Citizenship/PSHE Department


It is the general aim of the Citizenship/PSHE Department to foster enjoyment, understanding and knowledge of the world around us. This is cultivated by increasing knowledge, questioning attitudes, exploring views and encouraging debate. In so doing we look to nurture students who leave the College as broad-minded, tolerant, skilful people who can make a valuable contribution to society.

We seek to offer a broad and balanced curriculum for all students, which fulfils the aims and requirements of the National Curriculum, whilst reflecting and building upon the College philosophy of meeting and challenging the needs of the individual, encouraging all our students to reach for the heights.

We look to provide as wide a range as possible to enrich the lives of our students. In this way we ensure that we make a strong contribution to helping the College meet its aims.

We strive to nurture the whole student through developing and reinforcing knowledge, skills and understanding. As perhaps a unique department, we also aim to strengthen both students’ academic and social skills, whilst encouraging their creativity, self-awareness and independence of thought.

In actively seeking to develop all of our students, we strive to support whole College policies, implementing new concepts when appropriate and look to contribute to the development of new initiatives wherever and whenever possible.



These aims and objectives set out the department’s ethos as per the nurture and development of all students at Marsden Heights.

  • To stimulate and maintain student knowledge and interest in Citizenship and PSHE to promote wellbeing and independent thinking.
  • To enable students to become familiar with a body of knowledge, principles and vocabulary related to the subject.

Students should see Citizenship/PSHE as:

  • A major feature in our lives related to health, safety, justice, tolerance and diversity.
  • Part of a wider body of knowledge and skills ie. Interpersonal skills, problem solving, conflict resolution.
  • To enable students to develop a range of desirable personal qualities such as acceptance of other people’s views, being a good team player, perseverance, initiative, independence and healthy attitudes towards people different to themselves.
  • The establishment of student self-esteem through the development of mental confidence and competence is a major aim of the department. To enable our students to work independently and as part of a team in varied activities we contribute to the development of core skills such as speaking and listening, reading and writing, and numerical awareness.
  • We employ teaching methods and resources that allow students (irrespective of their gender, ethnic origin, religion, disability or academic ability) to have equal access to Citizenship/PSHE and to experience success in their work.
  • We develop an awareness in students of the implications of Citizenship/PSHE and their impact on the individual, group, country or world.
  • We actively seek to encourage students to develop informed opinions and to be able to support them with reasonable arguments.


These clearly defined objectives relate to the basic running of any successful department, and are designed to show how our aims are put into practice.
Staff provide a variety of experiences/activities during a course of study and during a lesson where possible eg.

  • The opportunity to think, plan, discuss, conclude
  • Individual, pair and group work
  • Problem solving
  • Communicating ideas to others
  • Listening and considering
  • Practising and refining skills
  • Having the opportunity to progress

Lessons are conducted in a secure, supportive and disciplined manner. Students and staff interact in a manner that demonstrates mutual respect. Students are always aware of what is required of them in creating a productive and safe working environment
There are always opportunities for pair/small group work activities in order that students learn to express their feelings verbal and learn to work cooperatively as well as on their own.
Staff actively seek to encourage students to improve not just their knowledge , but also their skills over the course of a unit of work.
All staff use the College rewards system in awarding of ‘Hoots’ points for any commendable contribution to a lesson. Overt recognition of student achievement encourages students to strive to reach their full potential, and thus support the College’s ethos of ‘reaching for the heights.’
All staff work to show the enjoyment and benefits of Citizenship/PSHE. This is done by well-chosen resources and carefully phrased comment.

Programmes of study for students in Citizenship/PSHE

A knowledge based curriculum with a range of tasks across each academic year will build skills progression. Each academic year students will develop and build key skills in Citizenship and PSHE, moving towards independent study. Units of work are structured to enable differentiation for students across the age and ability range in years 7-11

Key stage 3 Citizenship

Teaching will develop pupils’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Pupils should 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.

Pupils will be taught about:

  • the development of the political system of democratic government in the United Kingdom, including the roles of citizens, Parliament and the monarch.
  • the operation of Parliament, including voting and elections, and the role of political parties.
  • the precious liberties enjoyed by the citizens of the United Kingdom.
  • the nature of rules and laws and the justice system, including the role of the police and the operation of courts and tribunals.
  • the roles played by public institutions and voluntary groups in society, and the ways in which citizens work together to improve their communities, including opportunities to participate in school-based activities.
  • the functions and uses of money, the importance and practice of budgeting, and managing risk.

Key stage 4

Teaching will build on the key stage 3 programme of study to deepen pupils’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Pupils develop their skills to be able to use a range of research strategies, weigh up evidence, make persuasive arguments and substantiate their conclusions. They experience and evaluate different ways that citizens can act together to solve problems and contribute to society.

Pupils will be taught about:

  • parliamentary democracy and the key elements of the constitution of the United Kingdom, including the power of government, the role of citizens and Parliament in holding those in power to account, and the different roles of the executive, legislature and judiciary and a free press
  • the different electoral systems used in and beyond the United Kingdom and actions citizens can take in democratic and electoral processes to influence decisions locally, nationally and beyond
  • other systems and forms of government, both democratic and non-democratic, beyond the United Kingdom
  • local, regional and international governance and the United Kingdom’s relations with the rest of Europe, the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the wider world
  • human rights and international law
  • the legal system in the UK, different sources of law and how the law helps society deal with complex problems
  • diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding
  • the different ways in which a citizen can contribute to the improvement of his or her community, to include the opportunity to participate actively in community volunteering, as well as other forms of responsible activity
  • income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent.

Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE)

Whilst PSHE is a non-statutory subject, it is expected that schools deliver statutory elements of the Programme of Study to all students across both Key Stages. The PSHE curriculum is covered by the ‘umbrella’ of the Every Child Matters Key Outcomes.
Students should be taught to:

  1. Be Healthy
  2. Stay Safe
  3. Enjoy and Achieve (To include assessment)
  4. Make a Positive Contribution
  5. Achieve Economic Wellbeing

At Key Stage 3, pupils build on the skills, attitudes, values, knowledge and understanding they have acquired and developed during the primary phase. PSHE education acknowledges and addresses the changes that learners are experiencing, beginning with transition to secondary school, the challenges of adolescence and their increasing independence. It teaches the skills which will equip them for the opportunities and challenges of life. Pupils are encouraged to manage diverse relationships and the increasing influence of peers and the media. PSHE education allows them to be more confident in addressing the challenges of effective learning and making a full and active contribution to society.

At Key Stage 4, pupils extend and rehearse the skills, further explore attitudes and values, and deepen knowledge and understanding acquired during Key Stage 3. PSHE education reflects the fact that learners are moving towards an independent role in adult life, taking on greater responsibility for themselves and others. By Key Stage 4 increasing numbers of pupils may be gaining direct experience of issues taught through PSHE education. Schools should not feel constrained by the Key Stage 3/4 demarcation shown below and should adapt their planning to reflect their pupils’ needs and local priorities.


Core Theme 1: Health and Wellbeing

Programme of Study for Health and wellbeing

In order to develop the concepts and skills identified above, pupils will be taught:

  1. how to manage transition
  2. how to maintain physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing including sexual health
  3. about parenthood and the consequences of teenage pregnancy
  4. how to assess and manage risks to health and to stay, and keep others, safe
  5. how to identify and access help, advice and support

Core Theme 2: Relationships

Programme of Study for relationships

Pupils will be taught:
  1. how to develop and maintain a variety of healthy relationships within a range of social/cultural contexts and to develop parenting skills
  2. how to recognise and manage emotions within a range of relationships
  3. how to deal with risky or negative relationships including all forms of bullying (including the distinct challenges posed by online bullying) and abuse, sexual and other violence and online encounters
  4. about the concept of consent in a variety of contexts (including in sexual relationships)
  5. about managing loss including bereavement, separation and divorce
  6. to respect equality and be a productive member of a diverse community
  7. how to identify and access appropriate advice and support.

Core Theme 3: Living in the wider world: economic wellbeing, careers and the world of work

Strong links with aspects of the ‘Relationships’ theme should be recognised
Links with citizenship education.

Programme of Study for living in the wider world

Pupils will be taught:
  1. about rights and responsibilities as members of diverse communities, as active citizens and participants in the local and national economy
  2. how to make informed choices and be enterprising and ambitious
  3. how to develop employability, team working and leadership skills and develop flexibility and resilience
  4. about the economic and business environment
  5. how personal financial choices can affect oneself and others and about rights and responsibilities as consumers.