Model UN Withington

Model UN Withington

On the first of July this term, a Sunday of extreme heat and a stubborn sun, a selection of students got to say `pinch, punch, first of the month` to several other schools in this year’s annual Withington MUN (Model United Nations) beginners’’ conference or WIMUNX.

Model UN WithingtonAGGS was given two delegations: Turkey and Jordan; they took part in committees such as security council, Human rights 2, Disec, Political and several others out of the 12 others. The day ended very successfully when, during the awards ceremony, 2 special mentions were given to Hedye and Teja, 2 commendments to Hania and Safa, a highly commended to Marnie and a Outstanding was given to Amelia.

Model UN WithingtonOutside the school gates, with the building awaking to the clatter and chatter of well-dressed youth, clad in blazers, they gathered in preparation to enter through the door, desperate to prepare last-minute amendments as the first-timers tried to calm their mildly panicked thoughts. The day began with a ceremony: chairs, secretaries and others were introduced. One speech, given by an ex student, described her journey of failures, successes, regrets and experiences from her co-founding of WIMUN to her modelling career, university days at Cambridge and journalist jobs. She depicted how she persevered and made an idol of herself despite rejections and struggles. From the perspective of diversity, the theme of this year’s conference, she gave a brilliant, inspiring speech, making everyone want to love MUN as much as she did. All in all, it was an excellent preface to the gavel opening of WIMUNX.
First debate of committees, for instance, Chinese regional influence for DISEC, lasted an hour until a short break before following into the second chance for debate where people either started the second or continued the first, lunch and finally the last debate hour for single committees (also a chance for joke awards such as best dressed) where DISEC, for example, debated the issue of biological warfare.

Lastly, all delegates formed three groups for three different joint committees debating issues which effect all of them like the murder of journalists. This was where most showcase all their skills in front of an even bigger audience and delegates determined to act out the morals of their country to the letter.

The awards ceremony mentioned above followed after which everyone returned home, energetic, brains stimulated and grinning from the muses found in the magazine of their time that day. It was, all together, a fantastic day and a great experience for all. An excellent way to start a MUN career.

Lucy W, Year 9

National Youth Assembly Trip to Westminster

National Youth Assembly Trip to WestminsterOn Monday 2nd July, I went to Westminster along with 2 other representatives from the north west: Edward and Meghan. It was part of democracy week and organised by the National Youth Assembly. We had our first meeting in Portcullis House, part of the parliamentary estate. This was an opportunity to question MPs on almost anything, with a theme of what it’s like to be a young person today, during which I posed a question about Islamaphobia post-brexit. Afterwards we had a quick introduction on how parliament works before Andrea Leadsom rushed in to be questioned. I asked her about flaws in the parliamentary process and the new childhood obesity strategy, however the best question was from a young boy who asked about period poverty.

We were put in groups for visits to party headquarters, so after grabbing a packed lunch my group went to the Liberal Democrat’s headquarters to hear about their values and again question members of their leadership team. Next we headed to the Cabinet Office where we met with the Minister for the Constitution, Chloe Smith to find out about her role, democracy week and ask questions. We also attended the launch of the Hear by Right participation scheme and had the chance to talk to some of the MPs individually.

To finish off a fantastic day, we had a tour inside 10 Downing Street which was amazing! In one of the conference rooms we met with the Minister for Sport & Civil Society as well as the Chief of all Staff who works with Theresa May and were able to ask them about their roles and responsibilities. Not only did the day improve my critical questioning skills, it has given me an invaluable insight into the world of politics.

Hania S, Year 10

Courts & PHM Visit

Citizenship Crown Courts visitCitizenship is enhanced by visits and events that support the learning of our students. This terms the GCSE group have been on a visit to the Crown Courts and the People’s History Museum. The visit to the Crown Courts enabled them to explore the how a civil and criminal case is conducted. This supports their learning of the Theme C legal module for the GCSE.

The People’s History museum has a fascinating exhibition looking at how minority groups are represented in Parliament and society at large. Considering the exploration of how people have had their voices heard was a fascinating way to bring much of the GCSE syllabus to light.Citizenship-People's History Museum Visit