Valued – Inspired – Prepared

Westhaven School is a unique learning environment with high expectations for learners who experience barriers to learning for a range of reasons. We promote a calm environment which enables everyone to learn. The golden thread that permeates our curriculum and our conduct through every school day are the core values which shape our learners to be:

  • safely independent                           
  • confident communicators               
  • respectful citizens                             
  • resilient learners                               
  • inquisitive thinkers

The Westhaven Way is our ethos and it underpins our daily approach to behaviour and learning.

The citizenship curriculum is based on the National Curriculum Programme of Study for Citizenship and ACT – The Association for Citizenship Teaching. The curriculum has been written to reflect the ethos of Bruner’s spiral curriculum and concepts are built upon each academic term. The curriculum is also supported by the work carried out by the Learners’ Council.   

At Westhaven the Citizenship curriculum supports learners to develop in many diverse aspects of life. It teaches learners how to build their confidence and resilience, developing responsible, respectful and active citizens who are able to play their part and become actively involved in public life as adults. We hope to achieve this through meeting and talking with people. For example, people who contribute to society through environmental pressure groups or international aid organisations and people who work in the school and the neighbourhood, such as religious leaders, community police officers. We hope to develop relationships through work and play such as taking part in activities with groups that have particular needs such as the elderly and communicating with children in other countries by email or letters. 

Citizenship develops and deepens learners’ understanding of the fundamental British Values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance. 


Safely Independent 
Citizenship education helps promote safely independent learners through the different subject strands for example, understanding choices, knowing rights and responsibilities and consequences. 
Confident Communicators 
Citizenship education promotes confidence developed through sharing knowledge and understanding of new learning and experiences.
Respectful Citizen
Citizenship education encourages learners to become respectful citizens through their actions and behaviour.

Inquisitive Thinker
Citizenship education promotes learners to be inquisitive about wider issues in their community and beyond.

Resilient Learners
Citizenship education encourages learners to think critically and to explore and discuss controversial and sensitive issues. It also teaches learners to be resilient when things are difficult, not to give up and to be inspired by others.

Our knowledge and understanding of topics such as:

  • Laws and rules
  • The democratic process 
  • The media
  • Human rights 
  • Diversity
  • Money and the economy
  • Sustainable development and world as a global community 
  • Concepts such as democracy, Justice, equality, freedom, authority and the rule of law.

In Key Stages 1 and 2, citizenship is not a statutory requirement. However, key concepts such as right and wrong, setting goals, managing emotions and looking after the local environment are taught through the PSHE curriculum.  

In Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, Citizenship is a statutory requirement. During Key Stage 3, teaching will develop learners’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Learners use and apply their knowledge and understanding whilst developing skills to research and interrogate evidence, debate and evaluate viewpoints, present reasoned arguments and take informed action.

In Key Stage 4, the statutory teaching of Key Stage 3 is built on to deepen learners’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Learners develop their research skills and think about weighing up evidence, making persuasive arguments and substantiating their conclusions. They experience and evaluate different ways that citizens can act together to solve problems and contribute to society.

In Key Stages 3 and 4 Citizenship is timetabled for a 15 minute lesson each week with a focus on discussion rather than written work.

Citizenship is unique because it is a living thing. We are all active citizens, living in communities carrying out our daily routines, and engaging in life through our responses to a vast range of stimuli. 

Westhaven prepares learners to take their place as informed citizens, who can make choices and decisions that allow them to function as independently as possible in society.