The Citizenship class visit Parliament to learn how the country’s laws are made
by Aimee H and Flora M
On Monday 28th February, the GCSE Citizenship classes went on an extremely exciting trip to the Houses of Parliament! It was a fantastic day and we would like to tell you all about it.
To begin with, we went into the education centre part of Parliament to watch a very informative video teaching us all about the history of Parliament dating all the way back to the signing of the Magna Carta and how women got the vote! We then met our tour guide Evangeline, who also happened to be an ex-Bishop’s pupil (what a coincidence!). It was very interesting to learn all about the ins and outs of Parliament. The first room we visited was the Queen’s dressing room, which was very private. We loved admiring the beautiful artistry. Next we were told about the different lobbies where the MPs go to vote on different matters when the speaker can’t quite tell if the result was a yes or a no. There are two. If you stand in the “aye” lobby, that means you are voting in favour of something and the “no” lobby means you are voting against it. We visited the “no” lobby which was located at the back of the House of Commons.
Our favourite part of the trip was visiting the House of Commons and the House of Lords, where all the action happens! In the House of Commons, we both stood opposite each other in the place where Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn stand in debates which was really cool.
We thoroughly enjoyed having a lunch that overlooked the River Thames, and experiencing multiple Brexit protests. We witnessed people protesting for both Leave and Remain. One that we thought was very extreme was one where there were people in the middle of the road shouting “leave means leave”!
We learnt a lot throughout the day, some of the facts that stood out to us were:
– Jo Cox (an MP that lost her life) and other MPs had a special plaque in the House of Commons to commemorate their political contributions. – The Green Party only have 1 of 650 seats in the House of Commons – Michael Gove missed being able to vote in a recent debate (he only managed to get his foot through the door before time was up when he should have stuck his head through!) – MPs are given 8 minutes to get to the voting lobbies and apparently it’s 8 minutes because that’s how long it would take Theresa May to run from 10 Downing Street to Parliament!
Overall, it was the best school trip we had been on. It was beneficial and the time we spent there was highly valuable. The only disappointment was Grant Shapps not coming although we had written to him.
We would like to thank Mrs Jackson, Mr Griffiths and Mrs Coleman for organising the trip. We appreciate how beneficial it has been for our learning.
Aimee H and Flora M