On 18th November staff and students from Aycliffe and Sunnydale Campuses of Greenfield Community College, accompanied by their local County Councillors, visited London. The trip was organised in collaboration with an organisation called ‘bite the ballot’ which aims to get more young people registered to vote and engaging with politics.
Twenty members of the newly elected Student Leadership Group took part in the hope that it would give them the opportunity to build upon their roles and encourage greater participation in political issues by young people in school.
The students travelled by train to Kings’ Cross Station in London, taking a coach to Trafalgar Square and walking through Whitehall past the Cenotaph, Downing Street and the Cabinet Office. They arrived at the Houses of Parliament to be given a full tour of Westminster Hall, the Royal apartments and the House of Lords. They felt very privileged to get an insight into the workings of the building which is a globally significant democratic institution.
Bekki Ramsey, 15, said, “I found the tour of parliament very interesting, particularly the history of the art works all around the rooms and the stories they tell.”
The students went on to meet with their MPs, Helen Goodman and Phil Wilson to discuss local and national issues ranging from the closure of the DLI, teaching assistant pay cuts, and the problems in the Middle East.
The day did not end there however! The travelled by tube to the British Museum where they examined ancient Egyptian mummies and Anglo-Saxon hordes before going on to grab a well-deserved McDonalds and visiting the famous Harry Potter Platform 9 ¾ .
Their teacher Mr Davies had this to say: “The visit was an exceptional opportunity for our young people and hopefully gave them memories they will not forget. By connecting the many levels of politics they will go back to school invigorated with ideas about how to raise participation levels amongst young people and get their voices heard. As usual, our students were a credit to themselves, the school and the region. Many members of the public commented on how well they presented themselves. Another great example of the brilliance of our students.”