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PUPILS on Bowerhill Primary School’s school council recently paid a visit to the home of UK democracy, the Houses of Parliament, to learn more about their roles as budding politicians.
Headteacher Andrew Matthews and teacher Hannah Polan took the students to London to meet the local MP, Michelle Donelan.
The children walked to Whitehall via Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, and were then given a tour of the Houses of Parliament, including the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Andrew said, “The children were intrigued to learn that so many of the procedures used in the houses are rooted in history. For example, the distance between government and opposition benches is just beyond the length of a sword!
“They were not allowed to sit on the benches, although they could stand amongst the benches and put their hands on the despatch boxes ‘just like David Cameron’.
“Following the tour, the children went to the new education centre where they took part in a workshop on the theme of ‘Your Voice’.
“This interactive session taught the children about the levels of government and which level would be responsible for which type of decision. For example new swings in the park would be the responsibility of local councils, whereas decisions about increasing the size of the army would be a decision for central government.
“At the end of the workshop Michelle Donelan joined the group and the children asked her many questions about her life as an MP.
“The questions covered her views on the EU referendum, things she finds most difficult about her work and how she decided to become an MP.
“The following day, Ms Donelan visited the children at home at school and followed up their visit to London, as well as touring the school with a particular focus on our teaching of reading and writing.”