“Parliament week is meant to raise awareness of how decision are made in all levels of government. Moreover, it is an opportunity to learn about the role of the government, how we can influence the government and what kind of issues parliament deal with. This supports our learning of British values including democracy and the rule of law.” Mrs Siva – Headteacher.
In the week commencing Monday 13th November, it was Parliament Week at FSCC. We started the week with a trip – to Shire Hall, seat of the Cambridgeshire County Council. With buses filled with our very own eager backbenchers, we set off.
First, we were ushered into Cambridge’s very own nuclear bunker which is located a short walk away from the County seat (constructed at the end of the cold war) – a labyrinth of blast doors, archaeological finds and highly flammable negatives.
We were informed ironically that this was actually not a good place to come in the event of a nuclear attack – since the air filtration system was not functioning. Now, it is used to store fascinating artefacts and imagery from Cambridge’s past.
The main part of the trip was a visit to the County Hall, shown around by the Chairlady, Mandy Smith and Councillor Kevin Cuffley. We took our seats – and acted as county officials for half an hour.
We were told where the various parties sit and also informed that councillors ‘never have just one job’ – they are dealing with multiple local issues at one time. We experimented with the Chairman’s array of gavels, and when asked if she had to use them much, Mrs Smith admitted that their meetings are not always harmonious. It was a very educational and interesting trip, and it gave us the impression that we could be influential in local politics, and let our voice be heard.
One student commented on the visit:
“Epic! Never knew there was a nuclear bunker in Cambridge – now I know where to go in the event of a nuclear attack. I also know where to go if I want to contact my local council.”
Throughout the rest of the week, parliament-orientated lessons and workshops were held that built on the information we had learnt through our visit.
Now we are eager to be spectators at the next PMQ’s!