Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) is a Junior Certificate course in active citizenship based on human rights and social responsibilities. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are the two key documents which underpin this course.
Civic, Social and Political Education aims to develop active pupils with:
- A sense of belonging. Students will only choose to become active participants in their communities if they feel a sense of attachment to them. Social inclusion and matters of identity and values are addressed in CSPE. These are the affective dimensions of active citizenship.
- A capacity to gain access to information and structures relating to the society in which they live. Students need a basis of information and knowledge upon which they can consider action, and do so with confidence. This is the cognitive dimension of active citizenship.
- An ability and confidence to participate in democratic society. Practising citizenship is about taking meaningful action of some kind. To achieve this, the syllabus states that over the three-year duration of the course in Civic, Social and Political Education students should undertake at least two class/group/individual action projects.
Through active exploration and study of citizenship at all levels (personal, local, national, global) in the context of contemporary social and political issues, this course aims to:
- make students aware of the civic, social and political dimensions of their lives and the importance of active, participative citizens to the life of the state and all people
- encourage and develop the practical skills which enable students to engage in active participatory social interaction, and to adopt responsible roles as individuals, family members, citizens, workers, consumers, and members of various communities within a democratic society
- develop the autonomous potential of students as socially literate, independent and self-confident young people
- encourage students to apply positive attitudes, imagination and empathy in learning about, and encountering, other people and cultures
- enable students to develop their critical thinking skills in agreement with a system of values based in human rights and responsibilities
- develop knowledge and understanding of processes taking place at all levels of society which lead to social, political and economic decision-making.
Pupils at Oatlands College discuss and take an active participatory role in the seven core concepts of C.S.P.E.
These seven core concepts are:
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Student achievement in CSPE is assessed and certificated as part of the Junior Certificate examination. It is a Common Level course.
There are two assessment components:
- Submission of either
a) A Report on an Action Project (RAP) or
b) A Course-Work Assessment Book (CWAB)
- A terminal examination paper.
Marks are allocated as follows:
120 marks for the RAP, i.e. 60% of the total marks.
80 marks for the examination paper, i.e. 40% of the total marks
There are many actions and activities for the pupils of Oatlands College to engage themselves in when it comes to completing their Action Project.
For example, in 2012 Class 311 are organising a school sports event to raise money for DSPCA
Class 309 are organising a non uniform day to raise money for the Laura Lynn Sunshine Home in Leopardstown. They have also invited a guest speaker to come and visit the class and explain to them how the art materials that the pupils purchased for the children in the Hospice will be put to use.
At the heart of the Action Projects, as well as being a reflection of the ethos and spirit of Oatlands College, is social and community awareness and involvement. The Projects complete a requirement of the CSPE course but the Action leaves behind a positive, inclusive and social impact on the school and its community.
Teaching staff in the CSPE Department: Mr K Ellis Ms A Ryan Mr R Atkinson Mr N Collins Mr M Bonfil