Citizenship Hero


Should we simply accept what political campaigners tell us? Can we always rely on journalists and bloggers to tell us the truth? The answer is surely “no”, and therefore one important educational goal we have in Gosforth Academy Sixth Form is to prepare you to accept one of the greatest responsibilities you will have as a citizen – exercising your right to vote at the age of 18.

It is really important for you to have a sound knowledge of the most significant and controversial issues which are debated today; these will be political, social, cultural and scientific, or very often cover a combination of two or more.

Citizenship Body Image
However, in relation to these issues you also need the critical thinking skills which will enable you to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. This will help you to reach your own clear, logical and coherent judgements and opinions. This analytical and reflective reasoning involves learning how to ask the right questions and developing a set of skills which will stand you in good stead when establishing what your position is on a certain issue or how to vote.

You will have one lesson of Citizenship per week in Year 12, with a wide range of issues of current importance studied to provide context for your skills development over the course of the year. There will necessarily be some teaching of content in order to establish an understanding of key facts, but the emphasis in lessons will be on discussion and debate rather than writing, and on building skills rather than making notes. There will be no examinations, and homework will not be set as in other subjects – instead, we will be constantly encouraging you to extend your knowledge and practise your evaluative skills by watching the news and reading about current affairs on a regular basis, and then sharing your discoveries and ideas with others in the class.
The skills developed should benefit you in your other chosen subjects, where analysis, evaluation and effective communication are required. It will also help those students who may have to take entrance tests for certain universities or courses, in which a critical thinking element is often present. We also hope that you will be able to make use of these skills in your future career as well as in your role as a well informed and critically aware citizen.