The aim of the Northern Ireland Curriculum is to:
Empower young people to develop their potential and to make informed and responsible choices and decisions throughout their lives.
A gap was identified, where pupils are given the recognition of young people as citizens who can make a positive contribution to society. It was with this in mind that the subject of Local and Global Citizenship was introduced to the Northern Ireland Curriculum.
Within this subject pupils address the following areas:
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Equality and Social Justice
- Democracy and Active Participation
- Human Rights and Social Responsibility (which underpins all themes in Citizenship)
All pupils study Citizenship at key stages 3 and 4, and are given the option at key stage 4 to do the GCSE in Learning for Life and Work, of which Local and Global Citizenship is one of the three modules. The other two modules are Employability and Personal Development
The Citizenship Department has been successfully running for five years now, during which time we have been involving various outside agencies to re-enforce such issues as:
- aspects of the law
- challenging stereotypes and prejudice
- human rights
- social justice
- democracy in action
These agencies have included:
- The Police Service of Northern Ireland
- Amnesty International
- Visits from MLA’s
- Visits to Parliament Buildings
- The British Red Cross
In 2006 The High School became involved in delivering Co-Operation Ireland’s Civic-Link Project. The aims of this are to:
- Promote values of mutual understanding, respect and acceptance of diversity.
- Empower young people to put these values into action.
During this The High School was linked with Patrician College, Finglas, Dublin. Young People from each school came together through two residentials, one in Dublin and one in Northern Ireland, to address issues affecting their communities and share and learn about each other. They explored how they could take action on these issues in relation to existing public policies. The emphasis was to increase their awareness of policy formulation and equip them with skills to actively participate and take action.
This project proved to be both exciting and a great success in helping pupils develop a wide range of transferable skills and positively impacted on their confidence and self-esteem.
Due to this success we have continued our involvement with this project. From September 2008 the High School was involved in Co-Operation Northern Ireland, with St. Colman’s High School, Ballynahinch, as our partner school.
Learning for Life and Work (LLW)
This course is divided into three compulsory components:
- Local and Global Citizenship;
- Personal Development; and
The content of each component is outlined in more detail below:
Local and Global Citizenship
- Diversity and inclusion in Northern Ireland and the wider world
- Rights and responsibilities regarding local, national and global issues
- The role of society and government in safeguarding human rights
- Non-governmental organisations
- Key democratic institutions and their role in promoting inclusion, justice and democracy
- Understanding how to participate in a range of democratic processes
- Maximising and sustaining health and well-being
- Concept of self
- Building and maintaining healthy relationships
- Recognising, assessing and managing risk
- Understanding the roles and responsibilities of parenting
- Developing competence as discerning consumers
- The impact of globalisation on employment
- Recruitment and selection practices for employment
- Rights and responsibilities of employers and employees
- Issues of self employment and sources of support