The Y11 and Y10 citizenship classes went on a trip to London to explore the Supreme Courts and visit the Houses of Parliament. The journey to London, in all honesty, was incredibly exciting but also tiring, we took a tram to Piccadilly and then a train to London, Houston. We took the London underground, but we didn’t anticipate the noise, so I think a couple of us were left partially deaf! It was an incredible experience but also rather frightening as the crowds in Altrincham could not hold a candle to the influx of people that we faced in London. But, the train did have a café and they had free chocolates with every purchase and that was the highlight of the journey!
We went into the Supreme Court and we sat on the chairs that the judges, barristers and solicitors would have sat on. We did not spend too much time at the workshop within the court but in the time that had, we learnt a considerable amount, but what was most surprising is the fact that Supreme Court was formally established in 2009, only 10 years ago.
When visiting the Houses of Parliament, we had an amazing tour guide who was evidently passionate about her job. We were lucky enough to see the Speaker’s Procession where the speaker of the House of Commons moves from Speaker’s House through the Library Corridor, the Lower Waiting Hall, Central and Members’ Lobbies to the Chamber. We were stood in the Central Lobby and waved at the speaker and he waved back at us, he seemed really friendly.
Our guide took us inside the House of Commons and we watched the politicians discuss the issue at hand, and then we left a couple of minutes before Theresa May was due to come into Parliament and join in the discussion. We then did a workshop where we were split into two groups and had to argue about making one issue a law. Our topic was the curriculum for life and whether it should be mandatory to teach at schools. In the end, the votes were in favour of including the curriculum for life in the school curriculum, however we did hear impassioned arguments from both sides and our “speaker” had to bring order to the court more than once. Overall, it was enjoyable, and we did have a lot of fun arguing over the law.
After this, we met Graham Brady, our local MP and he talked about his experience in Parliament and what his role was in the House of Commons. We were allowed to ask him questions at the end of his talk and there were many people who were interested about his opinion on Brexit and also how he was able to become a politician. It was very interesting to be able to speak to a politician and ask him about his opinions on current issues because it is not something that we’re able to do often.
Overall, the trip was incredibly exciting but also very educational as I think I was able to understand Parliament more clearly and it was easier to understand what went on inside the House of Commons once we actually visited. It helped me to understand the difference between the roles of the House of Commons and the House of Lords since I was physically able to see what was different about the two and our tour guide helped a lot.
Written by Malaika K