Primary school pupils take a closer look at politics

Eldon Grove Academy deputy head boy and girl Alfie Brush, 10, and Cassie Grey, 10, with North East outreach officer for parliamentary education Gillian Bell.
Eldon Grove Academy deputy head boy and girl Alfie Brush, 10, and Cassie Grey, 10, with North East outreach officer for parliamentary education Gillian Bell.
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Politically-minded pupils were given a privileged insight into the parliamentary process.

Year 6 students at Eldon Grove Academy in Hartlepool, met with North East outreach officer for parliamentary education, Gillian Bell, to learn more about the UK Government.

I found it very interesting learning about Westminster

Cassie Grey

The North East Parliamentary Outreach service aims to create awareness of the work of Westminster and show how the debates and decisions of the House of Commons and House of Lords are relevant to the region.

Gillian said: “I think it is vitally important that young people learn about democracy, how it effects them and how they can have a voice in deciding what decisions are made about their future.

“Some of the children are obviously politically informed from watching the news coverage of Brexit and the US elections and it’s great to hear them talk passionately and use the right vocabulary to express their own views.

“Others still have a few common misconceptions of Parliament with many thinking that the Queen alone still has the power to make the laws to govern the country.”

Following the morning workshop, Hartlepool students were given the opportunity to have their own mock parliamentary debate on the topics of limiting the use of screen time for children and banning homework for children at primary school.

Deputy head girl, Cassie Grey, 10, who took on the role of Speaker of the House during the debate, said: “I already knew a little bit about politics because I live next door to our town’s MP Iain Wright and I have spoken to him before.

“I found it very interesting learning about Westminster Hall being over 1,000 years old and one of the largest rooms in Europe. It’s amazing to think about all of the laws that have been passed in there over that time.”

Audrey Brahimi, headteacher at Eldon Grove Academy, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to hear about the debating process which gave them the opportunity to improve their speaking and listening skills.

“They have also learnt about democracy, the parliamentary process and the work of Government, which will help them to become more informed and engaged in political discussion in the future.”