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Discovery Education presents global, virtual school assembly from the National Archives to commemorate 800th anniversary of Magna Carta

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The sealing of “The Great Charter,” or Magna Carta, was a revolutionary cornerstone in the British Constitution 800 years ago. On Monday 15 June, teachers and students across the globe are invited to celebrate the anniversary by participating in Discovery Education’s virtual experience to explore this key historical moment, presented in partnership with The National Archives in London and The National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

This exclusive Discovery Education event, hosted by Dan Snow and Diane Louise Jordan, is a 30-minute broadcast aimed at Key Stage Two and Three pupils. On Monday 15 June, the live programme will be streamed directly from The National Archives in London at 2:30PM BST. With highlights, including a dramatisation of the events leading up to and surrounding the first Magna Carta being sealed, the live experience will focus on the history of Magna Carta and its effect on human rights development in the subsequent centuries. Viewers will have the unique opportunity to see Magna Carta documents held in both London and Washington, D.C. and, to continue the learning experience, Discovery Education encourages schools to create their own Magna Carta for the 21st century.

This iconic document subjected the king to the rule of law and enshrined core principles of modern liberty and democracy. The charter failed to resolve conflict between King John and his barons, but following John’s death the charter was reissued in 1216 and 1217 in the name of his infant son, Henry III. By 1225, Henry ruled in his own right. He reissued Magna Carta as a personal commitment to rule in accordance with its principles.

Slightly different to the 1215 version, the 1225 reissue, which is the version pupils will see, became the definitive text of Magna Carta. The charter is written in Latin and is authenticated by Henry’s Great Seal.

Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives, Jeff James said, “The National Archives is a window on more than 1000 years of our nation’s history and our collection at Kew is open to everyone, for free. This is a new venture for us and we are delighted to partner with Discovery Education to allow children around the world access to see Magna Carta.”

Discovery Education is equally as thrilled to provide students from all over the world the opportunity to view the document and participate in this special event. Susanne H. Thompson, Head of School Partnerships said, “Our goal here at Discovery Education is to support our partners with high-quality, digital content to create dynamic and thought-provoking learning experiences. We are honoured to organize a live event, like Magna Carta, for schools in the UK and all over the world, so teachers and pupils can have meaningful conversations and think critically about history’s importance and its impact on current events.”

The broadcast will be streamed live on Discovery Education’s website, where classrooms can register at no cost by visiting An archive of the event will be available for viewing a few days following the event.

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