Citizenship education is included within the Curriculum for Wales in a number of ways following the curriculum review in ‘Successful Futures’ (Donaldson, 2015) and the introduction of the Wales Future Wellbeing Act (WG, 2015). The Curriculum for Wales has raised the visibility and importance of citizenship education for children and young people.
The Curriculum for Wales (CfW) has identified the four purposes for pupils in Wales to become:
ambitious, capable learners
enterprising, creative contributors
ethical, informed citizens
healthy, confident individuals.
The CfW is divided into six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLE) which are underpinned by consideration of the principles at the heart of the four purposes:
Health and well-being
Languages, literacy and communication
Mathematics and numeracy
Science and technology
Citizenship must be addressed as a cross-curricular aspect of education embedded appropriately in the various AoLE’s and in particular through the Humanities AoLE which encompasses the discipline of Social Studies, and this includes citizenship. The guidance for Humanities also describes a number of other complimentary disciplines which learners may be introduced to including politics, law, philosophy, sociology and economics.
The curriculum purpose, ‘ethical, informed citizens’ has broader implications for the curriculum and wider societal changes happening in Wales including: the appointment of a Youth Parliament, reduced voting age (16) and the ambition to become an Anti-racist country by 2030.
The development of citizenship education will enable students to become ethical, informed citizens who:
find, evaluate and use evidence in forming views
engage with contemporary issues based upon their knowledge and values
understand and exercise their human and democratic responsibilities and rights
understand and consider the impact of their actions when making choices and acting
are knowledgeable about their culture, community, society and the world, now and in the past
respect the needs and rights of others, as a member of a diverse society
show their commitment to the sustainability of the planet
and are ready to be citizens of Wales and the world.