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23 April, 2003

BBC pilots new Citizenship website

Starting today, the BBC is piloting a new Citizenship website for 11-14 year-olds, to complement the curriculum in England.

Citizen X will cover six issues and aims to deliver them in a manner which will motivate students to become active citizens. The site is intended to engage and capture students' imaginations and energy, and to provide the information and impetus that will allow them to make their own decisions; to think and do things for themselves. A spokesperson for BBC Schools Online said, 'We aim to give children the means to inform themselves about the world around them and to help them see themselves as part of a community - a global community even - so that they feel that their involvement can actually make a difference'. Currently based around the three strands of 'social and moral responsibility', 'political literacy' and 'community involvement', Citizen X offers the following: Activities and information about six areas of the citizenship curriculum: the criminal justice system, asylum, the voting system, cultural identity, the EU and rights and responsibilities. Animations, Flash movies and photo-stories raising issues that relate to citizenship, with 'interactive points' allowing students to explore the subject further. A background area where teachers and students can find core information about the subject - statistics, case studies and some raw material with which to do individual research. Message Boards and Live Chats for students to discuss issues raised in class with other students. They will also be able to participate in live chats with people involved with the area of study, such as an ex-offender talking about life in prison, a writer discussing growing up as an Asian Indian in the US, students talking about their democratic involvement. A schedule of forthcoming Live Chats is at the end of this article. 'Get Involved'. Students can learn how they can become active citizens through the examples of young people who have worked on their own projects. 'Tell The World'. If your school has been active in the community, students can write a report which can be submitted for publication on the BBC's Newsround site. Lesson plans which can be integrated with the activities.

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