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National Curriculum

Attainment target for citizenship

Level 1

Pupils can talk about citizenship issues that are suggested to them. They think of questions they would like to ask about these issues and identify who could help them answer these questions. They consider what their opinions are and share their ideas with others. They describe some of the groups and communities they belong to and recognise that people in their communities are different. They begin to describe how needs are different from wants. They take part in some of the decisions that affect them and their communities.

Level 2

Pupils begin to ask questions to find out more about the different groups and communities they belong to, and discuss with others the similarities and differences between them. They give opinions about the communities they belong to and their neighbourhood. They describe how things might be improved through the actions that they or others might take. They begin to recognise that all people have needs and wants and can identify the difference between the two. They begin to explore what is fair and unfair in different situations.

Level 3

Pupils recognise that issues affect people in their neighbourhood and wider communities in different ways. They investigate issues and find answers to questions using different sources of information provided for them. They present their ideas to others and begin to acknowledge different responses to their ideas. They discuss and describe some features of the different groups and communities they belong to. They identify different kinds of rights and understand that rights can conflict. They begin to recognise some features of democracy and  know that people have a say in what happens locally and nationally. They identify what could be done to change things in communities and plan some action. They take part in decision-making activities with others on citizenship issues, in contexts that are familiar to them.

Level 4

Pupils explore a range of sources of information to engage with topical and controversial issues, including where rights compete and conflict. They identify different and opposing views and can explain their own opinion about what is fair and unfair in different situations. They develop  research questions to explore issues and problems and begin to assess the impact of these for individuals and communities. They use what they find out to make informed contributions in debates. They appreciate that there are many diverse groups and communities in the UK and the wider world and use this understanding to explore the communities they belong to. They work together with others to plan and undertake a course of action to address significant citizenship issues. They begin to explain different ways in which people can participate in democracy through individual and collective actions and how they can change things in communities and wider society. They show understanding of democracy by making connections with their knowledge and experience of representation and taking action in the local community.

Level 5

Pupils discuss and debate topical and controversial issues including those where rights are in conflict and need to be balanced. They consider what is fair and unfair to different groups involved and make reference to relevant national, European and international dimensions of the issues. They use different methods of enquiry and sources of information to investigate issues and explore a range of viewpoints, drawing some conclusions. They communicate their arguments clearly, giving reasons for their opinion and recognising the range of ideas involved. They identify the contributions of different cultures and communities to society and describe ways in which the UK is interconnected with the wider world. They work collaboratively with others from the wider community, to negotiate, plan and carry out action aimed at making a difference to the  lives of others and explain the impact of actions taken. They show some knowledge of the operation of the political and justice systems in the UK, by describing the key features of democratic processes and the work of government in the UK. They participate effectively in activities involving representation, voting and campaigning on issues they have explored.

Level 6

Pupils are aware of the diversity of opinions on topical and controversial issues and describe some of the influences that shape those opinions. They decide on appropriate research strategies and develop questions to investigate issues. They explore and interpret different sources of information and begin to assess these for validity and bias. They develop informed arguments, taking account of diverse viewpoints, and challenge assumptions or ideas as they explore them. They use their findings to present a persuasive case for a particular course of action, giving reasons for their view. They negotiate their role, and plan and undertake courses of action with others. They reflect on the extent of their success in achieving an improvement or influence in the community and suggest what they might do next. They show understanding of the complexity of identities and diversity in groups and communities, and explain the impact of some of the changes in UK society and the global community. They consider a range of scenarios (from local to global) where there are inequalities and explain how different kinds of rights need to be protected, supported and balanced. They begin to make comparisons between the UK system of democratic parliamentary government and those systems in different parts of the world. They show understanding of interdependence, describing interconnections between people and their actions in the UK, Europe and the wider world.

Level 7

Pupils explore the origins of a range of opinions, including their own, on topical and controversial issues. They question assumptions and their own views as a result of informed debate and examination of relevant evidence. They argue persuasively and represent the views of others including those they do not agree with. They weigh up and assess the implications of situations where an individual’s or group’s rights and obligations are contested. They use a range of research strategies and sources of information with confidence. They work with others to initiate, negotiate, plan and carry out appropriate courses of action in the local and wider community to bring about change. They analyse the reasons for diversity in the make-up of UK society and explain how it changes over time. They begin to evaluate the roles citizens can take in shaping decisions and the extent to which they can influence the operation of political and legal systems. They compare the role of citizens in the UK with those in other parts of the world to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of different forms of government.

Level 8

Pupils use and apply their detailed knowledge of citizenship issues, problems and events to analyse how these affect groups and communities in different parts of the world. They make connections between information derived from different sources and their own experience in order to make perceptive observations. They have a detailed understanding of the key citizenship concepts of democracy, justice, rights and responsibilities, identities and diversity, including how these can change over time. They carry out different types of research and hypothesise alternative courses of action, exploring the different implications of each. They put some of these courses of action to the test in their communities and analyse and draw conclusions about the impact and limitations of these. They understand how citizens participate in bringing about change in society through democratic processes and different kinds of action. They ask challenging questions to explore the ways in which justice, laws and governments operate in different places and the roles citizens can take in shaping society.

Exceptional performance

Pupils use and apply what they have learnt about the origins and substance of different viewpoints to present coherent, perceptive and compelling arguments on a wide range of citizenship issues. They research complex issues, selecting appropriate methodologies and drawing on their own and others’ experience of taking action. They assess and evaluate the validity of a wide range of viewpoints and evidence, synthesising them to draw clear conclusions. They take an overview of the key citizenship concepts of democracy, justice, rights and responsibilities, identities and diversity and make sophisticated observations relating to the connections between them. They take a leading role in defining, negotiating and undertaking courses of action with others to address citizenship issues and problems. They apply this practical understanding to analyse approaches citizens can take to improve society through individual and collective actions and democratic processes. They evaluate the impact and limitations of policies on communities (local to global) now and in the future and suggest alternatives. They debate challenging questions about the relationship between the UK and the wider world and the kind of society they as citizens would like to live in.


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