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Hands Up For… Alternative Citizenship Workshops

We offer three sets of three workshops, each comprised of three, one hour long sessions, which can be delivered over a period of days or weeks. They are aimed at Key Stage 2 students (Years 5 and 6) but can be adapted to fit early Key Stage 3 students (Year 7).

The topics covered are:
· Politics
· Social Issues
· The Environment and Sustainability

Hands Up For… Alternative Citizenship workshops were designed in order to pass on our own experiences and alert young people to the possibilities of becoming active in and aware of the world around them. They carry no political agenda, are free of charge and are tailored to fit the non-statutory National Curriculum guidelines on PSHE and Citizenship. We felt that our own experiences in becoming politically aware, forming a protest group through which to articulate our ideas and forming links with the mainstream media and important political figures and groups could be reproduced with other groups of young people, allowing them to become active members of society. The workshops aim to combat apathy from the grassroots level while providing young people with an outlet to formulate and express views about the issues covered.

If you are a young person who would like to teach or be taught the course, or a teacher interested in learning more, holding the workshops in your school or involving young people you work with, then please email us.

Our citizenship workshops are currently being piloted in a number of schools, including:

  • Salusbury Primary, Queens park, London
  • Beckford Primary, West Hampstead, London
  • Malorees Primary, Brondesbury, London
  • Randall Kremer Primary, London Fields, London
  • Virginia Primary, Shoreditch, London
  • Hampstead Comprehensive, Cricklewood, London

They are also spreading around England and Wales to groups of interested young people who are hoping to take them in to their local schools. All Hands made in school workshops will become part of our collection and will become a travelling exhibition as the collection grows. We are hoping to train a number of young people to deliver the wokrshops around the country later in the year. To see photographs of workshops in action, check out our gallery.

Topic One: Politics

Session One:

First Half:
· Introduction
· What is politics? Why are politics important? (Brainstorm)
· Brief explanation of what we mean by politics and why we consider it important
· What would you like in your local area?
· Brief explanation of why Parliament can determine what happens in the local area
Second Half:
· Democracy Game

Session Two:

First Half:
· Recap
· What are your politics? (Brainstorm on what policies the young people would implement if they were in power, based on important issues raised in session one. Debate.)
· ‘Our Politics’ (Explanation of Hands Up For Peace as an example of a protest group)
Second Half:
· Make hands on issues discussed

Session Three:

First Half:
· Recap
· ‘Other People’s Politics’ (Brief look at main policies of main political parties and explanation of terms – i.e. ‘right wing’)
Second Half:
· Visit by local MP (Young people are able to give them hands made in session 2 and to ask questions based on previous debate)
· Distribution of ‘Contact Pack’ (Containing useful websites, MP’s address, and ways to stay in touch with Hands Up through website and letter)

Optional extra visit:

An extra visit can be arranged for a fortnight after the workshop to pick up any extra hands, answer any questions posed during the last session that were not answered, and talk to anyone interested in learning more about any issue covered.

Topic Two: Social Issues

Session One:

First Half:
· Introduction
· What are social issues? (Brainstorm including subjects such as racism, sexism and bullying)
· Brief explanation of what we mean by these
Second Half:
· Social Issues Game

Session Two:

First Half:
· Recap
· What are your views? (Brainstorm on how the young people would combat social issues if they were in power, based on important issues raised in session one. Debate.)
· ‘Our Issues’ (Explanation of XXXX as an example of combating social issues)
Second Half:
· Make hands on issues discussed

Session Three:

First Half:
· Recap
· ‘Other People’s Issues’ (Brief look at some pressure groups and some other groups – i.e. BNP, Black Power, Nazis, Slavery)
Second Half:
· Visit by activist (Young people are able to give them hands made in session 2 and to ask questions based on previous debate)
· Distribution of ‘Contact Pack’ (Containing useful websites, addresses, and ways to stay in touch with Hands Up through website and letter)

Optional extra visit:

An extra visit can be arranged for a fortnight after the workshop to pick up any extra hands, answer any questions posed during the last session that were not answered, and talk to anyone interested in learning more about any issue covered.


Topic Three: Environment & Sustainability

Session One:

First Half:
Introduction: Who we are, names, basic rules for the day, etc.
Brainstorm: What do we need to live? (food, water, warmth, leisure, waste
disposal, social/ emotional needs)
Extend brainstorm: where do these things come from and which ones are
dependent on the earth and the earth’s natural resources?

Example: Food ? Supermarket ? Animals or Plants ? Water, sunlight and soil.

This idea can be extended and explored further depending on the children’s
abilities. (E.g: supermarket could lead on to food miles and thus oil)
So how much land do we have?
Brainstorm: What do we use this land for? (What is wasteful?)
Sustainability. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? ‘development which meets the
needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs.’ Or in other words ‘we use too much stuff and it wont last’.

Second Half:
Game: OUR FOOTPRINT. (Everyone on the earth leaves different sized
footprints, because some people use more of the earths resources/ energy
than others. In the UK we’d have to have three earths to maintain our use of
land, so our footprint is three times what it needs to be.)
Get children to cut out a footprint 3 X the size of their foot.
What is this footprint made up of?
Is it possible to walk with this footprint tied to your shoe? Why? Why not?
Brief discussion: What can we do to reduce our footprint? To become more
sustainable?

Session Two:

First Half:
Recap on last week.
Brainstorm: What can we do to become more sustainable?
At home?
At school?
In our area?
In the UK?
In the whole world?

Second Half:
Making ‘ideal footprints’.
Fill the footprint with ideas about how to become more sustainable.
(Decorate with illustrations etc: footprints for display or presentation.)

Session Three:

First Half:
Introducing guest: who are they, what are they responsible for, etc?
Preparing questions for guest.

Second Half:
Guest speaker: ask questions and show the ‘ideal footprints’.

(Or: If there is no guest, play the shopping game and discuss food miles)

Optional extra visit:

An extra visit can be arranged for a fortnight after the workshop to pick up any extra hands, answer any questions posed during the last session that were not answered, and talk to anyone interested in learning more about any issue covered.