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SO 14/09/10


The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly today launched ‘A Snapshot of Democracy’ - a new educational DVD for post-primary school pupils to encourage them to get involved in politics and local government. Devised and created by the Assembly’s Education Service, the DVD was presented to a selection of teachers from across Northern Ireland.

Launching the DVD, Speaker of the Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA said: “Young people are the future of Northern Ireland and is it crucial that they understand how democracy works and how they can participate in it. We need to encourage them to get involved, be passionate about politics and to hold their elected representatives to account.

“No one educational programme can make this happen. However, the Assembly’s Education Service, working in partnership with schools, is having a profound effect on how the Assembly engages with a very important group. The DVD being launched today is just one part of this extensive educational outreach programme.”

As well as encouraging engagement between the Assembly and young people, the DVD will support the Northern Ireland Curriculum, particularly in the area of Learning for Life and Work. The DVD will be sent to all post-primary schools in September.

The launch today is part of a programme of teacher training sessions. Today’s conference is tailored for the needs of those teaching 11-16 year olds. As part of the programme, teachers will be able to talk a panel of MLAs about the work of the Assembly.


Notes for Editors:

  • The DVD is presented in four “bite-sized” chapters opening with an introduction to democracy, then moving on to explore how the Assembly works, making laws and how to get involved. The Assembly is investigated from the perspective of a 16 year old girl called Carla, who asks questions about how the democratic institutions operate in Northern Ireland. Carla enquires about key issues like democracy, free speech, committees, the Executive, Ministers, getting involved, MLAs and their roles.
  • An Outreach Education Officer from Westminster will deliver a sample Key Stage 4 presentation and introduce a range of educational activities for use in the classroom.
  • The BBC will also talk about their News School Report which gives 11 to 14-year-olds a chance to learn about being journalists with the help of the BBC and partner organisations. Pupils choose the stories and broadcast them for real each March on News Day. This programme is an annual project involving thousands of young people in UK schools.

For media enquiries please contact:

Debra Savage
Communications Officer
Northern Ireland Assembly
Tel: 02890 521 405
Mobile: 07920 864 221

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