This week, we were very lucky to visit the Houses of Parliament!

As part of school council, we have been learning about Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. We watched this video to help us to understand a little bit more about it. We’ve also been speaking about elections, as we’ve recently had the local elections here in the UK. There’s lots to learn with politics but we’ve shared great ideas about how we could improve school, and also shared what we love about school. Miss Forster Adams has been speaking to us about the history behind politics in the UK, as well as beginning to explain how the system works. Before our trip, we thought about some questions that we would like to ask during our tour. We had lots of great ideas, from “what’s the difference between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party?”, and also “what’s the best thing about working at Parliament?”

We took the tube to Westminster and upon exiting the station, we were met with the infamous Elizabeth Tower! We walked along the side of the building and went to Victoria Tower Gardens to have a picnic before starting our tour. We sat on the grass and were lucky to have such lovely weather. Once we had finished our delicious lunch, we went to the Houses of Parliament. We met someone who had an accent a bit like Miss Forster Adams! She helped us to get our visitor lanyards and saw us through security. It was like an airport! We then dropped off our bags and met Morgan who was our tour guide for the day. He took us through the same doors that the King goes through at the State Opening of Parliament, and we went towards the Robing Room. There were so many beautiful portraits of previous kings and queens. We saw a portrait of Queen Victoria and Albert, alongside a throne that it’s believed that Queen Victoria sat in. After this, we went through the Royal Gallery. It was incredibly beautiful in here. There are portraits here from monarchs and their consorts from Georgian times that line the walls. We also saw piles of bills that are in different stages of their production here too. For those that don’t know, bills are laws that are yet to be passed!

We then went into the House of Lords. We learned all about the thrones in there, and learned more about the people that sit here. We know that the House of Lords is the upper house of Parliament. It acts as a way to check the House of Commons. They pass bills between both and debate about different proposals. After we’d spent some time here, we walked towards the Central Lobby. This is a meeting place for Member of both Houses and where MPs can meet with their constituents. It was a beautiful room, with different archways leading to other rooms. It was tiled with lots of mosaics and had a huge chandelier hanging in the middle. We noticed the four Saints of the United Kingdom above four of the walls. From here, we could see camera crews set up and we saw MPs coming out of the House of Commons after PMQs! Around the Central Lobby, you can see a range of metal grilles. These were built to cover the windows in the Ladies’ Gallery in the House of Commons. Suffragette’s targeted the Gallery during their campaigning. Two suffragettes chained themselves to a grille as a protest. It had to be removed to allow the women to be cut off! The grilles were then placed in the Central Lobby in 1917.

Morgan then took us upstairs to a viewing area where we could watch what was going on in the House of Commons. They were having a debate about crime and there were a number of MPs in there, and we saw the speaker too. We then went towards Westminster Hall. This was the only part of the building that we were allowed to take photos! Whilst we were here, learning about the room (which is the oldest surviving part of the Houses of Parliament), Jeremy Hunt walked past us!

Our time on the tour was up, so we headed back to the Education Centre and took part in a workshop with Gloria. Here, there was very fair, fair, unfair and very unfair around the room. Gloria would say statements and we would have to decide whether it was fair or unfair. One statement that was mentioned was “children should be allowed to vote”. We were a bit split in our decisions here as we thought that maybe children might be too young, and might not fully understand. It was also mentioned that children might be more easily convinced to vote for something that could be bad.

We watched a film about the Suffragette movement and the grilles that were removed. We spoke about the importance of women being allowed to vote and that things should be equal and fair. To further embed our understanding, we took part in a role-play activity. After this, we watched another short video about the importance of Parliament. We watched 800 years of history and learned about the changing power of the monarch.

After our day at Parliament, we played a game in the beautiful park. We had such a fantastic day and would like to thank Miss Carruthers for helping us to book our tour. We would also like to thank our parent helpers and Mrs Aktar too.

What was your favourite part of our trip?

10 comments on “School Council’s Trip to the Houses of Parliament

  1. Molly🍕 says:

    I hope you had fun on the school trip! You look very happy in all the photos!

  2. Alexandra Y3 🥰 😍 says:

    What a wonderful experience! I really enjoyed my time in the houses of Parliament. I loved seeing a real life debate in the house of commons.
    Thank you Miss Forster Adams, Miss Akhtar and Miss Carruthers for organising this day for us.

  3. My favourite part of the trip was being in Westminster Hall and I learnt that it had burnt down. I liked seeing Big Ben!

  4. My favourite thing about parliament was when we made up own play and I learnt that when there was a fire in parliament only one room survived the fire. Thank you for taking us Miss Forster Adams.

  5. My favourite part of Parliament was when we were watching the debate in the House of Commons. It was very interesting to watch and it went quite calmly because there were not a lot of people debating. I also really enjoyed the workshop when we were learning about the suffragettes and how they chained themselves to a metal grail and the only way to let them go was to cut it off and then cut the chain. Over all I had really enjoyed all of it and I had a lot of fun. Thank you!

  6. George Y6 says:

    In this trip I learnt that there is much more than the Houses of Commons and Lords. There is a lot more history in there, like the robe room where Queen Victoria throne was and still is there. My favourite bit was visiting the House of Lords as it was very royal. Thank you for taking us!😃

  7. My favourite thing on going on the trip was that we got to watch a live debate and we got to watch a video about what happened in Parliament .

  8. I liked when we did the play part because me and Sam were in the background. We learnt that in the video the girls were putting pictures down to get votes for women.

  9. My favourite thing that I saw was the parliament building , having lunch in the park and watching the video of the suffragettes.

  10. My favourite part of Parliament is when we went to the workshop and my favourite part was when we did a little play in there and it was about a honey badger and a bird that was telling him to brake the hive and ate all the honey and it was unfair.

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