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The aim of Citizenship Studies is to provide students with the political literacy, skills and confidence to empower them to play an active role in society.   Students explore the different ways that citizens can actively participate in democracy and evaluate the importance of democratic participation in the UK. Throughout the course students are exposed to real life examples of individuals and groups that have played a role in shaping society and influencing political decisions.  Students will have the opportunity to interview and lobby decision makers such as local politicians and representatives from political parties and pressure groups.

Citizenship studies enables students to develop a critical understanding of the concepts of British values rights, justice, fairness, democracy, rule of law, and social change. Students develop the ability to critically analyse a range of sources and consider the implications of bias in the media and develop skills of research which tries to eliminate bias.  Students use sources to explore contrasting views on current political and social issues. They learn how to consider the strengths and weaknesses of different viewpoints before reaching their own conclusions. 

A main focus of Citizenship Studies is for students to appreciate how citizens can bring about change. Therefore a central part of the course is the Citizenship Investigation which provides all students with the opportunity to take action on real-world  issues and make a difference to their local community.  Students plan and carry out their own investigation into a local social and political issue, then based on their findings they plan, carry out and evaluate campaign actions in order to have a positive impact on their chosen issue.

The skills and content developed in the course ensures that Citizenship Studies provides a useful foundation for the study of social science subjects (particularly Politics, Sociology and Law) at A Level and degree.  More importantly Citizenship Studies encourages students to question, challenge and engage in social and political debates enabling them to play a full and active role in society and the UK’s democratic processes.


The overarching theme of the subject is ‘How citizens can try to make a difference’. Students develop an understanding of how a society and political system functions and how citizens can bring about change.

The course units are:

  • ‘Life in modern Britain’
  • ‘Rights and Responsibilities’
  • ‘Politics and participation’
  • ‘Taking Action

Students gain the ability to;

  • form their own hypotheses, create sustained and reasoned arguments and reach substantiated conclusions about citizenship issues.
  • understand the range of methods and approaches that can be used by governments, organisations, groups and individuals to address citizenship issues in society, including practical citizenship actions
  • formulate citizenship enquiries, by identifying and planning their own research questions to analyse citizenship ideas, issues and debates
  • select and organise their knowledge and understanding when communicating about citizenship issues
  • present their own and other viewpoints and represent the views of others, in relation to citizenship issues, causes, situations and concepts
  • plan practical citizenship actions aimed at delivering a benefit or change for others in society
  • critically evaluate the effectiveness of citizenship actions to assess progress towards the intended aims and impact for the individuals, groups and communities affected


Autumn Term 1

Political participation

-Evaluating the role of pressure groups and political parties in the UK

-How influential is the media, including social media on political participation?

- Revision skills – How do you revise for GCSE Citizenship?


Assessment: Short exam on Political participation

Life in Modern Britain

-Understanding the impact of immigration on the UK

-Exploring changing British identities and British values

-Evaluating the role of the media in shaping attitudes in Britain


Assessment: Short exam on the influence of the media
Autumn Term 2

Representative democracy in the UK

-Comparing democracy and dictatorship

-Evaluating  electoral systems and the arguments for reform

-How can voter turnout be improved?

Assessment: Extended exam Q on voting

Life in Modern Britain

-Evaluating the UK’s role in international organisations , conflict and providing humanitarian aid

-Exploring the role of international NGOs


Assessment: Mock exam
Spring Term 1 

Representative democracy in the UK

- Exploring the role of Parliament, MPs and the Prime Minister

-How are laws made?

-Evaluating the impact of devolution in the UK

-Explain the nature and origins of the UK constitution

Assessment: Debate – How democratic is the UK?

Rights and Responsibilities

-Explain the workings of the criminal and civil justice system in the UK

-Evaluating the effectiveness of sentencing

-Examining  legal rights in the UK

-Evaluating the impact of international human rights treaties

Assessment: Extended Exam Q

Spring Term 2

Citizenship Investigation

Students will be expected, either alone or working with others, to carry out an investigation into a citizenship issue based upon any part of the subject knowledge content.

Devise an investigation question / topic

Students carry out secondary and two pieces of primary research on their chosen topic

Students evaluate the reliability of their research


Assessment: Presentation on research phase of the investigation

Revision and exam skills

Assessment: Mock exam
Summer Term 1 

Citizenship investigation

Students plan and carry out an action to make a difference to the issue that they have investigated -students evaluate the impact of their action

Assessment: Students complete a project folder of evidence of their research, planning and reflection.

Revision and exam skills
Summer Term 2

Revision and exam skills

Assessment – Year 10 mock exam which is Paper 1 of the GCSE


AQA GCSE Citizenship. The course is assessed through two exam papers taken in year 11. Each paper is worth 50% of the final grade.


  • Citizenship ambassadors
  • Trips to Parliament,  Tower Hamlets council and
  • Opportunities to interview elected representatives and employees from political parties and pressure groups
  • Model United Nations
  • Jack Petchey public speaking competition

USEFUL WEBSITES, RESOURCES, REVISION MATERIALS AND EXEMPLAR WORK - Contains daily articles about current affairs and is useful for GCSE Citizenship



Ms. S. Khanom, Teacher of Citizenship

Ms. B. Swift, Teacher of Citizenship

Ms H. Lee - Teacher of Sociology/Citizenship and Social Sciences

Ms B. Davidson - Teacher of Citizenship




Learning and undertaking activities in Citizenship contribute to the achievement of the curriculum aims for all young people to become:
  • Successful students who enjoy learning and make progress.
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.


GCSE Citizenship provides students with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. Our curriculum develops students’ awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. Students explore political and social issues critically and learn to weigh up evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments.

In Year 10 students who have chosen to do GCSE Citizenship will cover the AQA GCSE Citizenship Studies course. In the first term they will understand the operation of parliamentary democracy in the UK. They will discover how laws are made and shaped by people and processes, including the work of parliament and government. Students will also use their knowledge and understanding of citizenship skills to undertake an investigation to try and make a difference. In groups, students carry out an activity that is interesting and relevant to them. In term two they will learn about identity and British society, followed by looking at the influence of the media and the UK’s involvement in international organisations.

In Year 11, students will go on to learn about the Rights and Responsibilities with a focus on law, justice, crime and human rights


  • The exam board website for examples of specimen exam papers, useful materials and exam information.
    For information on the workings of parliament and national democracy as well as contact information for MPs.
    For information on local democracy and politics.
    Citizenship related resources, information and campaigns. A good place to start getting involved in London based Citizenship campaigns.


Ms. S. Khanom, Teacher of Citizenship

Ms. B. Swift, Teacher of Citizeship