Programmes for key stage 5

Key stage 5 students taking part in the Post-16 Conference organised by Parliament's Education Service in 2010

Overview

Parliament's Education Service offers a variety of programmes and activities for key stage 5 students.

Discover Parliament

Key stage 5 students taking part in an educational workshop at the Houses of ParliamentThis annual programme takes place at the start of the academic year and offers a wide choice of experiences. Options include a range of fun, interactive workshops, the chance to meet prominent parliamentarians, and tours of Parliament tailored to the requirements of post-16 courses.

 

Political Speed Dating

Key stage 5 students talking to David Blunkett MP during a political speed dating sessionSmall groups of students have the chance to meet a range of  political figures so they can ask their burning questions, compare political opinions, and have informal conversations with Members of both Houses of Parliament.

 

Select Committee Experience

The Grand Committee Room in the Palace of WestminsterUsing the spectacular Grand Committee Room in the Palace of Westminster, this experience gives students the opportunity to explore the role of Select Committees in Parliament.

 

Other activities for KS5

Students on a tour of the Palace of WestminsterKey stage 5 students can also take part in Student Parliaments where they will debate a topic of their choice using House of Commons or House of Lords rules. While Student Parliaments are available for a range of age groups, some sessions are tailored specifically to key stage 5 - see the programme for details.

The Visit Parliament programme is also open to key stage 5 students, giving them the chance to tour the Palace of Westminster and participate in an interactive workshop. This runs throughout the academic year. Find out more about the programme or see booking dates


Discover Parliament

Discover Parliament provides a wide choice of experiences for key stage 5 students at the start of the academic year.

Details of the 2012 Discover Parliament programme will be published here when they become available.

Below is an overview of the activities that took place during Discover Parliament 2011. 

 

Palace of Westminster tour

What is it? This in-depth tour of the Palace of Westminster is an unforgettable experience and an ideal way to introduce your students to a new programme of study or to inspire and motivate them at the start of a new academic year. Let us know the course you’re following in advance and we’ll focus on aspects of Parliament most relevant to you.

This experience is ideal for those who want to see and experience first-hand the Palace of Westminster through a focused educative tour.  
 
Recommended for: All post-16 students
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

 

Show Me the Money

What is it? This interactive session gives students the opportunity to head a government department, join a star chamber and make decisions on how public money should be spent. In groups, they will need to meet government priorities while considering the implications of their decisions on people living in the UK.

The challenges of scarcity and choice will be explored, highlighting the interdependence of government departments and the impacts of policy on quality of life, public opinion, equality and economic growth.

Includes a tour of the Palace of Westminster? Yes
Recommended for: AS level government and politics
Duration: 2 hours, 15 minutes

 

eMPathise

What is it? This interactive session explores the role of an MP within the party system, as well as how active citizens can have influence. Balancing the sometimes competing demands of their constituents, their party and their personal opinions is all in a day’s work for an MP; but how does this actually affect decision making in Parliament?

As the scenario unfolds, students will need to balance their own opinions with the broader implications of their actions as they get a taste of what it could be like to be an MP.

 
Includes a tour of the Palace of Westminster? Yes
Recommended for: AS level government and politics, citizenship, law, general studies
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

 

Forming a Coalition

What is it? This interactive session explores some of the issues involved in negotiating a coalition, through role-play and discussion. The 2010 general election resulted in the first hung parliament since 1974. What happened in the negotiations? How did the two parties overcome their political differences to form a working coalition?

In groups, students will have to work together to try and form their own coalition government between two fictional parties that have very different manifestos. Students will need to use all their tactical skills to negotiate a working coalition – success is by no means guaranteed!

Includes a tour of the Palace of Westminster? Yes
Recommended for: All post-16 students
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

 

Speakers' days - ask an expert

What is it? Following our hugely successful post-16 conference, this autumn we’ll be offering the chance to hear from, and ask questions of, some of the most fascinating individuals in politics, history, law and current affairs – right here in the heart of the Palace of Westminster.

Each session will feature a prominent individual in their field – we’re talking to MPs and Peers, of course, but also university professors, clerks, parliamentary security officials, journalists and others whose expertise gives an insight into the work of Parliament.

Includes a tour of the Palace of Westminster? Optional
Recommended for: All post-16 students
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes (with tour) or 1 hour 15 minutes (speaker only)
 

How to book

For details of how to book sessions in the Discover Parliament programme, see Booking your visit.

 

Political Speed Dating

An inspiring opportunity for key stage 5 students to meet political personalities from a range of parties and persuasions.

Students spend eight minutes in small groups with eight different figures, moving from one to the next at the sound of a bell.

This is their chance to compare and contrast opinion and policy from across the political spectrum, ask their burning questions and engage in informal conversation with Members of both Houses of Parliament.

Political speed dating can be combined with a tour of the Palace of Westminster, including the House of Lords, House of Commons and Westminster Hall.

Recommended for: All key stage 5 students
Places per session: 80
Dates: 10 May
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes (with tour); 1 hour 15 minutes (without tour)
Start times: 9:30 (with tour); 10:30 (without tour)

How to book

For details of how to book Political Speed Dating sessions, see Booking your visit.

Committee Experience

Using the spectacular Grand Committee Room in the Palace of Westminster, the Select Committee Experience will give students the opportunity to explore the role of select committees in Parliament.

It begins with a specially tailored tour of the Palace of Westminster which focuses on the evolution, structure and function of the select committee system and includes a visit to a select committee room.

Building on the context set by the tour, students will explore their opinions about select committees using primary sources to prepare their arguments for a debate. This will evaluate how effectively and efficiently select committees scrutinise the government.

This session assumes some knowledge about the structure and function of Parliament.

Recommended for: A-level Government and Politics students
Places per session: 60
Dates: Fridays, from spring 2012
Duration: 2 hours
Start times: 09:30, 12:00, 2:30

How to book

For details of how to book the Select Committee Experience, see Booking your visit.

Award-winning school visits



Our visit programmes are designed to support citizenship education, political literacy and the national curricula across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Sandford Award for Heritage Education 2010

Updates for teachers