Citizenship at The Polygon School
Citizenship education at The Polygon School develops the knowledge, skills, and understanding that pupils need to play a full part in society as active and responsible citizens.
Citizenship develops awareness and understanding of democracy, government, and how laws are made and upheld. It equips pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues, to weigh evidence, debate, and make reasoned arguments. It also prepares pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well, and make sound financial decisions. Respect and British Values underpin teaching and these values are embedded in the ethos of the whole school.
The Polygon recognises the importance of Citizenship Education. Every pupil is timetabled for a 20-minute Citizenship lesson with their tutor three days a week.
Our objective at key stages 3 and 4 is to not only adhere to the curriculum but to also meet the very specific needs of pupils in our care at The Polygon School, and prepare them for their future as active members of our community. We also feel it is important to include ALL pupils in a democratic process as part of the youth council ‘Make your Mark vote’ and for our pupils to understand politics from a young age so they understand that they have a voice. Pupils in KS3 and KS4 also form our School Council and Eco Council, with KS4 pupils taking a more structured leadership role as Head boy and Deputy Head boy. All of these positions are voted for in the autumn term by all staff and pupils within the school.
Key Stage 3
During KS3, pupils are introduced to Citizenship as a subject, they study and discuss current political topics both at a local and national level and look at social and cultural issues. They are taught how to participate in a democratic process and to be assertive and respectful whilst voicing their opinions. They are encouraged to be active members of the school community participating in charity events and whole school events like ‘Polygon Pride’. Through Eco council initiatives and class teaching, pupils are also becoming aware of issues at a global level and learning to become responsible citizens within their local, national, and global communities.
Key Stage 4
During KS4 pupils continue to study current political, social, and cultural issues but at a deeper level for example, in KS3 we have recently looked at ‘What’s happened to Brexit?’ and the upcoming general election ‘What I need to know?’ While KS4 is enquiring into the UK’s relationship with Europe and being asked if they can express, justify, and defend a personal opinion about this current political issue. In KS4 we aim to develop the skills of inquiry and communication through independent and group research and by analysing information and statistics. We expect KS4 pupils to assist in the organisation of enterprise, charity, and whole school initiatives and to develop their leadership skills acting as role models for younger students.
As a department within the school that ALL staff has responsibility for, we expect positive outcomes for our pupils both academically and socially so they are equipped for wider society. We aim to see participation levels and engagement improve and progress to show through scrapbooks, emotional literacy checklists and developing assessment criteria.