VotesforSchools provides weekly resources for teachers to prompt impartial discussion on a challenging current issue. Our students get the opportunity to vote and comment and we ensure that their voices are heard and have an impact.

Be Informed. Be Curious. Be Heard.

At Simpson’s Lane, we are passionate about our children’s voices having an impact on practice and policy- to really make a mark on their world. In addition to amplifying our weekly results, we work with a range of long-term partners who help elevate those voices to a whole new level.

This week's voting topic

Should accent be a protected characteristic? (7-11) | Do you know how to respect other people’s accents? (5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, voters explore the factors that shape the way people speak while considering the varied experiences people have because of their accents. Meanwhile, the assembly takes a look at regional dialects across the UK.

Last week's voting topic

Is giving rewards for voting a good idea? (7-11) | Do rewards encourage you? (5-7)

Voting Description:

With as much as 49% of the world’s population taking to the polls this year, we wanted to ask young people whether rewarding people for exercising their democratic right would help tackle dwindling voter turnouts. Meanwhile, the assembly takes a closer look at some of the elections taking place this year.

Previous voting topics

Should tourists be more respectful when they travel? (7-11) | Is it easy to be a visitor? (5-7)

Voting Description:

With May half term and the summer break on the horizon, this week voters are discussing the responsibilities we have as visitors when we travel to new places. Meanwhile, the assembly takes us on a journey through an airport.

Do you know how to spot an online scam? (7-11) | Do you know how to keep your information safe? (5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, younger voters are exploring the ways in which they can keep their information safe online. While older voters are considering the different scams affecting the online world. Meanwhile, the assembly takes a closer look at our emergency services and the work they do.

Would you prefer to use an under-16s phone? (7-11) | Do you have too much screen time? (5-7)

Voting Description:

Following news that WhatsApp has changed their age rating from 16 to 13, older voters are exploring the possibility of specially-designed phones for teenagers to help improve their online safety. Younger voters consider whether they spend too much time on their devices. Meanwhile, the assembly questions whether bans can go too far.

Would you like to see more wildlife in your towns and cities? (7-11) | Would you like more wildlife in your towns and cities? (5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, we are celebrating Earth Day in collaboration with Eco-Schools. Voters will be reflecting on the benefits of introducing more wildlife into our towns, cities and other built-up areas. Meanwhile, the assembly focuses on plastic and how this affects the health of people and the planet.

Would playing outside more improve your mental health? (7-11) | Does playing outdoors make you happier? (5-7)

Voting Description:

For Stress Awareness Month, voters are going to consider the role that the great outdoors has on their wellbeing and how spending time in nature affects their mental health.

Do you know how to be an ally? (7-11) | Do you know what an ally is? (5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, voters are going to be focusing on how to stand up for others when they face discrimination, and reflecting on the ways in which they might be able to do this themselves. Meanwhile, the assembly explores protected characteristics and the responsibility we all have to ensure these are safeguarded.

Are AI-generated images too believable? (7-11) | Can you tell when photos are real? (5-7)

Voting Description

Voters are exploring the world of AI-generated images in celebration of British Science Week. Based on this, voters will be exploring the increased sophistication of images created using artificial intelligence tools, and how easy it is to tell when something is not genuine. Meanwhile, the assembly looks at inventions and innovations from history, and reflects on the reception these got when first introduced to the public.

Should your role models be like you? (7-11) | Do you have any role models? (5-7)

Voting Description

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, voters will be discussing role models. Younger voters have the opportunity to investigate the kinds of qualities that make someone inspiring, and consider if they have any similar figures in their lives. Meanwhile, older voters discuss the people they look up to, and reflect on whether similarity is always important when choosing a role model. Elsewhere, the assembly gives voters the inside track on the recently renamed London Overground lines, and how they link to the capital’s rich and diverse history.

Could more be done to keep shop workers safe? (7-11) | Do you know how to act in a shop? (5-7)

Voting Description

This week, voters are exploring the rise in instances of abuse against shop workers across the UK in recent months. Younger voters will investigate the ins and outs of good shopping etiquette, while older voters will consider whether more can be done to keep shop workers safe.

Will you be the first smoke free generation? (Primary 7-11) | Is it easy to tell when objects are dangerous? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description

With news of a disposable vaping ban making the headlines in recent weeks, it seems that attitudes may once again be set to shift. Older voters will consider whether them and their peers will be the ones to kick the habit once and for all. Meanwhile, younger voters consider how everyday items can be misleading, and the difficulties that come with spotting this. Elsewhere, the assembly explores the history of smoking and the ways attitudes towards it have changed over time.

Do adults have the tools to teach you about the online world? (Primary 7-11) | Can adults and children learn from each other about the online world? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

This week’s VoteTopic is in celebration of Safer Internet Day. Voters will consider the “digital divide” between them and the adults in their lives, and reflect on what we can learn from each other when it comes to the internet. 5-7 voters will have their say on: “Can adults and children learn from each other about the online world?”, while 7-11 voters will decide: “Do adults have the tools to teach you about the online world?” The assembly focuses on the way that the online world has changed the way we communicate.

Do you learn during history months? (Primary 7-11) | Do history months help us to understand other people? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, to coincide with the beginning of LGBT+ History Month, voters will explore what they learn during awareness events and why we celebrate them. They will also consider whether they might gain a greater understanding of the diversity in our society if they focused on these topics at different points in the year, or in a more consistent way. Elsewhere, the assembly focuses on the theme for this year’s LGBT+ History Month and the story behind the Pride flag.

Does money make up for injustice? (Primary 7-11) | Do you know what to do when you are treated unfairly? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, older voters take a closer look at the Post Office scandal after an ITV drama series has raised awareness of the subpostmasters’ fight for justice. Younger voters consider whether they know how to react when they are treated unfairly. Meanwhile, the assembly explores the processes involved in getting our post delivered to us.

Would you feel comfortable having a conversation about your mental health? (Primary 7-11) | Is it easy to talk about your feelings? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, voters are looking ahead to Time to Talk Day, which takes place on 1st February. Voters discuss the different groups of people they can talk to about their feelings, while taking a closer at look at the way we communicate with each other about our mental health. Meanwhile, the assembly explores the importance of mental health maintenance.

Do you think alien life exists?

Voting Description:

This week, voters will explore a range of opinions and ideas about life beyond our planet before sharing their views on: “Do you think alien life exists?” Younger voters will focus on Earth’s status as a Goldilocks Planet and how this could happen elsewhere is the Universe, while older voters will learn more about possible sightings and theories that people have about alien life.

Have Christmas adverts lost their magic? (Primary 7-11) | Should Christmas be messy? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

For the last VoteTopic of 2023, voters will take a closer look at this year’s Christmas adverts. Younger voters consider how adverts might be different from real life, while older voters reflect on the impact Christmas adverts have on them. Meanwhile, the assembly explores why certain plants are linked to Christmas.

Should school holidays be spread out?

Voting Description:

This week, voters will consider Welsh Parliament’s proposition to redistribute school holidays more equally throughout the year. They will reflect on the impact their breaks have on them and whether changing them would be effective. Meanwhile, the assembly takes a closer look at why we have holidays at set times throughout the year.

Is technology the answer to improving accessibility? (Primary 7-11) | Do you know how technology can make life easier for you? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, voters are celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD), which is taking place on 3rd December. At both levels, they will be considering the ways in which technology can improve accessibility for all, taking time to explore everyday tools found in our homes and communities, as well as future innovations that could improve our lives for the better. Elsewhere, the assembly provides a closer look at the way people with disabilities are represented in the media and how this could be improved.

Is it everyone’s responsibility to end homelessness? (Primary 7-11) | Is more help needed for people who are homeless? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, we are highlighting our Key Theme of Community & Charity with a lesson on homelessness. Younger voters will be considering the support needed to tackle this issue while older voters will think more closely about who should be looking out for people who are homeless and providing vital support. Elsewhere, the assembly explores GivingTuesday, which is taking place on 28th November.

Would you know how to support a friend if someone important to them died?

Voting Description:

This week, voters will be marking Children’s Grief Awareness Week 2023 and reflecting on the theme “The Shape of Your Support”. They will think about the impact bereavement and grief has on someone and the comfort that peer support can provide. Meanwhile, the assembly will consider the ways different cultures honour people who have died.

Does your school do enough to deal with bullying? (Primary 7-11) | Does your school do enough to help deal with bullying? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, voters mark Anti-Bullying Week by considering the strategies in place at their school to deal with bullying behaviour. Meanwhile, the assembly takes a closer look at how The Online Safety Act will affect bullying.

Is it easy to have conversations about conflict in Israel & Palestine? (Primary 9-11) | Are you worried about children in Israel & Palestine? (Primary 5-9)

Voting Description:

This week, voters will be considering recent events in Israel and Palestine. Our assembly has made use of the questions submitted by teachers outlining what their voters most wanted to know about the current situation in the Middle East. We would strongly recommend using this assembly prior to delivering the lessons, as it provides vital context for today’s events. Younger voters will consider their feelings about the stories and insights emerging from Israel and Palestine, while older voters will be reflecting on the sensitivities and complexities that come with discussing this topic. Please be aware that we have changed the age ranges for the two lessons as the second lesson deals with some sensitive and challenging concepts. We would recommend using this with pupils aged 9-11/upper KS2.

Is it time to call a general election? (Primary 7-11) | Is it good to change who is in charge? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

Ahead of Parliament Week in November, voters are this week considering the ways in which we choose our leaders and how they go about making decisions. Meanwhile, the assembly explores Party Conferences and what these entail. Please be aware that these resources have been issued a week earlier than scheduled in our VoteTopic Calendar. This is to accommodate a VoteTopic on Israel & Gaza, which will be issued after half term.

Should opinions be shared as part of news reporting? (Primary 7-11) | Are feelings more important than facts? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

This VoteTopic focuses on the news, impartiality, and differentiating fact from fiction. By exploring the ways that opinion is expressed in news reporting, 7-11 voters will reflect on how helpful personal views are in expanding our understanding of the wider world. 5-7 voters have the chance to think about the role feelings have to play in our decision-making and reactions to different situations. Meanwhile, the assembly focuses on the ways in which our news consumption has changed over time, and provides some sources of reliable news and fact-checking tools.

Should the UK open new oil fields? (Primary 7-11) | Do you want more renewable energy? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

As drilling at Rosebank Oil Field has been given the green light, older voters will explore whether new oil fields should be opening in the UK. Younger voters will explore renewable energy and its benefits for the environment. Meanwhile, this week’s assembly takes a closer look at fossil fuels and their impact.

Are Black British women’s stories told in our history?

Voting Description:

This week, voters are considering the stories they know about Black British women, in keeping with this year’s Black History Month theme of “Saluting our Sisters”. All voters will reflect on what they know about some Black British women’s stories, before learning about some key individuals in more detail. They will then vote on whether Black British women’s stories are told in our history.

Should UK supermarkets warn us about shrinkflation? (Primary 7-11) | Do warnings always help us? (Primary 5-7)

Voting Description:

This week, older voters will be exploring shrinkflation during the cost of living crisis. They will reflect on whether it is helpful for supermarkets to warn customers about shrinkflation. Younger voters will explore warnings and they will reflect on the role that warnings and advice play in their risk management.

Are you resilient when things don’t go to plan? (Primary 7-11) | Do you know how to deal with feeling disappointed? (Primary 5-7)

Voting description:

In light of the Lionesses’ historic World Cup run, voters will explore the feelings that arise when things don’t go to plan. Younger voters will consider feelings of disappointment and ways to deal with this emotion, while older voters will consider how to build resilience in challenging times.

Do we know how to care for our electronics?

Voting description:

For our first VoteTopic of this academic year, voters will be marking Zero Waste Week with a particular focus on e-waste. Voters will consider the importance of taking care of our electricals in order to get the best out of them for longer in order to reduce the number of electronics going into landfill.