History of Parliament Key Stage Three (11-14 year olds) Schools Competition 2014

The History of Parliament’s schools competition enters its tenth year in 2014. The winners will receive prizes of book tokens, and will be invited to Westminster with members of their family and teachers for the presentation of their prizes.

This year, our Key Stage Three (KS3) competition has two options: one on the Reformation, using our new school materials, and one on World War One.

Option 1: The Reformation

This option is based on our set of Reformation schools resources, which includes specially-written articles and biographies for 11-14 year olds and complimentary resources for teachers. The competition task is taken from our Learning Activities.

Using the information from our ‘Reformation’ section and from your local area:

- There were no newspapers during the time of the Reformation, but imagine that there were. Write a piece for a newspaper on the impact of the Reformation on an area near you.


- In most areas a religious building was lost due to the dissolution of the Monasteries – find out about any such place in your local area. Write a report on what happened to the building and what remains of it now.

For more information about the Reformation, see our schools materials.

You can also find out more about your local area during this period on our website in the 1509-1558 constituencies section.

If possible, we would like as many entrants as possible to include photographs. You could include photographs of the building you write about, for example your local church and the changes it underwent due to the Reformation, or perhaps there is a monument of your local MP at the time of the Reformation in the church, or his house if it still exists. All photographs should be taken by the student themselves, and the best will feature on our website!

Option 2: World War One

After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Serbia in July 1914, war is imminent on the continent, as Germany and Austro-Hungary prepare to go to war against the opposing alliance of Russia and France. Britain is allied with France, but has to decide whether to enter the war on the side of France and Russia, or stay out.

Imagine you are an MP in the House of Commons in 1914. It is 3 August. Germany has declared war on Russia and France and began the invasion of Belgium. The Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, has just given a speech to Parliament calling for Britain to go to war (you can read his speech in full here). Imagine you are an MP listening to his speech, and write a speech in response.

Things to consider:

- Whether you support Britain’s entry into the War;

- Whether Britain has responsibilities to defend her Allies in Europe;- What you think the consequences of War would be for you and your constituents.

You can find more information from these websites:

National Archives education section

Background to World War I 

World War I


BBC Schools WWI (Key Stage Three)

BBC Schools The Road to War

Overview: Britain and World War I

BBC Bitesize videos, WWI and WWII

Imperial War Museum

First World War learning resources

Competition rules:

1. For individual entries, the winner of the competition will receive a prize of a book token for £75.  The winner will be invited to visit the Palace of Westminster with up to two other members of their family, and a member of the school staff, for the presentation of the prizes (the History will pay reasonable travel/accommodation expenses for the student and accompanying members of his/her family: we regret that we cannot pay the travel or accommodation expenses of any accompanying school staff).

2. The competition is open to any student at a UK school or college who will not have passed his or her 15th birthday by 30th July 2014.

3. All entries must be accompanied by the following information, securely attached to or associated with the entry

a) The candidate’s name
b) The candidate’s school and its address, with a telephone or email contact for the school
c) The candidate’s age at 30 July 2014
d) A declaration, signed by the teacher, saying that the work, including any photographs submitted, is all the candidate’s own.

4. We regret that entries cannot be individually acknowledged, and will not be returned after the competition.

5. Any photographs included with the competitions must be taken by the entrants themselves and they must hold full copyright over these images.

6. Some entries may be used on www.historyofparliamentonline.org: those whose entries are used in this way will be contacted.

7. Entries should be sent to:

                  History of Parliament competition
                  18 Bloomsbury Square
                  LONDON WC1A 2NS

Or to the competition email account:


           (If sending entries by email, please send one email per individual entry)

8. Entries must be received by 30 July 2014.

9. Judging will be by a panel appointed by the History of Parliament.  Their decision will be final, and no correspondence can be entered into.

10. For each competition there will be one winner, although the judges may make special commendations if they think fit

For any queries, please contact us at Competitions@histparl.ac.uk