Learning and Skills Improvement Services
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'The Real Picture: strong communities or broken society?' Young people’s citizenship through photography competition

Young people aged 16-19 have been given a platform for their unique viewpoint of British society with the launch of a national photography competition. Shortlisted entrants will have the opportunity to showcase their entries at an event at the Houses of Parliament.

The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) is asking learners to present an image that addresses the competition title question: The Real Picture: strong communities or broken society?

The most striking images – complete with captions and a statement of their context – will be shortlisted and exhibited at Portcullis House (Houses of Parliament), Westminster on 9 March 2010.

The exhibition will showcase the tremendous creative talent among learners taking part in LSIS’s Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme and be a forum for a debate on the nature of British communities where ideas will be discussed with a prestigious panel of experts including Peter Kennard, a British artist specialising in political photomontage, and Dinah Caine, chief executive of Skillset. The winners will be announced and prizes presented at the event on 9 March 2010.

The competition will form part of citizenship education for learners across the country by fostering debate about topics including community cohesion, what citizens have in common and whether communities can be fairer and friendlier.
Through participating in the competition, learners can:

  • explore the concept of community through photography 
  • consider what changes can be made and how they might make a difference 
  • develop citizenship skills e.g. presenting and arguing a case.

Staff coordinating entries are asked to facilitate discussions and activities among entrants around the concept of community in a citizenship learning context using competition guidance and materials. Entries from individuals or groups are welcomed from young people in organisations in England and must be accompanied by captions and context statements to demonstrate citizenship learning.

Citizenship education enables young people to learn about rights and responsibilities, understand how society works, and develop knowledge and understanding of social and political issues. Through citizenship education, young people should be encouraged to take action on issues of concern and play an active part in democratic processes, becoming more effective members of society.

Details of acceptable formats for entries are available in the competition guidance and the final date for entries is 18 December. Staff interested in involving young people in this competition are asked to complete and return an expression of interest form. Final entries must be accompanied by a final entry form. All competition documents are available, click here to access them.  
David Collins, LSIS chief executive, says: “The competition is a great opportunity for learners to engage creatively in thinking about how they can contribute to making a difference to the communities in which they operate on any level.”

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