Leeds East Academy


Year 9 Options Process - Citizenship


Citizenship education develops knowledge, skills and understanding that students need to play a full part in society as active and responsible citizens. They will learn about politics, parliament and voting as well as human rights, justice, the law, and the economy. Students will also learn the skills of active citizenship, how to be involved in making a change to their world and will be exposed to real issues and events in local to global contexts.

Citizenship helps to equip young people to deal with situations of conflict and controversy knowledgeably and tolerantly. It helps to equip them to understand the consequences of their actions, and those of the adults around them. They will learn how to recognise bias, evaluate argument, weigh evidence, look for alternative interpretations, viewpoints and sources of evidence which will enable them to give good reasons for the things they say and do, and to expect good reasons to be given by others.

Course Details

We offer a broad and diverse range of topics that delivers coherent knowledge on rights, the law, global issues, and active citizenship. These core aspects of citizenship will be underpinned by expert knowledge of the teaching body ensuring a depth of study for our pupils at Leeds East Academy, whereby students will be able to synthesise their knowledge and suggest new ways of thinking.

Pupils will be able to debate logically, share and express their opinions confidently and actively seek to change their school, community, and wider world at various points within each topic.

At GCSE, learners will study the four themes:

  • Theme A: Living together in the UK

Within this, students are introduced to the idea that the UK is a diverse society of many different communities and groups who live together. They explore the nature of identity and multiple identities as well as how and why communities are changing. They consider the democratic rights, freedoms and values that we share, including human rights and the challenge of balancing competing rights.

  • Theme B: Democracy at work in the UK

Students explore the idea of representative, parliamentary democracy in the UK including the voting and electoral system, the roles, and responsibilities of MPs and how government is organised and kept in check. They will also consider the role of parliament in making and shaping law; the government’s role in managing public money; and how power is organised across the constituent parts of the UK.

  • Theme C: Law and Justice

Within this theme, students explore why we need laws and how law affects us in our everyday lives. They consider how the justice system in England and Wales works in practice including the roles and power of the police and the courts. They also learn about the distinctive features of the criminal, civil and youth justice systems and some of the different approaches to settling disputes, addressing inequality, changing behaviour, and tackling crime in society.

  • Theme D: Power and influence

In this section students revisit key ideas about democracy, rights, and responsibilities in Themes A–C as they explore ideas about power. They consider power in relation to the ways in which citizens, governments and the media exercise power and influence in a range of local to global situations. They contrast representative democracy in the UK with a non-democratic political system and the limits this places on the rights and freedoms of citizens.

  • Theme E: Taking Citizen Action

Citizenship action may be defined as a planned course of informed action to address a citizenship issue or question of concern and aimed at delivering a benefit or change for a particular community or wider society. Taking citizenship action in a real out-of-classroom context allows students to apply citizenship knowledge, understanding and skills, and to gain different citizenship insights and appreciate different perspectives on how we live together and make decisions in society. It requires them to practise a range of citizenship skills including research and enquiry, interpretation of evidence, including primary and secondary sources, planning, collaboration, problem solving, advocacy, campaigning and evaluation.

Progression beyond GCSE

Students can progress from this qualification to AS and A Levels in other subjects. This includes subjects that build upon aspects of content studied, particularly Government and Politics; but the skills students acquire in GCSE Citizenship are transferable to other AS and A Levels and Level 3 vocational qualifications, such as BTEC Nationals.

The skills students would acquire are:

  • Critical thinking – such as analysing, synthesising, and reasoning skills
  • Communication – oral and written
  • Systems thinking – decision making and reasoning
  • Relationship-building skills – teamwork, trust, intercultural sensitivity, service
  • orientation, self-presentation, social influence, conflict resolution and negotiation
  • Collaborative problem solving – establishing and maintaining shared understanding, taking appropriate action, establishing, and maintaining team organisation

Where will the course take you?


Citizenship builds essential subject knowledge for those considering a career in Law, Politics, Media or law enforcement and is extremely helpful for any students wanting to study Law, Criminology or Politics at further education.

The following jobs are directly relevant in terms of the knowledge and skills required to Citizenship Studies: Lawyer, Barrister, Police Officer, Paralegal, Legal Secretary, Probation Officer, Humanities Secondary Teacher, Civil Servant, Local Councillor, and any role involving community organisation.

Course structure and assessment

    • Exam board: Edexcel
    • 100% Formal exams
    • Paper 1 50% of the qualification. Questions from Themes A-C
    • Paper 2 50% of the qualification. Questions from Themes E and D along with a final question focused on specification Theme D.
      • One question will also link to content in one of Themes A–C.

Student work


A03- Typical exam style responses and questions.  

“The United Nations is a waste of time.” How far do you agree with this statement (15). 

The United Nations is an international organisation, which was created in 1947 to prevent world wars and to promote peace. 

One reason why the UN is a wate of time is because there are still countries who are not obeying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There are still several countries who are abusing those human rights and the UN is unable to punish those leaders. For example, in Palestine, whereby the human right to safety, housing, employment and freedom from violence is broken on a regular basis within the Gaza strip. This therefore means that the UN is a wate of time because it cannot promote peace and promote human rights around the world. 

Another reason why the UN is a wate of time is because The Un is unable to enforce human right abuses. To explain this further, the genocide in Rwanda can be attributed to the removal of UN peace keeping soldiers after 10 Belgium peace keeping soldiers were killed. This means that citizens were not protected and did not have any human rights, including the right to life. This meant that 800,000 innocent people died and this could have been prevented if the UN did not withdraw troops. Therefore, the UN is a wate of time. 

Another reason why the UN is a wate of time is because it cannot promote harmony between countries, like the climate agreements. For example, in America, when Trump was leader, he removed the USA from the Paris climate agreement and this meant that the climate agreement couldn’t be successfully reached. This meant that climate change couldn’t be reduced successfully and this could have sped climate change up and increase the effects of the climate change around the world. Therefore, the UN is a wate of time. 

One reason why the Un is not a wate of time is because they are always there to support countries who are in need of aid. When a natural disaster strikes, the UN are able to offer supplies and help the people and the country to recover. For example, in Haiti in 2010, an earthquake damage the capital and killed around 100,000 people. The UN were able to give out medical supplies and food to people who had lost their houses and were unable to have these essentials. This therefore shows that the Un is not a waste of time. 

Another reason why the UN is not a wate of time is because they uphold peace. For example, the Un has been successful in preventing world wars after its establishment is 1947 after the second world war. This means that people are kept safe and are not in danger of being killed or in danger of being harmed and this promotes global peace. However, there are smaller-scale conflicts happening around the world, but the UN is tackling these. Without the UN, the world may have seen another world war and this may have killed millions of more people’s lives. This therefore shows that the UN is not a waste of time. 

Another reason why the UN is not a wate of time is because they help countries escape violence. For example, the UN has successfully disarmed 70,000 combatants and re-integrated them into society. This is important because this has reduced many conflicts, but this also helps people to recover from violence and live a normal life and this may reduce crime levels within a country. This means that peace is more prominent in countries and this therefore shows that the UN is not a waste of time. 

Overall, I believe that in some cases, the UN can be a wate of time, but it is more effective than people think. The UN has helped decrease human rights violations and this means that more people are not at risk of being harmed. This means that more people can live peacefully and without the UN many people would be at risk of harm or even death. 

Examplar work 1 Examplar work 2
Example tasks Presentation  Lesson task example Citizenship studies

Further information