Politics: Lower Sixth Pupils Visit Parliament

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This year’s Lower Sixth Politics students recently visited London to witness the awe and majesty of Westminster first-hand, meet our local MP, Nus Ghani, and deepen our understanding of the processes of the Mother of Parliaments.

We were accompanied by our Politics teachers, Mrs O’Hara and Mr Parker, and our first unforgettable experience took place before we had even entered the building!

For those who have visited it, We all stood admiring the great structure and beauty of Westminster and the surrounding monuments - you could say we blended in with the crowd of tourists peering through the gates of Westminster and taking photos!

We arrived first at the Education Centre, where we met our insightful and friendly tour guide. She took us through the never-ending security checks and walked us over to the great Palace of Westminster.

We were definitely a group full of commotion and enthusiasm as we rushed across the car park, and as we stepped inside the immense palace and walked up the stairs – the same stairs her Majesty the Queen traverses during her yearly visit to Westminster – we were all in awe and eager to see more of the chambers and halls that lay inside.

Entering Parliament through this tremendous room, which acts as her Majesty’s quarters when she visits, we learned about how this is the place where she may compose and ready herself, without any cameras or reporters inside.

A throne, which sits at the back of the room, tattered and stained, was last used by Queen Victoria.

While I found that very interesting, the boys on the other hand were more fixated on the secret door under the fireplace!

We then moved on to see where the House of Lords congregate and ventured further into the main area. It felt like we had stepped into Hogwarts and into a new mystical and magical world.

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While roaming the corridors and visiting the gigantic halls, seeped with historical events of this great place, we were lucky enough to watch the Speaker’s procession as he entered into the House of Commons to begin the day’s proceedings.

The Speaker, John Bercow, acknowledged us as he walked passed, and then carried on into the great House of Commons which – unfortunately – we weren’t able to see.

Later that afternoon, we had a small activity about different aspects of politics (mainly on presenting and debating). It was a lot of fun and very interesting to learn from someone who works within our Parliament. We all seemed to really enjoy it and gained a lot of knowledge and furthered our understanding.

My personal favourite moment of the day came after this activity however, when we had the opportunity to meet our local MP for Wealden, Nus Ghani. She was very welcoming and answered all our questions no matter how direct some of them were.

I really enjoyed learning about what life was like for an MP, and how hard they have to work – despite what some people might think.

Nus gave me different opinions and viewpoints on matters I never thought I would understand, and I felt very inspired by her and the work she does. Furthermore, as a woman I could empathise when she talked about the way she felt within politics – about the juxtaposition between her very feminist views and the male-dominated ruckus of Parliament.

Unfortunately, our time with Nus was cut short as she had to run off to more meetings and we had to run to catch our train back to Bede’s!

Overall however, our trip to parliament was full of new experiences, fun and excitement. All of us were exhausted by the end of the day, but we all very much enjoyed ourselves.

I hope to go back there one day but, maybe instead of visiting, I would like to become a part of it…

 

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