Citizenship is more than a subject. Its skills and values enhance democratic life for all of us, both rights and responsibilities, beginning in school and radiating out. A high-quality citizenship education helps to provide pupils with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. In particular, citizenship education should foster pupils’ keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. Teaching should equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments. It should also prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well and make sound financial decisions.
Personal Development Education at St. Aidan’s encompasses Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE), Relationship and Sex Education, Citizenship, IAG (Information, Advice and Guidance) and Careers. P.D.E. gives students opportunities to reflect on their experiences and how they are developing. It helps them to understand and manage responsibly a wider range of relationships as they mature, and show respect for the diversity of, and differences between people. It also develops students’ well-being and self-esteem, encouraging belief in their ability to succeed and enabling them to take responsibility for their learning and future choice of courses and career. PDE helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage life’s challenges and make the most of life’s opportunities. This is a very dynamic subject and is evolving and adapting all of the time to the changing demands of the curriculum and needs of the students. There is evidence to show that PSHE education can address teenage pregnancy, substance misuse, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, emotional health and other key issues. An effective PSHE programme can also tackle barriers to learning, raise aspirations, and improve the life chances of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils
- acquire a sound knowledge and understanding of how the United Kingdom is governed, its political system and how citizens participate actively in its democratic systems of government
- develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the role of law and the justice system in our society and how laws are shaped and enforced
- develop an interest in, and commitment to, participation in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity, that they will take with them into adulthood
- are equipped with the skills to think critically and debate political questions, to enable them to manage their money on a day-to-day basis, and plan for future financial needs.
- promote children and young people’s wellbeing (defined in the Children Act 2004 as ‘the promotion of physical and mental health; emotional wellbeing; social and economic wellbeing; education, training and recreation; recognition of the contribution made by children to society; and protection from harm and neglect.’)
- develop a sense of self-worth.
- understand how they are developing personally and socially and give them the confidence to tackle moral, social and cultural issues.
The subject is delivered on a fortnightly basis. The curriculum is varied and age-appropriate taking into account the wide range of subject content that must be delivered which includes citizenship education, relationships and sex education, health education, personal finance and information, advice and guidance.
Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) is delivered using the Ten Ten programme Life to the Full which teaches RSHE within the context of a Christian understanding of human sexuality rooted in the wisdom of the Catholic Church.
Throughout the year there are a number of assemblies, events and collapsed time-table activities where we invite partner agencies to come into school and address issues. For example, ESH Construction, Teenage Cancer Trust, Go Smarter Sustainable Travel to name but a few. There are also a variety of opportunities for students to visit the world of work to understand career choices and the importance of qualifications, as well as visit universities.
St Aidan’s Catholic Academy considers the greatest impact of the curriculum to be high rates of student progress.
- the development of a deep understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
- ability to use and apply their knowledge and understanding whilst developing skills to research and interrogate evidence, debate and evaluate viewpoints, present reasoned arguments and take informed action.
- ability to be able to use a range of research strategies, weigh up evidence, make persuasive arguments and substantiate their conclusions.
- their experience and evaluation of different ways that citizens can act together to solve problems and contribute to society.
- their ability to recognise risk and understand potential consequences of their actions.