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20 October 2014
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    Using the 'Pantz Park' activity

    This activity asks students to think about ways in which a local playground could be improved - by the young people who live around it.

    The story introduces learning about community action in a school situation and covers the QCA schemes of work: Unit 0.1: Citizenship - What's it all about? Unit 8: Leisure and sport in the local community, Unit 14 :Developing skills of democratic participation, Unit 18: Developing your school grounds.

    How to use with a whole class with access to computers

    Ask students to view 'Pantz Park', imagining what they would do in this situation. These questions may help them to think about the activity and write points in their books:

    1. What is the problem with the local park? (smashed up / can't skate).
    2. Who suggests the young people can do something? (Jack's Granddad). What advice does he give?(start a campaign).
    3. What four options are given for the campaign? (businesses, organisations, publicity, lobbying)
    4. What happened to the park at the end?

    When students have finished, ask them to list all the forms of community action they can think of. Use their lists to plan an outside visit to a local playground or area of unused land. During the visit, discuss how this area could be improved.

    Encourage students to explore active citizenship with the Get Involved section. There are examples of citizenship action by other schools. They can 'Go off on a tangent!' with audio and video clips, find out more on 'Get the lowdown' or test themselves with the quizzes. Students who finish early can add their own ideas about community action on the messageboard.

    How to use with only a small number of computers

    Set everyone to work on an activity based on a local playground - or other community improvement task they could devise. As they are working, select students to do the 'Pantz Park' activities on the computers. As more students learn from this, they should be able to bring ideas back to the communal activity. Consolidate learning with a range of written tasks:

    1. Write a description of the group activity, what was decided and how consensus was reached.
    2. Find out about a recent community improvement activity by asking parents, relatives or friends. Write this up as a report on the activity.
    Suggestions for using with an interactive whiteboard

    Develop the storyline of 'Pantz Park' by projecting it onto the whiteboard and stopping at each decision point for class discussion. Use the board to move from scene to scene and explore alternatives for community action. Save any class additions to the story.

    Suggestions for using the site for planning lessons

    Print out the scene where the young people are discussing how to improve the park. Make many copies of this and use as a discussion picture for small groups to explore this context and develop possible local activities of their own.

    1. Print out the plan of the park with the four areas of community involvement: businesses, organisations, publicity, lobbying.

    2. Introduce the story line from the animation – that young people cannot use the local park because it has been smashed up and is full of litter. Jack’s granddad suggests that they can do something about this themselves.

    3. Explain the four areas of activity, using the park plan. Ask students to volunteer to work on one of these areas. Move them into groups for each area: “your task is to come up with action plans for what you can do.

    4. Groups discuss their ideas and choose a recorder to put these down as words or pictures on a large piece of paper for feeding back to the whole class. Help any groups that do not understand the task clearly or are short of ideas.

    5. Hold a plenary session with each group showing their sheet of ideas for community action. Vote on these ideas so that a whole class action plan can be decided. As a summary activity, describe what happens in the Pantz Park animation and encourage students to do it for themselves when they have access to computers.

    Suggested questions to encourage class discussion

    1. How can you tell that a person is a genuine asylum seeker?
    2. Do you think children from asylum-seeking families might need any kind of special education when they arrive in this country?
    Extension work for more able pupils

    1. Who is most active in your local community?
    2. What do you think most needs improving in your local area?
    3. How do you think this should be done?
    4. What is your definition of an 'active local citizen'? Are you one?

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