Pupils in Year 5 at St John’s Primary School in Burnley became the first class within the Borough to complete the local MP, Antony Higginbotham’s Parliamentary Learning Course this week.
Started as a way to get more children engaged in politics it allows pupils to discuss ideas in a mock Parliament to emphasise the importance of dialogue and respect for one another as ideas are debated.
Following on from speaking in a full school assembly about the role of an MP, a replica House of Commons chamber was set up within the school hall, complete with government and opposition benches and a speaker’s chair to enable the procedures of Parliament to be taught.
Commenting on the mock Parliament Antony Higginbotham MP said:
Making sure that children across Burnley, Padiham and our rural villages have an understanding of what an MP does, how Parliament works, and how they can one day become involved in the democratic system is really important. It goes to the very heart of what it means to be British for me, as well as being integral to the curriculum.
So I was delighted to be able to visit St John’s Primary School to hold a mock Parliament to discuss the children’s ideas and give them an insight in to the way our Parliament works.
The children really enjoyed themselves and I’m looking forward to visiting more school to contribute to their learning experience. I’d also like to thank Mrs Stannard, Mrs Holmes and Mrs Price for the warm welcome.
Several schools have already expressed an interest in taking part over the coming months with Antony keen to visit as many as possible. The interactive learning resources acquired from UK Parliament caters for all age groups, from explaining the basics of our democratic process, all the way to how students can participate in both local and national debates.