In the news - England’s national anthem?

Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed that his choice of a national anthem for England would be the William Blake hymn Jerusalem.

In the news: Teaching resources - 17 July

England’s green and pleasant land deserves its own anthem, says Prime Minister

Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed that his choice of a national anthem for England would be the William Blake hymn "Jerusalem".

A ConservativeHome blog disclosed that Mr Cameron had made his view clear at a reception for the Conservative Future group earlier this month.

Blake’s poem, first printed in 1808, was set to music by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916 at the request of the Poet Laureate Robert Bridges, who thought it would make an appropriately patriotic hymn to rally the nation during the First World War.

The UK’s national anthem “God Save the Queen” is currently used for English sporting events, and will also be used for any sporting triumphs for Team GB at this summer’s Olympics.

However, at individual sporting events for Scotland and Wales separate anthems are used; Scotland has “Flower of Scotland”, while Wales plays “Land of My Fathers”.

A letter sent by a cross-party group of MPs and representatives of think-tanks to The Daily Telegraph in April of this year argues that “[a]n English anthem for the talented, diverse teams that represent us on the sporting field would help modern patriotic pride to defeat prejudice".

Related resources

The National Anthem

  • Should England have its own anthem? Start a debate in the classroom with this lesson plan.

William Blake: profile and works

  • This handy resource from TESEnglish provides a comprehensive introduction to Blake’s life and writing.

God Save the Queen

  • This interactive whiteboard resource explores what an anthem is and when it is used, with focus on the UK’s national anthem.

What is Britishness?

  • Discuss the issues around defining Britishness and examine the social construction of British national identity with this PowerPoint presentation.

Further news resources

First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

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