Magna Carta resource wins education award

26 January 2016

The Magna Carta education resource developed for the “Parliament in the Making” programme has won a prestigious BETT Award. The resource was the result of collaboration by The National Archives and Parliament to deliver an online educational resource taking students on a journey from 1215 – 1297.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner in central London on the first day of BETT, the world’s leading education technology event. The awards aim to recognize, reward and celebrate technology excellence within the education sector. They are a celebration of the inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education. The winners are seen to have excelled in ICT provision and support for nurseries, schools, colleges and special schools alike with a clear focus on what works in the classroom.

The Magna Carta resource beat off stiff competition to win in the category: Free Digital Content/Open Educational Resources – single issue resource.

The Magna Carta education resource

The resource comprises a selection of digitised documents, including the Magna Carta itself, which have been digitised for the first time. Students can focus on the issues that were being discussed in the 13th century – the relationship between the king and his barons; the relationship between Magna Carta, war and taxation; and the intervention of the Pope and the emergence of parliament as a fundamental part of political life. Each of the documents has an accompanying transcript and simplified version of what the document contains as well as audio files.

Designed to support secondary school students in their study of medieval history, the resource complements the new National Curriculum and exam syllabuses.

Holly Greenland, Deputy Head of Public Information at the House of Commons, said:

"We are very proud that the Magna Carta and the Emergence of Parliament resource has been recognised by BETT. Magna Carta is a foundational document in the centuries-long journey towards modern democracy, and to mark its 800th anniversary the Parliament in the Making programme celebrated that journey. Collaborating with the National Archives on this innovative resource was a significant element of that programme, and we hope that this award will inspire more schools to use the resource, and learn more about their democratic heritage."

Andrew Payne, Head of Education and Outreach at the National Archives, collected the award and afterwards said:

"Winning a BETT award is fabulous recognition of the high quality that The National Archives strives for in using technology to open up our collection to a wider audience. We are delighted that the judges commented not only on the creative use of technology but on the educational approach to encourage students to work independently to investigate this iconic document.This award is an endorsement of the work we have begun with our four-year plan Archives Inspire to meet the needs of all our audiences including the academic community by making our resources accessible to everyone."

Further Information 

Image: UK Parliament - Roger Harris

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