The Citizen ship sailed into the TeachFirst harbour to discuss all things citizenship, including assessment and social action for a really inspiring session.
Last week I met with nine citizenship specialists at the TeachFirst London HQ for a subject development day. Having completed their first four weeks in school, this day was an opportunity for these newly trained teachers to escape the sea of young people to reflect on their collective experiences and to hear from a variety of authoritative and interesting speakers – including me from the Citizenship Foundation!
I had a little over an hour with some bright, engaging and enthusiastic professionals, who without exception seem to be making a positive impact in their school settings and upon their students. It was really refreshing to hear the understanding and passion that they have for citizenship education, but also pleasing to learn how central citizenship values are to their host schools. During uncertain times when many subject bodies are looking over their shoulder at any impending outcomes of the curriculum review, I feel assured that many academic institutions will continue to see the value of preparing young people with the knowledge, tools and understanding to make an effective contribution to wider society.
During our limited time together we were able to look at some great, free citizenship resources and discuss some assessment issues with the font of citizenship knowledge that is Julie Gibbings our Manager, Curriculum and Publication. I was also able to introduce the Giving Nation Challenge which supports cross-curricular delivery of charitable and social action initiatives to KS3 &4. With free lesson plans and teaching resources, and a new web-based project planner (currently being developed!) coupled with start-up grants of £50/class to develop charity and social enterprise projects I am sure we should be seeing many more young social activists joining our community of 600 secondary schools in the coming months.
On the day, I was also especially delighted to hear from the excellent Cathy Fallon, Senior Lecturer and Citizenship Lead, that TeachFirst has already committed to continuing to place more citizenship students next year. Naturally, I will look forward to meeting these exceptional teachers next year!
For any information on the Giving Nation programme, including free school training or telephone guidance, please get in touch on 020 7566 4141.
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