Elections and democracy: British values
Learn how the UK is governed and what democracy is
This primary resource introduces children to the concept of democracy, Parliament and elections. Discover how the UK is governed. What are general and local elections? How important are they? What is process of a general election?
Pupils will learn what democracy is, who is eligible to vote and how the voting process works in our National Geographic Kids’ Elections and democracy primary resource sheet.
The teaching resource can be used in study group tasks for learning more about how a prime minister is voted in and to discover what politicians are in charge of. It can be used as a printed handout for each pupil to review and annotate, or for display on the interactive whiteboard for class discussion.
Activity: Ask children to identify words in the text related to Parliament and voting and make their own glossary of terms. As a class, pupils could hold their own mock election using ballot papers. Half the class could be divided into groups with each group assigned a colour, which they use to form the basis of their own ‘political parties’, for which they should decide on a name, design a logo and write a persuasive argument manifesto. The other half of the class could be voters.
N.B. The following information for mapping the resource documents to the school curriculum is specifically tailored to the English National Curriculum and Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. We are currently working to bring specifically tailored curriculum resource links for our other territories; including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. If you have any queries about our upcoming curriculum resource links, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This British values primary resource assists with promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) in schools using the following OFSTED assessment criteria:
- It is expected that pupils should understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.
- Schools should promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- Through their provision of SMSC, schools should: encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values.
- an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence
The following provides a list of different actions that schools can take, such as:
- include in suitable parts of the curriculum, as appropriate for the age of pupils, material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries
- ensure that all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils
- use opportunities such as general or local elections to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view
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