Policy for Schools

We’ve worked with teachers and educators to create activity plans that help students learn about the values and policy trade-offs at the heart of the election.

Using Policy as a tool for learning

“This is quite possibly the best website that we used in the last 4 years, it was extremely engaging and all students enjoyed being educated using this website.” — Year 7/8 teacher, Oaklands School, Christchurch

Policy is great for teaching students about election issues: it’s comprehensive, neutral, accessible, and easy to use. We’ve made it even easier for teachers to use Policy as a tool for learning by creating a range of activity plans for adapting for your classrooms.


Policy for Schools activity plans

Policy for Schools activity plans are one-page resources that help teachers guide students through significant electoral issues, focussing on the values, priorities, and impacts that policies have on different groups of people and encouraging students to ask questions and challenge their assumptions. 

Each activity plan covers the background of an issue, linking students to reputable and student-friendly sources, and guides students to use the Policy tool to explore and reflect on different election policies. Most plans are aimed at social studies or geography students, but some will be suitable for economics, science, and business studies.

Policy for Schools activity plans are hosted at the following links. More information about these resources is provided below.

Getting started (onboarding advice and 3 activity plans)

Understanding incomes and employment (4 activity plans)

Understanding New Zealand’s place in the world (4 activity plans)

Understanding life in our cities (2 activity plans) 

Understanding our economy (2 activity plans) 

Understanding our environment (2 activity plans) 

Understanding the impacts of Covid-19 on New Zealand (2 activity plans)

Understanding community and inclusion (2 activity plans)

If the links don’t work, please make sure your browser allows pop-up windows or try right-clicking and opening in a new tab. 

You can download a zipped folder of all resources here.


Who are the activity plans for?

The activity plans are aimed at curriculum level 5, but are designed to be simplified or advanced to teach students from Year 7 to Year 13.

Our activity plans help students learn about democracy, values, and policy trade-offs, and are designed to strengthen students’ ability to make value-based decisions and to understand why people make decisions that are different to their own. 


Who made these activity plans?

The Policy team worked with Michael Moore-Jones at Aldus and Maria and Kimberley at the Aotearoa Social Studies Educators' Network (ASSEN) to create these activity plans. We also thank Mike Taylor of Taita College and Bronwyn Wood and Robin Averill of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington for their comments. 


Have comments or feedback?
Want to contribute an activity plan of your own?

We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch at schools@policy.nz 


Extra credit? Try the Policy idea competition

Once your students have had a chance to learn about what’s on offer this election, we want to hear their policy ideas. 

The Policy idea competition asks students to imagine what they’d do to change New Zealand for the better, if they were the Prime Minister. Students can enter individually, in groups, or as a whole classroom, with short written entries or videos. More info is at policy.nz/competition.

We have a range of great prizes for individuals, groups, and classrooms, and students’ ideas will be judged a panel including NBA basketballer Steven Adams, journalists and broadcaster Mihi Forbes, Professor of Public Policy and former MP Marilyn Waring, science educator Michelle Dickinson (‘Nanogirl’), and Allbirds CEO and former All White Tim Brown.

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