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20 April 2014
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Local Democracy
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Local Democracy
  • Online lesson plan
  • Offline lesson plan
  • Using website activites
  • Community Action


    Media -- coming soon

    Government & Parliament

    Global Community

    EU, UN & Commonwealth

    Online lesson plan

    Students will learn about how democracy works, with examples from school and local councils.

    National Curriculum

    Covers the QCA schemes of work: QCA schemes of work: Unit 0.7 Local Democracy.

    Resources Required

    Computers, local council information.

    Teaching Activities

    If there is already an active school council, start by asking for comments on its effectiveness. If there isn't, ask students to imagine what power and role it could have in the school.


    1. Thought starter: Write out the word 'democracy' and discuss what it means.

    2. Introduce the activities in this area of the site: The 'School Democracy' animation , the 'Mother Voter' Photostory, The Lowdown information section.

    3. It may be best to access the 'School Democracy' animation first, as a good, localised starting point for learning about democracy. Using the 'Mother Voter' photostory next could broaden this out to thinking about voting and representation. The Lowdown and the quiz can be introduced between sessions to reinforce learning or as final summary activities.

    4. Start by focusing on how people are chosen for particular roles. A good example is a class monitor or prefect. When you choose someone for a task like this, what are you looking for? Who do you trust to represent you?"

    5. Capture these ideas on the computers or papers, making lists of qualities important for good leaders or representatives. This could also be done graphically, using a stick or cartoon character as the representative.

    6. Use local newspapers or council information sheets to introduce learning about the work of local councils. Information could be taken from these to design 'Young people's guides to the local council'.

    7. If possible, arrange a class visit to the council chamber or to a council meeting.

    8. After doing this activity, students can get involved in active citizenship for local democracy by doing their own project, as Linton School did for school councils in Britain and South Africa (see Get Involved). Or they can visit the Newsround page on school councils (see Go off on a tangent!).

    Suggested Homework

    Ask students to update their knowledge of what their school council does and produce a written report or illustrated version of its most recent decisions.

    Write a film script or storyboard about a local council election. This could be based on a real election if one has happened recently or be fictionalised from what they have been learning about local councils.

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