Elections and Voting tour and workshop

Elections and Voting tour and workshop

A workshop showing pupils how voting works and answering key questions such as what are elections and what is democracy?

About elections and voting tour and workshop

Please note that this visit is available to UK schools only

This programme starts with a tour of the Palace of Westminster.

NB: Parliament is a working building and access to different parts of the Palace of Westminster, as part of your tour, will vary due to Parliamentary business.
 
Your visit might include:

  • The House of Commons or House of Lords chambers
  • A visit to the public gallery to observe the MPs or Lords working
  • Westminster Hall, the last remaining part of the original Palace
  • Central Lobby, at the very heart of the Parliamentary Estate.

The workshop content is as follows:

KS2/3
The concept of the constituency is defined and explained before pupils are divided into competing teams, their political parties, to create manifestos.  Each pledge they make increases the cost of a can of fizzy drink so parties have to consider how they will balance attractive manifesto pledges against the amount their constituents would be willing to pay for a soft drink.

Once each party has presented its manifesto to the group we hold our election using a real ballot box. The successful candidates in each constituency form our ‘House of Commons’ and the difference between Parliament and government is reinforced.

KS4
The 2015 general election is used as the basis to compare and contrast several voting systems. Representing competing political parties they will design a two pledge manifesto before putting it to the test at the polls.

Votes are counted using the First Past the Post system, the winning party is announced, and the results are analysed to assess the strength of the resulting government and how effectively the people are being represented. The same votes are counted using proportional representation and the results are critically assessed.

KS5
The 2015 general election is used as the basis to compare and contrast several voting systems. Representing competing political parties they will design a two pledge manifesto before putting it to the test at the polls.

Votes are counted using the First Past the Post system, the winning party is announced, and the results are analysed to assess the strength of the resulting government and how effectively the people are being represented. The same votes are counted using alternative voting systems which could include proportional representation and the Additional Member System and these alternative methods are critically assessed.

Depending on the prior knowledge of the pupils, the systems may be set in an international context. 

NB: For this programme, your school's constituency MP will be informed of your visit and they will be invited along to meet your pupils and answer their questions. This is subject to the MP’s availability in Westminster at the time of your visit.

Visiting times and information

Open to: UK pupils age 7-18 (Year 3-13 England and Wales, P4-Year 13 Northern Ireland and Primary 4-S6 Scotland0

Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Dates: Mondays-Fridays between Monday 11 April-Wednesday 20 July 2016 (excluding Monday 2 May, Monday 9-Wednesday 11 May, Monday 16-Wednesday 18 May, Monday 23-Wednesday 25 May and Monday 30 May-Wednesday 8 June).

Time:
First tours/workshops 9:30-11:45

Last tours/workshops 15:15-17:30

Running throughout the day every 30-45 minutes

Places per session: 32 (to include pupils and adults)

Please ensure that you have the minimum adult:pupil ratio of 1:15 (age 7-18) for safe supervision around the estate.

Due to high demand for our programmes, we ask for a minimum group size of 5 pupils and no more than 2 accompanying adults.

However, we welcome pupils with SEN - please contact us to discuss your requirements.

How to book

Bookings for our elections and voting workshop and tour are taken through our telephone bookings days.


We are currently booking for:

  • Summer term 2016 for visits between Monday 11 April-Wednesday 20 July 2016 (excluding Monday 2 May, Monday 9-Wednesday 11 May, Monday 16-Wednesday 18 May, Monday 23-Wednesday 25 May and Monday 30 May-Wednesday 8 June) are now fully booked.
  • On the day please call 0207 219 4496.  Lines open at 8:30am. Requests will only be taken via telephone, not e-mail.

Please note that Parliament's Education Service programmes are extremely popular and fill up quickly.

Before calling us on bookings day, please read our information for bookings day

We have limited availability for bookings up to the end of spring term 2016 - please contact us on 0207 219 4496 or education@parliament.uk to discuss.

Information to help you plan a safe visit

Information to help you plan a safe visit

PDF

pdf file - 193 KB

Map of the Parliamentary estate

Map of the Parliamentary estate

PDF

pdf file - 449 KB

Tours with workshop FAQs

Tours with workshop FAQs

PDF

Related teaching resources

KS4, CITIZENSHIP, LESSON PLAN, WORKSHEET

Voting rights lesson plan

KS4-5, GOVERNMENT & POLITICS, CITIZENSHIP, VIDEO

The General Election Xplained for key stages 4-5 - video

State schools planning to visit Parliament may be eligible to have their travel costs subsidised under this scheme.