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Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) Launch Guidance for Key Stage 3 Citiz

At times, it could appear to the casual observer that the concept of “citizenship” in modern Britain is a phenomenon more talked about than witnessed.

The Government have made little secret of their intention to foster a general citizenship awareness and identity, and have brought in the new education training in citizenship over the past few years to attempt to create a more involved and politically invested generation. In pursuance of this goal, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) has published materials designed to help teachers assess the key stage 3 national curriculum for citizenship.

The Materials Offered

Included in this publication is a booklet and a DVD that have been developed with the cooperation of teachers. They have been given specimen trials with pupils to demonstrate the efficacy of different approaches to assessing citizenship. The examples on offer range from activities to assess group discussion to source-based assessment activities that can be integrated into a unit of work.

The QCA has chosen to include examples of practices that have been undertaken in the field. The materials contained provide examples of real assessment techniques for teaching and learning citizenship. In addition, they are flexible to ensure that they can be used in different ways during citizenship lessons.

These examples are chosen to clearly show the standards expected of pupils in the categories of working towards, working at and working beyond expectations. They also demonstrate the ways in which pupils themselves can be involved in the assessment process. The assessment activities make use of relevant contemporary issues, and the whole process encourages debate and discussion.

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Citizenship Firmly Established

The new publication is seen as further evidence that citizenship is here to stay. Mick Waters, the Director of QCAs Curriculum Division, said: “Citizenship is now firmly established as part of the national curriculum. However, our monitoring shows that pupils achievements are not always being recognised and recorded as thoroughly as they should be.

“Only effective assessment can ensure that teaching builds upon what pupils have already learned,” he continued. “This new guidance suggests approaches to assessment in citizenship that will ensure that young people progress in the subject and get the full benefit from the unique learning experience that quality citizenship teaching offers.”

Jethro Marsh

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