Humanities and social sciences / Year 6 / Knowledge and Understanding / Civics and citizenship

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Curriculum content descriptions

The key institutions of Australia’s democratic system of government and how it is based on the Westminster system (ACHASSK143)

Elaborations
  • explaining the role of the monarchy and its representatives in Australia including the Governor-General, and the parliaments and courts in Australia’s system of government
  • recognising the importance of the Westminster system and the Magna Carta in influencing Australia’s parliamentary government
  • investigating sites virtually or in situ associated with key democratic institutions to explore their roles, such as Parliament House in Canberra
General capabilities
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Judiciary,  Parliaments,  Constitutional monarchy

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Year level 5-6
Resource type
Learning area HASS (F-6/7)
Teacher resource

Magna Carta: The story of our freedom

This is a resource about the Magna Carta (Great Charter) agreed between King John and his rebellious barons in 1215 and its influence on the development of human rights and democratic freedoms to the present day. The resource consists of: an animated infographic ‘Tell the story’ with hyperlinks to further information; an ...

Teacher resource

Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum Year 6 Unit of Work

This unit of work explores aspects of the Curriculum that deal with key concepts relating to Australia's federal Parliament. The resource is divided into three sections which explore the key institutions of Australia's democratic system of government; the roles and responsibilities of the three levels of government; and ...

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Year 6: Australia's system of government and citizenship

This collection of resource sheets for students and teachers explores the foundations of Australia's legal system including the principles that underpin the law, and the roles and operations of the court system with particular reference to Western Australia. A scripted mock trial examines the operation of courts and structured ...

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Role-play the Parliament: Senate video

This is a video of a law-making role-play in the Senate. This resource supports the year 6 Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. It shows teachers how to turn their classroom into the Senate chamber and how to role-play parts of the law-making process.

Teacher resource

Australian Constitution

This fact sheet summarises the key features of the Australian Constitution— the set of rules by which Australia is run—and how it can be changed.

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Secrets of the Parliament House building

Annabel Crabb takes us on a tour of Parliament House in Canberra, explaining why her favourite parts are at the very top and the very bottom of the building. Navigate 10 kilometres of hallways, witness the "best view in Canberra", meet the Queen of the Underground and find out how to change the 12-meter flags. What unexpected ...

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The Westminster system and borrowed traditions

Annabel Crabb explains the interesting traditions that the Parliament of Australia has borrowed from the parliament of Westminster in the United Kingdom. Who is Black Rod, and what is a serjeant-at-arms? What is the Mace, and why is a hood placed over it when entering the presence of the Governor-General? And why would ...

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Snapshots - three levels of government

This is a video explaining the three levels of government in Australia. It shows teachers and students the roles and responsibilities of each level of government. It is supported with a diagram that illustrates the process and a downloadable fact sheet.

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Snapshots - passing a bill

This is a video of a bill being passed through the Australian Parliament. The video shows teachers and students how a law is made and details the law-making process in the Australian Parliament. It is supported with a diagram that illustrates the process and a downloadable fact sheet.

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Voting in Australia

The representatives elected to federal Parliament make decisions that affect many aspects of Australian life including tax, marriage, the environment, trade and immigration. This 28 page PDF document explains the history of Australia’s electoral system and how it works, Australia’s system of government and the role citizens ...

Teacher resource

Forming government and passing legislation: unit of work

This is a unit consisting of four extended lessons about how an Australian federal government is formed and how bills are passed in the Australian Parliament. The unit takes the form of an extended simulation in which students play the roles of members of the House of Representatives. As appropriate, they take part in the ...

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Voting: choosing your parliamentary representatives - unit of work

This is a unit of work about the democratic process of voting to elect representatives. The unit includes four main activities in which students in groups work through scenarios where decisions are required and representatives need to be chosen. The groups also research and discuss concepts including secret ballot, compulsory ...

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Oil painting - opening of first Commonwealth Parliament, 1901

This is a monochrome oil painting by Charles Nuttall, depicting the opening of the first Commonwealth Parliament in the Exhibition Building, Melbourne, on 9 May 1901. The painting is 226 cm high x 405 cm wide, and it has a carved wooden frame with a leaf pattern.

Teacher resource

How many times am I represented? - unit of work

This is a short unit of work of two extended lessons about representation in Australian federal and state/territory parliaments. The unit aims to ensure that students realise there are similarities and differences in representation at each level and between the states and territories. The pedagogical approach is inquiry-based ...

Teacher resource

Parliament vs monarch - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work for the upper primary years about how the Westminster system evolved in England. It comes from the 'Discovering democracy' series of units. The unit includes studies of the Magna Carta and King John, King Charles I and the struggle with Parliament, the advent of constitutional monarchy with ...

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The first day as a Member of Parliament

Parliament House is a lot like a school: bells are going off the whole time, there are lots of difficult subjects to get on top of and you get in trouble if you’re late! Annabel Crabb joins Linda Burney, the first Indigenous woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, who is preparing to give her very first speech ...

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The rules that guide the House of Representatives

Annabel Crabb explains some of the rules that guide the House of Representatives – also known as the Lower House – where Members of Parliament argue about and vote on new laws for Australia. Why would a politician hold paper over his or her head when speaking in the Lower House? What happens when all the clocks in the building ...

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Writing amendments in the Senate

The Senate’s job is to "check the work" of the House of Representatives and make sure the laws they’ve made are fair. But what happens when the Senate and the House of Representatives disagree? Annabel Crabb explains the process of writing and approving amendments; the rituals of official business; and how the Lamson tube works.