Studying Citizenship enables students to:

  • Engage with topical citizenship issues and contribute to debates on challenges facing society involving a wide range of political, social and ethical ideas, issues and problems in different contexts (local to global)
  • Develop and apply understanding of key citizenship concepts (justice, democracy, rights and responsibilities, identities and diversity) to deepen their understanding of society and how communities changeover time
  • Use an enquiring, critical approach to distinguish facts, opinions and bias, build arguments and make informed judgements
  • Develop the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to take action with others to address citizenship issues in their communities.

We study AQA Citizenship specification 

The course is split into 4 units

Unit 1: Citizenship Today

Unit 1 is divided into three themes.

Theme 1 - Rights and Responsibilities. 

This theme deals with issues such as legal and human rights, how these were developed through struggle and how today the law protects the rights of consumers, employees and employers.

In more detail:

You will explore different kinds of rights, obligations and responsibilities – political, legal, human, social, civic and moral involving freedoms which include speech, opinion, privacy, association and the vote, how they were achieved and why they are important.

Explore contested areas surrounding rights and responsibilities, including the checks and balances needed in relation to freedom of speech in the context of threats from extremism and terrorism.

  • Understand the role of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Union and the 1998 Human Rights Act in the UK in defining the human rights and freedoms of UK citizens and how they are safeguarded on a local, national and global level.
  • Understand how rights and responsibilities will differ between consumers, employers and employees.
  • Students should recognise the origins and implications of diversity and that the UK is a constantly changing society to which groups from all over the world have migrated over the centuries. 

Understand the historical contexts for some of these changes (and how some citizens come to have multiple identities) in order to better understand life in the UK today. 

You will explore different kinds of communities living together in the UK, and issues surrounding community cohesion and integration.

Theme 2 - Power, Politics and the Media. 

This theme explores the role of the media in our democracy. It also investigates the justice system and how it deals with criminality. Finally this theme explores how democracy works at a local and national level.

In more detail:

You will investigate and understand

  • How the media informs and influences public debate. The extent to which the media may reflect, distort or create opinion
  • How information is used in public debate and policy formation, including information from the media and from pressure and interest groups
  • The roles and operation of civil and criminal law and the justice system. Understand the role of the police, youth offending teams, the probation service, courts, lawyers, what prison is for, types of punishment and how the justice system deals with crime and antisocial behaviour
  • How laws are made and shaped by people and processes, including the work of parliament, government and the courts
  • Actions citizens can take in democratic and electoral processes to influence decisions locally, nationally and beyond
  • The operation of parliamentary democracy within the UK and of other forms of government, both democratic and non-democratic, beyond the UK. Assess the effectiveness of other methods of participation such as demonstrations, referendums and petitions, and also forms of government other than parliamentary democracy.

Theme 3 - The Global Community. 

This theme engages with studies of sustainability, the economy, the UK’s global role, The UN and the EU.

In more detail:

You will investigate and understand

  • The UK’s role in the world as a trading nation and in terms of global diplomacy; being a member of international organisations; opposing those who break international law, deny human rights or threaten the UK; acting as a peacekeeper and as a provider of debt relief and humanitarian aid.
  • The role of the voluntary sector in supporting communities at local, national and global level.
  • Issues including global warming, climate change, the impact of renewable and non-renewable energy sources, waste disposal, recycling, transport policies and the impact of business practices on the environment including the role of councils (including the role and impact of Local Agenda 21), environmental groups and international efforts to combat global warming.
  • The difficult decisions made by those in power when setting priorities and raising/spending public money, for example balancing funding of education, health and welfare for all with fair taxation.
  • The different aims, activities, membership and institutions of the EU including the work of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the relationship between the EU and governments of member states. The role of the Commonwealth, its membership and purpose, and also the UN in pursuing its millennium goals, such as supporting human rights and addressing inequalities in the international community.
  • Debates relating to membership of the EU, the Commonwealth of Nations and the UN.
  • The challenges facing the global community such as population, diminishing resources, poverty, health, civil war, climate change.

Unit 2: Participating in Society

This is an active citizenship issue that pupils explore and take action on to improve their society. It is assessed through a Controlled Assessment, a single internally-assessed, externally-moderated assessment consisting of one structured task

Unit 3: Citizenship in Context

Students study Option A: Environmental change and sustainable development.

You will investigate and understand:

  • The ethical aspects of environmental change and sustainable development.
  • Whether global warming results from human activity and whether there is anything humanity can do about it.
  • How individuals can make a difference.
  • How far individuals and communities genuinely consent to national and global responses to problems of global warming and climate change
  • Whether targets for reducing emissions in the future are worth setting and what the most realistic way of achieving them is.
  • Local and national agendas, debates and goals and how local and national governments approach the problem.
  • Whether it is fair to impose the same solutions (cutting greenhouse gases, etc) on developing, as well as developed, countries.
  • Whether trade rather than aid is a better way of supporting a country so it can develop or become more sustainable more quickly.

Unit 4: Citizenship Campaign Students study: Environmental change and sustainable development.

Students are to take an active role by participating in a campaign that will impact on their society in a positive way. It is assessed through a Controlled Assessment


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The Folkestone School for Girls

Coolinge Lane

Folkestone, Kent

CT20 3RB United Kingdom


Tel: +44 (0) 1303 251125