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A child's eye view of politics

After more false starts than the most jittery 100 metre race, the general election campaign is now finally under way.

The outcome will affect every one of us. But how aware are schoolchildren of the drama that is unfolding?

No one wants to burden children with adult concerns. But as many sixth-formers are entitled to vote, it is vital that young people become politically literate long before they leave school.

All secondary pupils will be taught about the electoral system and the importance of voting in the citizenship lessons to e introduced in September 2002.

Meanwhile, teachers may be left wondering how to give pupils - of all ages - some understanding of our general election rituals.

In this eight-page section, devised and written by teachers, we aim to help schools rise to that challenge. We provide potted histories of the parties, model lessons and games, and a wide range of other teaching materials.

Party political broadcasts may be boring. But there is no reason why lessons about the election should be.

David Budge TES Deputy Editor

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