want successful? ACTive to help teachers and schools facilitate meaningful, Citizenship pupil led active citizenship learning experiences. 5) Plan and get ready This involves considering all of the opportunities where pupils can take part in problem solving, decision making, deliberation and change making, be that in the curriculum, culture and life of the school or within the wider community. The ACTive Citizenship Award is deliberately flexible with no time limits so that teachers and 6) Put your plan into pupils can develop active citizenship in ways that action fit their interests and concerns. The scheme has been developed to ensure non-specialists as well as citizenship subject teachers can engage with citizenship ideas, active citizenship processes and active learning pedagogy. A one-page curriculum framework is provided to summarise the key concepts, The scheme is also designed to encourage regular and ongoing understanding, skills, values and dispositions that pupils develop active citizenship and is suited for use in primary, secondary and and to ensure the action pupils take is linked to subject knowledge. special schools. Wherever possible pupils should be encouraged to take the lead on the issues and actions they choose and teachers are given guidance in how to support pupils work through a seven step process designed around an active learning cycle. The awards are based around three areas: learning, school culture and community. To achieve an award, pupils design, develop, undertake and report on an active citizenship project within one of these areas – the project can be on any issue that they care strongly about and want to challenge, change or improve. Pupils achieve an award for each project they do; if they achieve awards for all three areas, they and their school will be recognised with an ACTive Citizenship Ambassador award. Once pupils have completed their action projects, they are invited to submit a news style report to First News to explain why they took action and how they went about it, as well as the impact made in addressing the issue and in developing their own learning. All pupils will receive a certificate of participation and some will have the chance to have their achievements recognised in Parliament at an awards ceremony in the autumn. The closing date for pupils to submit their reports and for teachers to apply for the 2019 awards is 30th June. For more information visit: www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk/ active-citizenship-award-scheme Liz (ACT CEO), Lord Blunkett of Brightside (ACT President) and Nicky Cox, OBE (Founder i


Mea sur e

anning step r pl s ou –y

Take acti on !

of First News) at the Launch in Parliament of the ACTive Citizenship Awards, October 2018

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Teaching Citizenship | 11

Theme ‘Active citizenship’ in schools – empowering young people to act together

‘s Citizenship Curriculum Framework SKILLS AND APTITUDES


• think critically • distinguish fact from opinion • gather information and critically evaluate

• have concern for human dignity and equality

Children will develop the skills needed to:

Children will begin to:


• make reasoned arguments and justify ideas • consider the perspectives of others • use discussion, debate and deliberation to

• have respect for themselves and others • value tolerance, justice and respect • value diversity including similarity and difference • be concerned to resolve problems and conflicts

explore issues & ideas

• have courage to defend a point of view

• cooperate with others • problem solve • recognise forms of

• be open to changing one’s mind and learning from others • have respect for the rule of law

ow le an dge din g

Citi ze and nsh ap i c

• democracy and government

on ce pt s


Children will develop understanding of:

s hi Citizen


s lue va tions si po

• participate in active citizenship

• have determination to act justly

Citi ze and nsh di i s


• speak appropriately for themselves and for others

i l ls sk es p ud tit

kn p er i h s Citizen d und an


manipulation and persuasion

• be resilient in times of challenge • have commitment to active citizenship

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING Children will know about:

• topical news and political issues (local, national, European and global)

• democratic participation, voting and decision making

• equality and diversity • fairness, justice, rule of law

• roles of Government, parliament, MPs, local council

• freedom and order • individual and community

• fairness, rules, why we have laws and the justice system

• power and authority

• rights and responsibilities, human rights and children’s rights

• rights and responsibilities

• people and organisations who help us live together safely • consequences of discrimination and crime • diversity, identities and change in communities • interdependence of the UK and the wider world • economic and financial choices and decisions that affect us

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ACTive Citizenship Award scheme - Case Study

Celna Bekker, Assistant Head, Sir John Heron Primary School ‘It has been brilliant to watch children put democracy into practice; voting for the issue they want to tackle. Facilitating the sessions (taught as part of our PSHCE lessons) has certainly kept me on my toes! Our children have chosen the issue of homelessness, as many of them witness this in our local area frequently. They have been very eager to conduct research on the topic and will start writing letters to relevant people. We have used debate articles from First News to supplement our learning. The children are very passionate about making a difference as active citizens!’

What issue have you taken as a focus and why? The children voted for the issue of ‘homelessness’, as so many of them witness this on a day-to-day basis. Young as they may be, they have given some very emotive reasons as to why this was their choice of cause to focus on. How you have organised what the children are doing and how have teachers helped them if they are taking the lead? First off, I introduced the concept of being an active citizen. The children already had some background knowledge of what citizenship is, as it is taught across school and especially in PHSCE. We then identified some issues within our school and local community. Children discussed a range of issues such as the use of plastic, littered streets, pollution and homelessness. They used their vote to decide the cause they wanted to support, and the issue of homelessness won (41 out of 60 pupils voting for this!). I have been guiding the process, but certainly in a more facilitating role, as next steps are planned to support children’s ideas and decisions.

What are you are trying to achieve for your pupils, in your curriculum, in your school, in the community? The children wanted to raise awareness about what we can do, as a school and wider community, to support people who are homeless, with the help of the local authority and government. On a bigger scale, we wanted to make our children’s voices and concerns heard in parliament and hopefully influence government policy in how homelessness can be prevented, rather than cured.

What this has meant for you as a teacher and what was different about the way of working with the children? The children are very proud to be involved in this project. They are currently the only year group in school working on this, and have already put the idea forward that they would like to share what they are doing, as well as their planned next steps, with the school’s governing body and the rest of the school during a whole school assembly. They are also eager to produce articles about this for the school’s newsletter. As a teacher, this is such a wonderful opportunity to plan activities (such as writing letters) with a clear and real purpose. It is rewarding to see children, who might usually be reserved, sharing their opinions on a topic in class, speaking out about a subject that they feel passionate about.

Why did you decide to use the ACTive Award Scheme? We already had close links with First News, and saw working towards the award as a great frame to use in embedding SMSC and PHSCE in life outside of school. The scheme also provides clear steps to guide the planning and facilitating process, making links with British values.

What you think the impact will be? In the short term, I hope that our pupils, parents, staff and wider school community will be more aware of the reasons people might become homeless, as well as showing compassion and providing support where we can. In the longer term we shall see where the project takes us next.

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Teaching Citizenship | 13


First Give Isaac Jones Isaac is Head of Programmes at First Give. Isaac is responsible for overseeing programme development as well as managing programmes in 70 schools and colleges a year. In this explanation of the First Give social action charity he discusses the impact whole year group citizenship projects have on young people, highlighting clear examples of good practice in different schools.

First Give: Citizenship, in the classroom and beyond In November last year, a group of year 9 students from Beauchamps High School in Essex were called onto the stage at their school’s First Give Final. They had just won a grant of £1,000 for the Thurrock branch of the National Autistic Society. The crowd erupted with enthusiastic applause as the judging panel handed our team of young people the big cheque for NAS Thurrock.

14 | Teaching Citizenship


The addition of a £1,000 grant for their charity should they win only enhanced the engagement across year 9! A teacher’s voice “We used First Give across Citizenship and Ethics, Religion and Philosophy. The programme contributes to Theme E in the Edexcel Citizenship curriculum, where students have to carry out their own citizenship action. First Give is such a handson way for students to engage with this unit and understand how social action works in practice. The practical parts of the programme mean students can successfully answer questions in the exam based on their own experience of working together, planning and carrying out social action and of course assessing the impact their actions had. The addition of a £1,000 grant for their charity should they win only enhanced the engagement across year 9!


First Give in the curriculum In Citizenship lessons these students, and indeed their whole year group, had worked in groups to decide on a social issue that mattered to them. They had researched and contacted local charities tackling these issues. Classes had worked together to plan and carry out social action projects designed to support their chosen charity and tackle their social issue. This First Give Final event was the culmination of the project – with each class aiming to impress the judges with their social action, advocacy and creative presentations. First Give is a powerful and inspiring programme, designed to support students to learn through doing. We do this because we believe that all young people should be given the opportunity to participate and make a difference in their community. Giving students the chance to see the impact that they can have is an exciting and integral part of personal development. First Give can complement and enhance a number of curriculum areas; however one of its most natural homes is Citizenship. The national curriculum says key stage 3 and 4 students should “develop an interest in, and commitment to, participation in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity.” At First Give we are convinced the best way to do this is by

engaging with project-based learning. Through a combination of in-class learning and outside class experience, the programme provides teachers with a structured and accessible framework through which students can ‘learn on the job’. They research and meet with local charities to help them understand ways that they, as citizens can work together to improve their community. This concept of youth led active citizenship, which we believe is so important for young people’s development is central to the personal development section of Ofsted’s newly proposed inspection framework. We are thrilled to see Ofsted recognising the importance of learners becoming “responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society”. Quite rightly they are placing heavy emphasis on school culture and climate for success in this area. Many schools we have worked with have found that giving students ownership of active citizenship through First Give has supported the development of a school culture that fosters and encourages generosity.

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Issac Jones is Head of Programmes at First Give


their exams. Other groups have focused on raising funds to support their charity, like the winning team at Eastbury Community School this year, students created who organised a wide range of activities, including a “Sensory Room” ‘Sponge the Teacher’ and quizzes. to help their peers to understand Active citizens autism better The students from Eastbury built such a strong connection with their charity that over their holidays they ended up volunteering with them. They attended a Christmas event the charity organised for their clients, helped to wrap Christmas presents and ran games for the children who came along. This ongoing engagement is really exciting for us. It demonstrates how the First Give structure ignites a spark of social conscience that can grow into commitment to active citizenship. First Give alumni have gone on to become volunteers for their charity; to volunteer overseas; to set up societies and discussion groups within school. It’s our aim to build long term relationships with schools, to support them to create opportunities for all students to participate. In fact, what we have been most excited about is seeing teachers surprised by the enthusiasm, engagement and success of students who are traditionally labelled disruptive. We insist on the programme being delivered across an entire year group. Unlike other opportunities where students have to self-select or volunteer, First Give often ignites that spark of social conscience in students you wouldn’t expect. The evidence of the last 4 years of First Give confirms our belief that young people have the capacity and the desire to contribute to their community. We are continuing to develop and grow our programme, with the aim of providing teachers with a structured framework to support confirms our belief students to realise this potential. Yes, the that young people programme supports teachers to deliver elements have the capacity of the citizenship curriculum. But of course, and the desire to it does more than this. It helps us to inspire, contribute to their motivate and equip young people to be capable, community active members of their community. For more information about First Give, visit our website at www.firstgive.co.uk or contact us at info@firstgive.co.uk or 0207 443 5166.


Beyond the classroom Using First Give to break out of traditional classroom activities and meet representatives from charities provides numerous benefits. Suddenly the reality of these social issues starts to hit home. Students share personal stories, they see how their actions will affect more than their grades, and before long they are developing passion that will outlast their participation on First Give. The range of different activities we have seen students plan and carry out is rich and varied. For example, at Beauchamps High School, students created a “Sensory Room” to help their peers to understand autism better. A group from Newstead Wood School in Orpington organised to read Primary school students “Whisper” – a book created by their chosen charity, One in Four, to encourage young children to be open with their thoughts, particularly those affected by abuse. Students at Sydney Russell school in Barking created and handed out antistress leaflets to Year 11 students who were doing



The course is all planned out and resourced for teachers, which has helped, particularly where non-specialists have been involved. This structured and supported programme has become an integral part of our Year 9 provision, and I’m delighted to see students develop their understanding of social issues in their community and grow their social conscience. The impact on the school has been wide reaching, and I would recommend First Give to any Citizenship department.” Louise Linton, Head of Ethics, Religion & Philosophy, Beauchamps High School, Wickford, Essex.

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Teaching Citizenship | 15


Changing communities: recognising schools as sites of citizen transformation Dan Firth The Five Nations Network conference this year focused on the theme of schools as sites of citizen transformation and we have included edited versions of some of the presentations as they coincide so closely to the theme of this edition of the journal. Dan Firth’s keynote set the scene for thinking about active citizenship within the broader tradition of community organising, which is echoed in several of the other articles. Dan has worked with citizens (both adults and children) through community organising and reflects on this experience to identify some inspirations and challenges for teachers.

16 | Teaching Citizenship


That night I saw the power of people, young people, to change the world. Literally. But this is not unusual. Young people have always been at the forefront of political change.


t is a real honour to be invited to address an education audience, particularly as I am not an education specialist or professor. I am the Director of Community Organising for the Labour Party but I am writing here in a personal capacity. I am not speaking about Labour Party Policy but want to say something about community organising and my experience of organising over the last decade and why I think it should be central to transforming schools, communities and the world. But before I do that I want to share with you a little bit about myself and why I organise. I grew up the first part of my life in the North. My family were from South Yorkshire and my dad was a professional rugby league player, but back in those days that didn’t pay much, so he also was a teacher. His family were a mining family, and in the 80s they were in the thick of the Miners’ Strike. I suppose my first formative political moment was seeing the strike crushed and the subsequent impact that had on communities. Then, at the age of 10, my dad got a job as a head teacher of a unit for excluded young people in Winchester – a real culture shock. I am pretty certain a number of the Bullingdon Boys went there and probably a few prime ministers too. I did not like school and I was totally disengaged, but in 1987 I got a new history

teacher, John Price, who was from Doncaster, like my mum and Dad. He was a great teacher and he brought my history classes to life. He encouraged us to think politically and to argue about international politics. What I loved about John Price most was that he was a rebel. In 1989, we were scheduled to go to Germany on a history trip. But our head teacher tried to stop us going, saying it could be dangerous. But John Price and other ‘lefty teachers’ really pushed it and got the head to cave in. When we got to Berlin. It was exhilarating and I knew that we were in the middle of history. Young people everywhere, were making peace signs at us as our coach rolled into to Berlin. Of course we did it back in solidarity. And then one night we went to the Brandenburg gate. It was electric. People were literally pulling the wall down; clambering onto the wall and over the wall. The Wall was coming down. That night I saw the power of people, young people, to change the world. Literally. But this is not unusual. Young people have always been at the forefront of political change. Every community needs an Angelic Troublemaker Let’s consider the Civil Rights Movement. Of course we all know Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. But the beating heart of the Civil Rights

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Dan Firth is Director of Community Organising for the Labour Party

Why we need Angelic Troublemakers more than ever We are in unprecedented times. As a country we are polarised – consumed by Brexit. Our politicians are divided about whether we should leave or remain. Communities, and even families, are deeply divided about whether we should leave or remain. But while the argument over Brexit continues. • Over 1 million children live in bad housing, which impacts on children’s development. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

• Food bank use has increased by 13% on the same period in 2017. • More than 123,600 children are housed in temporary accommodation in England, marking a 70% increase since the Conservative government came into power. • The 26 richest people in the world own as much the poorest 50%. • We have 12 years to stop irreversible climate change.


The freedom rides and Montgomery Bus Boycotts, the Greensboro sit in, and the voter registration campaigns were all led by young people.


Movement was young people. In the Deep South, where black people had faced hundreds of years of brutality, it was young people, as young as 14 and 15, who said enough is enough. The freedom rides and Montgomery Bus Boycotts, the Greensboro sit in, and the voter registration campaigns were all led by young people. But like Gandhi’s anti-colonial movement, these were not only spontaneous acts. People were taught how take political action and importantly how to win. Rosa Parks for example was taught to organise. Martin Luther King was taught to organise. Stokely Carmichael was taught to organise. And like Stokely, thousands of young people from the SNCC (the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee), were taught the art of non-violent political action organising. They were taught by largely unheard of people like Ella Baker and Bayard Rustin. Rustin actually organised the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, when Martin Luther King gave his iconic I have a dream speech. The thing I love about these two key pillars of the civil rights movement is how few people have heard of them. Even in a room full of citizenship teachers very few people recognised their names. But both of them were instrumental to massive political and social change. Bayard Rustin once said, ‘Every community needs an angelic troublemaker.’ This is what I later realised my history teacher John Price was. It is what I believe the role of every community organiser should be. And what I see as the role of every citizenship teacher in the UK.

These seem like overwhelming problems that are just way too big for us to comprehend - let alone tackle head on. But this is what I love about young people - they are politically fearless but more importantly they are hopeful and want to organise to build a better world. If you think about the scale of the issues faced by black communities in the US at the dawn of the Civil Rights movement, it would have been easy to have been overwhelmed. Yet they did not sit and just wait for it to happen. They did not wait for the president to change legislation. They were unbowed in their struggle for justice and equality. They got organised and they won. But they also had Angelic Troublemakers to help them to do it. And that’s what our communities, our schools need now. Angelic Troublemakers. That’s me. That’s you! What is community organising? In 2012, I set up a community organising alliance in Shoreditch, right in the heart of the richest square mile in the world. The City of London is the home of Barclays, JP Morgan and other institutions that caused the financial collapse. Unknown by most people, The City, or Corporation of London as it is really known, is surrounded by the 13 poorest wards in the country. I was tasked with building an alliance of civil society organisations that could tackle child poverty in the area. So I spent the next six months bringing together a diverse set of civil society organisations from Kurdish community centres, to churches, to mosques, charities, primary schools, secondary schools and sixth form colleges. By the end of six Teaching Citizenship | 17

Theme Changing communities: recognising schools as sites of citizen transformation

18 | Teaching Citizenship


These seem like overwhelming problems that are just way too big for us to comprehend - let alone tackle head on. But this is what I love about young people they are politically fearless but more importantly they are hopeful and want to organise to build a better world.


months I had brought together 29 organisations who set out to collectively build enough power to make change happen. But child poverty is obviously a massive issue. How do you tackle it, without massive government intervention? Well the truth is you can’t. But what you can do is give people a real sense that they have the power and agency to demand the change they need - by winning together on issues through community organising. And this is no more true than with schools. Surrounding the City of London, despite its towers of wealth are towers of poverty. And in the first couple of months, I began to go to primary schools in the local area. The head teacher from one school, Valerie Figaro, put me in touch with a school based social worker, Edward Ablorh, who was able to talk about some of the issues parents face in the school. When I got up to his office, there was literally a line coming out of his office with parents waiting to see him. When we finally sat down to talk, I asked him ‘why are so many parents coming to see you?’ And he said, ‘See these housing blocks surrounding this school, the majority of children who come to this school live in here. But too many of them miss days of school, or are off sick because the flats they live in are covered in black mould and damp - that is making the children sick with breathing problems. The parents are queuing up because they come to me to write letters to the housing provider to ask for it to be fixed.’ He said he helped literally hundreds of parents. But, they are most often ignored or never even responded to. And it make everyone feel totally powerless, including the school, Edward told me. So, with Edward I brought together tens of parents and asked them if there was one thing you could change in your life what would it be and they overwhelmingly said: to get rid of damp. I asked one other simple question: do you have the power at the moment to do it? They said no. So, over the next couple of weeks I spent time listening to parents and staff in other schools. And I heard the same story time and time again. Damp was wrecking children’s health; it was battering families’ self-confidence and it was causing missed

days of education for the children due to sickness. Edward and I brought together hundreds of parents from local schools and said, ‘Look you’ve all written letters individually and got no response. What about if we write a letter, get all of your signatures. But not only that let’s get signatures from everyone who is affected.’ So we posted a letter. Two weeks later we’d had no response, so we wrote again, and still received no response. Obviously quite a lot of the parents were disheartened. That month I was launching the Citizens alliance I was building and we planned to bring together 500 people from across Shoreditch to launch our campaign. I said to a number of the parents, including Birgul Aksu a mum who had never seen herself as political and had never done public speaking, ‘If you can stand on stage with other parents, tell your stories together. Everyone will be with you and we’ll win this campaign.’ In front of 500 people that day Birgul took the stage with other mums and children and also the three head teachers from the schools. Together they gave the most powerful testimony about the impact damp was having on her children’s health and also talked about the letters that had been ignored for too long. Birgul then said, ‘If Hackney Homes won’t come to us, we’ll go to them.’ It was electric. 500 people stood clapping, crying and moved to act together. But for me what was so exciting was we had identified an angelic troublemaker. Two days later over 100 parents marched to the town hall. We had set up tables for a public enquiry into damp housing. And each parent queued up to hand in complaints. We had the local press there and we almost immediately received a phone call from the head of housing requesting a meeting. Four days later we took a team of parents and head teachers to meet with housing team. And we took a set of well crafted, ambitious but not unreasonable demands. We had formulated clear, specific and measurable demands. The parents shared their stories. And we also built relationships with the Directors, by asking them what brought

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Why talk about the parents not the young people You are probably thinking but this was led by parents - what about the young people. Well, I think it is critical for us to think about schools, not just as sites of transformation for young people but as sites of transformation for whole communities. At the same time as these parents were building their political agency and collective power the young people from the school were involved in an organizing campaign to reduce violence against young people in the area. Many of the young people, and their older siblings in neighbouring schools were being robbed on their way home from school. Children who lived 5 minutes from school were getting buses home. And having to travel an hour just to avoid being robbed. Working with other school children in from local secondary schools and local community groups they actually managed to get an 85% reduction in children being robbed. And it was quite simple. The police’s relationship with young people was so poor that they didn’t know this was even an issue - because the young people weren’t reporting it. So, the school students took the police on a tour of the area and mapped out the places young people were getting attacked and at what times. Within days the borough commander had put resources into the area to ensure there were police officers around when after school club finished. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49


Schools are at the centre of every neighbourhood. But they should be at the centre of every community. Parents, primary school children, secondary school students impacted by inequality and poverty should not be passive recipients. In every school I have ever been to I have found leaders hungry for change.


them into housing so many years ago. Our main demand was that we wanted the housing blocks around the schools to be cleared of damp by Christmas. Within 90 minutes the parents had negotiated a victory and the housing association committed to investing £1.5m to eradicate the damp. This was obviously a massive victory for the parents, the teachers, and the school. But the biggest victory for me was seeing parents, like Birgul, feel like they had some power. That they could change things by organising together.

Just down the road, young people, impacted by the loss of the EMA scheme campaigned to get it back. That year the young people I worked with as part of Shoreditch Citizens got a bursary of £1000 for all young people, every year, in Islington. They also won half-price travel for students from the Mayor of London. Summing up The story I am trying to tell is that schools can be places of radical political change. And we should encourage it. But most of the time politics is done to teachers, parents and children. We all know schools do not sit in isolation from the wider economic, political and social environment. You only have to look at the level of school cuts; the impact of poverty wages forcing children to access free school meals; the lack of decent housing and its impact on children’s ability to study at home; or the rise in school uniform banks to see that schools are under massive political pressure. But there is another story. Schools are at the centre of every neighbourhood. But they should be at the centre of every community. Parents, primary school children, secondary school students impacted by inequality and poverty should not be passive recipients. In every school I have ever been to I have found leaders hungry for change. And by that I don’t just mean the most vocal people in the school. Parents like Birgul, or young people like Hannah who led the EMA campaign. They are angry about the economic and social system that traps them and their friends and families - but are often without the means to address these problems. And that is why Community Organising can be so powerful. It is not really about campaigns; it’s not about activism or protesting. It about harnessing the collective power of communities to make change happen, by unleashing the political leadership potential in every community. But to do that need we must have angelic troublemakers in every community. And that has to be you! Teaching Citizenship | 19


Community organising: student led approaches to making change in their community Noelle Doona In this article Noelle Doona shares her school’s story of adopting the community organising model for their active citizenship work. In the first part Noelle outlines how the school uses this approach, and in the second part she provides a case study of the work undertaken by students in relation to mental health.

Crick’s words have resonated with me over the years as the part of teaching that I enjoy most, even though it often presents the most difficult challenges. It is the element of teaching that always excited me and which I was keen to develop from the outset - teaching students to develop the skills to be empowered to lead the changes in the community that they want to see. Developing young committed citizens who knew why they should, and how they could, make a difference was something that has underpinned my work. Starting small was important, knowing your community, testing out strategies, developing a vision before launching ideas across the school, were all important keys to embedding skills. It was important to underpin our social action work in theoretical principles and so we looked at Community Organising as the approach that we decided we would develop. Community organising Community organising is “the process of supporting individuals to come together to improve their communities by putting pressure on institutions, businesses and governments to act… 20 | Teaching Citizenship

by developing campaigns… about local issues.” (Hothi, 2013) Three of the underlying principles are: • Never do for others what they can do for themselves. • Understanding self-interest – what’s in it for them. Community • Building relationships. organising is “the process Developing the approach in schools of supporting For community organising to be successful people individuals to need to develop their power. Finding out about come together student, staff and parents’ concerns is central to improve their to understanding the community and making communities by change. The skills needed to develop successful putting pressure community organising go hand-in-hand with on institutions, those that citizenship teachers are required to businesses and develop in their students. governments to act… by Identifying a team and an issue developing Schools exist for the common good, nurturing the campaigns… next generation to be successful in what they choose about local to do. However, believing that “young people are issues.” leaders of today and tomorrow” (Dixon, 2011) (Hothi, 2013) can prove a bigger challenge for many adults to overcome. It can take courage to be able to deal with the possibility of a school being labelled ‘political.’ However, with careful planning and support it can be a really positive experience, giving those in the team the opportunity to understand



“Citizenship is more than a subject. If taught well and tailored to local needs, its skills and values will enhance democratic life for all of us, both rights and responsibilities, beginning in school and radiating out.” Bernard Crick

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Noelle Doona is Assistant Headteacher (Community) and Humanities teacher at Hendon School, North West London.

and to engage with democratic processes. Teams are powerful when they link and reflect on contemporary issues that they care about. It requires training the team in being able to listen to what other people are really saying. This can be encouraged through: Listening strategy 1: ‘One-to-One’ conversations • 3 0-minute face-to-face conversation focused on sharing stories •F ind somewhere comfortable and begin with an introduction about who you are •F ind out about who the other person is – the easiest way to do this is to ask WHY questions like ‘Why are you passionate about your local community?’ • You are looking for ‘key moments’ in their life, their values and their concerns •B uilding these relationships is an important first step in developing a team Listening strategy 2: Small group listening • S imilar to a ‘one-to-one’ but in a group of 6 – 10 people and lasting about an hour • Two or three people manage the team; one person needs to chair the conversation and have three discussion questions, second needs to make notes and the third supports as appropriate. •A ll stories are recorded and can form the basis of identifying a campaign Listening strategy 3: Community walks •M eet people outside the institutions by having mini one-to-ones •M ost successful when focused around a theme e.g. street safety • Talking to your local shopkeepers or people on the way to the local train station •A good introduction and about 5 open questions are usually enough to establish concerns www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Teaching Citizenship | 21

Theme Community organising: student led approaches to making change in their community

22 | Teaching Citizenship

citizenship education. This day was used to build a team of 15 students who became the core team focusing on road safety. The core team took part in a training programme developing a range of skills (teamwork, listening and creative campaigning). A week of listening campaigns were led by the core team, these involved holding lunchtime listening stations, form-time activities, attending a parents evening, waiting at the school gate each morning This approach to canvas ideas and leading a staff listening entails listening campaign for over 80 staff. The team were then with a purpose to able to use this data to identify the key issues. identify, through a democratic Completing research process, the Once an issue has been developed it is important issues that are for the team to complete a power analysis. most important to Schools have a vast network of community links, the students; then identifying established relationships along with the school and developing new relationships is important for then the wider success. An important foundation in community community. organising is building power so that the team have



This approach entails listening with a purpose to identify, through a democratic process, the issues that are most important to the students; then the school and then the wider community. It also encourages many small conversations which spark new relationships. Using the results of the listening campaigns, themes and patterns start to emerge then members of the community are encouraged to join an action team to tackle the problem. The priorities identified need to be worthwhile and winnable but should be ambitious too. Members of the team are also likely to have links with their local communities and can often suggest allies that may want to work to tackle similar issues. Students and parents play an important part in building community relations beyond their involvement in listening campaigns and meetings. When we started our listening campaign, we identified the school’s self-interest in building relationships with our neighbours as well as tackling some of the negativity around the schools’ image. Two hundred, year 8 students were involved in a Community Organising PSHE themed day; discussing, negotiating, analysing local newspapers and websites and reaching a consensus. All skills that are important in

‘the ability to act.’ It was important for the students to understand that they have a voice and that they can make

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Making change It is important to develop a campaign based on issues that directly affect the school and or/local community because this will increase buy-in and it means you can see and feel the impact. It is also important to identify issues that are winnable. If young people see the impact of their work and have small wins they will be encouraged to continue. Creative, but manageable campaigns, allow young people to express their opinions in a variety of ways. An element of surprise is always worth remembering and using where appropriate. The power players we want to meet with are always surprised when the students turn up to ask questions, give personal testimony, lead meetings and conduct the negotiation. The students always bring cake to a meeting, they have said that people will find it harder to say no when we brought them a present and where possible they ring to find out the person’s favourite cake flavour and home bake. They are affectionately known as the “Kidz with Cake!” Preparation is key in negotiation, devising an agenda in advance, identifying personal testimony to demonstrate the need for the change. Giving www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49


the team specific roles is important and one of the key roles for an effective negotiation is the timekeeper to make sure you can cover all your points An element and secure a commitment in the time allocated for of surprise is the meeting. always worth remembering Taking action and using where Within the team, some will have the role of appropriate. The identifying the power players who have the ability power players to make change on the issue of concern. Take we want to meet things slowly and gather allies as you build power with are always and momentum in preparation for taking action. surprised when Meetings with power players need to be carefully the students planned, the team needs to consider the action that turn up to ask they should to take in order to reach a consensus. questions, give personal Evaluation and next steps testimony, lead Working through the community organising meetings and model; there is a focus on the need to evaluate the conduct the process and identify further steps. Thus, beginning negotiation. The the cycle of research - action - evaluation again. students always This is really important for everyone involved. It bring cake! has a number of benefits in helping to learn from experience, sharing with others, checking progress and availability of resources. Celebrating success and learning from things that haven’t worked. If you ask the students what have they learnt from this process they would tell you that it is hard work! Never underestimate the time things take to happen, be flexible and ready to adapt. However, they are always positive and say that anything is possible. It has been a privilege to see relatively quiet and shy young people emerge as leaders, who are dedicated, enthusiastic, and confident in public speaking, having a real desire to bring about change in their communities. The students are demonstrating ‘politics in action,’ and learning about real life.


the changes that they want to see. As a school we adopted a new approach to student voice, using the Smart School Council model (see Teaching Citizenship issue 47), where all students were members of student voice. The reason for this was to hear from more voices but also developed the skills of listening, negotiation and reasoning. Students were also encouraged to set up their own action teams and supported to undertake the research and problem solve. Attending local council meetings, if appropriate, is a really good way for young people to engage in democratic processes and build relationships. Students accessing council minute, reading, reflecting and critically thinking about what needs to be done – can be a challenge but is one that students do enjoy. As a team they have to negotiate and compromise to identify what ‘asks’ they want to focus on. Students have attended a number of meetings and are always encouraged to submit a question to ask.

References Dixon, C. (2011) Young people are leaders of today and tomorrow. Commonwealth Youth Voices Blog. https://bit.ly/2GnzCws Hothi, M. (2013) Growing Community Organising. London: The Young Foundation. https://bit.ly/2IiQHtG Teaching Citizenship | 23

Theme Community organising: student led approaches to making change in their community

Case Study: Hendon School, Mental Health SOS Stamp Out Stigma Campaign

24 | Teaching Citizenship


Our head teacher Mr McKellar sadly died by suicide; this loss and the schools need to recover from this tragic incident, was the catalyst to create the mental health and wellbeing team.


Hendon School is in the London Borough of Barnet. It is a large and diverse comprehensive school with 1,250 students and over 130 staff. 38% students are pupil premium, 63% students have English as an additional language. Over 30% of our students are on the SEND register and we have two resourced provisions - one for deaf students and another for autistic students. A significant number of our students live in areas that are in the top 10% most deprived in the UK (top 5% most deprived in London). Our students have always been encouraged to discuss the issues that they care about and find ways to tackle the issues. Campaigns had included Citysafe street safety, road safety and global action. All had been small scale and had mixed success. However, a tragedy rocked the school in August 2014, our head teacher Mr McKellar sadly died by suicide; this loss and the schools need to recover from this tragic incident, was the catalyst to create the mental health and wellbeing team. Little did we know just how this project would make lasting changes in a number of communities. As the school came to terms with what had happened, one student completed his work experience at another school. They had their own mental health team and he returned to Hendon enthusiastic about what he had seen. He then set about finding other students who might be interested in being part of the team. Initially the students invited to become part of the team were members of the student council and had been involved in previous projects or identified as good public speakers. A team of six students initially signed up. The team set about asking the other students what they wanted to do and overwhelmingly it was about raising awareness and reducing the stigma that some people said that they faced. The SOS – Stamp Out Stigma Campaign was born. Then fate seemed to intervene when we learned about an opportunity to apply for funding for a social action project and the idea for the conference took shape.

Our research showed that the Local Mental Health Trust had been issued with two legal directives, the only one in the country and there was a Panorama programme about the scale of the mental health problems and lack of support in the borough. Holding a number of listening campaigns, students reached out to friends in other schools, and in total they listened to over 400 people. A common theme they identified were personal testimonies about long waits, a lack of provision and the difficulty in navigating what is available in the area. The team decided that as well as an awareness raising conference, they wanted to improve services for all young people. Big plans, but they were keen to take on the challenge. They spent a great deal of time researching who the power players were. These included the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Council Health and Wellbeing board, CAMHS and Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust. The students divided the research, each taking on the challenge of researching the power players, finding out their self-interest and then contacting them to discuss the project. In the first year, there were many highlights: • S tudents met with the council’s Voice of the Child coordinator to discuss issues around mental health, and made a film to be shown at CAMHS highlighting current issues that young people faced. • After much chasing, students were also able to have a number of regular meetings with the Chief Executive of the local Mental Health Trust, able to raise issues, gain funding for a local mental health app and secure their signature for the youth mental health charter. • In relation to the council’s Health and Wellbeing board, students gained support from the chair of the committee, who spread the message of our work and made introductions to relevant people. Students

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“I just wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful conference today. It was a privilege to come and speak… Please do not underestimate the impact you’ve had not only on your generation, but the younger children following in your footsteps. The charter signed today will save lives, of that I am sure.”

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49


attended the annual council meeting, where they were able to submit questions and received positive responses. • S tudents also secured agreement from the leaders of the council and opposition to prioritise mental health and meet regularly with the team and wider organisations. They agreed in principal a number of areas that we will work together on improving, many going further than in their initial commitments. It appears that everything went smoothly for the team, but it didn’t always, which is when some of the best learning took place. However, nothing phased the team as they worked to overcome obstacles. The signing of the Charter was most problematic, it was to be the centre piece of the conference. The Head of the local Mental Health Trust would not initially agree to sign the charter. However, the students were undeterred, but after endless journeys to her office with flowers and cakes, she still did not agree. Then with just a few days to go, she said that she was unable to attend! The students organised another cake trip and negotiated that she would attend for just 30 mins but she would not sign the charter. Quickly, to ensure that she couldn’t change her mind, the students tweeted that she would be attending. On the day, again undeterred, some of the team spent an hour negotiating with her to sign the charter. With just 10 minutes before the launch, she finally said yes! The conference was an overwhelming success. One delegate wrote “I just wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful conference today. It was a privilege to come and speak. It’s brilliant to see how motivated young people are to better understand mental health and make a difference - please do not underestimate the impact you’ve had not only on your generation, but the younger children following in your footsteps. The charter signed today will save lives, of that I am sure.” It was this evaluation that ensured that team went from strength to strength. The project was supposed to last a year. However, the overwhelming, success of the first year spurred on the team. The team has grown in number and impact. They have hosted their third conference and now have a voice in local and London wide mental health work. The team have earned a reputation for themselves, they have won a number of individual and team awards, including local, national and European awards. These are the icing on the cake; they have helped the team to get

(Rachel, conference attendee)

the “power players” to engage and highlight their commitment to the issue. Citizenship teaching should develop the knowledge and skills to understand, challenge and engage with their communities and contribute to political processes. The students involved in community organising have developed a range of transferable skills. They have all gained leadership skills as they worked in specialist teams e.g. budget and logistics. They have a shared sense of responsibility as they have to work together to meet many deadlines. It has given them a voice and they believe that they can make a difference. When they worked to develop an app, they shortlisted and interviewed the candidates, much to the surprise of the applicants. Communities need active, informed and responsible citizens, this team are an example of this. The students talk about being fortunate about being able to develop these skills as they say that many students their age would have to learn how to tackle these tasks when entering the work place, so they feel that they are at an advantage. They are positive about their experience of being part of the team.

“Sending countless emails and fixing any hiccups any we had along the way in a professional manner. Managing the budget and buying goods as well as negotiating deals. We have gained skills in areas such as public speaking, often in front of lots of adults, as well as gaining a lot of confidence in ourselves. I speak for all of us when I say being part of mental health team has been one of the most beneficial things, I have taken part in school.” Angel

“The second mental health conference for me was absolutely amazing. I’m so grateful to have been a part of the event and been given the opportunity to join the Mental Health Team. Being on this team has enabled me to understand the effect mental health has on people’s lives. Being part of the team able to host the conference was exciting and nerve-racking. I’m glad to see change happening, to see the effect our work and raising awareness has done for us as students, the team and our school- it’s truly a phenomenal and fantastic team to be part of and I’m happy to say that I’m part of the team.” Chika

“Being part of the team is an exceptional opportunity to learn amazing lifelong skills! I have improved my public speaking including giving a presentation to the Deputy Mayor of London. We have developed a sense of responsibility and have to meet deadlines!” Jose Teaching Citizenship | 25


The Tale o’ the Glasgow Girls Euan Girvan Euan started the Five Nations Network conference session on the ‘Glasgow Girls’ campaign, and provides the first of three related articles. Here he sets the scene, explaining a bit about the context for the local campaign to protect families seeking asylum from deportation. The second article is from Amal Azzudin, one of the young people involved in the campaign, and the third article is from Claire Dunphy, a teacher who is building on the legacy of the campaign. This opening article is also a double-first for Teaching Citizenship - it is our first article in the form of a poem, and our first article written in Glaswegian!

When Ah went tae the bilingual unit at Drumchapel High Ah hid been teachin English but keen tae gie this joab a try Teachin’ the weans o’ asylum seekers and o’refugees Tae learn the English language and it’s qs and ps! Weil they came from war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan Fae Rwanda, Algeria, Sri Lanka and the Sudan A’ different nationalities, languages and regions An’ first they hid tae learn tae understaun’ Glaswegian! Noo the background tae this speil is that the Labour government Needed easing public pressure doon south so they sent Asylum seekers roun’ the country but maist up tae Glasga fair Cos we hid empty public housing needing renting and repair. But the locals living here hidnae any wind o’ this Maist gied a great welcome but some thought things were amiss That those jist arrived got the whale jing-bang for free So sittin’ doon the gether for a blether wiz the key. Information, get it oot there Education, no less-mair, Inspiration, get yer community Tae unite and fight against racism and poverty. The schule wiz challenged by those kiddie-on performance tables Wi teachers workin’ to dispel stereotypes an’ labels The empathetic wans, who werenae hell-bent on promotion Had been nurturing city weans with duty and devotion. Yet it wiz a challenge tae take oan kids who had suffered fear Distressed by family separation, war and danger getting here. But in the base, protected, they slowly slowly came around Then got intae mainstream classes wi’ the new hope that they’d found. 26 | Teaching Citizenship

Amal’s first day, gret her heart oot When Ah asked her, ‘What’s this aboot? She turned tae me, her een a’ tearful An’ said ‘Ah am just so happy tae be back learning in a school’. Oh, we needed experts in tae deal wi’ the trauma in the weans Art therapy, music, drama, dance were keys to affect change Richard Morran wi’ Save the Children and other charities Got the kids making plays and films and composing melodies Aileen Ritchie, Paragon Ensemble, the Carnival group Got kids a’ thegether, they were friends afore they knew it. And for both the girls and boys, doin’ sport was jist the ticket We stairted winnin’ trophies for athletics, fitba’ and cricket. And Drumchapel weans learned of other cultures, stories, songs And stairted djembe drummin’ and dressin’ in sarongs We learnt what to ca’ oot in Somali when your goats are running wild And the song you sing with sadness when you are burying a child And although at lunchtime kids, stood in their race and gender pack And we teachers thought we couldnae find the integration knack The school wiz slowly changing, it’d had gone so very far Wi’ friendly first years chirpin’ ‘ How’s it gawin’ Mohammed Omar?!!’ Older weans, great fur teachin’ Older weans, don’t do preachin’ Older weans, reaching oot Tae the younger weans on Whit prejudice is aboot. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Euan Girvan was a bilingual support teacher at Drumchapel High and worked with local residents and students on the ‘Glasgow Girls’ campaign.

Claire Dunphy, Euan Girvan and Amal Azuddin

But crash! Just like the plough into the mouse’s cell Asylum-seeking families were tae suffer a new hell Dawn-raided, separated and forced into detention Ripped from their family home, deportation the intention The Home Office wiz duty-bound to assess every single case But ran a racket cuttin’ numbers in the numbers race Illegally, they targetted national family groups And charted planes for ‘removal’, of these the ‘low hanging fruits.’

Naw, the Home Office didnae always have the upper hand By tracking flight paths and aeroplanes coming in tae land Wi’ Frank McMaster on the website wi’ a fine tooth-comb We knew which nationality they were trying tae send back home. And the girls used the footage that they’d shot wi’ Lindsay Hill Whose BBC films told oor story and gave us hope until Driven by Jassim Johe to the capital we’d been sent To take oor campaign and testimony tae the Scottish Parliament.

At schule, asylum-seeking children just fell down tae the ground They feared that they, their families, would be next to be detention bound The Drumchapel children were appalled this was happening to their friends The staff were shocked that these children were being traumatised again. The Heidie wiz on the phone tae find where they had been taken Staff and pupils signed petitions on behalf of those forsaken And seven lassies came together with wan united aim To dae anything they could tae get their dear friends back again.

Gie weans a voice, they’ll use it Gie weans a choice, they’ll choose it Gie weans a good cause, they can be trusted Tae campaign for fairness equality and justice.

Home Office, inhumane Home Office, causing pain Home Office, a racist institution Still ‘not fit for purpose’ Needin’ dissolution. Noo this wiz well afore the social media malarkey And wiz real social history - despised by David Starkey Locked up weans in Dungavel was beyond our comprehension So we visited faimilies there who had been forced in tae detention And the girls faxed and emailed cooncillors and oor MSPs And wi’ hand-held cameras we made two documentaries We contacted the media gettin’ features in the press We found ourselves engaged in the democratic process. Martin Coyle and Kingsway Centre wiz central to our cause We started patrolling the estate wi’oot breakin’ any laws Jean Donnachie and Noreen Real stood shoulder tae shoulder They became Glasgow Girls but as Grans -just a wee bit aulder They would make sure that families would get some decent sleep If the Home Office vans appeared then their mobiles would go beep And tae the centre the families dashed safe and less afraid And the Home Office were thwarted- another failed dawn raid. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

So what did we achieve? well some detainees were set free After campaigning for years, there was a Scottish amnesty Following a school meeting wi’ a Home Office high heid yin Kids sitting exams would not be subjected tae detention Some families got leave to remain, free tae tell their stories We got all-party support in Holyrood even fae the Tories By challenging the system, wi’ oot raising any fists Seven Drumchapel High School girls became political activists. Wi’ the help o’ NGOs and religious organisations Community and campaign groups opposed tae deportation Health service and education workers - all civil society We a’ worked the gether tae set oor pals and their faimilies free. Here they are-strong lassies now independent women Jennifer McCarron, Ewelina Siwak, Amal Azzudin Agnesa Murselaj, Roza Salih, Toni-Lee Henderson And Emma Clifford all fought to free children from detention. Nearly finished, Ah’ll soon be gone The campaign though, keeps going on So when tackling society’s ills Dae it wi’ the inspiration O’ the Glasgow Girls! That’s me done, Ah’ll finish there And introduce Amal and Claire Wi their great subject matter So thanks fur puttin’ up wi’ my singing and ma patter.

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A Refugee Story: The Making of a Glasgow Girl Amal Azuddin Following on from Euan Girvan’s introduction, Amal sketches out some of the experiences of young people who started a campaign to protect asylum seekers from deportation in Glasgow. This article illustrates the power of young people exercising their political agency, and Amal’s own story shows how political experiences in childhood can influence a whole lifetime of activism.

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Our journey has been a rollercoaster. We have won some cases, but lost others, but what has been so powerful has been how the campaign brought people from all walks of life together


came to the UK in 2000, after fleeing the civil war in Somalia. There wasn’t enough money for all of the family to travel, so my dad stayed behind and me and my pregnant mum left Somalia, and went to Kenya to sort out our papers. It was heart-breaking to leave behind everything we loved – our family, our culture, and the weather! At that time though, there were various rebel groups fighting to control the country, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to live any kind of normal life. After three months sorting paperwork, we left for the UK to seek asylum. No-one told us how long the decision would take, so we moved in with friends and waited. But when my baby sister was born, mum asked the Home Office if there was any chance we could have our own accommodation, due to the overcrowding. They said that was fine, but that they no longer housed asylum seekers in London, so we would have to dispersed elsewhere, although at that stage they didn’t tell us where. So one day we joined a bus, which seemed to do a tour of the whole country. Families got off that bus one by one as the day wore on, and my mum eventually sent me to speak to the bus driver to find out if we were on the list to be dropped off somewhere. He said we were last on the list, because we were going to Glasgow. I’d never heard of Glasgow, nor Scotland, and neither had my mum, so we waited to see where we were going. The wait wasn’t helped by a fellow passenger who overheard the conversation and said, ‘Oh Glasgow, I feel so sorry for you.’ She had heard that it snowed all the time! I do wish I could meet that person now and

tell them how lucky, grateful and proud I am of Glasgow. A place I had never heard of has become my home. We arrived and moved into a high-rise flat near Drumchapel High School in 2001, and then in 2004 our family received leave to remain, giving us permission to remain in the UK as long as we wanted. The day I heard the news I was in PE and Mr Girvan came to find me to tell me mum was on the phone and I thought something must have happened. I felt so grateful, but also very guilty because I had many asylum-seeking friends who were still waiting for that piece of paper. My friends were very happy for me, but little did I know then that our lives would shortly change. In 2005, one of my best friends, a Roma gypsy from Kosovo was visited on a Sunday morning by 14 Home Office officials wearing bullet-proof vests. They went in to her flat, handcuffed her father, put the family into vans and drove them to a detention centre in England, called Yarlswood. They had been living in Glasgow for five years, and their treatment seemed completely inhumane. I didn’t know much about campaigning at that time, but I knew I had to do something, so I went to my teacher, Mr Girvan, and said that I didn’t want to just resume attending classes. I was frustrated by what had happened to people who had done nothing wrong. Nobody chooses to be an asylum seeker, to be a refugee. You don’t wake up one day and just decide to leave everything behind for a new country you know nothing about. I was shocked, because the UK is a country that champions human rights. Mr Girvan spoke to some of the teachers and the next thing I knew was that I was on the BBC news and in the Herald and when I went home that day my mum said,

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Amal Azuddin was one of the ‘Glasgow Girls’ and now works at a charity which attempts to improve the mental health of asylum-seeking and refugee women.


The school made us who we are. They guided us and allowed us to follow our passion.

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‘So, we just got our papers and you’re already taking on the Home Office?’ She was worried, and obviously wanted to make sure we were protected, but I think she’s proud now of what we did, and of my passion and determination. She also knew that Mr Girvan and the rest of the school would protect us. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for Mr Girvan and some of the other teachers I wouldn’t be here now, doing what I do. The skills and knowledge that we gained through the campaign could never be learned through the curriculum, and we couldn’t concentrate on our exams anyway. After I was in the papers I was joined by five other girls and we became known in the media as the ‘Glasgow Girls’. So we campaigned for three weeks and in that time my friend’s lawyer managed to collect the evidence to show that her family would be persecuted if they returned to Kosovo and so eventually they were released. A few years later they too received leave to remain. Our journey has been a roller-coaster. We have won some cases, but lost others, but what has been so powerful has been how the campaign brought people from all walks of life together - politicians, media, local grannies. Our ‘Glasgow Grannies’ would go to the top of the tower blocks to look out for Home Office vans and when they saw them, they would call up every asylum seeking family on the list to warn them to go to the local community centre, to avoid the officers. We didn’t win every time, but the solidarity, passion and community spirit made me proud. Later I went to the University of Glasgow to study community development and then started working at the Mental Health Foundation,

using the arts to work with asylum seekers and refugees. Then I studied a Masters in Human Rights and International Politics and with some other campaigners I went to Greece to raise some money, collect evidence and publicise the plight of refugees. This coincided with the coverage of the death of the small boy, Alan Kurdi, which highlighted the problem and so we managed to raise £10,000. The support felt overwhelming – one mother told me her two children (aged 7 and 9) had sold their toys to raise money to help refugees, and for me that is what justice is all about, that’s what Glasgow and Scotland are all about. When we arrived in Athens it was heartbreaking. There were refugees sleeping everywhere on the floor. A Greek woman was walking round giving out sweets to the children and one of the children took a few sweets and then came up to me and my friend and asked if we would like to share them. I will never forget that story. That small girl had so much humanity, she had nothing, but was happy to share her sweets. In Lesbos, a mother handed me her child to check if it was still alive, as she disembarked from a boat. I felt so helpless, but a doctor told me, ‘All we can do is smile and welcome people.’ Since then I have given evidence at the Scottish parliament, publicised the situation through the media and public events. Without the support of teachers and the community I wouldn’t have achieved any of this. The school made us who we are. They guided us and allowed us to follow our passion. I am proud to be from Glasgow, and proud to be from Drumchapel.

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Glasgow Girls in the Classroom Claire Dunphy This is the third in our sequence of articles linked to the Glasgow Girls’ story. Claire Dunphy, a teacher in Clydebank, shares some of the ways she has used the story in school, and some of the projects that have grown out of it. Overall this sequence of articles shows the transformational potential of schools, and of individual teachers – both in creating real impacts in communities, and in building young people’s political agency and identity.

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What our students took from the Glasgow Girls was the idea of power and the use of voice – being a participant in their own community and seeking positive change


lydebank has a proud history as a centre of ship-building and activism. Our school has 370 pupils and a strong culture of global citizenship and learning for sustainability. In 2014, as a Rights Respecting School, we were looking more closely at the right to education and as part of that work I was looking for an inspirational local campaign to inspire our pupils and explore the plight of refugees and the barriers to education they experienced. This was receiving media coverage at the time and children were beginning to ask questions about it. That year we had already done lots of teaching around the independence referendum, engaging students with critical discussion and questions of social justice. We had looked at politicians’ speeches and held our own debates and a secret ballot, so students were already thinking politically. Before I became a teacher I was a youth worker in the same area as Amal and the Glasgow Girls, and although our paths didn’t cross, I was able to follow up to make contact with them. They came to run assemblies with the children, which inspired them to start a campaign about universal education. Once they had heard the Glasgow Girls’ story, they were

then motivated to start their own campaign. What our students took from the Glasgow Girls was the idea of power and the use of voice – being a participant in their own community and seeking positive change. Primary 7 children were learning about the right to an education , they explored the barriers to universal education and were horrified that so many children round the world didn’t receive their right to education. They decided to set up their own campaign calling for universal education. They took their campaign to other schools and to local universities, they also managed a petition and delivered it to the Scottish Parliament. Not only has the work shaped the culture and ethos of the school but it has also influenced the curriculum – particularly in relation to embedding rights and the sustainable development goals. Campaigns that grew out of this work included year 2 students campaigning on cleaning up the local canal embankment with year 7 helping them to develop persuasive placards. Year 6 students explored good jobs, partly through a historical study of child labour in the Victorian era. This helped teachers, by linking citizenship work to familiar curriculum topics. In year 7 students explored hunger and food banks. They considered whether it

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Claire Dunphy is Depute Head at St Eunan’s Primary School with responsibility for IDL (literacy), Health and Wellbeing, Learning for Sustainability and Family Learning

was appropriate for a rich country to run food banks, so we didn’t just engage in charity work, we also asked political questions and engaged in critical thinking. At the core of our approach is the meaningful development of ‘social health and well-being’, two of the core ‘experiences and outcomes’ in the Scottish curriculum, which fit particularly well with citizenship and participation. In considering this we focus on the use of political voice, through studying significant speeches and developing literacy in real and meaningful contexts. Some of our students have reflected on this aspect of their school experience.


At the core of our approach is the meaningful development of ‘social health and well-being’, two of the core ‘experiences and outcomes’ in the Scottish curriculum, which fit particularly well with citizenship and participation

‘It has made me realise what’s going on around the world, it makes me sad and angry, but happy and proud that I can try to do something about it. I can stand up and make a point and make everyone realise that not everyone is having the life that we’re having. It made me more confident, it made me realise that I can do something.’ Connor ‘It makes you question things, like - now I know that Government policies are one of the causes of hunger and poverty… because of cutting people’s benefits.’ Lauren ‘In school I’ve been working harder, your education can be used to help others, to stand up for people’s rights.’ Orla


GCSE (9-1) Citizenship Studies Developing positive, proactive citizens What does it mean to be an active citizen in our modern society? Our GCSE (9-1) Citizenship Studies qualification equips students to take responsible citizenship actions and play a positive role in public and democratic life.

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25/03/2019 12:39


Anti-racism in schools Kristina Hedges Show Racism the Red Card is one of the UK’s leading anti-racism educational charities it delivers training to over 50,000 people a year. In this article Kristina Hedges discusses a recent report highlighting a significant decline in the attitudes of young people to racism and how Show Racism the Red Card can help to combat such prejudice and discrimination.

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We present a view of the benefits of immigration, and schools then as part of their citizenship curriculum are able to provide a follow-up to embed understanding effectively and thereby foster a more informed and inclusive ethos.


ere at Show Racism the Red Card we use the high-profile status of sport and sports stars to offer up relatable role models to help tackle racism in society. We believe that education is key to tackling racism and other forms of discrimination and our work therefore falls directly under the umbrella of citizenship education. Our education workers visit schools to deliver workshops where we discuss the meaning and history of racism and use a variety of engaging activities to explore stereotypes and prejudices. The sessions are designed to allow young people the space to discuss openly their own assumptions and feelings and to think critically about the topic of racism and discrimination. We offer training sessions to school staff, covering the content of our workshops along with sessions about recognising and responding to racism and recording and reporting racist incidents. Here in our Welsh office, like the rest of the UK, we have seen a disturbing increase in racist incidents in Welsh schools. Between the beginning of September 2018 and the end of January 2019, we have had 21 enquiries from schools, local authorities or parents reporting racist incidents: a 40% increase on last year. This, sadly, is no surprise, given the widely reported rise in hate crime throughout the country in recent times. In 2016, SRtRC Wales carried out small-scale research amongst school pupils and teachers to gauge the situation in our schools. The research report: Racism and Anti-racism in the Welsh Education System can be downloaded from www.theredcard.org/ publications. 94% of pupils stated that racism occurs between pupils in their school; two

thirds of teachers are aware of pupils suffering racism in their school; 97% pupils had heard negative comments about Muslims in school; 92% trainee teachers felt that Muslim girls wearing religious dress do not feel safe from discrimination. 84% of teachers surveyed had not received any training on how to teach antiracism and 70% feel there is not enough time in school to teach anti-racism. As a direct result of this research, SRtRC Wales sought and gained funding from Big Lottery Wales to provide workshops focused specifically on islamophobia and anti-immigrant racism to a number of schools in deprived areas of Wales. Since beginning this project in 2017, we have delivered 328 workshops in 162 schools. When asked about their confidence to talk about Islam or immigration (depending on the workshop focus), 48% more pupils rated their confidence as good or excellent following the workshop than before it. 99% teachers felt that the workshops improved young peoples’ awareness about the issue. As an education worker delivering these sessions, I have noticed some interesting gaps in our young peoples’ knowledge and understanding. Some are disappointing but unsurprising, such as widespread confusion around immigration. Most young people (and adults?) mistakenly believe that most immigrants are refugees or asylum seekers; poor people in need of help or demanding benefits, (depending on which media outlet you follow), rather than workers relocating for their job and students moving to study. Many young people answered ‘no’ to the question “Is Mohamad Salah (or insert your favourite Premier League player here) an immigrant?” revealing the widely held assumption that

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Kristina Hedges, Education Worker, Show Racism the Red Card Wales

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Schools can support by actively seeking positive images and role-models


rich people don’t count towards immigration statistics. Our workshops are a beginning, and can start a discussion, using statistics and facts about immigration exploring some myths about refugees and asylum seekers. We present a view of the benefits of immigration, and schools then as part of their citizenship curriculum are able to provide a follow-up to embed understanding effectively and thereby foster a more informed and inclusive ethos. Negative views about Islam are commonplace, with racist stereotypes strongly held. A recently published report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime cites how such views and actions associated with them can affect peoples’ behaviour: “many…young Muslims altered their behaviour and daily routines to avoid bringing attention to themselves. The result was the carrying out of ‘practices of self-surveillance’ as a means of presenting themselves as acceptable to non-Muslims. ‘Self-surveillance’ included changing their clothing, men hiding facial hair, and the restricting of what they said publicly, particularly related to foreign policy.” One can imagine then that Muslim children will feel under similar pressure to carry out ‘selfsurveillance’ in school. Presenting positive images of Islam and Muslims enables young people to see through the stereotypes. Many schools present a very clear message that Islamophobia and other forms of racism are wrong, but if this is not supported by positive images that show targets of this bullying as ordinary members of society, we are not teaching our young people why it is wrong and allowing our young people from minority ethnic backgrounds to feel pride in their identity and heritage. Whilst disappointing, anti-immigrant and Islamophobic attitudes are not surprising, given the prevailing climate of racism in society and our workshops are designed to cover and challenge these kinds of misunderstandings and received attitudes. Schools can support by actively seeking positive images and rolemodels to use consistently to challenge these prevailing ideas. When discussing what racism is, we break it down into 4 areas: skin colour, religion, nationality and culture. This last category enables us to broach the very prevalent negative attitudes that exist towards Gypsy, Roma or Traveller people, which could be seen as the forgotten or socially

acceptable form of racism. Extremely negative attitudes to GRT communities are commonplace and quite strongly clung to by young people when challenged. Even in schools with GRT pupils, negative stereotypes are prevalent, and nourished by images portrayed on TV and in media coverage. Small wonder then, that many GRT pupils’ experience of school is not a happy one. These kinds of problems are the ones I expected to face when I began this job. More interesting though, are the gaps in knowledge and understanding exhibited by young people that point to curriculum failings in Wales, which I’m pretty sure will be the same in England and the other nations, where Britain’s role in slavery and racism in the 20th Century are largely ignored. Most young people are aware of slavery in the USA and the civil rights movement, citing Rosa Parks’ story and Martin Luther King’s speeches. Yet very few are aware of the British slave trade and its role in enslaving more African people to provide workers for the plantations in the Caribbean than those enslave by the USA (and the largest number to Brazil and other South American countries). Where is the curriculum coverage of the numerous slave revolts in the Caribbean, which made slavery there so untenable in Britain that they hastened its abolition? Why does our curriculum not teach British BAME history, such as the successful Bristol bus boycott in 1963 against the colour bar policy of the Bristol bus company, a protest which in large part led to the first Race Relations Act of 1965? Why is it that our young people know about the KKK and have such limited knowledge of the National Front or British National Party? Where are the stories of Muslim soldiers fighting in the trenches in WW1 or Gurkha heroes of WW2? As part of our workshop and resource development at Show Racism the Red Card Wales, we are beginning to include more examples of British BAME role-models and to explore more the history of racism in Britain. Working with Show Racism the Red Card, including involvement in our annual creative competition and the fund-raising Wear Red Day, is a great way to support the teaching and development of citizenship in schools. Our workshops can provide an excellent springboard for exploration of the topics of anti-racism and multi-culturalism. It is important though, that schools recognise that the visit from SRtRC is just the beginning of the journey. Teaching Citizenship | 33


Peace Week: Transforming Activities for Whole School Engagement in Human Rights, Citizenship and Peacemaking Isabel Cartwright Peace Week is a new QPSW teaching resource for primary and secondary teachers. It is jam packed with ideas for how to structure a whole school project week. Peace Week draws on case studies from schools excelling in citizenship and human rights education. It includes a suite of curriculum linked primary lesson plans, activities for the whole school and ways to embed and sustain peacebuilding. Isabel Cartwright, Peace Education Programme Manager for Quakers in Britain, explores why peace is an effective lens through which to promote social action and active citizenship, and the peace weeks that inspired this resource.

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This is why citizenship education is critical, as a force for liberation education amidst a system better at preserving, rather than challenging, the status quo.


“The week was fabulous…Returning to school in September one student told me it had been the best week of his life.” Assistant Head, Deborah Gostling, of Chestnut Grove Secondary School, believed their peace and human rights week had such an impact because the students grappled with pressing social issues in creative and engaging ways. “I’ve actually wanted to come to school this week” said another, which could speak to the scarcity of genuine citizenship rich experiences in schools. “I wanted our students to explore questions often squeezed by the curriculum. Like why a rich country has food banks, and whether Britain should have nuclear weapons, and to learn with and from people active on these issues”. Paulo Freire believed it naïve to expect the ruling classes to develop an education system that would enable the subordinate classes to perceive social injustices critically. This is why citizenship education is critical, as a force for liberation education amidst a system better at preserving, rather than challenging, the status quo.

But according to research by Szeger and Nosko teachers are avoiding discussing social and political issues (Szeger and Nosko). History teacher Michael Davies who set up ‘Parallel Histories’, a project which teaches Israel/Palestine from both sides, found that; “Teachers are scared of it. It’s a hot potato. They are worried about upsetting parents or the kids saying something which will be reported to the authorities, and so they teach the Tudors instead. ” Last year Quakers in Britain hosted a group of elderly Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb, known as ‘hibakusha’. When arranging visits to schools, some teachers were afraid to get involved, citing Prevent as the reason. This is despite the Department for Education guidance that “Building resilience ... is at the heart of preventing radicalisation. Schools can do this by providing safe places in which children can discuss controversial issues and be given the knowledge and confidence to challenge extremist beliefs and ideologies.”

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Isabel Cartwright; Quaker Peace and Social Witness Peace Education Programme Manager


Schools often struggle to build positive peace because they rely on peacekeeping, and fail to give children the opportunity to grow as peacemakers and peacebuilders.

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A peace week links the global with the personal, combining learning for and about peace. Learning for peace involves developing the attitudes and values that encourage empathy development, forgiveness and tolerance, and the skills of critical thinking, and conflict resolution. Learning about peace involves developing an understanding of issues relating to human rights, justice, people power and the rule of law. Together, learning for and about peace, gives us the knowledge, values, attitudes and skills to act as responsible citizens resolving our differences non-violently and strengthening our communities, nurturing what Norwegian scholar Johan Galtung calls a culture of ‘positive peace’. Positive peace includes the presence of harmony and social justice, whereas negative peace implies the absence of overt violence (rather than a flourishing of human rights). In order to build a culture of positive peace we need to give children and young people the skills of analysis, opportunities for engaging with social issues and a chance to take action. A cake sale or litter picking is welcomed, but when social action challenges the status quo, and threatens to redistribute power, then adults are often less sure. This includes giving young people the chance to resolve their own conflicts. As Sue Bowers and Tom Leimdorfer said; “From an early age, people are led to think that conflicts should be settled by someone in authority: the parent, the teacher, the head teacher, the gang leader, the policeman, the judge, the boss, the president. If there is nobody to arbitrate, then the ‘strongest’ will ‘win’ and the ‘weaker’ will ‘lose’. Traditionally, little encouragement has been given to young people to take responsibility for resolving conflicts, to look for ‘win-win’ solutions” (1990). Schools often struggle to build positive peace because they rely on peace-keeping, and fail to give children the opportunity to grow as peace-makers and peace-builders (Cremin and Bevington, 2017). This limits young people’s development of empathy, communication skills and conflict literacy - prerequisites for the development of democratic citizenship. You may be thinking, “If it’s so important, why just one week?” One answer is practical- a week is realistic alongside schools’ other commitments. But really, it’s not just about one week. It’s about supporting an ongoing culture. When, after a peace week, students use mediation skills on the playground or organise a political action, the school needs to value that. For Moya Richardson, Associate Head Teacher at Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, peace

week was “The best thing we’ve ever done together as a whole school community.” Within the ‘peacebuilding in the wider world’ strand of the week the children considered the qualities and skills of a peacebuilder and interviewed people working on social justice, the environment and human rights. The children explored what motivates social action and discussed barriers to change. With the help of CND’s ACT quality assured peace education resources, key stage two children learned about nuclear weapons through the story of Sadako Sasaki. Sadako survived the bombing of her home town of Hiroshima but became ill from the radiation. The origami peace cranes she folded until her death have become a symbol of peace in Japan and across the world. The children enjoyed the challenge of making tiny, huge and even recycled peace cranes, using materials from scrap paper to bus tickets. Within the ‘interpersonal peace’ strand of the week the children at Our Lady’s, and Sister school St Eugene’s de Mazenod, spent two days exploring conflict, how it escalates and can be de-escalated. In both peace weeks the children learned the basic steps of mediation and were skilful at reframing blaming language. They enjoyed practising helping their peers resolve playground disputes. Each class explored the notion of community and what’s precious about theirs, creating mosaics to celebrate their class and school communities. Using morally rich and complex stories (such as from Don Rowe’s ‘Talking about Values in the Classroom’) they explored what’s fair, and how people will have different perceptions. Some teachers found it hard to hold back on teaching ‘the right thing’, and letting the children explore different understandings of values building conflict literacy and both cognitive and emotional empathy. As Rowe argues, developing understanding that people will have different ideas about ‘the right thing’ to do increases a person’s capacity for care and the motivation to act kindly towards others, even those who are strangers. “To be able to plan a whole week around peace has given me the skills Teaching Citizenship | 35

Theme Peace Week: Transforming Activities for Whole School Engagement in Human Rights, Citizenship and Peacemaking

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Peace week was to replace the usual project week at the end of the summer term. Children would be involved in its planning, delivery and evaluation… Several hundred individual timetables were created… students loved the freedom to control what they’d be studying. Spending a week in mixed year groups was a learning and community building experience in itself.


to become a better teacher…If other schools could take part in a week like this (or even a few days) I think it would be so valuable to help children to understand how to become better citizens in this world.” Jehan Morbi, Assistant head teacher. For many teachers the difficulty with organising something like a peace week is how to persuade overstretched staff it’s a good idea. The Peace Week resource draws on the delivery of over 400 primary peace lessons and is designed to help with this. It shows how a peace week can meet a wide range of other curriculum demands and requirements, from SMSC development to British Values. “The lesson plans in Peace Week are so detailed and well-resourced it makes teaching different elements of peace really easy, whilst encouraging deep thinking” Ian Morgan, Assistant Head teacher, Drayton Park Primary. Inspired by Chestnut Grove’s amazing peace and human rights week the Peace Week resource includes ideas for secondary teachers. The Assistant Head had an ambitious vision. Peace week was to replace the usual project week at the end of the summer term. Children would be involved in its planning, delivery and evaluation. Staff, as well as outside organisations, were invited to put forward ideas based on their interests. The peace week programme was extremely rich and creative. Students from years 7-10 got to choose from the menu of workshops as if picking from a festival programme. Several hundred individual timetables were created. It was an administrative challenge but students loved the freedom to control what they’d be studying. Spending a week in mixed year groups was a learning and community building experience in itself. Sessions tackled controversial issues. The Israel/ Palestine conflict was explored through two days of workshops delivered by ‘Ecumenical

Accompaniers’ who had visited the region as a Human Rights monitor. The students learned from these eye witness accounts and expressed their thoughts and feelings through a graffiti installation. The geography teacher supporting the sessions said “It’s been a brilliant eye opener for the kids. It’s really expanded their understanding of Human Rights.” ‘It’s ‘A Straight White Man’s World’, was a half-day session exploring why there are so few women, ethnic minorities and LGBT people perusing carers in STEM. Students got to meet people working in the field and to discover why these groups are under-represented. ‘Heroes or Cowards?’ explored conscientious objection and whether it’s ever right to use force to achieve a good end. ‘The Freedom of Speech – Songs that changed the world’ gave students the chance to learn about songs banned for political and religious reasons, and to produce their own lyrics. There were trips to Parliament and along the London peace trail. “This has been the most meaningful project week I’ve ever done. There was a lot of peer learning which is really effective. The kids loved the peace trail. One of our children is from Kerala and he loved visiting the Gandhi statue. He told us about how children celebrate Independence Day in India by cleaning their school – everyone was fascinated.” (Teaching Assistant). ‘Flying a Kite for Peace’ was a two day workshop. “It really enriched our student’s understanding of current issues in Afghanistan. They’ve been able to actively engage with these issues and use their political voices which is so important. We learnt things about Afghanistan and Pakistan from children from those countries who have never shared anything before. They got to fly kites. Lots of them had never done that.” (RE Teacher). Several projects included the whole school community and the school came close to making 1,000 origami peace cranes. Students formed a video team and roving reporters deepened thinking with difficult questions for children and staff. Another group organised an event at the end of the week to showcase learning to parents and carers. “It’s been a brilliant week. I’ve been into every single lesson and it’s been a fantastic experience for everyone”. Mr Kingsley, Head teacher

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Through teaching cooperation and conflict resolution it can provide concrete skills to help students take opportunities to be ‘upstanders’ rather than ‘bystanders’ in their school community and beyond

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The Peace Week resource is being used in a wide range of ways. It can be a positive way to celebrate the end of the school year or an exciting way to start a new term. Some schools hold Peace Week around Remembrance, the UN International Day of Peace on 21 September or Human Rights Day on 10 December. Some schools are dipping into it for drop down days, for others it helps with long term planning, or to help with accreditation such as becoming a UNICEF Rights Respecting School. What’s important is that it fits into the rhythm of your school year and engages your local community in creative ways. By inviting in a range of voluntary groups it’s a brilliant way to see how citizens working together can improve their communities. Being off timetable gives the flexibility to organise mini social projects or social actions in the community. Peace weeks have also originated in communities. In the London borough of Haringey, and in Manchester, peace weeks have been organised as a community response to local safety concerns. Thousands of local residents have participated in peace concerts, prayer walks and lantern parades to reclaim neighbourhoods and promote harmony. In 2016 Oldham launched its first peace week, creating new peace sections in local libraries, assemblies and activities to mark the UN International Day of Peace. Activist, actress and writer Lucy-Anne Holmes, who founded the successful No More Page 3 campaign, is initiating a peace week in the first week of the school holidays. Welwyn Garden City Quaker Meeting House will throw open its doors to the local community and children will be able to sing, paint and perform for peace. “I love these peace education resources” said Lucy, “we’re tapping into the talents and gifts of the community, people

have come forwards to bake, teach music and storytell. I think the children will take it forwards in their own ways and form peace clubs in school, and run their own projects.” Of course even the most fabulous peace week won’t in and of itself create a peaceful school/ society, but it can feed children’s thirst for justice by encouraging critical thinking about what’s fair and right about the world, and what’s not. A peace week can also bring together your school community. Whether that’s increasing levels of respect for each other by deepening awareness of the different religions, cultures and beliefs of your class/school, or improving self-esteem and feelings of being valued through opportunities to affirm each other and work collaboratively. Through teaching cooperation and conflict resolution it can provide concrete skills to help students take opportunities to be ‘upstanders’ rather than ‘bystanders’ in their school community and beyond. It’s true that some changes need sustained work, but a peace week can be both a celebration of all that’s already peaceful about your school and inspiration for new strides forward. It’s a chance to explore fundamental questions central to the kind of society we want to live in and to develop the attitudes, values and skills that will help us create it. Peace Week is available from the Quaker Centre Bookshop (£10 plus p&p) www.quaker.org.uk/ resources/free-resources/peace-week-resources Tel: 020 7663 1030 or for a free download visit: https://bookshop.quaker.org.uk/peace-weekpack_pwp References: Bowers, S and Leimdorfer, T (1990) Quaker Faith and Practice 24.53. Cremin, H and Bevington, T. (2017) Positive Peace in Schools, Oxon: Routledge Don Rowe’s ‘Talking about Values in the Classroom’ professional development unit http://vbe.zone/downloads/resources/talking_ about_values_in_the_classroom_CPD_unit.docx Nosko, A and Széger, K (2013) Active Citizenship Can Change Your Country For the Better, Open Society Foundations Found at https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/ active-citizenship-can-change-your-country-better Teaching Citizenship | 37


LGSMigrants: No Human is Illegal Sam Björn In the current political climate, migrants often bear the brunt of far-right violence, face demonisation in the media and can be criminalised by the state. This article provides a case study to explore a range of controversial themes and viewpoints. It deals with issues around building awareness to LGBTQ+ history, community activism, migration, and the appropriateness of direct action. LGSMigrants use their understanding of LGBTQ+ history and support from within the LGBTQ+ community to perform non violent direct action to raise their message. This article contains powerful and provocative language and imagery, and should be considered as stimulus material to ignite debates with teachers and educators about how to teach ethical dilemmas (see also previous journal issues 32 and 45). LGSMigrants deal with several controversial issues, and so this article provides a starting point for developing the skills to unpack ethical dilemmas and consider a range of viewpoints.

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It took until 2017 to pass the Merchant Shipping (Homosexual Conduct) Act, repealing what was known as the UK’s last anti-gay law.

customers up by the wall”. In 1978 the age of consent for heterosexual sex was 16. For same-sex acts it was 21, due to dangerous, deceitful and damaging depictions of gay men as predators. As the song continues: “make sure your boyfriends at least 21, so only your friends and your brothers get done”. It took until 2000 for those engaging in gay sex – at the same age as their straight peers – to not be deemed illegal. It took until 2017 to pass the Merchant Shipping (Homosexual Conduct) Act, repealing what was known as the UK’s last anti-gay law. As LGBT+ people, our history of being criminalised by the state has shaped our politics and led to our response as LGSMigrants activists against the criminalisation of migrants by the British state. In addition to these experiences of criminalisation, we have an understanding of what it means to be targeted by the far right, vilified in the press and depicted as “threats to society” by right wing politicians and commentators. For citizenship students understanding the perspectives, motivations and biases of the media is key to understanding how power operates in this country. The papers who historically ran homophobic stories and editorials – and continue to actively marginalise the trans community – are the very papers that also dehumanise migrants. These papers


o Human is Illegal: This slogan articulates a great deal of the history of our group, our community and our reason for standing in solidarity with migrant communities today. Queer people are no strangers to being criminalised by the state. Criminalisation is an issue that continues to affect LGBT+ people around the world to this day, but one which is part of our recent history in the UK. Considering the hard-won rights the LGBT+ community in most of Britain and Ireland enjoy today, it is hard to imagine that it was only in 1982, in the North of Ireland, 1981 in Scotland and 1967 in England and Wales that gay sex was partially decriminalised. Until then, even those who dedicated their life’s work to the British state, such as the recently named ‘greatest icon of the 20th century’ Alan Turing were deemed criminal. Even after partial decriminalisation state violence, surveillance and harassment of LGBT+ people persisted. The Tom Robinson Band’s painfully relevant 1978 classic ‘Glad to be Gay’ bitterly mocked this state harassment: “The British police are the best in the world, I don’t believe one of those stories I’ve heard about them raiding our pubs for no reason at all, lining the

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Sam Björn (they/them pronouns), Activist.

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‘pinkwashing’ (a term used to describe Israel as a progressive “gay-friendly” haven in the Middle East as a cover for the ongoing violent occupation of Palestine) academic Jasbir K. Puar coined the term ‘homonationalism’ to describe the way LGBT+ rights are weaponised to demonise migrants, tighten borders and marginalise non-white peoples. One example of this is the bizarre English Defence League (EDL) off-shoot ‘Gays Against Sharia’ who – despite the historic homophobia of the EDL – have attempted to manipulate the mainstream acceptance of queer rights to whip up anti-migrant sentiment. Their demonstration in Manchester in June 2017 quickly turned to violence and a pig’s head was thrown at a woman passer-by. These people are not defending the rights of queer people and are not out allies in the fight for our liberation. In schools, the increasing focus on our “Fundamental British Values” of diversity and tolerance stand in sharp contrast to Britain’s history of slavery, imperialism, racism, homophobia and war. Our now supposedly liberal values are used to marginalise and demonise those from migrant backgrounds. Classroom discussions on identities, how they are formed, co-opted and mobilised could focus on homonationalism, how migrants are discussed in politics, in papers and on the streets by far-right groups. Informed and active young citizens will find themselves coming of age in a world where identity plays a central role in political discourse and where the rising populist right mobilise around the co-option of the struggles of queer people and women. 2015, when LGSMigrants was formed, saw the European ‘refugee crisis’. This was the largest movement of people since the Second World War. The UK’s and other European government’s response to those fleeing war, poverty and destitution was pitiful. Desperate people drowning in the Mediterranean was a daily occurrence, thousands


It is therefore imperative that we honour the memory of those killed at the Admiral by standing shoulder to shoulder with migrants, Muslims and refugees.


distort the truth in order to pit those feeling the impact of austerity and welfare reforms against the stereotype of the benefit defrauding/job-taking ‘Schrodinger’s immigrant’. This drip-feeding of racism and homophobia from the press and politicians can have devastating impacts. A few weeks ago, I was in the Admiral Duncan, a gay pub in Soho. With others from LGSMigrants, I had spent the day on the streets of London opposing Tommy Robinson’s ragtag band of fascists and their attempts at stoking up fears of immigration. In the pub, we sat underneath a memorial chandelier for the three dead and 70 who were injured at the Admiral Duncan in 1999, when fascist David Copeland detonated a nail bomb in a homophobic attack. Copeland had detonated similar explosives in Brixton in an attack on the black community and in Whitechapel, targeting the Bengali community. After his arrest, Copeland told police: “My main intent was to spread fear, resentment and hatred throughout this country; it was to cause a racial war.” As we sat under the memorial, reflecting on a day of opposing Tommy Robinson and his anti-migrant racism, a group of 20 masked fascist stormed the pub – shouting someone’s name. We learned later that they were searching for an anti-racist organiser. The ideas that motivated Copeland’s murderous campaign are alive and well today amongst the modern far right. As queer people we have felt the force of their violence. It is therefore imperative that we honour the memory of those killed at the Admiral by standing shoulder to shoulder with migrants, Muslims and refugees, and that we oppose right wing narratives that fan the flames of fascist violence. In 2015, LGSMigrants was formed, in part as a response to a curious spectacle playing out in British and international politics. Despite the LGBT+ community’s experience of state criminalisation, marginalisation by the press and attacks from the right wing, we were now seeing our queer identities being used to bolster right wing arguments for closing the UK’s borders to those fleeing war and conflict. Hard-won rights for LGBT+ people were presented as part of “British” or “European” values, with migrants – particularly Muslims – constructed as a threat to these values. Those fleeing war-torn countries, including countries where UK bombs had contributed to the conflict and destabilisation, were constructed a threat to us as LGBT+ people. Closing the borders to people fleeing ISIS and searching for safety in the UK was being justified on the grounds that these refugees might be homophobic. Drawing on the rich history of black feminism as well as

Teaching Citizenship | 39

Theme LGSMigrants: No Human is Illegal

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Informed and active young citizens will find themselves coming of age in a world where identity plays a central role in political discourse and where the rising populist right mobilise around the cooption of the struggles of queer people and women.


were left stranded at our border in the infamous Calais “jungle”, fences and walls were erected across fortress Europe. It was the attempts to use our rights as queer people to justify this brutality that spurred us to take action in solidarity with those who were bearing the brunt of being deemed illegal by the state and demonised in the media. The concept of solidarity between LGBT+ people and other marginalised and oppressed groups has a rich and powerful history. From the US anti-war groups such as Lesbians and Gays Against Intervention in Latin America to the Lesbians and Gays Against the H-Block campaign in solidarity with Irish Republican prisoners, we follow a tradition of linking the queer struggle to the struggles of others. One of the most famous example of this solidarity organising was the incredible efforts of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) that was immortalised in the hit film Pride in 2015. The group was formed to raise vital funds to support striking miners and their families through their long, painful and heroic industrial dispute with the Thatcher government. Their efforts ensured much needed support to another community oppressed by the Thatcher government, and also built huge support amongst the trade union movement for LGBT+ rights. The group’s activities were key in winning Labour Party commitment to LGBT+ rights and contributed to enshrining in law many of the rights we take for granted today. The film can be an excellent route into discussing Thatcherism, the impact of neo-liberalism on working class communities, the concept of solidarity and the progress towards LGBT+ rights. LGSMigrants is inspired by these groups and build on a radical queer history of solidarity campaigning. Following the lead of the original LGSM, we visit bars and clubs in London’s Soho, the historic gay area of the city, asking for donations and support from the LGBT+ community. We initially raised money for L’auberge de Migrants, a group supporting those stranded in the Calais

jungle. Since then we have raised thousands of pounds for a range of causes; from local migrant projects to a charity providing support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Our fundraising aims not only to raise money for vital and underfunded migrant causes but also to spread our message of solidarity within the broader LGBT+ community. An integral part of LGSMigrants’ work is non violent direct action. We have taken our message of solidarity with migrants to protests outside the Home Office where we, using medical cannulas (monitored by medical experts), bled into the ponds outside the department to protest the Immigration Act and symbolise the harm that would be caused by the bill. We have used creative tactics such as the time-honoured queer tactic of ‘glitter-bombing’ at the headquarters of Serco, the company who run Yarls’ Wood Women’s detention centre – where allegations of mistreatment, denial of vital medical care, harassment and sexual assault are common place. We have also joined a host of protests against the UK’s detention system, a system where we are the only country in Europe to indefinitely detain migrants, locking up 30,000 people every year “including asylum seekers, children, elderly people, pregnant women and survivors of torture, trafficking and rape” according to pressure group Liberty. On the day of Trump’s inauguration, we participated in a mass ‘banner drop’ across several London bridges when we unfurled a giant ‘Queer Solidarity Smashes Borders’ banner across Vauxhall bridge and let off rainbow smoke flares to oppose the rise of the populist right in the USA and the UK. The actions we take are inspired by a long tradition of creative non violent direct action, the refusal to accept the status quo and the disruption of the day to day operation of an unjust system and draw on the theatrical tactics of our rich queer history. Nearly two years ago we worked with activists from End Deportations and Plane Stupid to prevent a flight, scheduled to remove migrants from the UK, from taking off from Stansted airport. Fifteen activists peacefully chained themselves to the wheels of the plane. Our government routinely rounds up migrants and deports them on secretive, night-time flights. These mass deportation flights are known as “charter flights” and are hired exclusively for that purpose. Those facing deportation often have claims ongoing with the Home Office, have little or no connection to the place they are being deported to and could face poverty, persecution or violence upon being returned. On the flight that was stopped by the activists now known as the Stansted 15, we know that 11 of those on the flight are still in the

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49


Citizenship students should discuss the importance of non violent direct action (such as charter flight protests) for the functioning of a healthy democracy.


UK appealing the Home Office’s decisions, one has been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, while 5 were found to be victims of trafficking. One was a Nigerian lesbian who had been told by her ex-husband that he knew she was being deported and he would kill her on her return to Nigeria. It is clear the groups’ actions were motivated by a desire to prevent serious harm and save lives. Yet, the Stansted 15 were found guilty this year of ‘endangering the safety of an aerodrome’ following a 10-week trial. The offence carries a potential life sentence and is a terror-related charge that was introduced into UK law following the Lockerbie bombing. The trial was observed by Amnesty International, concerned about the implications of the use of terror laws against peaceful protestors, and has been opposed by many leading political figures including the Shadow Home Secretary Dianne Abbott. According to The Guardian, five of the UN’s special rapporteurs on human rights wrote to the UK government on 1 February urging them to “refrain from applying security and terrorism-related legislation to prosecute peaceful protestors”. The use of non violent direct action by protest groups has been integral in winning the rights we, as LGBT+ people, enjoy in the UK today. From the Lesbian activists who abseiled into the House of Lords protesting Section 28 to the Gay Liberation Front activists who, dressed in drag, released mice into the homophobic Festival of Light rally, we cannot ignore the role of non violent direct action in bringing about positive social change. Many of the rights (now ironically celebrated as fundamental “British Values”) we have as a liberal democracy are built upon movements taking direct action against the British state - just look at the movement for women’s suffrage. Citizenship students should discuss the importance of direct action (such as charter flight protests) for the functioning of a healthy democracy. Is the use of terror legislation against peaceful protestors a threat to our democracy, tolerance, the rule of law and individual liberty? Does the UK government successfully uphold students own Fundamental British Values?

The UK government, in its bid to meet immigration removal targets, ramped up its efforts to make people, who often have lived in the UK for years, illegal. This is a matter of grave consequence for those individuals and one which should interest Citizenship students. They must be encouraged to engage critically with our system of borders that detains, deports and demonises our neighbours, colleagues, friends and family. It is a system in which ordinary people are being asked to enforce and be complicit in, from landlords to doctors to teachers – we are all now being asked by the state to question the status of migrants, to question if they are ‘illegal’. The question of who in the UK is afforded citizenship, and the rights that pertain to this status, needs to be critically examined in our classrooms. When a significant proportion of the population, who are known to us, are not regarded as citizens they are denied rights that many of us take for granted. That this status can also be removed, or invalidated as we saw in the Windrush scandal, should make us question who is deemed a citizen of this country. The precedent set by the Home Secretary Sajid Javid this February in the case of Shamima Begum, the 15-year-old child who travelled to Syria to join ISIS, should be of concern to all of us who take an interest in citizenship rights and the children of citizens. The drive to categorise human beings as illegal is one which leads to people being taken from our communities to be indefinitely incarcerated and mistreated in detention centres. This principle leads human beings to be violently deported and returned to places where they face the risk of extreme poverty, persecution and violence. These questions of illegality, of citizenship, of the right to a family life, a right to privacy and rights to freedom of thought and assembly as well as questions of identity are some of the biggest questions facing the next generation. As a community once deemed illegal, we, as LGBT+ people, campaign to end deportations, to end detention and stand together and say No Human Is Illegal. Teaching Citizenship | 41


Supporting Schools to Become LGBT+ Inclusive Jac Bastian As of writing, the experience of a few Birmingham schools and subsequent negative community responses to teaching young people about LGBT+ communities is still a hot topic and demonstrates that the fight for equality for the LGBT+ community is far from concluded. Now more than ever schools need to provide safe learning environments and as we move to the introduction of SRE, citizenship plays a vital part in giving students a voice to make a difference. In this article Jac discusses how Diversity Role Models have empowered a generation of students to not only feel included and supported whatever their sexuality or gender, but to actively seek to end all forms of bullying and prejudice experienced by the LGBT+ community through student-led social action.

What students tell us in workshops Our secondary student workshops start with a series of anonymous questions, designed to glean an 42 | Teaching Citizenship


Empowering students to take social action to create LGBT+ inclusive schools can benefit every school just as it’s benefitted us and the schools and students we support.


n over seven years supporting schools to become LGBT+ inclusive, we at Diversity Role Models have gained a valuable insight into the challenges LGBT+ young people face and the positive solutions available to schools in celebrating difference. A key tool in building our understanding of this is listening to the students themselves, offering them space to discuss the challenges they face and allowing them to generate their own solutions. For the 95,000+ young people we have worked with since our inception we have offered a safe, open environment for them to contribute and openly discuss different identities and work to ensure their schools are welcoming environments for all. This, along with our Student Voice Group, our Campaign Days and our specialist sessions supporting student led groups to take social action at their schools, have shown us the value of centering student voice and the lived experiences of young people when we discuss how and why we must transform the culture of our schools. Empowering students to take social action to create LGBT+ inclusive schools can benefit every school just as its benefitted us and the schools and students we support.

understanding of students’ opinions of what things are like at their school. The final question asks ‘Do you think someone who is LGBT+ would feel comfortable coming out at this school’. Members of school staff who are present in the sessions are often shocked by the results. In the last academic year, on average, 80% of young people said they don’t think someone would be comfortable coming out at their school. Through group discussions we draw out their reasoning for this and their responses help us set out the challenges the school is facing. Isolation, losing friends, gossip, the misuse of language, bullying, misconceptions and inappropriate questions are some of the most common reasons why someone wouldn’t want to come out. As are concerns about objections from parents and religious communities. The insights from these discussions and questions have shaped our work and our sessions are designed to tackle the key issues students raise with us. Through hearing personal stories about the importance of being a good friend and being there for someone who is struggling with their sexuality or gender identity we build empathy and encourage people to support their friends. Through activities on stereotypes and giving students the opportunity to ask anonymous questions such as ‘why did you choose to be gay’ we challenge misconceptions. By the end of the sessions this year 86% of students would support a friend who came out and 95% pledge to not use

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Jac Bastian, Head of Education, Diversity Role Models

What we’ve learnt from Student Voice sessions In addition to centering student voice in our workshops, we have reached out to a range of schools to work more intensively with their students, allowing them to shape the direction of our charity and the advice we give to schools in our staff training. We conducted a series of surveys and focus groups with a range of young people to understand what their schools do well and what the main challenges facing LGBT+ young people are in our education system. They highlighted the need for education on LGBT+ identities to be in-depth, with many expressing frustrations that to find any information on their sexual orientation or gender identity they had to look online rather than covering these topics in an accurate, sensitive and positive manner in class. They also recognised the importance of including LGBT+ identities and issues across the curriculum, from Maths to PE to History. They spoke passionately about the positive impact having visible staff allies as well as student-led equality groups had on their experiences. These allowed them the chance to be themselves in a safe environment or ask for support form a member of staff they know would listen in a school system that often marginalises their identities. This year we launched our Student Voice group with 15 students from seven different schools. At the group they were able to share ideas and inspire each other to be student leaders who www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49


Our sessions end with students making positive pledges about action they can take to be an active ally to the LGBT+ community.


homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language. Our sessions end with students making positive pledges about action they can take to be an active ally to the LGBT+ community. Hearing students who may have entered the workshop unsure about how they could, or even if they would support a friend, actively pledging to challenge prejudice when they see it, is incredibly inspiring. As someone grappling with my own sexuality through secondary school I know I would have felt reassured if I had known that the vast majority of my classmates would be there for me when I came out. Through students raising the challenges of having parents or faith communities who may not be supportive we have developed workshops on faith and sexuality as well as workshops for parents and carers that explore the importance of creating safe learning environments, bringing parents on board with the work the school is doing. Giving students the space to share their views is key to ensuring our work remains relevant.

can advocate for inclusion and equality at their schools. Working with these young people gives us greater insight into their experiences in schools and helps us meet the needs of those in education today. They came up with lots of ideas for how to improve their own schools as well as what best practice in education looks like to them, such as by having gender neutral toilets, an inclusive curriculum and ensuring all teachers have the necessary training so that they understand that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language is not ‘just banter’. The approaches suggested by the young people we surveyed and spoke to, and the 15 students who formed our Student Voice Group, aligned perfectly with what is considered best practice in this field. This should give teachers the confidence to listen to their students, to involve them in discussions and let them take the lead in improving their schools. In addition to this Diversity Role Models have developed Student Voice workshops in which we can support students to map the issues that LGBT+ people could be facing at their school before generating positive solutions to these issues and planning a campaign to take action and change their school for the better. The schools that participated in our Campaign Day back in 2017 ran a series of successful campaigns and events at their school to help tackle the issues they themselves had identified. One group lobbied their PSHE lead to create a more inclusive Relationships and Sex Education curriculum and worked with this teacher to audit the curriculum and include a range of identities while discussions on healthy relationships could occur. One group abolished the strict gendered code on their school uniform in support of their trans, non-binary and gender

Teaching Citizenship | 43

Theme Supporting Schools to Become LGBT+ Inclusive

How can you bring student voice into your LGBT+ inclusion work? There are so many ways to involve student voice in school life and student involvement in taking action for LGBT+ inclusion is a powerful, inspiring and effective way of transforming your school culture. Many schools have now formed LGBT+ Equality Groups, similar to the Gay Straight Alliances of the USA, which not only provide a safe space for students to meet and discuss but can provide a vehicle for taking social action at school. One student from the Pride Club at the Coop Academy Walkden said, “my time in pride club has given me time to learn to be who I am and be comfortable with it”. Their teacher Becky Gittins explained her reasons for forming the group and how it has grown into a hub of social action at the school. “I saw a need for a safe space for LGBT+ Teens, for them to feel safe to explore who they are in a space free from judgement. This is how Pride Club started. But the students have used it as a vehicle to empower themselves and each other. Finding that there are students just like them has given them the confidence to accept themselves. We are trying to change our culture at school, and the students are leading it, even intending to run a training programme about LGBT+ bullying to Year 7s. They are becoming a strong community of their own, represented and proud. Through this LGBT+ inclusive ideas are being breed throughout school, 44 | Teaching Citizenship


One group lobbied their PSHE lead to create a more inclusive Relationships and Sex Education curriculum and worked with them to audit the curriculum and include a range of identities while discussing healthy relationships


non-conforming peers. One put on a hugely successful Pride event that was the talk of the school. Through identifying their own solutions to the problems they faced students successfully transformed the cultures of their schools while gaining the skills and confidence required of young campaigners.

there’s now an LGBT+ section of the newspaper and others are campaigning to have non-gendered PE. They have the confidence and strength to make changes to be heard and be counted. I’m so proud of their courage and tenacity. They will be the LGBT+ activists of the future that make needed changes.” Such groups can deliver assemblies, launch drives on eradicating discriminatory language, review policies and audit the curriculum, deliver staff training and inductions for new staff, raise money for LGBT charities and a whole load more. You can work with external organisations to help them plan campaigns and be drivers of social change in your communities. Surveys can help identify the specific issues within your school and existing mechanisms such as student councils can take a lead on analysing the results and generating solutions. Below are two inspiring examples of how student voice can empower students to transform their schools and build the confidence and skills to be advocates of social change. Impact on whole school community Eastbury Community School in Barking set up a student led Equalities Committee who have taken on a central role in shaping the culture of their school and local community. It has become a source of immense pride for the school, with their Executive Head Teacher David Dickson commenting that “It makes me feel extremely proud and privileged to be the head teacher when I hear that pupils are bringing about positive changes to our inclusive community and improving the lives of many. I was recently humbled to hear a student say, when being asked what they like about school, ‘Eastbury allows me to be me’. I encourage every school to get involved in such pioneering work and cannot thank Diversity Role Models enough for their superb work.” The student led Eastbury Equalities Committee successfully bid for funding and embarked on a project to upskill themselves as change makers and reduce the incidents of Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic (HBT) language and bullying within the school. The group analysed records of HBT incidents, conducted their own surveys, reviewed the school policies, reviewed the PSHE curriculum, created inclusive displays, celebrated key dates such as LGBT+ History Month, booked Diversity Role Models workshops, wrote and

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Impact on the students themselves At Woodside High School students have similarly been leading the charge towards LGBT+ inclusion. They took an active role in formulating the school’s shared values, one of which is to “be polite and respect people for who they are, embrace diversity and celebrate our differences”. Staff training on LGBT+ inclusion was delivered by their student-led Equality and Diversity Group, who play a leading role in tackling all forms of prejudice and discrimination at the school, from sexism and racism to transphobia. Seeing once reserved and shy students leading an all staff INSET day is testament to the power of taking student voice seriously. Not only does it help best identify the particular challenges and generate relevant and practical solutions, it also builds the confidence of those students who have for too long felt that their schools don’t value them, that their identities aren’t celebrated and who have had their confidence knocked by HBT bullying and language. As their Co-Head Gerry Robinson notes, “Woodside High’s student www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49


The group successfully bid for funding and embarked on a project to upskill themselves as change makers and reduce the incidents of Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic (HBT) language and bullying within the school.


delivered a lesson on LGBT+ inclusion to a local primary school and, having identified a lack of confidence in students in reporting incidents to teachers, introduced a ‘confide’ button on each students computer account that allowed them to easily reach out to a member of staff of their choice to ask for support. Throughout the project, not only did 100% of the students now say they felt confident in challenging HBT bullying, but they also saw a dramatic change in the culture of the school. After the project there were 0 recorded incidents (or expulsions) for HBT bullying or language, a 33% decrease in those saying they’d use HBT language and a 18% increase in students feeling comfortable ‘coming out’. The work was highly commended in their latest Ofsted report and with the proposed changes to the inspection framework is likely to be even more of a focus for Ofsted going forward. As their PSHE coordinator Jo Caswell notes, “students know their voice and actions are valued by the school community, they are proud of their work, and recognise the understanding and skills they are developing are beneficial to both themselves and others. One day these young people may be leaders in our communities committed to promoting equality and celebrating diversity”.

Equality and Diversity Group has transformed our community. The impact of their work has extended far beyond our school and the personal impact it has had on raising the confidence and aspirations of the students involved. Our Equality Group is a powerful example of the importance of giving young people the platform and support to lead on social action and creating solutions to make our communities more LGBTQI+ inclusive.” Centering student voice has allowed us at DRM to better understand the reality of HBT bullying in schools. It has helped us know what students themselves view as best practice which has informed the training we’ve delivered to 4,500 staff members and will continue to inform the training we are developing as part of our Government Equalities Office funded work with 100 schools over the next year. More importantly, it has also transformed schools. It has shifted cultures and ended the silence around LGBT+ identities. Through students leading this work they have successfully reduced the misuse of language and created a more welcoming and inclusive culture. It has transformed the lives of those young people involved in the work. It has given them the skills and confidence to stand up to discrimination, to educate their peers and their teachers and allowed their identities to be celebrated within their school communities. Through supporting your students to be active in promoting LGBT+ inclusion you can change lives and your community for the better.

Teaching Citizenship | 45


A Life of Social Action Lucinda Neall Author Lucinda Neall takes us on a journey through her life of social action, encouraging us as educators to tap into inspirational community members and groups to activate students in creating opportunities for local social action. Lucinda explores some of the projects that motivated her and even gave her inspiration to be a writer. Lucinda’s books are widely available, for more information: www.aboutourboys.com

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By now I had changed careers, realising that I needed to work with people rather than figures, and moved into training.


was surprised when I was asked to talk to a citizenship class about creating community cohesion and volunteering. Even though at the time I was running the local youth club and in the process of helping a community group in our nearest town set up their own, and I had recently handed over the pantomime group to some keen young people in the village. So, when I thought about it more, I realised being asked to talk to the students was something I did know about – I’d been active and volunteering since I was fourteen. It was the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award that started me off: helping on Meals on Wheels for my Bronze Award; visiting two old ladies in sheltered housing for my Silver; and spending Sunday afternoons with a young woman with a learning disability for my Gold. For the residential I chose a play scheme in a hospital for children with severe learning difficulties. It was organised by International Voluntary Service (IVS) and I was one of 17 volunteers from Europe, the USA and Iran. I enjoyed that experience so much that I volunteered to take part in IVS work camps for the next few years, first in London, then in Yorkshire, France and Cameroon. I applied to do a degree in Maths and Economics but wanted to take a year out first. I volunteered for six months with Community Service Volunteers (now called Volunteering Matters) and was placed in a secure unit for girls in Wakefield. As an 18-year-old southerner in a unit for 16-year-olds from the North, I learnt a lot in a short space of time. One of the younger members of staff was involved in PHAB clubs

(for disabled and able-bodied young people), so I was introduced to her local friends who were now volunteer helpers themselves. I have great memories of getting lifts in the base of blue disability cars, and bumping wheelchairs up stairs to a party in a first floor flat. After graduation I got a job as government economist and in my spare time was involved with IVS’s London Teenage Project. We took teenagers out of the city to help on projects such as clearing blackthorn on the North Downs. My boyfriend at the time worked in a residential unit for boys, and when he organised a cross-channel sail-training voyage I went as an adult volunteer. I was already a dinghy sailor and it was wonderful to literally broaden my horizons. Over the years I changed job, boyfriend and where I lived, but every now and again I managed to gather together a group of teenagers for a sail-training voyage. I later became a volunteer watch-leader for Ocean Youth Trust South, and still sail with them three times a year. Parenthood brought with it new challenges, such as how to get my three-year-old to do what I wanted him to. Teenagers seemed relatively straightforward compared to my toddler. A parenting book lent by a neighbour offered solutions and suggested material to run a parenting group. My husband and I sent off for it, advertised it locally and set up a self-help group for parents. By now I had changed careers, realising that I needed to work with people rather than figures, and moved into training. My husband and I ran courses for schools and businesses on improving management, communication and teamwork. The communication strategies for parents opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at things, and I later adapted this material for teachers.

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Lucinda Neall, Author.

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

‘‘ ‘‘

My son went to a playgroup in the village hall. One day the two women who ran it announced that it was to close. They had every right to move on but I found myself saying, “You can’t make the decision to close the playgroup – the playgroup belongs to the village”. So I organised a meeting to find out what the parents thought, explaining that if we wanted it to continue we’d have to step up to the plate and get involved. The parents decided to keep the playgroup running, and when they asked me to chair the new committee I felt I was in no position to refuse! I was a parent helper at my son’s primary school for a couple of years, the first in his class and the second with older children. It was there that I noticed some teachers seemed to find girls easier to deal with than boys, particularly the more boisterous boys. By then I had been working with some primary schools on teacherpupil communication, and asked them if I could research boys in school. This resulted in the publication of my first book, Bringing the Best out in Boys – Communication Strategies for Teachers.

We decided to find out what young people’s concerns were, and arranged a meeting with students in a school council… The town council officers saw this as a good thing and we were invited to meetings; the councillors’ views of us ranged from ‘refreshing’ to ‘naïve’, but generally our inputs were appreciated

Around the same time I was a member of Leighton Buzzard’s Local Exchange Trading Scheme, LETSBuzz, which allowed people to exchange goods and services for a virtual currency called Buzzards. I found this a great way to get help with baby sitting and gardening, with the bonus of finding friends with a similar outlook on life. After a trip to London I told one of my LETSBuzz friends about the homeless young people I’d seen. We asked ourselves what could be done in Leighton Buzzard so its young people didn’t end up on the street. We decided to find out what young people’s concerns were, and arranged a meeting with students in a school council. Then we held a meeting for the shopkeepers to brainstorm how the town centre could be improved; out of that came the Town Centre Action Group. The town council officers saw this as a good thing and we were invited to meetings; the councillors’ views of us ranged from ‘refreshing’ to ‘naïve’, but generally our inputs were appreciated. I decided to adopt ‘naïve but refreshing’ as a style, since it prevented getting drawn into negativity. The Council had by now appointed a Town Centre Manager who asked me and my friend if we would set up a Youth Arts Festival to celebrate the creativity of our young people. We did this for a couple years. My friend became ill and had to step back, so I re-focussed the festival onto ‘Jam in the Park’, a music event by young people for young people, and found a 16 year old and 19 year old keen to organise it. The Town Council decided to set up a Youth Forum to represent the views of young people, and asked me to apply for the parttime job of coordinator. As well as looking at ways to improve the town for young people, the forum took on responsibility for organising ‘Jam in the Park’. We had a trip to Parliament, where we met the MP and watched the House of Commons in session, and a cross-channel sail-training voyage. The Town Council wanted to set up a teenage advice and information centre, TACTIC, and eventually found premises and recruited full-time staff to run it. TACTIC took on responsibility for the Youth Forum and ‘Jam in the Park’. Each year I used to go and help out with ‘Jam in the Park’, Teaching Citizenship | 47

Theme A Life of Social Action

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so I re-focussed the festival onto ‘Jam in the Park’, a music event by young people for young people, and found a 16 year old and 19 year old keen to organise it.


litter picking on the day mostly. As the festival got bigger it consumed too much staff time and energy so it was decided to stop. But it ran for ten years, which was pretty good as far as I was concerned. My work with the Youth Forum ending coincided with our village youth club needing someone to take it on. I realised it was time to put my energies into the village again. When I was given the paperwork I was fascinated to see that the club had been going for 25 years and I was merely the next person to take a turn. At that time the village had a preponderance of teenage boys, so research for my books was inadvertently taking place in the village hall each Thursday evening. And of course a couple of sail-training voyages had to be organised! A chance comment at a quiz night brought on the next project. Someone said what fun it would be to have a village pantomime, so I offered her a deal: if she was prepared to direct it, I would find her a cast. That didn’t prove too difficult, as most of the kids from the youth club wanted to take part, and my husband, the vicar and one of the parents joined in too. It was a great success, and the village hall was packed for three nights running. The director and I carried on for two more years and then handed over to a group of enthusiastic thespians in their late teens and twenties who went on to produce seven more shows.

The publication of Bringing the Best out in Boys led to training days for teachers and occasional evening sessions for parents. After one of these a parent told me how much he was looking forward to reading my book. I guiltily explained the book was aimed at teachers, and realised it was time to adapt it for parents and youth workers. So About Our Boys was published, and many schools asked me to work with their teachers during the day and their parents in the evening; if both were to use the approach it could affect not only school and home, but also the community. After a tai chi class I was talking to the mother about how boys’ energy was often perceived as something to be squashed rather than appreciated and channelled. We wondered whether it would be possible to make our town ‘boy-friendly’. It turned out that my classmate was the coordinator of the cluster of local schools, which had funding for extended services. She asked the schools if they would like to host Bringing the Best out in Boys workshops for parents; six took up the offer. The attendance at those workshops was astonishing: in one lower school we ran out of chairs, had parents sitting on benches and had to wheel in the chair from the head’s office! We discussed how to make a bigger impact than just going home and dealing with our sons, and how to create safe, friendly neighbourhoods where both adults and children could thrive. Three mums wanted to set up a junior youth club for their children and a group was formed to do this. We had support from the council and the police, and two teachers volunteered to help at the club and be on the committee. The club was in the pavilion in the park, which was also used for football and toddler group. Instead of paying rent we cleaned the hall, kitchen and toilets each week – initially this was the adult volunteers, but later we were joined by teenagers who had progressed from youth club members to volunteer helpers. During this time I published How to Talk to Teenagers, a short book addressing the problems

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The attendance at those workshops was astonishing: in one lower school we ran out of chairs… We discussed how to make a bigger impact than just going home and dealing with our sons, and how to create safe, friendly neighbourhoods where both adults and children could thrive.

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adults have when communicating with teenagers. I wanted an easy reference book that was accessible to those who might not normally look at that kind of thing. However a few people told me I should have written the book for teenagers, not adults. It seemed hard enough to get adults to engage with this stuff without imagining teenagers might as well! A school that I had done a lot of work with invited me to be the guest speaker at their prize-giving evening. I thought hard about what advice a sixteen year old would find useful and decided to look at what I had learnt in life that might have been handy to know earlier. Having worked out what this was I realised it was time to tackle a book aimed at teenagers, but it took a few more years to arrive at a format that I thought they would read. While our son was growing up my husband and I would make sure one of us was at home while the other was working. Once he left home I hoped we would be able to run courses together. The opportunity came about in a surprising way. A friend in London had gone to her local volunteer centre and signed up to help a South African charity that wanted to bring their violence reduction programmes to the UK. She volunteered as an administrator and found the charity was looking for trainers to deliver their programme. She put us in touch, they trained us in the programme and we delivered it to young offenders and adult ex-offenders. Later we developed our own course for a broader group – anyone who had experienced difficulties in their lives such as homelessness, addictions, trauma and mental health problems. We noticed that often a third of the participants were dyslexic and took their advice on how to produce workbooks that were easy to read. Seeing the problems the people who came on our courses had faced, it became clear what I needed to say to teenagers. I wanted to give them information about confidence, communication, boundaries, dealing with setbacks, and making the most of opportunities. I chose dyslexia-friendly colours and

font, and asked a friend of my son to illustrate it. I decided to call it A Life Guide for Teenagers. I’ve now moved back to my home town on the south coast. I thought it might be a sort of retirement from social action and I would focus on family, sailing and creating a new home. But a year in and I found myself volunteering to be election agent for our local Labour Party – it must be in my blood! Links Duke of Edinburgh’s Award www.dofe.org International Voluntary Service https://ivsgb.org Volunteering Matters https://volunteeringmatters.org.uk PHAB www.phab.org.uk Sail Training https://uksailtraining.org.uk Ocean Youth Trust South www.oytsouth.org Bringing the Best out in Boys www.hawthornpress.com About Our Boys www.leapingboy.com How to Talk to Teenagers www.leapingboy.com Volunteer Centres www.ncvo.org.uk A Life Guide for Teenagers www.leapingboy.com Teaching Citizenship | 49


From Protest to Pedagogy: Learning at the Gates of Greenham Joe Jukes This article introduces to us the gender, race and marginalisation themes that CND Peace Education will explore in its sixth pack currently in production. CND Peace Education aims to empower young people and teachers with knowledge about nuclear weapons. They offer free assemblies and workshops to schools, colleges and teacher training institutions across England, and publish freely available teaching packs. There are currently 5 cross-curricular packs available, two boasting the ACT Quality Mark.

Copyright Bob Naylor photography

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Strictly women only, non-violent and with a certain disrespect for the law, the actions of the Greenham Common women today provide an inspirational example for the gender-aware, environmentally conscious students we teach.


Greenham Common’s progressive story will be the focus of a lesson in CND Peace Education’s brand new teaching pack, which will explore gender, race and marginalisation in nuclear politics, and is due to be published this year. The controversy sparked by Greenham Common is well documented, and provides exciting stimuli for students to reflect on the citizenship themes of identity, equality, participation and democracy, whilst also considering the times in which they live – seeing both a heightened threat of nuclear war, with international treaties either torn up or in jeopardy, and an increase in women’s dissent as exemplified by the ‘MeToo’ movement. Just last month four women, one of them a UK MEP, broke into

and blocked the runway of a military air base in Belgium. Scaling a perimeter fence, and unfurling a banner reading ‘Europe Free of Nuclear Weapons’, their action against US nuclear bombs in European countries echoes Greenham in both politics and practice. Can questions of morality be ruled by law? Can social justice be hindered by the justice system? These are questions that come to life in the tumultuous years of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. Begun in 1981 to protest against the UK’s hosting of US cruise missiles during the Cold War, the famous makeshift camps formed a 19-year-long continuous action for the removal of those nuclear missiles from British soil. Women ‘Breaching the Peace’ Strictly women-only, non-violent and with a certain disrespect for the law, the actions of the Greenham Common women today provide an inspirational example for the gender-aware, environmentally conscious students we teach. The Greenham Common women’s social action posed an interesting question: “Why is peace a women’s issue?” In doing so they educated not just Britain, but the world, and did so by example. Through their constant occupation of the camp, and unyielding disruption (staging demonstrations, blockading entrances and exits, cutting or dismantling the perimeter fence), they used their own position as women to colour a politics of caring, considered and confrontational. Even when faced with heavy-handed evictions by the police,

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Joe Jukes Peaceworker CND Peace Education

Main Gate with singing & dancing. Part of 10 days of action.

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look at different examples from around the globe where identity is used in nuclear conflicts. Teachers will be provided with a suite of lessons that can focus on a specific example, such as Greenham, whilst helping students to reflect on global, moral, and political issues more broadly. Whilst you wait for the publication of the pack, take a look at what we do have available for free for teachers, at www.cnduk.org/education. Plus you can pre-order your free copy of the new pack, or/and share a comment or suggestion regarding Greenham with us, by dropping an e-mail to peaceworker@cnduk.org – we’d love to hear from you. Copyright Melanie Friend

pejorative media coverage and opposition from civil society, these women persisted and reminded us all to think ‘woman’ differently. Consistently flouting the law, Greenham women would argue that the law itself was preventing peace from flourishing, and that by hosting weapons that could spark a nuclear conflict; the state might actually have been contributing to its own citizens’ impending doom. Can we say then, that the social justice pursued at Greenham was ‘above the law’? Is it right that active citizenship and the rule of law can clash so spectacularly? The voice of Greenham wasn’t just singular, either, but it was produced in an environment not previously seen in British politics. In the makeshift ‘benders’, tarpaulin sheets that shielded protesters from the winter cold, emerged a radical feminist, cross-class and pacifist community, with supporters across the globe. The iconic nature of the camp can raise, for students, questions of social, moral, legal and political bent, from local to global scales. Our new resource will use role-play and drama to explore the experiences of Greenham women, but many teaching techniques can tap into Greenham’s wonderful balance of specificity and generality, infused as it is with defiant identity. The pack will

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Citizenship to Teach News and Current Affairs Richard Addis Richard Addis is founder and editor of The Day which publishes independent online daily news for teachers to use in schools. The Day’s mission is News To Open Minds and its vision is “every child in the world informed and engaged”. In this piece Richard proposes a Citizenship unit of study in light of the current consultation around OFSTED to improve the curriculum.

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A major focus should be signs of credibility: how to tell if a piece of content is verifiable, independent and if its author is accountable and transparent.


A good and practical way to help make the world a better place would be to find a way for every child in the UK to be offered a citizenship unit of study in news literacy and current affairs, at both primary school and secondary. News literacy helps develop skills that are valuable right across the curriculum and prepares children for their adult life and Citizenship teachers are the ideal people to develop this. At secondary level we should create a programme that gives every student a basic knowledge of how to find quality news through social media and the internet, how to know what to believe, how to fact-check, how to research online and how to build a high-quality personalised feed, in words, audio and video. A major focus should be signs of credibility: how to tell if a piece of content is verifiable, independent and if its author is accountable and transparent. How do news creators let you know what they know, what they don’t know and why they don’t know? A key part of being newsliterate is that we are all reporters now. So we should teach skills and principles of contributing and commenting. Such a course should also cover images - the photo/video that’s famously worth 1,000 words can now be deep-faked along with considerations of context, fairness, bias and evidence. At primary level there is much that can be done to prepare younger children for their future life on social media. In fact, it is arguably best to learn while there’s still a bit of critical distance between child and phone. We know that children in key stage one/two can pick up the beginnings of the big current affairs topics in intelligent, mainly

graphic and video formats. They can be introduced to some excellent early news resources. My professional experience of working on current affairs in education over the past decade has taught me that nothing nurtures genuine news literacy like actually reading and discussing the news as it happens. And so, schools would ideally incorporate regular discussion of current affairs in form time as well as the core content in lessons. Here at ‘The Day’, we have starting calling this a “real-world curriculum”. Our work with schools suggests there are five main activities that any realworld citizenship curriculum should include. Building core knowledge about the contemporary world - especially the major undercurrents that drive so much of the news agenda. Discussing the “good question” at the heart of every story - that is to say, seeking out the sweet spot for genuine listening and debate which is the essential reason current affairs is interesting. Every topical item, almost without exception, raises at least one question that allows us to mine our souls and work out who we are. Paying attention to the three types of truth invariably all tangled up in the way news is written and presented: actual truth (or the universe as it actually exists), scientific truth (or a hypothesis based on evidence and probability) and journalistic truth (or provisional understanding based on what we know at the time, “the first rough draft of history” as we journalists call it). Forming (and then articulating) an evolving body of personal opinions around which a child can construct a framework of debate and knowledge that grows over time. These frameworks are a brilliant tool for guiding further research,

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Richard Addis, The Day Founder and Editor, @richardaddis

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Right now these values are being corroded and undermined by a population ill-equipped to deal with the real disease of modern, rich civilisations: a tsunami of bullshit.


testing arguments, connecting with adults, building confidence and inspiring lifelong learners. Making the links between school subjects and to the outside world. Joining the dots is the ultimate reward of learning, the aha moment when things click into place, when the slog of swotting feels worthwhile and when the learner experiences thinking beyond the limits of their own experience. Why is this important? Why would this make the world a better place, not just helping to create a new generation of confident, less-gullible people? The main reason is that creating newsliterate future generations is in itself absolutely at the heart of what the world needs. As I write it is a fairly typical day. There are three major developing news stories that require high levels of sophisticated interpretation if one wishes to retain one’s sanity. First, the US president’s former legal advisor Michael Cohen, a convicted liar himself, is testifying to the US Congress that the world’s most powerful leader is a criminal, a racist, a conman and a cheat. Second, two of the world’s nuclear powers, also two of the biggest nations on earth, are shooting down each other’s aircraft and talking about a war that would likely result in the deaths of millions of people. Third, the much-feted summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump that was supposed to herald an end to the Korean War, has suddenly ended without a deal and a welter of speculation about what that signifies for world peace. Following any of these stories on Twitter or Instagram is going to convince you rapidly to go and live in a cave with a lifetime supply of canned beans. Reading the Financial Times or the Economist is going to offer you a sliver of hope and a measure of balance. Hope and balance are necessary for life but the real future of human society depends upon values of reason, liberty and truth that in turn underpin democracy and government. The great challenges of today will never be met without a

huge neo-enlightenment or renaissance of reason. Right now these values are being corroded and undermined by a population ill-equipped to deal with the real disease of modern, rich civilisations: a tsunami of bullshit. The key text on this topic ‘On Bullshit’ was written by Harry Gordon Frankfurt in 1986, thirty years ahead of its time. In it he examines the famous Augustinian analysis of eight types of lying in which seven of the types are means to an end and the eighth is motivated by the sheer love of deception. He proposes a ninth: bullshit. This is the real killer: far more damaging to the truth than lying. “Someone who lies and someone who tells the truth are playing on opposite sides, so to speak, in the same game”. The bullshitter, by contrast, simply doesn’t care paying no attention to the truth at all. Frankfurt blames the current plague of bullshit, first on: “the widespread conviction that it is the responsibility of a citizen in a democracy to have opinions about everything, or at least everything that pertains to the conduct of his country’s affairs”. Second on relativism: “various forms of scepticism which deny that we can have any reliable access to an objective reality and which therefore reject the possibility of knowing how things truly are”. Third on the idea that springs from this: since there is no truth, the only ideal worth chasing is sincerity. “Since it makes no sense to try to be true to the facts, you must therefore try instead to be true to yourself ”. And he concludes that since human nature is notoriously less stable and less inherent than the natures of other things “sincerity itself is bullshit”. Today, when much of planet is run by a veritable emperor of bullshit just as we face uniquely complex and apocalyptic challenges, we desperately need a future in which people know how to read reality and play an active part in shaping it. In this context I believe there are few ideas more important than teaching current affairs in schools. Teaching Citizenship | 53


Review of ‘The UK’s Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit’. Edited by Patrick Dunleavy, Alice Park and Ros Taylor. Published and accessed: press.lse.ac.uk We had to give Sera a bit more room for this review as The UK’s Changing Democracy is packed full of high quality content, ‘a staple book of reference’ that confirms current knowledge while promoting new ideas. It would be a welcome edition to every teacher’s bookshelf or bookmark on their web browser.

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Teaching should be relevant and engaging; this book has all the ingredients needed to take learning to the next level


The UK’s Changing Democracy: the 2018 Democratic Audit is an invaluable addition to any citizenship teacher’s bookshelf. If there is no room left on your bookshelf this book is available in full via open access (free to use with acknowledgment). It has complete digital functionality in order for readers to be taken to a range of topics, searching theory words, and factual subjects. You will find yourself frequently referring to this book for the contributions made, it will enhance teaching and learning on all aspects of UK politics. In fact, I would argue that this book is essential to any institution that follows a programme of Citizenship education study. The contributions made within have wide applicability for any citizenship or politics classroom and having read and used a lot of this book already, I would highly recommend it being a staple book of reference. The book itself, however daunting to the reader just by its sheer size (520 pages), is easy to navigate, contains a wealth of material that will inform many case studies explored within citizenship and is written in a structured and clear way that will enhance practitioners planning. Split into eight sections the book explores how democratic the UK’s electoral system is, the channels of political participation, Westminster, national and devolved government as well how far equalities are secured. Each chapter is framed to allow easy reading and a very useful SWOT analysis of the topic in question, setting out considerations of arguments for and against a particular theme. Teaching should be relevant and engaging;

this book has all the ingredients needed to take learning to the next level both by the commentary used throughout and by its unambiguity in the way that theoretical and very politically academic concepts are related to key events. As citizenship educators we need to be getting across the wider issues that underpin events, to challenge students thinking and develop a more comprehensive appreciation of just how all our lives are connected by ‘democratic forces’. The citizenship classroom should never focus on the end product, it should never be a classroom based solely on specifications and assessment, but one concerned with providing dynamic environments, rich in wide ranging source material, debate and at its heart providing access to knowledge that will open up opportunities for young people. I rarely use the ‘Ofsted’ word, however Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman’s commentary on the proposals for the 2019 education inspection framework, offers hope for a new focus of knowledge over results “the curriculum is not the timetable, nor is it what we think might come up in the exam. We all have to ask ourselves how we have created a situation where second-guessing the test can so often trump the pursuit of real, deep, knowledge and understanding.” (Spielman, 2018). If we are to develop politically active young people with a thirst for more knowledge, then any disconnect between theory and the classroom needs to be addressed. There is a need for books

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Sera Shortland, ACT Teaching Ambassador and ACT Council Member.

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teachers need access to high quality and accessible resources, which are often difficult to find, it is usually a case of scrambling around the news, scouring through textbooks, white papers and political comment from trusted sources, there is never what you need in one place, until now.


such as this and for future publications to continue to extend the explanations of key events that happen within the UK, helping to shape the bigger political questions in more accessible ways. Given that the core citizenship knowledge and concepts include power, democracy, freedom, rights, equality and the rule of law, it is somewhat disconcerting to read through Examiners reports suggesting that students have a sound grasp of some of these areas at the detriment of others. For example, commentary within one highlights a lack of confidence with “Section B (Democracy at work in the UK), there is a need to teach and cover the core elements of how democracy functions in the UK… how elections work and how parliament functions are a central theme of this topic.” (Edexcel, 2018). There is a need for us all to teach this element with greater levels of success and the content of The UK’s Change Democracy takes on even greater relevancy when considering questions coming out of GCSE exam boards that require students to not only have deeper knowledge, making links and connections with political institutions and current affairs but also to explore their understanding through the use of case study analysis. Within one 2018 exam paper, students were asked to justify their opinion and consider the opinions of others on the question of whether a free press can do as much harm in a democracy as good. This question demands students to understand firstly the basic key words ‘free press’ and ‘democracy’ and then articulate balanced arguments for and against any harm the free press can do and relate it to the concept of being in a democracy. Students need to hold sophisticated tacit knowledge concerning for example, how far the UK is democratic, other forms of government, press regulation, libel law and ‘gag’ orders or social media technologies, much of which may have been developed through the more active elements of Citizenship. Further, students then must

develop their own arguments about the issue using in depth analysis of historical/ current case examples, the Leveson Inquiry, BREXIT, and Fake News and how they relate to the question. Students need a high degree of political literacy but also have the confidence and breadth of knowledge to create persuasive argument, this book enables teachers to develop these skills for their students. Teachers need this knowledge and understanding to be confident to challenge and extend arguments. Students deserve no less than “high quality Citizenship curricula and confident trained Citizenship teachers” (ACT, 2018). To fulfil this, teachers need access to high quality and accessible resources, which are often difficult to find, it is usually a case of scrambling around the news, scouring through textbooks, white papers and political comment from trusted sources, there is never what you need in one place, until now. The UK’s Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit is a political literacy compendium. In terms of the above GCSE question, the book develops short yet detailed and factual chapters on ‘The media system, social media and citizen vigilance, the worsening context for liberal democracy, human rights and civil liberties’. Providing all the substance needed, in an accessible way, to push the thinking of any interested reader. It does however, go far beyond helping with GCSE questions, when undertaking any curriculum review, this book offers an insightful perspective of politics within the UK and could be used to form the basis of a unique knowledge rich experiences for our students. References: Association for Citizenship Teaching (2018) Strategic Plan 2018-2023. Edexcel (2018) GCSE Citizenship Studies (2016) Examiner’s Report Paper 1 June 2018. Spielman, A. (2018). Speech to the SCHOOLS North East Summit, found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ amanda-spielman-speech-to-the-schoolsnortheast-summit Teaching Citizenship | 55

Review Helen Blachford; Head of Faculty, Humanities & Curriculum Leader PSCHE, Priory School. Chair of ACT Council, ACT Teaching Ambassador.

Review of Malala Yousafzai; We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World Helen gives a moving review and a compelling reason to buy Malala’s book and share the stories of a handful of the millions refugees with our students. I was fortunate to be able to purchase a ticket to attend a Guardian Live event at The Barbican, London in January 2019: ‘An Evening with Malala Yousafzai’. As a Citizenship teacher I regularly cite the story of Malala’s fight for education for girls in her home country of Pakistan, a fight which of course almost took her life. She is for me a perfect example of a human rights defender to use with the young people I teach – a young person who herself embodies active citizenship. So to be able to be in the same room as someone who inspires me in my work and hear her speak about her work, her hopes and her recently published book telling stories of refugee girls around the world was a real privilege. There are more than 68.5 million people who are currently living as refugees or internally displaced people – the majority are children and most are girls. On average a refugee who is forced to flee their home will be subject to 20 years of insecurity! This often means no home, no education and no country to call their own. We hear a lot about refugees but when do we hear from them? In her book, ‘We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World’, Malala introduces us to the girls behind the numbers – the stories often left untold. As Malala says “What tends to get lost in the current refugee crisis is the humanity behind the statistics. We hear about millions of refugees, hundreds of migrants trapped on a boat or in a truck, but it’s only when a truly shocking image appears on the news that people consider what’s really going on”. Malala’s story, following her being shot by the Taliban, is well documented but this books starts with her examining her own displacement and what led to her family fleeing the only home she had known, the home she loved. She gives us a clear description of how extremism took hold and began to pervade her daily life, and that of her family; spreading fear, violence and terror through her home town which ultimately led to her family’s internal displacement. The only ‘choice’ open to them was the ‘choice’ to try 56 | Teaching Citizenship

and reach safety. As Malala reminds us “To choose to be displaced. This is not much of a choice”. In her book Malala introduces us to the stories of 11 young girls who have been displaced. What becomes quickly apparent is that humanitarian crises associated with refugees is not limited to Syria and Iraq but is a worldwide catastrophe. We hear from young women from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Colombia, Guatemala and Uganda amongst others. It is hard to single out one story but the cruelty of the plights these young women and the complete absurdity of refugee systems hit home to me in the story of two sisters from Yemen, Zaynab (18) and Sabreen (16). The older sister secured a visa to be reunited with her mother in Minnesota (after fourteen years apart); the younger sister did not. Zaynab started school in Minneapolis and was struck by the girls in brightly coloured hijabs who made the hallways seem like “vibrant rainbows”; a world away from the outbreak of violence witnessed following the revolution in Yemen. Sabreen, however, endured a harrowing journey, by land and by boat, from Egypt to Italy and Belgium where she lives under refugee status. It is now five years since the sisters saw each other, and Zaynab is still asking “Why me not her?” This book is a powerful reminder to us all, from one of the world’s most renowned young activists that every one of the 68.5 million currently displaced is a person – and often a young person – who deserves to have their universal human rights protected and a safe place to call home! It seems fitting for the last words to be from Malala, who when asked “how can people help?” said “You can start by educating yourself. You can help by donating money, of course, but also by giving time and attention. Do what you can. Know that empathy is key. And that acts of generosity both big and small make a difference and help the world heal from its wounds”. The proceeds from ‘We Are Displaced’ will be used to support Malala Fund’s work for girls’ education. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

Review Dr Claire Cassidy; Reader School of Education, University of Strathclyde

Review of Zembylas, M. and Keet, A. (Eds.) (2018) Critical Human Rights, Citizenship, and Democracy Education. Entanglements and Regenerations. London: Bloomsbury. 240pp, ISBN 978-1-350-04562-0 Dr. Claire Cassidy is a Reader in the School of Education, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Formerly a teacher, she is now course leader of the Postgraduate Certificate in Philosophy with Children at Strathclyde. In this review Dr. Cassidy considers the challenges and interventions of transformative education. It is evident to readers of Teaching Citizenship that ‘education is not neutral’, as Hughes, Loader and Nelson make plain in Chapter 8 of this book. Indeed, the book clearly evidences that education is a political act and that those who engage with it as teachers or as pupils are political actors, to a greater or lesser extent. So, what might this book contribute to those with an interest in teaching citizenship? Part of a series designed to create ‘a platform for genuinely socially committed critical educators to express their ideas in a systematic manner’, the editors, Zembylas and Keet bring together twenty-one scholars to reflect upon issues relating to human rights, citizenship and democracy education. The authors are international, coming from Canada, Cyprus, England, India, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Sweden, and the USA. They bring together perspectives from across Education, Law, Philosophy and Politics. Being interdisciplinary is important for the book and the wider topic, raising questions on the book’s inter-related themes. The editors’ goal is to undertake a ‘critical project’, and they have succeeded in this by identifying and exploring central concepts and assumptions within policy, practice and academic literature. Keet and Zembylas, in the Introduction, set questions that drive the remainder of the volume. I agree with them that they do not answer all of the questions posed, but they draw the reader’s attention to a series of challenges in relation to the questions asked. They offer, too, some solutions to the problems identified. There are two parts to the book. Chapters 2 to 7 offer a theoretical discussion of the topics, taking a more philosophical view of the themes presented. In the subsequent section, Chapters 8 to 13, the authors provide case studies to illustrate some of the tensions and solutions to the problems highlighted. The case studies are not all situated in the school context, but www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

remain educational in scope. Central to the book is recognition of the neoliberal agenda’s influence. This is challenged throughout, with the likes of Keet using Critical Theory to adopt a ‘critical pedagogical posture’; one, he asserts, that is required to address the ‘annihilating influence of neoliberalism’s stealth revolution’ (p.28). Throughout the first part of the book, the authors consider the need to decolonise human rights and human rights curriculum and pedagogy. They address issues of power and that an ‘ethical-political discourse’ (p.94) might be promoted through the likes of a deliberative democracy where debate is central and the notion of the universalism of human rights is challenged. The second part of the book offers a range of challenges and some successful interventions in relation to human rights, citizenship and democracy education. The examples provided revolve around the likes of sectarian and religious issues, governmental rights violations with respect to children’s schooling, alternative ways of considering justice, the Rights, Respect and Responsibility initiative in Hampshire, and the need for transformative education. It is this latter idea, the need for transformation, which is arguably of most use to the practitioner reading the book. Few suggestions are provided that teachers may adopt in their own classrooms. Where this book is of value is in raising important questions for teachers – and their pupils. The political dimension of education is not explored as deeply as it might have been. However, for those committed to teaching for social justice through human rights, citizenship and democracy education, it lends weight to their argument that ‘a critical consciousness’ is required and that ‘diverse perspectives’ are explored (p.220) if we are to succeed in building ‘a more just, equitable, tolerant, and open society’ (p.221). Teaching Citizenship | 57

Review Emily Mitchell; Head of Citizenship and PSHE Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, ACT Ambassador and ACT Council Member.

Fashion’s Dirty Secrets. Stacey Dooley Investigates. In this review we hear about Stacey Dooley and the environmental impact of the fashion industry, and how this can motivate a teacher to inspire her students.

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When a Citizenship teacher is enthused by a topic there is very little stopping them from wanting to change the world in one night!


I love Stacey Dooley! She is great at dancing, she is straight talking, and she loves clothes. I first came across Miss Dooley’s journalism when I began teaching about 10 years ago. She was a young, slightly naive participant in a BBC documentary called Blood Sweat and Luxuries. I have used this programme countless times within the classroom to explore the impacts of fast fashion and its human costs. We have debated and discussed the human rights implications of the sweat shop environments that Stacey and her fellow participants have to endure. The documentary led to the contrasting of fair trade vs. non fair trade products and students exploring the vast number of miles their clothes have covered just to be on the shelves of UK high streets. These topics continue to be important and offer excellent case study examples for a number of Citizenship issues. The wider debate around fashion however has since broadened and in November I excitedly settled down to watch (notebook at the ready) Stacey’s next exploration of the fashion industry and how it impacts upon the environment. I do not wish to give too many spoilers away as I do hope you will watch the programme yourself, however I was glued from the outset. I very quickly realised, as Stacey walked us through a number of social experiments, that the public were as unaware of the impact fast fashion has on the environment as I was. Did you know fashion is the second highest pollutant on the planet, preceded only by oil and gas?! The vast quantities of water needed to make our wardrobe staples, like a pair of jeans, amounted to enough drinking water for one person for nearly 30 years! Facts were tumbling out and the implications on the environment were catastrophic. Whole landscapes have been dramatically changed altering people’s communities, impacting on people’s health and irreparably damaging the economic productivity of whole regions for ever. When a Citizenship teacher is enthused by

a topic there is very little stopping them from wanting to change the world in one night! I know I’m not the only one who begins projects around topics that link to their own personal passions; in fact I think these are often the very best ones as the students feed off our excitement. I quickly realised that I could really do something with this documentary and educate young people about this relatively unknown pollutant. I began by screening the documentary in our campaigns and amnesty group, a weekly lunch time event, to explore methods of campaigning with interested students. I have since used clips from the show, which are available via BBC3 at https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=zOe_M3GutdY, to help give GCSE Citizenship students different ideas for their Theme E project. I love how Stacey uses social experiments to challenge and inform her audiences. A number of my GCSE students have chosen to create their own social experiments to help inform others about different campaigning issues. We have also used the film to explore the wider impacts of fast fashion, not just environmentally, but also the human costs of fast fashion with our general year 10 Citizenship students. All students in year 10 take this course and have the chance to question real issues with this case study as a stimulus. My aim has not been to stop students from buying new clothes, nor is this Stacey Dooley’s aim. I am hoping to help make my students be more aware of the fashion choices they make, help them really consider if they need another item of clothing which is very similar to what they already have. I hope to stimulate conversations between them about the consumerist culture which surrounds them and encourage them to consider how their choices and actions impact upon the world around them. It can take just one TV show or one article to open our students’ minds, so let’s spark their and help them challenge their ways of living to create their own mini revolutions. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

ACT Teaching Ambassador Spotlight Emily Mitchell; Head of Citizenship and PSHE Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, ACT Ambassador and ACT Council Member.

In this edition Emily Mitchell Head of Citizenship & PSHE at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls talks about her career to date. of a desire to meet with other head’s of My passion for politics began in year 12 on department, very often, leading Citizenship my very first day of taking Government and can be a very isolating role with few who Politics at A level. I went on to study Politics really understand its challenges. The and International Relations at university Greater Manchester Hub has grown and purely for the love of the subject and it was we have used this model to create the here that I immersed myself into social action ACT Citizenship hubs which are led by the campaigns, running the politics society and regional ACT Teaching Ambassadors. I generally becoming politically engaged. became a Citizenship & PSHE SLE in 2016 In my first Teach First school Citizenship which has taken me into different schools was not a discrete subject and I taught to assist in developing aspirational and Religious Studies, Drama, Geography, History excellent Citizenship & PSHE teaching. I and Literacy. Then in my NQT year I led love to share resources and find out how PSHE & Citizenship for the entire school, other schools deliver the subject, so often with 90 non specialist form tutors delivering I gain more ideas for my own classroom. the subject all at once on Monday period 1. We went through many different delivery My vision was, This is what I love most about my recent models but by my final year at the school and still is, to work with ACT as an ambassador teacher, ignite students’ I have had the privilege to meet some Citizenship was a timetabled subject. I was minds outside of inspirational teachers and leaders who all finally teaching the subject I trained for. the classroom, aspire to see Citizenship education develop I moved to Altrincham Grammar School show them the and be given the status it deserves. I have for Girls in 2012 as Head of Citizenship & all-encompassing recently volunteered to be on ACT Council, PSHE – my dream job. My vision was, and nature of I am excited to be part of the team who is still is, to ignite students’ minds outside of the Citizenship. putting together the next ACT CPD day, classroom, show them the all-encompassing being held in Manchester at the People’s nature of Citizenship. When I started the role, History Museum (my favourite museum I set to work creating opportunities through in Manchester and a great trip venue for Model United Nations, trips to the Houses of students). The opportunities I have been Parliament, introducing the full course GCSE, given via ACT within the Council and as a having countless speakers in and visiting Teaching Ambassador have been amazing. as many local examples of power in action Attending the Five Nations network to as possible. My focus for my Citizenship reflect on active citizenship and a teacher department, a department of non-specialists, exchange to the US this Easter to explore is to help provide opportunities for young media literacy are just two of my highlights people to share their voice, to find what so far. I’m so excited for the further doors makes them tick and show them how to do that will be opened. something about that. I say yes to everything I love that teaching Citizenship is different and will always give new resources a try; every day, I love that I spin so many different this has helped me develop a huge network plates and am part of so many fantastic of contacts and has allowed me to do many networks via ACT. I love the thought that different amazing things both with my just maybe - in years to come some of our students and professionally. country’s great movers and shakers might I started the Greater Manchester PSHE have once sat in my classroom. & Citizenship hub four years ago out



www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk | Spring 2019 | Issue 49

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