On Wednesday, Year 12 Politics students had the opportunity to visit Parliament. We were first led into the 900-year old Westminster Hall, and shown the plaques marking where various monarchs, including the late Queen Elizabeth II, lay in state.
Next we were taken into the Central Lobby, where our guide pointed out the four mosaics depicting each of the Patron Saints of the UK. We even managed to fit in some revision of our recent topics of devolution and the way in which members of the public can contact their MP (much to the delight of the teachers).
Following this, our guide Celeste then took us through the ‘No’ corridor, which is where MPs go to register their views against a bill in the event of a division during a vote. Finally, we got to the main event – the Chamber of the House of Commons (which was considerably smaller than we thought it would be). In the Chamber, we had an opportunity to consider which laws we would pass if we were MPs and were shown the various aspects which were unique to the chamber by our guide. Unfortunately we were unable to sit on the infamous green benches (because we are not elected MPs), although a few toddlers seemed to be unaware of this rule. Nevertheless, we found it fascinating to see the Speaker’s Chair, the benches where the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet sit and the clerks who support the Speaker in controlling the proceedings.
We had one final surprise waiting for us back in Westminster Hall. We were incredibly lucky to be able to meet the current Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay. He gave us a brief overview of his role and career before we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. It was a brilliant opportunity to meet a working Minister and we feel very privileged to have seen him.
Thank you Mrs Devine and Mrs Garrill for such an interesting and enjoyable trip!
Lauren S and Mia B, Year 12