Lesson video

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Hello and welcome to citizenship, my name is Mrs. Shortland and I will be with you throughout this lesson.

The only bits of equipment that you're going to need are a pen and a piece of paper and if it's possible, try and find somewhere quiet to study, I know that's very tricky at the moment, but if you can find somewhere a little bit quieter so that you can concentrate and it's free from distractions, that would be great.

Okay, so when you're ready, please pause the video and write down your title for today and I'll see you in a bit.

So what we're going to do today is try and answer that big question at the top of your screen, how can we get involved in our school community? And the way we're going to do that is by looking at some campaigns that you might've seen before and you're going to also find out what knowledge is important if you do want to get involved in your school community.

Then we're going to have a look at a couple of people who are are going to tell you how they got involved in their schools and the end task is going to ask you to be the teacher.

Okay, so when we talk about what citizenship is, we can talk about the knowledge and skills that you need to be fantastic citizenship experts.

You've been introduced throughout this unit to people who've spoken out about things that were wrong.

Do you remember learning about Martin Luther King's advisor, Bayard Rustin? Well today we'll look at how you can become active citizenship experts, how you can get your voice heard and look at methods that other students have used to put their point across.

I wonder if you've ever campaigned on an issue before, or whether you've ever been a member of the student council or a student parliament? Well if not and if you're not sure about how they work, you'll find out more today.

So, let's have a look at this picture and spend a couple of minutes thinking about anything you remember about this footballer.

What is his name? What did he campaign about? How important is the issue he raised? And what other campaigns have you seen? So this slide might help you a little bit, please use the sentence stems if you need them and if not, just answer the four questions that you can see, this is your first exercise.

So question one, the footballer's name is.

Number two, he was campaigning about.

Number three, I believe this issue is, is not important because.

Number four, other campaigns I have seen include.

So pause the video now to complete this exercise and then restart the video once you've finished.

Great, how did you do? So the footballer's name is Marcus Rashford and actually I left the name up on the slide so if you were clever, you would've already seen that and that was a bit silly of me.

Number two, he was campaigning about free school meals and you might believe that this is an important issue because he's helping to try and end food poverty.

But of course you might have other beliefs and you might've written something other than that and that's fine, as long as you understand something about what he was trying to do.

Other campaigns I've seen include Clap for the NHS and Black Lives Matter.

So what other information did you come up with? Well, Marcus Rashford is 22 and he plays for Manchester United and it was Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that announced the government would stop providing £15 a week in meal vouchers to those on free school meals over the holidays.

Well Marcus Rashford campaigned against this government decision and he won, he's an example of a real active citizen, someone who works towards positive change in society and he first went on social media to highlight his fears about the impact that shutting schools would have on disadvantaged children.

He might be a high-profile Premier League footballer now, but when he was at school, just like many people, he needed breakfast clubs and free school meals to supplement what his mum could provide.

She's the head of a single-parent family of five children, working full time on the minimum wage.

And just as Marcus Rashford is an example of an excellent active citizen, someone you might not have heard of is 16-year-old schoolgirl, Christina Adane.

So she created an online petition asking Boris Johnson not to abolish free school meals for children during the half term and summer break and this is the petition which Marcus Rashford supported.

As I said before, quite a few children are on free school meals in Britain, in fact the figure stands at the moment at 1.

3 million children, including Christina.

And she started this campaign whilst she's still at school because it was an issue that's really important to her.

Anybody can start a petition and they are a really effective way to get your voice heard.

You can go to the parliament website to find out more and if you petition parliament and get 10,000 people to sign it, the government will respond to you in writing.

If you get 100,000 signatures, the government will debate your issue and then it receives much more attention.

Christina, living in Britain means that she has a lot more rights to protect her as Britain is a democratic country.

She's a real active citizen.

We're going to have a look now at some key ideas that you need to be much more informed about how to be a great active citizen and then we'll move on to having a look at how you can become involved in your school community.

So, this is really key knowledge and is really important to understand so that you can get your voice heard.

We've already talked about what an active citizen is.

An active citizen is someone who works towards making positive change in society, this can occur at the local, national, or international level.

Christina made a change at the national level because she made her change for British schoolchildren as Marcus Rashford did as well.

Democracy, democracy means rule by the people and it comes from the Greek words, demos, which means people and kratos, which is strength and power.

So in a democracy you have more rights and you can influence decision makers and those in power.

The last bit of information, really important to have knowledge about is rights and rights are freedoms that you are entitled to.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a law that protects your rights.

Now the convention has 54 articles which are just lists of things that you are entitled to by law that protect you and one of the important for getting your voice heard is Article 12 and Article 12 of this law says you should be free to express your views in all matters that affect you.

So have you been listening? I'm going to give you a couple of minutes to work on these questions.

What does this word mean, active citizen? Option one, rule by the people, it comes from the Greek words, demos and kratos.

Option two, freedoms that you are entitled to.

Option three, someone who works towards making a positive change in society.

Option four, a set of articles that protects your rights.

Now I'm not going to read out all the answers again, so we're going to go through and see if you get them right.

What do we think? Which is the option? Shout it out now.

Brilliant, option three, not too difficult at all was it, that one? So let's have a look at the next one, what does this word mean, democracy? Look at the four options and when you're ready, you can shout it out.

Are you ready? It is, brilliant job, option one, rule by the people.

What does this word mean, rights? So again, have a look at your four options and when you're ready shout it out.

Good job, freedoms that you are entitled to.

How did you do? Okay, so we've looked at and you've thought about a national campaign, we've also talked about some important key ideas that will help you get your point across to decision makers, so now we'll go onto having a look at what you could do at a local level though in your school and how you can make a real difference.

Christina started her petition because she cared deeply from experience about children on free school meals, however her success was down to many people who came together and supported her petition.

So I'm sure you'll also have lots of issues that you're concerned about.

So, answer the questions below.

Who are the people responsible for running a school? Why do we need to know who they are? If you could change one feature of the school, what would it be? And how would you go about making that change? So pause the video now and restart once you're finished.

Here are some answers that I came up with, they might be similar or not to yours and as long as you have had a go, that's great.

Number one, there's many people responsible for running a school, the school governors, the principal, assistant principal, heads of years, teachers, the school council or parliament, and did any of you get to most importantly, you.

You have a lot of power at a school.

Number two, it's important to know who the decision makers are so that if you have an issue or concern, you know the right person to go to.

So, a couple of ideas for campaigns, I would change the dinner queues for school as they take far too long and students just don't get enough time to finish off their dinner properly.

But also a real campaign at the moment in our school is trying to change the lives of homeless people in our area by working with a homeless organisation.

If I was going to do something about the dinner queue, I'd start by raising my concern to the student parliament and they might create a survey to gather views and evidence before meeting with the principal and this is really key.

If you're going to go to do anything in your community or in your local school, always get some opinions and evidence behind you because that way, when you present your arguments to whoever it is you might go and speak about to them, you'll have a lot more information to support your cause.

Okay, so in a minute you're going to have a little break from my voice and hear Yasmine.

First of all let's see what's on this slide.

So, a school council has lots of names, it can be called a student or pupil parliament.

The council might be called a class or year council.

All of these words, they mean the same thing, let's learn more about them.

I asked Yasmine, the chair of our student parliament, these questions.

What is a Student Parliament? What's your role? How important is student voice? So have a listen to what she had to say.

Hi, my name is Yasmine and I am the chairperson for our student parliament.

A student parliament is a group of students who work together on any issues that are of concern to others.

We represent the student voice and my role as chair means that I organise the student voice and make the final decisions.

Having student representation is so important.

My younger brother will start year seven this year and I want him to know that he can speak out about issues he may worry about or tell the student parliament about good things too.

We learn so many skills such as leadership, negotiation, and communication.

Every school should have a parliament that represents all students.

See, I told you she talked quite quickly, but hopefully you got the answers to the questions that I put there.

Student parliament is just a group of young people who come together to try and tackle any concerns that students might have around the local school or the community.

Yasmine's role is chairperson, she's carrying that on into year 11.

And she said the student voice was really important to her, not only because she's got a brother who is coming up to the school next year and she wants him to be able to make differences if he would like to do that, but also she talked about skills that she got from being on the student parliament, skills such as leadership, negotiation, and better communication skills, all really important.

So I hope that's inspired you a little bit about finding out more about the student council or student parliament in your school and thinking about joining it because it really up skills you and it also does a lot of good at the same time for making positive changes for the lives of children.

So another break from my voice, we're going to watch a video now of some of my former students and how they use their voice.

They decided to make a campaign about citizenship education and they sent their video off to the education secretary to say how important it was.

So, as you're watching, take some notes about the points that they make.

Do you agree with them? Do you think it's important to take part in the life of your school? Be great if you could write a little paragraph about that and think deeply about the things that you agree with in the video and why it's important to take part in school activities.

Citizenship, what's the first word that comes to mind? Freedom.





The rule of law.

Human rights.

Democracy, voting.

Politics and parliament.

We are from Hamilton Academy in Leicester.

We all come from very different backgrounds.

In fact, Leicester is one of the most diverse cities in the UK.

We are from single-parent families.

Some of us face challenges everyday because of our mental health.

We belong to the LGBTQ community.

We are young carers.

In some ways we're all the same.

In other ways we are very different.

Together we are a society.

One thing that we have in common is that we chose to do Citizenship GCSE.

Why does citizenship mean so much to us? It helps us be more open-minded.

It empowers us and it educates us.

It's so much more than a subject.

It's a life lesson.

Through citizenship we start to really understand.

How vital the right to political action is.

How to get our views across and tell our stories in the most effective ways.

We discover how audiences are influenced by campaigns.

And how they can be misled.

We learn why we should never just sit back and let democracy happen.

People have fought long and hard for justice.

We need to take care of these things.

We become advocates for issues that are important.

Through our lessons at Hamilton, we've taken part in mock trials.

We've conducted referendums on many issues.

Votes at 16, devolution, and Brexit.

Giving students and staff not just the chance to vote.

But to understand the reason behind ticking a box.

We have had opportunities to visit the Supreme Court of Justice and the Houses of Parliament.

The European Parliament of Brussels and Strasbourg.

We've worked with MEPs, MPs, Lords, and local politicians.

We've campaigned alongside the local authority.

The Leicestershire Constabulary.

The East Midlands Prevent Team.

The local and national media.


Orphanages in Ghana and Cameroon.

We have collaborated with US senators and schools.

We've met refugees.

People who are homeless.

These are moments you don't get to experience in other subjects.

And we'll remember them for the rest of our lives.

Through conversations, we understand the importance of community.

Of people respecting each other.

Reach out to other people and listen.

We discuss concerns.

Ask questions.

Make arguments.

We learn to challenge the ideas, never the person.

And even though we often disagree.

We understand differences and we remain friends.

Citizenship provides a space for many opportunities.

Not just to debate.

But to learn about our place in the world.

Our rights and our responsibilities.

I'm in year nine.

I'm in year 10.

I'm just about to take my GCSEs.

I took citizenship four years ago, it changed my future goals, now I'm reading law at university.

I'm reading politics at Warwick University.

I recently voted for the first time and understand why.

And what the parties actually stand for.

We wanted to make this film.

Because we understand the importance of our education.

And we want everyone to understand the importance of citizenship.

From our perspective.

We are the guardians of our democracy.

The voters.

The party leaders.

And one day, even the education secretary.

But it starts with you.

Our future is in your hands.

Citizenship cannot change where we come from, but it can change where we go.

Hello, welcome back.

Okay, so there you saw some of my former students talking about the active project that they've taken part in and perhaps, or I hope, you've got some ideas about what you'd like to do.

So for your final exercise, I would like you to become citizenship researchers and create a report for new year six's about active citizenship in your school.

How do you go about that? Well, to investigate the opportunities for student voice, all you need to do is find out about the student council or parliament, what is it that they're doing? What campaigns are they taking part in? If you wanted, how could a student join up? And then what other opportunities are there in your school? For example, do you have links to the UK Youth Parliament or the ACTive Citizenship Award? And you can Google those to find out more if you're interested.

So pause the video now and take down your mission and then when you're ready, resume, and we'll just finish the lesson.

Okay, look at what we've done today, brilliant job.

At the start of the lesson, the big was question was how we can get involved in our school community and I hope you've got some ideas now.

We had a look at what people were doing at a national level and the campaigns of Marcus Rashford and Christina Adane.

We took that down a little bit further and we looked at the key knowledge that you need to become really powerful with your voice to understand what democracy's about, to understand what your rights are, and what an active citizen actually is.

We then went to have a look at local examples, we spoke to Yasmine and we watched a video of students telling you all about some sorts of activities that they had been involved in.

And then finally, I gave you the mission to be the teacher, to produce a great report which hopefully will really help you as well because if you know about activities that are going on in your school and you are aware of opportunities open to you, that's fantastic, you can take part in those things.

So that brings us to the end of the lesson.

I really hope you've enjoyed it and thank you for staying with me.

I'm sure that you've all created some fantastic bits of learning, I'll be really interested to see what you've written down.

So for me to be able to see that, I've got two final things I'd like you to do.

First, just have a look back at your notes, and identify the three most important things that you've learned today, it's totally up to you what they are and if you're able to, take a picture of your work and then ask a parent or carer to share your work on Twitter, tagging @OakNational and #LearnwithOak.

That's it for now, stay safe and lovely working with you.