Our Visit to Parliament
On Tuesday 18th December 2018 the School Council visited London and the houses of Parliament; it was an amazing day and the children represented the school wonderfully whilst learning more about democracy, the role of Parliament and the work of our MP. Here is the Head Girl and Boy's report of the day:
Purpose of the Trip
We went on the trip to find out more about how the democratic process works in our country. We are elected representatives for our classes and we were invited to the Houses of Parliament to find out more about our role. We found out lots of new information and learnt lots of new skills which we can use to be the best ever school council.
Tour of the Palace of Westminster
After arriving in the Palace of Westminster (the real name of the Houses of Parliament) we were taken on a tour of the building to find out more about the different jobs that take place in the building. We found out that the British Parliament is made of three different parts: the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Monarch. We were taken to Westminster Hall which is over 900 years old and were told about the amazing events that have taken place there in the history of our nation.
School Council Stood in Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster
House of Commons
We got to see a debate taking place in the House of Commons about the Defence Budget (spending on the armed forces Army, Navy and Air Force). We saw a MP presenting a speech from the opposition whilst the Minster of Defence answered her questions.
House of Lords
We also saw the House of Lords about downsizing the number of members as the House of Commons only has 750 MPs, whereas the House of Lords has 800 members. They have red seats whereas the House of Commons sit on green chairs. The House of Lords had a giant throne for the Monarch. It was a wooden structure layered with gold foil used on the state opening of Parliament by the Queen / Monarch.
In between both houses is the Central Lobby. Stationed towards the outskirts of the Lobby were cameras are based to catch the MPs and Lords as they left the debate, broadcasting for the news. It was the centre of Parliament. When we looked up we saw 4 different saints of the 4 different countries of the UK. (St David - Wales, St Patrick - Ireland, St Andrew - Scotland and St George - England.)
The School Council Stood Outside The House of Parliament
Democracy and Representation Workshop
After seeing both houses, we had a workshop about democracy, representation and voting. We organised ourselves into parties and created a manifesto and each promise had a cost. We chose two and added them to a cost of 50p for a can of drink. We had to present our party manifestos in a speech and then we held an election and went up as constituencies (areas). By the end of the session, we had elected a new Prime Minister!
Meeting with our MP
We met our local MP, Jo Stevens, and we asked her questions about her job and about ways she is going to improve Llanedeyrn in particular. She took our suggestions some of which were our own Leisure centre and maybe some more parks. We also asked her about her thoughts on Brexit, Teresa May and her government as well as ways she’s helping the environment. We found out about the busy, bustling life of an MP, representing his/her constituency. It is a very high-paying job, paying Jo as much as £74,000.
Sights of London
On our visit we also saw Buckingham Palace, one of the Queen’s homes, Westminster Abbey, Wembley Stadium, London eye and the Thames. On the way back, we saw all the Christmas lights switched on in London.