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Film and citizenship

Visualising the concepts

The 2013 draft citizenship curriculum has been designed to build students’ awareness of how the UK is governed and how its laws are made and upheld. There is a strong focus also on developing young people’s financial capabilities and their interest in volunteering. At KS4, students are expected to consider issues of identity and diversity with a view to fostering mutual respect and understanding.

Such concepts can be dry and difficult to access for all except the most able students yet can be the subtext in a wide repertoire of films suitable for KS3 and KS4 students. By engaging young people with films covering this content, teachers can provide students with visually compelling narratives as a starting point for analysis.

Film encourages students to respond to situations, people and politics in personal ways, where choices, moral decisions and opportunities for action are played out on screen. Film takes students beyond their own experiences and provides opportunities to engage with characters, societies, conflicts and dilemmas that they may not otherwise encounter. An approach to film from a citizenship perspective offers students rich opportunities to deepen their understanding of how societies function.