What is Citizenship/RE?

Citizenship at Sunnydown explores the relationship between individuals in society and the state. Understanding the roles, rights and responsibilities of citizens and the effect of society is fundamental. Citizens and communities, Parliament, democracy, local and regional governments, British Values, crime and punishment, law making, political protest, voting systems and financial responsibility are studied in KS3. The breadth and depth of these studies aim to prepare our students for being independent members of society.

Religious Education at Sunnydown explores the study of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, as well as an introduction to philosophy and non-religious belief systems such as Humanism.

Why do we teach Citizenship/RE at Sunnydown?

The Citizenship curriculum at Sunnydown has been designed to give students a foundation of knowledge of the key pillars that allow society to function. In these lessons, students are provided with powerful knowledge and concepts of democracy and active citizenship, amongst others, that prepare them for later life. At Key Stage 3, this includes human rights, privacy, individual liberty and different types of electoral system. The topics covered ensure that all students gain understanding of society and the role that they play within it.

Religious Education is intended to give students an understanding of the world’s most influential and enduring religious and philosophical ideas. Over the three years of Key Stage 3, all students will develop their religious and cultural literacy through learning about a range of religious traditions.

Religious Education also teaches the fundamental British values, our Rights Respecting Schools agenda, and support our students wider social, moral, spiritual and cultural development (SMSC). Underpinning our entire RE curriculum are norms of tolerance, respect, and curiosity.

Pragmatically, we believe that a thorough understanding of religion and philosophy provides a fantastic academic foundation for further study in literature, history, the arts and beyond. We believe that it’s every child’s right to develop a thorough understanding of the ideas that have shaped, and continue to shape, our world.

How do we teach Citizenship/RE at Sunnydown?

At Sunnydown, Citizenship is taught by:

  • Ensuring all students have a breadth and strength of knowledge of the key concepts of citizenship. This is supported by the use of comparative case studies which allow students to consolidate and demonstrate their understanding through their use and evaluation of specific and real examples. The use of retrieval practice and assessment for learning techniques such as questioning will also allow students to consolidate and broaden this knowledge and enable them to formulate and express substantiated opinions and judgements.
  • Consolidating student understanding through practical activities, such as curriculum trips to the Houses of Parliament. Exposure to democracy in action is vital in allowing students opportunities to engage with practical examples of what has been only theoretical within the classroom. Students also study a topic on active citizenship, which allows students to become involved with community issues and try implement positive change within the local area.
  • Developing skills to that students can form substantiated opinions, critically analyse alternatives viewpoints and to form conclusive judgements. This is done through classroom debate and discussion throughout the course .

In Religious Education at Key Stage 3, each year is focussed on a series of core learning questions, which are addressed throughout the period of study.

Students address our core learning questions in a variety of ways: through discussion, engagement with sources and resources, and through engaging in genuine philosophical discourse of their own. We encourage students to engage with narrative and stories, and to evaluate the significance and implications of sacred texts for believers.

We believe that the explicit teaching of religious and philosophical vocabulary is fundamental to success in RE, and encourage students to deliberately practise their reading, writing and speaking in this subject.

How does Citizenship/RE change at KS4?

Citizenship/RE is taught as part of our PSHE Programme of Study: Personal Development. Our quality personal development programme teaches the content of The National Curriculum at KS4 in conjunction with key life skills such as debating, discussion, presentations, research, planning and evaluation. Mapped to the NC, Sunnydown uses ACTs 9 Principles of Effective Citizenship Education with knowledge, skills and attitudes developed and deepend using overarching key questions as a starting point. Students are taught substantive knowledge on a range of topics including politics, parliament, power and the law. They explore human rights, justice, equality, the economy, communities and the UK’s role in the wider world. They learn to use and apply their knowledge as they develop capacities to be informed, responsible and active citizens.Students will develop the skills to: think critically about complex issues; evaluate sources and weigh up evidence; problem solving; take part in debates, advocating their viewpoint and sustaining arguments; and take forward different kinds of democratic and responsible action on issues and matters of concern to them.


Curriculum Plans