Last week GCSE Citizenship students took part in a Digital Surgery with Andy Burnham. Students were able to question him about his target to end rough sleeping by 2020. They explored the topics of sustainability and how to make Manchester more environmentally friendly. Our students joined force with students from across Manchester to explore issues that affect young people. This was a fantastic opportunity to have a conversation with a high profile politician. Andy explored his journey into politics and gave our students exciting ways to get involved in politics.
The first day back after the Christmas Holiday’s saw the Year 11 and year 10 GCSE Citizenship classes go down to London for the annual Houses of Parliament and Supreme Court trip. The day was full on and busy, however incredibly informative and lots of what we learnt linked to the GCSE course. The tours and workshops linked to our learning in Theme B and Theme C. A highlight was watching both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in session. The debates were relevant and some heated exchanges were made, we really saw democracy in action.
After a long day we walked from Westminster to Euston taking in more of the wonderful London sights including Downing Street and Trafalgar Square.
Want to know the key headlines from each political party conference as the conference season draws to a close. Did that cough distract you. Find out more here about all the different party happenings.
As a GCSE Citizenship student, it was my pleasure to be able to channel my keen interest in Politics in a day of work experience – shadowing my local MP.
I’d honestly no idea what I was going to be doing there – if I’d mainly be with the caseworkers or the MP himself, but I was excited to find out.
Mike Kane is the Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East and is also the Shadow Minister for Schools and he is also my local MP. Mr Kane was re-elected in the recent election with 62.2 % of the vote share. I was able to campaign with Mike Kane during the election campaign and was delighted to enter his MP’s surgery for work experience on Friday, 30 June to experience an MP’s and an MP’s caseworker’s work.
I started the day at 10:00am with my first job of the day – sifting through the post – stamping and checking through each and every letter, invitation, leaflet etc. all coming from a variety of sources, including a local primary school and different constituents. The letters from the primary school were from year 6 pupils who were writing to their MP about food wastage so it was very encouraging to see children so young getting involved and taking action about issues they are passionate about – something everyone should strive to do. Then, after Mr Kane had finished with his advice surgery meetings, I went through all the printed emails and letters in his in-tray with him, which was an enlightening experience. As an MP, Mike can get several 100s of letters in his in tray and it is a caseworker’s job to filter through them all before passing them over to the MP. MPs get many invitations from different organisations to different events and meetings so it can get incredibly busy for them. As all Parliamentary Select Committees were dissolved for the Election, MPs are currently trying to gain support from other MPs by sending them letters as to why they should be the new Chair of a specified Select Committee. Although, one of these MPs seemed to have forgot to write their name on the letter and so one of my jobs was to do some detective work and find out who it was (the signature was undecipherable).
After that, I entered some details from the letters I had opened into the computer which had a system for recording the cases of different constituents. I was also proud to be able to help Mr Kane in choosing a question to submit to the government for the Women and Equalities Committee, which was centered on amending the government’s safeguarding policy to better protect girls in schools from sexual assault. To convince him on the topic’s importance, I also wrote a report on sexual assault in schools which outlined suggested amendments and used data to say why they were necessary.
This was an informative and interesting day for me which allowed me to fully grasp an MP’s work- I am definitely considering returning for a longer term of work experience in the future. I think an MP’s job in their local constituency with ordinary civilians, rather than their job in London in the House of Commons, is often overlooked but is incredibly important. People often see their MP as inaccessible but I found that I am now on very good terms with Mike Kane and it is easy to do so. After studying the job of an MP in GCSE Citizenship, I was especially able to understand it by shadowing my own MP for a day. It was an enjoyable experience and I would encourage anyone to contact their own local MP and ask to shadow them, too.
Apologies for the delay in these being published… Please see below our AGGS Mock Election results:
Labour: 365 – 46% of the vote
Conservatives: 183 -23% of the vote
Lib Dems: 100- 13% of the vote
Greens: 121 – 15% of the vote
UKIP – 29 – 4% of the vote
AGGS winning party is LABOUR
Total number of votes cast: 798 which is a 77% turnout
On Friday the 7th October, the GCSE Citizenship students went on a trip to Manchester. While we were there, went first to the People’s history museum. We learnt about the Suffragette movement and how women gained the vote by watching a drama performance of a lady called Hannah Mitchell. Hannah Mitchell, a self-educated Socialist and suffragette, was born in Derbyshire. Later, she served on Manchester City Council. The Hard Way Up, her autobiography, is seen as a classic account of life by a working class woman. We then did a range of activities such as debating how to get equal rights in education for girls and boys and learnt about different methods of protest. Some even suggested kidnapping a teacher!
In the afternoon, after eating a foot long at Subway, we visited the Crown Courts. We were taught of the different positions in a case and even rein acted one in court 16. This linked to what we learnt in the People’s history museum as two suffragettes, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney, were on trial in our case. We even tried on judge’s wigs and robes! After a long, exciting day, we got the tram back to Altrincham.
Overall, our day in Manchester was fun and informative. Some highlights were:
- Getting involved it the dramatic performance.
- Looking round the museum at all the exhibitions
- Dressing up as judges
- Shouting at our peers in court!
- Safa falling asleep standing up on the tram back
We all enjoyed the trip and are looking forward to our trip to the Houses of Parliament next year.
By Ariella Basger and Lizzie Poyner in 10-4
It’s conference season for political parties.. Keep up with the latest from the Labour Party conference here.
Explore what May has said today at the G20 summit. She has rejected a points based immigration system, read more here.