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The big vote in Scotland

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider how we make decisions.

Preparation and materials

  • Quotes from the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.


  1. Ask how good the children are at making decisions. Are they decisive or are they ditherers?
    Some decisions are easy to make. Ask the children about the following scenarios.

    – You are going to play football. Would you choose to wear ordinary shoes or trainers?
    – It’s snowing outside. Would you choose to wear flip-flops or wellies?

    Some decisions are a little more difficult. For example,

    – Weetabix or Crunchy Nut Cornflakes?
    – a bar of chocolate or a piece of fruit?
    – a white roll or a brown roll?
    – homework or TV first?

    Our choices will be based on personal preference, knowledge about ourselves, knowledge about healthy eating, and experience.

  2. As we get older and become adults, we will often be required to make big decisions. For instance, which subjects to take at school, whether to go to university, which friendships to develop, where to settle down and live.

    These are decisions which will need a lot of thought and consideration. They will involve personal preferences but they will also involve us in considering others. We will have to think through the consequences of the decisions we make.

  3. People in Scotland are being asked to make a big decision on 18 September 2014. All adults over the age of 16 living in Scotland are being asked to vote on a very important matter. Should Scotland stay as part of the UK and be ruled from Westminster, or should Scotland become independent and rule itself? 

    How do you decide on such an important issue? How do you decide whether to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’?

  4. One of the aims of the Scottish curriculum is ‘to develop responsible citizens’. Ask how many children have been awarded certificates for showing evidence of being responsible citizens (or a similar aim in English, Welsh or Northern Irish schools).

    As we go through school, we have many opportunities to practise making good decisions. We learn to think about what we want and why. We learn to consider the options available to us and we learn to think about the consequences of our choices, not only for ourselves but for others.

    Over the past few months, people in Scotland have been finding out as much as they can about what a ‘yes’ vote will mean and what a ‘no’ vote will mean. At meetings and debates, by reading newspapers and speaking to politicians, they have been considering the pros and cons of their voting decisions. Each person will then make his or her own choice.

    The important thing is not whether a person votes ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but that he or she ‘participates responsibly in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the nation.’

Time for reflection

Reflect on any decision you might have to make. Decide to make time to think carefully about your actions. 

Dear God, 
We pray for the people of Scotland as they vote on this very important matter. 
We pray that you will grant them wisdom as they consider how to vote 
and we ask for your will to be done. 

Publication date: August 2014   (Vol.16 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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