‘Life in the UK’
A Journey to Citizenship,
would you pass the test?
5 Nations Conference
Dec 2013
[email protected]
New Life in the UK Test 2013
• The website has been
designed for UK
citizenship seekers who
want to get ready to take
the Life in the UK test.
• Our British citizenship
practice tests are made
so easy for UK citizenship
applicants that even an
amateur to computers or
English will find it easy to
• It doesn’t matter if your
English is poor or you lack
basic computer skills.
Do you want to have a go?
• http://www.britishcitizenshiptest.co.uk/fr
Who do you think you are?
My identity today?
‘Nations and peoples are largely the
stories they feed themselves. If they
tell themselves stories that are lies,
they will suffer the future
consequences of those lies. If they
tell themselves stories that face their
own truths, they will free their
histories for future flowerings.’
Ben Okri
Aims of the session
•To explore the concepts of diversity,
identity and community cohesion,
• How do schools know they are addressing
•To reflect on practical ideas which can be
used with children and young people
Learning about identity and cultural
diversity can help young people to live and
work together in diverse communities in
their country and the wider world.
It can also help them develop their identity
and a sense of belonging, which are
fundamental to personal wellbeing and the
achievements of a flourishing and cohesive
What role do we as citizenship
practitioners have?
 to support many communities?
 to promote positive identities?
 to welcome the new?
 to welcome diversity of all kinds?
to act positively to promote this pluralist
to deliver political literacy?
Can you think of an example in your setting
that would support Citizenship and
What role do schools have?
 Schools are central community institutions
 Shape children and young people’s experiences
of each other and of the adult world
 Model positive values of cohesion & inclusion
 Help children & young people join and establish
 Help children & young people talk about cohesion
and kinds of difference
 Know how children & young people are doing
Teacher interaction
Student interaction
School policies and practice
Active citizenship programs
Involving local community
Teacher/facilitator interaction ...
• Active learning approaches - Games, quizzes, stories and
testimony, surveys and media projects
• Peer mentoring & group work
• Listening to diverse voices & stories
• Using a wide range of literature
• Empathy & empowerment - Using role play/ problem solving
• The development of trust between young people
• Communicative skills to be explicitly taught and promoted
• Developing knowledge & understanding: legal/human rights,
public discourse, political literacy
Identities and diversity
“Everywhere, cultural identities are
emerging which are not fixed, but poised,
in transition between different positions;
which draw on different cultural
traditions at the same time: and which
are the product of those complicated
cross-overs and cultural mixes which are
increasingly common in a globalised
(S. Hall, The Question of Cultural Identity in “Modernity and its Futures”, Polity
Press, OU, 1992)
Community Cohesion
“Working towards a a society in which there is
a common vision and sense of belonging by all
communities; a society in which the diversity of
people’s backgrounds and circumstances is
appreciated and valued; a society in which life
opportunities are available to all; and a society
in which strong and positive relationships exist
and continue to be developed in the workplace,
in schools and in the wider community”.
Alan Johnson November 2006
Defining & Understanding Community Cohesion
• Shared values a common vision for society
• A sense of belonging by all communities
• The diversity of people’s backgrounds
appreciated & valued
• Equal and fair life opportunities available to all
• Strong and positive relationships
• Knowing responsibilities & rights
• Trust in each other, schools & local institutions
Some of the challenges the Duty seeks to
• East European background pupil in a rural comprehensive: ‘I see
Africa as poor, Asia as a famine and war zone, Eastern Europe as
second class and England having snobby whites and poor blacks.’
• A black pupil: ‘I live in London- it’s my home. My parents are from
the Caribbean. I’m a Christian, but I’m E17- that’s where I hang,
they’re my people. That’s who I am.’ GANG CULTURE
• A white pupil: ‘I’m not from a Caribbean country or an exotic
country. I’m from nowhere like that, I’m just plain English.’
• A Head in a largely white area: ‘We have no problem here. We have
a very low percentage of children from different cultural and ethnic
backgrounds. We’re very wary of the Duty becoming a contrived
Silent Dialogue
Theme :
Diversity & Identity
Picture perfect
What is ‘Britishness?’
What can you take back to school from
today and implement to enhance your work
with the students around diversity &
identity within a citizenship framework?
‘If you take skins and stuff
off, we are all the same.’
(Primary students)

Click here to the presentation accompanying the workshop.