Key Stage 4 Government & Democracy

About the Units
Where the Units Fit In
Prior Learning
Opportunities for Numeracy and Literacy
Links with Other Subjects

Return to Key Stage 4 Framework

About the Units

This Unit has 2 sections designed to cover work in either Year 10 and 11 or as a self contained Consumer Education package deliverable as an intense experience.

This unit has been developed by Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards Service in conjunction with Cambridgeshire PSHE Service and all necessary teaching notes and activities can be accessed via the Ask CEdRIC website.

Unit 1 - Making Law

Students will look at the differences between Parliament and the Government and will look at the political party system. They will also explore the importance of voting and will look at the how and why a general election is held.

Students will also look at the process a bill goes through to become an Act of Parliament and will also look at the way in which they can have their opinions heard.

Unit 2 - Consumers, Business and the Economy

Students will look at the different ways in which the economy functions and learn about the difference between private and public companies. They will also look at the different types of private companies that exist.

Students will learn about competition and its affect on the economy and look at the different ways in which competition is regulated. They will also look at how businesses use different methods of marketing and, in particular, advertising to increase their profile with consumers.

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Where the Units Fit In

All of these Units address the following aspects of the key stage 4 Citizenship programme of study:

Knowledge and Understanding about becoming informed Citizens
Pupils should be taught about:

1c the work of parliament, the government and the courts in making and shaping the law

1d the importance of playing an active part in democratic and electoral processes

1e how the economy functions, including the role of business and financial services

1f the opportunities for individuals and voluntary groups to bring about social change locally, nationally, in Europe and internationally

1g the importance of a free press, and the media's role in society, including the internet, in providing information and affecting opinion

1h the rights and responsibilities of consumers, employers and employees

Developing skills of enquiry and communication
Pupils should be taught to:

2a think about topical, political, spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues, problems and events by analysing information and its sources, including ICT based sources

2b justify orally and in writing a personal opinion about such issues, problems or events

2c contribute to group and exploratory class discussions and take part in debates

Developing skills of participation and responsible action
Pupils should be taught to:

3a use their imagination to consider other people's experiences and be able to think about, express and explain views that are not their own

3b negotiate, decide and take part responsibly in both school and community-based activities

3c reflect on the process of participation

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At the end of KS4:

Most pupils will have an awareness of the differences between government and parliament and understand how the party system works. They will understand how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament and where they can go to have their say. They will understand how both consumers and businesses affect the economy and understand the difference between private and public companies. They will also understand the concept of competition and be aware of how businesses use marketing to raise their profile with consumers.

Some pupils will not have made so much progress and will have some understanding of the different levels of Government but will find some difficulty with the way in which each level is set up and run. These students will have a basic awareness of the economy and types of businesses that exist and how marketing is used.

Some pupils will have progressed further and will have a clear understanding of the differences between the different levels of Government. They will be able to understand the importance of voting and the systems for making legislation. They will understand how the economy functions and will have an understanding of the different levels of businesses that exist that the benefits of competition for consumers.

Prior Learning

It is helpful if pupils have:

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Opportunities for Numeracy and Literacy

These Units will offer opportunities to introduce/reinforce the following Speaking and Listening learning objectives


Reviewing their strengths and limitations when speaking to different audiences and in different contexts

Presenting a talk which holds the attention of an unfamiliar audience


Identify the underlying themes, implications and issues raised by a talk

Recognise how people use language to signal their status or to exert power over others

These units will offer opportunities to introduce/reinforce the following Text Level learning objectives


Integrate diverse kinds of information into a coherent account using formal and impersonal language

Explain complex processes and ideas effectively and economically in print and on screen

Present a personal view with clarity and conviction

Use persuasive techniques and rhetoric to gain the attention and influence the responses of readers


Collate and synthesise information from a range of sources of shaping material to meet the reader's needs

Evaluate the presentation, reliability and validity of information available through print, ICT and other media sources

Explore the ways the nature and the purpose of the media products can influence presentation, content and meaning and how audiences reactions may vary.

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Links with Other Subjects

This Unit has clear links to other subjects within the wider curriculum, including:

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Ask CEdRIC provides links to all the resources you will need to teach this Unit.

Every suggested teaching area on the teaching plan is linked to:

You may also wish to speak to your own local Trading Standards Department for help and advice on Consumer Education. You can find your local office in the telephone directory or by typing in your School's postcode on the Trading Standards Institute website (

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