UK Parliament Week is an annual festival that aims to engage young people with the UK Parliament and empower them to get involved.
As an official partner of UK Parliament Week, we invited member schools to take part in this annual festival. Schools that signed up received a free UK Parliament Week kit to help them run an activity for their students. Through these activities, students were encouraged to engage with the UK Parliament and join the conversation about democracy and bringing about meaningful change.
If your school missed UK Parliament Week, you can still access a range of online resources on the UK Parliament Week website.
How did COBIS schools celebrate UK Parliament Week?
British International School of Timisoara
"During UK Parliament Week, students in the senior school engaged in a number of activities inspired by the resources provided.
For example, 35 students in years 7 and 8 were engaged in an online debate/discussion based on a resource where students were encouraged to draw a map of their local area and place various amenities and key buildings. The rationale behind the decision making was then discussed.
In Year 6, the class debated voting rights, centred around an image of the suffragette movement. Inspired by this discussion, students sketched a scene showing a protest demanding equality.
The week ended with two year 9 students presenting on democracy during an online whole school assembly. It was very well received and the whole week was a real success!
All in all, the activities during the week provided us with the a great opportunity to learn about democracy, international values and discover some interesting historical facts.”
The British International School Ukraine
"The whole school used UK Parliament Week to learn about what voting is and how important it can be to bring about change. In Year 5 we wrote manifestos about things we wanted to change around the school and this led to some interesting discussions about how we can change things and make a difference in our school community. As the US election was in the news at the time, it was fantastic to hear so many students having an opinion on who they would vote for and why. We then linked this back to our manifestos and the whole class voted virtually on who they wanted to represent them. Finally, we held a virtual whole primary school assembly and looked at how laws are made in the UK, what Parliament does to help issues important to them and how they can make a difference in the future."
Year 5 Teacher at The British International School Ukraine
Kahoot Quiz from whole school virtual assembly
Brighton College Abu Dhabi
With the US election taking place the same time as UK Parliament Week, Brighton College Abu Dhabi had a series of events covering the events in the US including a live mock presidential debate and a pupil led podcast episode.
Caroline Beirne, a Year 13 student, wrote the following report on their US election mock debate.
Earlier this month, the world was stunned as they watched the American election unfold, waiting for the final, decisive votes to be counted. In the weeks prior, a series of political debates had transpired, as the public watched the President Donald J Trump, and former Vice-President Joe Biden, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, and now VP-elect Kamala Harris face off in a series of contentious debates.
The intricacies and importance of this feature, characterized by principles of political equality, led to the Brighton College Politics Department to recreate this atmosphere in order to allow students to truly understand the democratic process. The debate, moderated by pupils, consisted of two year twelve students adopting the role of the Incumbent Republican Administration, whilst two students in year thirteen defended the representatives of the Democratic party.
It was based around the third and final Presidential Debate, which focused on a range of topics, including fighting COVID-19, mitigating Climate Change, and foreign policy. There were also discussions on American Families, which included addressing systemic racism and healthcare, and leadership, where both candidates were able to give potential voters a glimpse into America’s future under their presidency. All parties involved were given equal time to speak on an issue, and to respond to comments made by the opposing party in order to allow for fairness, efficiency and speed. It was extremely useful for pupils to not only hone their debate and critical thinking skills, but it allowed them to consider new opinions, whilst simultaneously providing defences and justifications for these proposals. For spectators, it gave a clearer outlook on American politics and clearly exemplified the Representative Democracy which America represents. Moreover, the medium of an online call proved to be extremely advantageous, as students and teachers were able to ask their own questions to any of the four candidates, regarding anything from economic prospects to creating social harmony. The involvement of the audience was crucial to test the knowledge of the candidates and to continue to inspire constructive, partisan debate. This proved to be quintessential, as in recent decades, politics has become ever more polarising, but it is events like these that catalyse lasting elements of collaborative work and tolerance.
Like all political debates, there is no declared winner. More importantly, however, it opened up a school-wide discussion on the future of American politics, which is vital, as ultimately whoever sits in that Oval Office is given a mandate to govern not only the United States, but is given sufficient authority to greatly influence the world.
Written by Caroline Beirne, Year 13 student at Brighton College Abu Dhabi
Tell us what you did to mark UK Parliament Week!
We would love to hear about the activities COBIS schools ran to mark UK Parliament Week. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with examples of the activities you facilitated. This could include a short blog outlining the activities you ran (written by students or staff), examples of your students’ work, and/or any photos or videos you may have taken (providing you have obtained the necessary permissions).