Report on a citizenship project

The inclusion of the report on a citizenship project in the Leaving Certificate examination arises from the nature of the subject. Candidates are afforded an opportunity to engage in research, analysis and extended reflection. The report will assess the candidate’s ability to use the knowledge, concepts and skills of Politics and Society to make judgements as to how to be active in communities, as well as the student’s capacity to reflect upon and evaluate what they have learned or achieved from being an active participant in civil, social and political life. While the skills of reflective and informed decision-making, of planning and evaluating actions, and of working with others can be developed throughout all the learning in this course, these skills will be explicitly developed and applied through the student’s engagement in a citizenship project. The learning outcomes in strand 2 set out the specific skills that the citizenship project addresses.

The citizenship project will be based ona brief isued annually by the State Examinations Commission. The brief will outline a number of topics from which students will choose one for their citizenship project.  The brief will also outline the parameters for the project and for the report which will be submitted to the SEC for assessment.

In the case of a group project, each canditate will submit a separate report. While the candidates in such cases will refer to groups aims and actions to some extent, the main focus of each candidates's report will be on their own individual role, aims, learning, development, and reflection.

The report will consist of 3 sections:

Section A: Rationale and research (3.2, 3.3, 3.4)

This will set out the rationale for the citizenship project the learner has chosen to undertake and a summary of the research undertaken.  It should include:

  •  a rationale which makes clear how learning from the course impacted upon the course of action taken. The rationale should include a justification of the action chosen in light of available alternatives.
  • a clear account of the aims of the citizenship project and an action plan setting out the means chosen to achieve those aims
  • a summary of the research undertaken including key research outcomes which underpinned the aciton taken and informed the student's decisions in relation to the action taken
  • the sources of information that were used in deciding on a project and those which informed the work, such as web-based materials, literature, interviews, discussions and other sources.
Section B: Execution of citizenship project (3.4, 3.5)

It should provide:

  •   a summary of the processes undertaken by the candidate (individually and collectively) in applying the knowledge and concepts of Politics and Society in carrying out the action project
  •   a description of the outcomes of the project
  •   a critical analysis of the various elements of the action plan (e.g. roles, resources, targets, timeframes),  including as appropriate any challenges encountered and how these challenges were dealt with. 
Section C: Reflections on the knowledge gained and skills developed during the project

It should describe:

  • the knowledge gained and skills developed, including judgement and decision-making skills, through engagement in the citizenship project, with particular reference to working with others and being personally effective
  • the roles their own reflection, feedback from others and their learning from the course played in this learning
  • what helped their learning of these skills
  • what made learning of such skills difficult
  • specific examples to illustrate these points.

General assessment criteria for the citizenship project report

The assessment of the report will be based on the following criteria:

  • capacity to provide a clear rationale for the group/initiative/organisation chosen/formed and for the activity undertaken
  • evidence of good planning and research which is informed by sources relevant to the subject
  • capacity to use the knowledge and concepts of Politics and Society to make judgements as to how to be active in communities
  • evidence of knowledge and understanding of what constitutes effective citizen action
  • capacity to demonstrate learning gained from the project and  personal insights gleaned from taking part in the project.
  • capacity to provide a clear account of skills learned while undertaking the project and  use of evidence to support this.

A high level of achievement is characterised by thorough and personal responses to the task. The candidate’s report provides clear rationale for the activity undertaken and an excellent capacity to reflect upon the experience and evaluate the outcomes. The report is purposeful and clear. The narrative outline is sufficiently detailed to provide concrete evidence of the candidate’s experience but moves beyond a mere re-telling to focus on insights and learning gained. The candidate demonstrates an excellent ability to plan, research and use the knowledge and concepts of Politics and Society to make judgements as to how to be active in communities. Where the project was carried out by a group, the report will focus clearly on the role or part played in the process by the candidate. The candidate shows a clear capacity to reflect on how the learning has influenced the student’s skills, attitudes, opinions and/or behaviour.

A moderate level of achievement in the citizenship project report presents a good personal response to the task. A rationale is provided for the activity undertaken and there is evidence of good research and planning and a good ability to use the knowledge and concepts of Politics and Society to make judgements as to how to be active in communities. There is some evidence of a candidate’s ability to reflect upon the experience and evaluate the outcomes . The narrative is clear and, in the main, provides evidence of the candidate's experience and some insights on the learning gained. Where the project was carried out by a group, the report will focus clearly on the role or part played in the process by the candidate. There is some evidence of a capacity to reflect on how the learning has influenced the student’s skills, attitudes, opinions and/or behaviour.

A low level of achievement in the citizenship project report is characterised by a basic response to the task. While the candidate provides some rationale for the activity undertaken there are few personal insights or evidence of a capacity to reflect upon the experience and evaluate its outcomes. The report provides a summary of the project but the candidate demonstrates a limited ability to plan, research and use the knowledge and concepts of Politics and Society to make judgements as to how to be active in communities. Where the project was carried out by a group, the candidate’s personal role or part played in the process is not clear. There is limited evidence of a capacity to reflect on how the learning has influenced the student’s skills, attitudes, opinions and/or behaviour.