GCSE Citizenship at SJN (Edexcel) - Developing positive, proactive citizens

Subject Intent

Citizenship Studies is about how people take an active part in democratic politics and work together for a better society, locally, nationally and globally. Students will learn about power, democracy, the operation of government and the legal system, and the role of the UK in the wider world.

Students explore and learn about different controversial and topical issues with political, social, ethical, economic and environmental dimensions in local to global contexts. They will experience taking citizenship action and learn from trying to make a difference themselves.

Curriculum Design


First year of study

Second Year of Study

Term 1

Theme A - Living Together in Britain Module

1- How has Britain changed?

2- The impact on public services

3- Respect and tolerance

4- Identity

5- Types of rights

6- Human rights

7- Local councils

8- Taxes

Theme C - Law and Justice module:

1- The role of the law in everyday life

2- Principles and sources of law

3- Civil and criminal law

4- The justice system in England and Wales

5- Courts and tribunals

6- Youth justice

7- Crime and society

8- Sentences and punishment

Term 2

Theme B - Democracy at work module

1- Political parties

2- Types of democracy

3- Types of voting systems

4- Forming and organising a government

5- The role of the Prime Minister

6- The House of Commons and House of Lords

7- Passing laws in the UK

8- The British Constitution

9- Devolution

Theme D - Power and Influence module

1- The role of the media

2- Free press

3- Democracy and press freedom

4- The power of democracy

5- Trade Unions

6- The United Nations


8- The Commonwealth

9- World Trade Organisations

Term 3

Theme E - Citizenship action campaign module:

1- Choosing your action

2- Carrying out research

3- Considering points of view

4- Planning your action

5- Teamwork

6- Advocacy

7- Protesting

8- Campaign

9- The impact of your campaign

Revision and GCSE Exam

1- Theme A Revision- Living together in the UK

• Aging population and the impact on public services

• Types of rights and human rights

• Local councils and taxes

2- Theme B Revision- Democracy at work

• Democracy, voting and political parties

• Parliament and the Government

• The British Constitution and devolution

Further areas may be identified as a revision focus


Qualification aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • know and understand what democracy is, how parliamentary democracy operates within the constituent parts of the UK, how government works and how democratic and nondemocratic systems of government are different beyond the UK
  • know and understand the relationship between the state and citizens, the rights, responsibilities and duties of citizens living and working in the UK and how people participate in democracy
  • know and understand the role of the law in society, how laws are shaped and enforced and how the justice system works in England and Wales
  • know and understand how taxes are raised and spent by governments, and how national economic and financial policies and decisions relate to individuals
  • use and apply knowledge and understanding of key citizenship ideas and concepts, including democracy, government, justice, equality, rights, responsibilities, participation, community, identity and diversity, to think deeply and critically about a wide range of political, social, economic and ethical issues and questions facing society in local to global contexts
  • use and apply knowledge and understanding as they formulate citizenship enquiries, explore and research citizenship issues and actions, analyse and evaluate information and interpret sources of evidence
  • use and apply citizenship knowledge and understanding to contribute to debates, show understanding of different viewpoints, make persuasive and reasoned arguments, and justify and substantiate their conclusions
  • use and apply citizenship knowledge, understanding and skills in order to participate in responsible actions to address citizenship issues aimed at improving society and positively contributing to democracy and public life, as individuals and in collaboration with others


Citizenship skills, processes and methods

This qualification will require students to demonstrate the ability to:

  • form their own hypotheses, create sustained and reasoned arguments and reach substantiated conclusions when appropriate
  • 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, identifying and sequencing research questions to analyse citizenship ideas, issues and debates
  • select and organise their knowledge and understanding in responses and analysis, when creating and communicating their own arguments, explaining hypotheses, ideas and different viewpoints and perspectives, countering viewpoints they do not support, giving reasons and justifying conclusions drawn
  • 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
  • show knowledge and understanding of the relationships between the different citizenship aspects studied, using the concepts to make connections, identify and compare similarities and differences in a range of situations from local to global.


Students are measured against the 9-1 grading system and a culmination of attendance, effort, assessment grades and overall contribution are considered when tracking a student’s performance and progress. Each student is given an effort, current and most likely grade throughout the year at the various data snapshots. Students complete exam questions throughout topics and then complete an end of unit exam.

Useful resources for supporting your child at home:

- Citizenship Knowledge Organiser

- Oak National Academy- KS4 Citizenship Citizenship lessons for Key Stage 4 students - Oak National Academy (

- BBC Bitesize- PSHE and Citizenship GCSE PSHE and Citizenship - BBC Bitesize

- BBC Teach Videos Free primary and secondary school teaching resources - BBC Teach

- Being aware of the news and current affairs Home - BBC News