On Monday, our School Council and Ambassadors travelled to the Palace of Westminster. From the moment we left Claygate Station, the children were impeccably behaved and represented our school superbly. There was a high police presence in London as it was Commonwealth Day and at London Waterloo, the children confidently explained to Metropolitan police officers where they were visiting. After a Tube trip on the Jubilee line, we arrived at Westminster where the children were impressed by the magnitude and beauty of the surrounding buildings, and the many fluttering flags of the Commonwealth. Once inside the Palace of Westminster, we navigated airport style security and then met our tour guide. Our tour was incredible and we visited both the House of Commons and Lords. The children were impressed with the amazing architecture, paintings and statues. Our guide gave a child friendly explanation of the history of Parliament, including how the political party system works. The children had fun finding the Prime Minister’s name on his pigeon hole and seeing where the King will sit at the State Opening of Parliament . We also found out that voting now takes place via a “tap in” electronic system, with the Members of Parliament still using the lobby system.
After our tour, we met our local Member of Parliament, Dominic Raab. He took us to one of the Select Committee Rooms and chaired a very special meeting with us. The children sat at desks with their own microphones and asked a wide range of astute and thoughtful questions. We were impressed with their understanding of current affairs and their confidence in asking tricky questions. We feel confident that our country will be in safe hands once our children are old enough to vote. Who knows, one of them may even be a future Prime Minister!