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Date to celebrate - June 22-28 - Who do we think we are week

Features | Published in TES Newspaper on 15 May, 2009

What's it all about?

This year's Who do we think we are week is about exploring identity and citizenship. A range of events and activities will be taking place in schools across England. The four themes are: school and community; relationships, belonging and faith; history and settlement; and Britishness, or national identity. This last theme will cover the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and the week itself includes Olympic Day, which is marked every year on June 23.

Assembly ideas

To introduce the concept of this special week, ask pupils to think about the person next to them. What is their name? Do they know a lot about that person? Now look at yourself. Do the people next to you know about you?

Introduce the phrase: "Who do we think we are?" and if you have a projector, show pupils the website www.wdwtwa.org.uk.

Ask your pupils if they could describe themselves in three words. For example: British, girl, musician. Ask them whether three words are enough to tell someone everything about yourself.

Then ask them to think about where we were born; where our parents or grandparents came from; where we live; the communities that we are part of; our faiths or beliefs; what it says on our passport; and who we support at sport. Do any of these questions matter or play a role in who you think you are? Do these questions matter at different times?

Tell them that this week is an opportunity for us to think about what makes up our own identities and also all the identities around us. For younger pupils, read them Benjamin Zephaniah's poem Who's Who, or for older pupils, try the poem Different by Clere Parsons.

Help, I've no time to prepare

The project website www.wdwtwa.org.uk provides teaching resources. Go to www.wdwtwa.org.uk/gettingstarted for assemblies in particular.

Where do I get more information?

The www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk website has a range of teaching resources. The Diversity and Citizenship Curriculum Review can also be found online.


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