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Year 8 students visit Westminster

A group of Year 8 students took part in an enrichment trip to the Houses of Parliament on Thursday 16 May with Mrs Weston, Miss Gillespie and Miss Hartley.

After arriving in London, the students walked to see the London Eye and Westminster Abbey. There were many photos taken by excited students! This was followed by a picnic lunch in Victoria Tower Gardens where students stretched their legs and relaxed in the beautiful weather.

Not knowing what to expect during the tour of the Houses of Parliament, we were happily surprised when we were allowed to see some live debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords. In the former, the students listened to the politicians debating 'Probation Reform' and then 'Definition of Islamaphobia'. In the House of Lords, they discussed 'Mental Health in Children and Young Adults'. It is safe to say that the students were fully engaged and did not want to leave! Who could blame them with such prevalent issues being debated? Hearing about the history of the Houses of Parliament was extremely interesting, with one student declaring that she would 'add being a politician to her list of possible jobs in the future'. Watch this space!

The students then had a workshop entitled 'People's Parliament' where they learned about the history of how women got the vote and discussed issues that they believe need campaigning for: equal rights for all, freedom of individuality, single use plastic and making organic clothing. We didn't think this experience could get any better until we had a visit from our local MP, Fabian Hamilton. He talked the students through his career journey; the students then had the chance to ask him any questions and they really did not hold back. "What inspired you to be a politician?" "What are the important issues that you are currently debating in Parliament?" "What are your specific responsibilities?" "What is your honest opinion about Jeremy Corbyn?" "What do you think about Brexit?" Fabian answered all questions in depth and said he could not wait to be invited back to Allerton Grange School.

After a quick tube trip - very exciting for students who had never seen the underground - we arrived at The Natural History Museum where students were given free-reign to explore a range of exhibits.

We had such an inspiring and exciting day in London, one we will all remember for a long time.

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