15th April 2005 at 01:00
Where possible, pupils should explore "election campaigning" in a real and participatory election context - school council elections, a parallel general election, a campaign to develop the school grounds in some way, for example. This allows pupils to develop and apply "skills of enquiry and communication (Section 2 PoS), participation and responsible action" (Sec.

3) to the citizenship areas of knowledge and understanding (1d,e,h).

KS3-5. Prepare pupils' understanding of campaigning (aims, methods, skills, and issues) by investigating media examples of what political parties are doing to gain votes. Examine newspapers or a video clip from Question Time, for example, to address questions like: "Who are the parties aiming to convince here?" "What tactics are they using? (emotional, economic, moral approaches?)" "Are parties attacking each other, or simply focusing on their own party views?" "Are all tactics fair in election campaigns?"

"Are newspapers biased?"

Having reflected on the campaign strategies of political parties, pupils could then be challenged to create their own campaign committees with Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Press and Publicity Officer etc, and plan a campaign strategy on a chosen issue. What do they want to say? How can they communicate their ideas? How will they know that the campaign is being successful? They could research useful data, plan and agree on actions, contact MEPs, MPs, local radio and TV, and communicate with other school councils.

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