Students see Brexit speech livePosted: 7th December 2018
What better way to understand democracy than to watch a live discussion on Brexit in Parliament?
That’s the lesson Year 9 and 10 citizenship students from Royal Docks Academy enjoyed when they visited London for a tour of the Palace of Westminster.
On the day they visited, Prime Minister Theresa May was delivering her Brexit statement in the House of Commons. Students were able to watch as the Prime Minister answered questions from MPs.
Charlotte Marshall, Year 9, said: “We witnessed Theresa May debating in the House of Commons. It was an interesting trip. I did not realise anyone can watch the House of Commons in action.”
Irsha Amir, Year 9, said: “My experience in Parliament was mesmerising. I saw a live debate with Theresa May! It was really educational and, hopefully, I’ll be part of the House of Commons in the future.”
During the visit, students also took part in a Participating in Democracy workshop, which involved creating a political party and manifesto promises. They had to decide which budgets to cut and taxes to raise to pay for their ideas.
Lujain Bahri, Year 9, said: “Our trip to Parliament was very educational and interesting. I think it is a very educational experience for the people who have chosen citizenship GCSE or anyone going into public service in the future because it helps us to learn more about Parliament in a fun way.”
Year 9 student Ludmila Falcas said: “Parliament looked beautiful; there were so many sculptures and statues of important people, including Emmeline Pankhurst and Winston Churchill. You could feel the atmosphere everywhere.”
On the way home, students saw politicians interviewed outside by the media about Brexit.
Teacher Robert McGoldrick said: “The day was an excellent opportunity for our students to see democracy in action.”
Executive headteacher John Blaney said: “Extending the curriculum for our students is so important. We want them to experience as much as possible, so they can bring this back into the classroom and extend their written work. What a fantastic thing it is to be able to write about the day they witnessed history in action. It is a day that will affect them for many years to come and a day they will never forget.
“I am always grateful to our staff for giving our students such fantastic opportunities.”