Different Needs, Common Ground

Citizenship (Ages 11-14)
Different Needs, Common Ground

Guidance for “Miriam’s Vision” and the Citizenship module

For ease of reference, we will often refer to the 2005 London bombings as "7/7"On 7th July, 2005 four suicide bombers coordinated attacks on the London transport system. 52 people were killed and estimated 700 injured..  The four-part “Miriam’s Story” video package (total 8 minutes) is embedded in the Schemes of Work in all the “Miriam’s Vision” curriculum areas.

A handout for students - Resource 0 - is available for download here to print and distribute to all students immediately after the video above is shown.  It is a single page summary of the video for students to take away and retain.

The “Miriam’s Vision” Citizenship Scheme of Work may be preceded by the “Miriam’s Vision” PSHE module (two to three sessions, depending on length). You may choose to focus on one or other curriculum area, or teach both together. However, the first PSHE session (about Miriam and 7/7On 7th July, 2005 four suicide bombers coordinated attacks on the London transport system. 52 people were killed and estimated 700 injured.) does help to provide context for the Citizenship module, which moves from personal response to inevitable adversity, to the political.

The module subtitle, “Different Needs, Common Ground”, refers to the balance that must be achieved between different interested parties in the areas of human rights and democratic process.

Module overview

Sessions one and two introduce the Human Rights Act and ask students to think about how we should protect human rights in an age of extremism. In this sense, it moves from the personal to the political, with more of a citizenship focus.

Sessions three to five concern democratic change. Students consider how to make change in ways that are non-violent, democratic and respect the rights of others. These ideas are developed through a case study of campaigns for and against a third runway at Heathrow airport. The case study has been chosen to illustrate the diversity of tactics to make change, and emphasises the need to build alliances with others.

Session six requires the group to generate a topic that is of interest to them (personal or local to the school or its area) and apply principles they have explored in the previous sessions to a role-play debate.

The plans are guides only. They do not include timings for example, as we know you will wish to adapt and select according to the needs of your class.  The materials are designed to be as flexible as possible so, for example, depending on your timetabling you may wish to split the module between the human rights sessions and the democratic process ones.  We have assumed sessions of about an hour – any less and you may need to modify the plans or extend the enquiry over more sessions.  We have not included suggestions about differentiation but could refine the plans according to your feedback on this, as with all aspects.

Refer to Impact/Attachments for completion of student feedback pdf and teacher feedback pdf.

Finally, you will need to be aware of possible sensitivities around this topic.  Some students may have been directly or indirectly affected themselves and there are potential religious sensitivities.

Thank you for your participation.

National Curriculum requirements covered


Purpose of study

A high-quality citizenship education helps to provide pupils with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. In particular, citizenship education should foster pupils’ keen awareness and understanding of democracy [and] government... Teaching should equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments. It should also prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens.



  • acquire a sound knowledge and understanding of how the United Kingdom is governed, its political system and how citizens participate actively in its democratic systems of government
  • develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the role of law and the justice system in our society and how laws are shaped and enforced
  • develop an interest in, and commitment to, participation in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity, that they will take with them into adulthood
  • are equipped with the skills to think critically and debate political questions.

Key Stage 3

Teaching should develop pupils’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Pupils should use and apply their knowledge and understanding while developing skills to research and interrogate evidence, debate and evaluate viewpoints, present reasoned arguments and take informed action.

Pupils should be taught about

  • the development of the political system of democratic government in the United Kingdom, including the roles of citizens [and] Parliament.
  • 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)