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Parallel Elections Project

Key stage 2 (ages 7-11) • Politics, Parliament & Government • Assemblies & fact sheets

Sign up for our specially designed Parallel Elections Pack which includes a range of activities that mirror real elections. Pupils register to vote, preparing for, run, count and analyse a real election. Hear from election experts to inspire your pupils and access ready to use classroom resources designed by teachers for teachers. Try our teacher training and professional development sessions to ensure you are up to date, confident and know how to develop approaches in your school or setting. Engage in active learning and innovative experiences to teach your pupils about how democracy, voting and elections work and why their participation is important.

The Parallel Elections Project Overview

Part 1: Empowering Teachers, Engaging Students:

  • Pre-Election Resources: Ten 30-minute pre-election sessions designed for non-specialist educators. These sessions adhere to both SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) and British Values requirements, making them seamlessly integrable into existing school curriculums.
  • Teacher-Friendly Format: Lesson plans include clear instructions, engaging activities, and differentiation strategies to cater to various learning styles and age groups.
  • Broad Audience Reach: Materials are suitable for both primary and secondary school settings, allowing participation from a diverse range of students.

Part 2: Simulating the Democratic Process:

  • Project Activation: The program launches on the day Parliament is dissolved, coinciding with the real-life General Election (GE) timeline.
  • Student-Led Campaigns: Under teacher guidance, students participate in a simulated election, forming student-led political parties and developing campaign strategies. This fosters critical thinking, communication skills, and teamwork, all while promoting political literacy and agency.
  • Flexible Engagement: Toolkits provide a comprehensive framework for teachers, while also offering alternative elements like manifesto creation workshops and mock hustings (political debates) with potential guest appearances from local politicians, further enriching the experience.
  • Experiential Learning: Students delve into the entire electoral process, assuming various roles:
    • Voters: Registering and casting their simulated votes.
    • Election Officials: Overseeing the voting process and ensuring its integrity.
    • Media Representatives: Reporting on the campaigns and elections, promoting responsible journalism and understanding its role in democracy.
    • Campaigners: Representing their chosen parties, delivering speeches, and engaging in respectful debate.
  • Credibility and Impartiality: The project materials are designed and developed by ACT. We are leaders in political impartiality having writing guidance on political impartiality in schools, ensuring balanced and unbiased information is presented to students.
  • Department for Education (DfE) Approval: The DfE is aware of ACT’s Parallel Elections Project and approves of its use in schools. The project’s alignment with national curriculum requirements and commitment to political neutrality means teachers can feel secure that that their students are participating in a high-quality and appropriate learning experience.

Part 3: Analysing the Results:

  • Comparative Analysis: Following the simulated election, resources guide schools in comparing their results against national, General Election, and constituency-level outcomes. This fosters critical thinking and analysis skills as students delve deeper into the factors influencing electoral outcomes.
  • Understanding the Impact: Through facilitated discussions, students explore the potential implications of the simulated election results, gaining insights into the impact of their choices and the importance of civic engagement.
  • Engaging with Representatives: The project concludes by guiding students on how to connect with their elected officials, empowering them to express their voices and engage with the democratic process beyond the simulation.
  • Continuous Support: Dedicated Continuous Professional Development (CPD) sessions equip teachers with the knowledge and confidence to facilitate the program effectively. These sessions also address potential concerns around maintaining political neutrality and provide space for peer-to-peer learning and best practice sharing.

Preparation Parallel Elections materials are now available. Download these materials now and we’ll contact you when the project launches in full.

Visit our dedicated General Election page