Westminster is known as the "mother of all parliaments", given that our model of parliamentary democracy is used by countries around the world, and is a fantastic place for people of all ages to visit and explore.
For young people, the Parliamentary Education Centre offers the opportunity for schools to come to London to learn more about the history of Parliament and the functioning of our democracy, with workshops on a wide range of topics and tours of the Estate.
The Centre, which is situated at the North End of Victoria Tower Gardens, is a world-class education facility that inspires and connects young people with Parliament and democracy. It is a dynamic, stimulating environment, making use of creative and immersive technology to provide a unique learning experience that generates a sense of anticipation in groups entering the space, and from which groups depart feeling inspired and excited about their Parliament. You can find out more about visiting with your school here.
I always encourage our South Northants schools to come to London, and I was very pleased that Cambian Potterspury Lodge School took the opportunity last week. Nathaniel, Lewis, Jordan, Kieran, Lucas, Christian, Harvey, Jacob, Mrs Rubery, Mrs Barstow and Mr Nye visited on Friday 13th October, and have kindly provided this summary of their experience.
If you would like to arrange a visit, please do get in touch with my Constituency Office Manager, Hilary Edwards, who can help you with this. You can reach Hilary via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01327 353 124.
Over the recent months the school has had a fairly political theme: what with our election (won by Labour: the boy standing second right below); the study about Trident and subsequent email to Andrea Leadsom – who made an appearance and spoke to us during the Election in June. We asked her about her views and those of her party concerning Nuclear Deterrence.
Mrs Leadsom kindly replied and invited us to visit the Houses of Parliament. We jumped at this offer and on a fine Friday 13th October a few like-minded students came along with our class to London on the train and we made our way down to Parliament square to have lunch with two young women who both work in the political area and who make regular visits to Parliament. They were able to share some of their knowledge and experience of what a young individual might accomplish when they have an interest in politics.
Many of us, student and teacher alike, were impressed by the great history and extravagance of the Palace of Westminster. Queens Victoria’s throne, the eye-catching statues and the Golden throne in the House of Lords caught our attention and wonderment.
To be able to walk around the halls really gave us an understanding of the history, geography and the size of Parliament. Some students found it to be surprisingly calmer and smaller (“and hotter” – Jacob) than expected, but all were impressed nonetheless.
We would whole-heartedly encourage any other students to make the visit to the Palace of Westminster. For us it was a humbling experience to be able to walk these halls that have played such an important part in our nation’s history.