OCR is supporting the second anniversary of a national campaign set up by charity Step Up To Serve to encourage youth social action. The campaign has helped to shape OCR’s new Citizenship GCSE.
OCR has this week renewed its pledge to Step up to Serve’s #iwill campaign, first launched in 2013 by HRH The Prince of Wales with cross-party support. #iwill aims to make social action part of life for as many 10 to 20 year-olds as possible by the year 2020. Prime Minister David Cameron is renewing his support for youth social action in a video address.
Grant Robertson, OCR Subject Specialist and former Citizenship Studies teacher, said: “As an exam board, OCR is honoured to back the #iwill campaign and celebrate inspiring and creative social action by young people. Contrary to the stereotype, young people make a real difference to their communities. Whether campaigning to get dark alleyways properly lit or inviting senior citizens into a local secondary school so that different generations can get to know each other better, the possibilities are endless.
“We feel passionately about the role of social action in the development of young people and it gives us great pleasure to have witnessed so many amazing examples via the #iwill campaign. We’re happy to play our part by sharing good practice and including social action as a key feature of a brand new Citizenship Studies GCSE. 2015 Cabinet Office research produced compelling evidence that young people who take part in social action develop key character and employability skills.”
Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up To Serve, added: “We are delighted that OCR has pledged to support our work and share its progress during #iwill week. If we are to make involvement in youth social action the norm for 10 to 20 year-olds we need more partners like OCR to commit to tangible actions. OCR’s involvement will undoubtedly help us progress towards our goal.”
OCR’s new Citizenship GCSE aims to inform a new generation about rights and responsibilities, how democracy works, and personal and national identity, while encouraging more young people to become engaged in their local communities and as global citizens. Scott Harrison, Chairman of the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT), commented: “Teaching Citizenship in schools and colleges is more vital than ever. A GCSE promotes active citizenship and helps young people to get to grips with the rigour of politics and law.”