Session 6: A school issue of the class’s choice

Citizenship (Ages 11-14)
Session 6: A school issue of the class’s choice
  • Different Needs, Common Ground
  • A school issue of the class’s choice
  • Module plenary
Key Messages
  • Having explored the tools of change through the example of Heathrow’s third runway, learning is now applied to a self-selected issue of interest relating to their own school.
  • Connections are made between personal, local, national and global matters.
  • Connections are made between Miriam's Vision and effecting change through the democratic process.
  • Consider why there are different views about their chosen issue.
  • Apply prior learning to the selected issue.
  • Relate the content of the module to the aims of the Miriam’s Vision resource, ie trying to make change through democratic processes rather than violence.
  • Develop ideas about how to influence decisions in their personal, local, national and global communities.
  • Evaluate real issues, considering actions that are likely to be effective.
  • Extrapolate from Miriam’s story to their own lives.
Links to National Curriculum
  • Consider the ways in which citizens work together to improve their communities.
  • The format of this part of the session is up to you. The interested parties in the class’s selected issue should each be represented by one group.
  • Group members share their completed homework from the previous session, MV Citizenship Resource 6.1 Class case study plan an action.
  • Decide which “tools of change” they are going to employ, and how. They can plan strategies, make posters, write petitions, or any other action from the range they have explored.
  • You may choose to set up a debate in which groups can make their cases in role, with a Q&A.


  • Either in role or as themselves (or both), take a vote on the class’s chosen issue. They can vote for, against or abstain. Students can explain their reasons. Record how many vote for each option. What is the outcome? Does it seem fair? How does the class feel about it?

Module plenary

  • It is vital to the aims of Miriam's Vision to allow students time to reflect on their learning.
  • MV Citizenship Resource 6.2 Module plenary, Slide 2 Students draw around their hand. On the four fingers, they should write 1) A right they have. 2) A way they can make change. 3) Something they’ve learned. 4) A question they still have. Finally, in the palm of the hand they should think about the most important thing they have learned and write a thought they’d like to keep forever.
  • Use the hands as a basis for a reflective discussion about the entire unit, especially focusing on what students think are important about human rights and democracy.
  • Slide 3 It would be powerful to end the module with a return to the purpose of the Miriam’s Vision resource. Although there have been positive outcomes to 7/7, was it an avoidable event? Refer back to Miriam’s Story (you may want to replay the video package) and reflect on why the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust places emphasis on the importance of democracy and human rights.
  • How can the Miriam’s Vision Citizenship module help? (By learning what happened on 7/7 and understanding its far-reaching consequences; by understanding that people have the choice to try to influence events in their personal, local, national and global communities, constructively and non-violently; by applying lessons learned to future personal and wider situations, etc.)
  • Slide 4 Students can share personal experiences or knowledge of issues that have split groups (which could include families or communities). How were the issues tackled? Were they resolved? Could they have been better resolved? How? This provides opportunities for students to relate the contents of this module to themselves and their own lives. Sharing in (non-friendship) pairs can sometimes have surprisingly rewarding personal outcomes, and as a whole class students may inspire each other.
  • Slide 5 Refer to the subtitle of the module, Different Needs, Common Ground, as a fitting close, and end with the following questions:
    • Is democracy a good option for resolving conflict?
    • How does Miriam's story relate to the module? (Her right to life was violated by people who used violence to try to make a point, or a change.)
    • Has anything in this module inspired you? If so, what? How?
  • To end, Slide 6 repeats the module title.