Brighton Primary School, SA
Introduction – Civics and Citizenship focus
Brighton Primary School in South Australia ensures that all of its students participate in Civics and Citizenship Education during their time at the school. Classroom learning in Civics and Citizenship Education is supported by the school's values and by its emphasis on student participation in the life of the school, as well as through the curriculum.
View the resources mentioned in the video clips of Brighton Primary School.
Segment 1: School context
Brighton Primary School is situated in a beachside suburb of Adelaide. The school has approximately 550 students, drawn from a predominantly middle-class catchment in the surrounding suburbs. As an inclusive school, Brighton Primary has an integration unit, which caters to students with hearing impairments. Brighton Primary values student voice and empowerment, and runs a series of initiatives, such as Student Action Teams, a Student Representative Council, and Restorative Justice programs that dovetail with the Civics and Citizenship Education scope and sequence document developed for classroom teaching and learning.
Video length: 2:36
Segment 2: The program
The teacher librarian, Julie Murray, has been leading Civics and Citizenship Education at Brighton Primary for 13 years, since the inception of the Discovering Democracy program. Along with her colleagues, she developed the Civics and Citizenship Education scope and sequence document for the school, which sees all students engaging in classroom-based civics and citizenship learning throughout their time at the school. The program is part of the school’s response to the Resource Based Learning (RBL) initiative in the South Australian curriculum, and is delivered through team-teaching approaches.
Video length: 4:13
Segment 3 : Student participation
The active citizenship component of Brighton Primary School’s civics and citizenship program is made up of a junior and senior Student Representative Council (SRC) and Student Action Teams. This structure provides all students with the opportunity to be involved in decision making and activities that make a difference to the school community. The SRC and Student Action Teams meet once a fortnight and work on projects for which there is a real purpose and a genuine need. The meetings are led by students and supported by a teacher who acts as a mentor.
Video length: 3:27
Segment 4: Outcomes
While the connections between Civics and Citizenship learning and the students’ participation in the school are not always emphasised, it is anticipated that students do make the connections between the knowledge acquired in the classroom and their understanding of the values of democratic participation. Through their participation in the Civics and Citizenship program, students have become more articulate and confident in their understanding of how organisations and institutions such as the school and the government work.
Video length: 1:18
Segment 5: Initiating and sustaining a Civics and Citizenship Education program
Collaboration with colleagues in both establishing and sustaining a Civics and Citizenship Education program is underscored by the experience at Brighton Primary School. Making connections with other schools who have embarked on similar programs, and sharing the experiences and challenges, using the knowledge of expert educators and looking for professional development opportunities are also emphasised.
Video length: 3:22
The following resources were mentioned during the filming of the video clips for Brighton Primary School:
- Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs, Statements of Learning for Civics and Citizenship
- Education Services Australia, Discovering Democracy Units (Online)
- Education Services Australia, National Digital Learning Resources Network (formerly The Le@rning Federation) also for Scootle, and digital learning objects for Interactive Whiteboards (IWB)
- Roger Holdsworth, Student Action Teams
- Australian Electoral Commission’s Education Services