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Parliamentary Education Services
In addition to our school tours, Parliamentary Education Services has several programs that we run free of charge for school students. For further information about any of our school programs please contact James Reardon, Community Engagement Coordinator, Parliamentary Education Services by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 8946 1417
|Tours of Parliament House||Legal Studies Tours|
|Parliamentary Role Plays||Step Up Be Heard - (for Legal Studies)|
|Outreach Programs||Commonwealth Week|
|Democracy in the NT||From Cabinet to Court - Careers in Law forum|
Tours of Parliament House
Schools are invited to visit Parliament House for an informative tour that explains parliamentary procedures, physical aspects of the building, the history of parliament in the Northern Territory, as well as some information and background about the site on which Parliament House is built. Visits are recommended during parliamentary sitting days so school studentscan spend part of their tour witnessing Parliament in action from a special glassed section of the public gallery of the Parliamentary Chamber. When available, Members often leave the chamber to address students in the gallery.
In addition to a tour, Parliamentary Education Services can organise for the Northern Territory Electoral Commission (NTEC) to run one of their educational sessions. Conducted in a room at Parliament House, NTEC provide information about elections and voting and the students take part in a voting exercise to see how preferential voting really works. Parliament House tours are one hour and NTEC sessions are forty five minutes.
Legal Studies Tours
Legal Studies Tours are specifically designed to cover the content in the subject outlines for Stages 1 and 2 Legal Studies. The tours include information for Stage 1 topics 2 (People, Structures and Processes) and 3( Law-making), as well as Stage 2 topics 1 (Australian Legal System), 2 (Constitutional Government) and 3 (Law-making). Please follow the links below for further information about the content of the tour and how it is linked to the Legal Studies learning requirements.
Visits are recommended on parliamentary sitting days so that students can watch Parliament in action. Legal Studies students are invited to sit in the open galleries (rather than the glassed-in gallery) in order to get the full experience of being in the parliamentary chamber.
Legal Studies Tours are sixty minutes, and teachers are encouraged to add an extra thirty minutes to watch parliament if visiting on a sitting day.
Parliamentary Role Plays
Our staff are available to visit schools on request and conduct interactive parliamentary role play sessions in Darwin, Palmerston and surrounding areas. Role plays usually run for two hours however, we are flexible and can modify all sessions to suit the age and needs of the students and requirements of the teachers.
During the role plays students decide on the Bills they would like to debate, write their own persuasive speeches and take on a role in parliament. We provide parliamentary robes and the use of props and scripts to accurately portray the running of parliamentary sessions.
If available, local Members are invited to also address the class, and we can organise for the Northern Territory Electoral Commission to run a session about voting and elections during the role play.
Step Up Be Heard
Aimed specifically at political studies and legal studies students, this new initiative has two parts: Step Up focuses on becoming a political candidate, with students forming political parties, developing policies and running an election campaign. With the Northern Territory Electoral Commission, students will then conduct an election to learn how votes are counted and preferences distributed. Be Heard allows students to form a government and opposition, develop a bill and then research and write a speech to be presented during a mock parliamentary debate held in the Chamber at Parliament House. The program is run over approximately a six week period, and has been run with Stage 1 Legal Studies students at Darwin High School for several years.
Click here for the Teacher Information Kit
Democracy in the NT
The Department of the Legislative Assembly in conjunction with the Supreme Court and Northern Territory Electoral Commission have developed Democracy in the NT as an educational program that promotes an understanding of the Northern Territory parliamentary, electoral and justice systems.
It is designed to target a wide range of people including students at secondary and tertiary levels, community groups and new immigrants and refugees who are unfamiliar with our systems.
Participants attend an introductory session and a tour of Parliament House and if available a question and answer session with a current Member. The Northern Territory Electoral Commission do a presentation on the three levels of government, voting systems and elections and then run a mock election to show how votes are counted and how preferences are distributed. At the Supreme Court participants do a short tour of the building, take part in a role play of a trial and have a question and answer session with a judge.
Each focus area runs for either 60 or 90 minutes, and can be run on different days or one morning or afternoon. Parliamentary Education Services coordinate the program on request.
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To celebrate Commonwealth Day, flags of Commonwealth member countries are hung in the Main Hall and information about the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and all 53 of the member countries is on display. School students participate in an interactive quiz activity to learn more about the Commonwealth and its member countries. A visit to the Northern Territory Library or Government House is also available and if time permits students can participate in a mock election session with the Northern Territory Electoral Commission.
Click here for the Curriculum Link document.
"From Cabinet to Court - Careers in Law" forum
As part of Law Week in May every year students can listen to presentations by speakers from Parliament House and the Supreme Court about working with the law. Students can also engage in a question and answer session with the presenters. Past presenters have included the Attorney-General, Justices of the Supreme Court, a Magistrate, the Director of Public Prosecutions, a Barrister and the Director of Parliamentary Counsel.
- A two hour version of our parliamentary role play program which includes an informative PowerPoint presentation about Parliament, re-arranging the classroom into a Chamber (including props and costumes), assigning every student a role, deciding on a bill to debate, writing persuasive speeches and performing a mock parliamentary debate to see if the bill passes or not.
A Remote Schools Outreach Program specifically designed for Indigenous students who are English as a Second
Language learners and for who Parliament concepts may be new. There is less focus on literacy and speaking in front of a group and more visual and hands on activities to explain the basics of parliament. This finishes with an abridged version of the parliamentary role play. This program runs for approximately two hours.
We are often accompanied by the local Member and sometimes the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and can organise for the Northern Territory Electoral Commission to run a session about voting and elections during the visit.
In 2015 Parliamentary Education Services visited the regional centres of Alice Springs, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek and Katherine and remote homelands schools in East Arnhemland. We would love to visit more regional and remote schools on request .