Diocese of Portsmouth

    Students given tour of Parliament

    16 May 2019

    STUDENTS from Charter Academy were given a tour of Parliament as they learnt how to engage more effectively with our political system.

    Bishop Christopher welcomed the nine Year 9 pupils from our diocese’s only C of E secondary school on the mainland.

    He showed them some of the main features of the Houses of Parliament and treated them to lunch in the House of Lords canteen alongside fellow peers and Parliamentary staff. He took them into the Queen’s robing room, the royal gallery, central lobby and Westminster Hall.

    The students were able to see debates in progress in both the House of Commons and House of Lords. Education staff then led them in an hour-long workshop, which included an in-depth look at the suffragette movement and the campaign for votes for women a century ago. Staff then helped the students to talk about issues they feel passionate about, and to explore the best ways to campaign on those issues.

    Charter Academy’s Head of Humanities Grace Duffy and fellow RE teacher Courtney Cotton brought the pupils to Westminster on the train.

    Miss Duffy said: “We want to say thank you to the bishop for organising this day. It’s an extraordinary place for us to be able to visit, and we want to say thank you for the kind gifts as well. The students will remember this day for a long time, and it’s something we can refer back to continually as teachers.”

    Year 9 student Noah Tabraham, 13, said: “I never get to see those kind of things, and I’m amazed I got to see it in real life. The building is beautiful and I was speechless to be in the actual House of Commons where laws are made.”

    Classmate Ridwan Ahmed, 13, said: “I was overwhelmed because there is a lot of history to take in. Knowing about how Parliament works really helps my understanding. I’m passionate about doing something about knife crime, and now I know how to do something about it.”

    And Mahdi Khan, 14, said: “I was amazed to see that the whole building is colour-coded with different carpets for the House of Lords and House of Commons. I liked seeing the art and decorations, and I was interested to learn about some campaigning methods. I may use some of them in future.”

    To see more photos, click here.

    Bishop Christopher with students on the House of Lords terrace
    Bishop Christopher with students in Westminster Hall, inside the Houses of Parliament

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