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25 June, 2009

Who Do We Think We Are? Week 22nd to 28th June

The annual programme of advice and curriculum support, that helps schools explore issues of identity, diversity and citizenship on a local and national scale, culminates in a national week of events and activities.

This is the second year for the project initiated by the 2007 Curriculum Review on Diversity and Citizenship, undertaken by Sir Keith Ajegbo, which recommended that all schools participate in a high profile, national event - titled Who Do We Think We Are? Week - involving:

"...investigations and celebrations by schools of pupils' histories and their community's roots and of the national and global links that they can make." - Sir Keith Ajegbo

Who do we think we are? Week  runs from 22nd to 28th June. The Who Do We Think We Are? project encourages primary and secondary school students to explore their own identities, as well as those of others, and the diversity and citizenship in their schools, local communities and nationally.

It helps them to consider what makes us who we are, is it: Where we were born? Where our parents came from? Where we live? Our communities? Our faith and beliefs? Our profession? Many schools have explored these questions through visiting local places of worship or civic buildings and by holding celebratory events. Some schools have also explored the geography and history of their local area and shared their findings with a school from a contrasting setting.

The WDWTWA project provides subject specific support for citizenship, geography, history and RE lessons through its website, as well as guidance for the project including learning resources, case studies and toolkits.

The project is supported by DCSF and run by a partnership which includes the Citizenship Foundation as well as the following subject bodies: Association for Citizenship Teaching, Historical Association and the Royal Geographical Society, alongside key stakeholders including the Schools Linking Network.

Tony Breslin, CEO at the Citizenship Foundation said:

"Addressing issues of identity and diversity is among the most vital of tasks facing those charged with delivering the new citizenship curriculum - and it poses special challenges for those who have had little or no training to do so. The ‘Who Do We Think We Are?' website will make a considerable difference to teacher confidence levels. The Citizenship Foundation is delighted to be involved in this important project."

Dr Rita Gardner, Director Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said of the project,

"Young people have a keen eye for their own identity and what it means to belong. Through Who Do We Think We Are? we will be involving young people in the wider discussion of what it means to live in Britain today. Indeed, such discussions have long been a key strand of cutting edge geographical research and geography in schools is ideally placed to help young people better understand the make up of their local communities and nature of our national identity."

Rebecca Sullivan CEO of the Historical Association added,

"We carry many identities, many stories. Our personal and family journeys might be made over distances or routed in one locality; they encompass class and gender, education and life experiences. Knowing some History can help us understand these complex experiences and WDWTWA provides an excellent and engaging way to explore these experiences and fits it into a wider understanding."

Further information about the Who Do We Think We Are? Week can be obtained by emailing the project officer at wdwtwa@rgs.org.






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