Year 6 students at St Laurence-in-Thanet Junior Academy, Ramsgate, travelled to London last week to visit the Houses of Parliament.
As part of their work on British values and democracy, they took part in workshops and toured both the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Several children were lucky enough to watch the Speaker’s Procession and were rather taken with the outfits and protocol involved.
Having looked around the House of Lords, the children then had the chance to sit in the House of Commons’ viewing gallery and watch MPs debating several issues. They were amazed to see the MPs in front of them being live streamed on the television.
As part of their workshops, the children learnt about different ways to raise awareness of key issues such as through petitions, celebrity endorsement and protests before coming up with their own campaigns to tackle their chosen issues of litter, obesity and animal cruelty.
The trip followed an online question and answer session last month between the classes and Baroness Grey-Thompson and Baroness Finlay of Llandaff in which the children learnt about the working of the House of Lords. At Parliament, Churchill class were lucky enough to catch up with Baroness Finlay of Llandaff when she popped into their workshop to introduce herself in person.
Mrs Keeley, Year 6 teacher, said: “After learning all about Parliament last month from Baroness Finlay, the children were thrilled to meet her in person and felt very grateful that she took time out of her day to come over to talk to them. Watching the children’s faces as they talked to her was a joy and you could see them taking it all in.”
The trip was funded by Reconnect, a Kent County Council led, community-based programme delivering a range of activities and opportunities to help children and young people reconnect to their pre-pandemic lives.
Headteacher Ms Graham said: “It was an incredible opportunity for our children to see the Houses of Parliament in action – it has really put their learning about democracy and their discussions with Baroness Finlay and Baroness Grey-Thompson into context. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a future MP in our school!”