Students place themselves at heart of political system during trip
Twenty Lower Sixth students headed to London on an exciting trip that saw them visit the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court. For the first time the trip included a cohort of A-level Politics students, alongside prospective undergraduate social scientists eager to learn more about the legal and political workings of our system.
En-route to Westminster, the group visited Downing Street, Parliament Square and Horse Guards – where preparations were in full swing for Trooping The Colour.
The first part of the trip was spent in the Supreme Court, where the students were given a guided tour of the Court and learnt about the distinct and important functions of the highest court in the UK.
Sat in the Justices’ chairs, they were given a recent Supreme Court case to consider. They looked at the legality of dual enterprise murder and were charged with arriving at their own view on this; with the actual decisions and consequences being discussed within the group.
The time spent in the Supreme Court concluded with a visit to their exhibition and museum. This gave the group the opportunity to consider more of the challenging points of law the Justices are asked to rule on and also see some of the artefacts and gifts given to the Supreme Court by visiting foreign dignitaries.
In the afternoon, the students were taken on a guided tour of the House of Commons and House of Lords, led by a member of the Parliament Education Centre’s team.
The group spent time in Central Lobby before heading into Westminster Hall. For the historians, this allowed them the opportunity to visualise the trial of Charles I in 1648 from where he was sat!
With Parliament at work, the pupils were then able to spend time in the galleries listening to peers and Members of Parliament presenting arguments and asking questions in two separate debates.
The students, all interested in the option of Law, History, Politics or International Relations at university, then took part in a workshop on laws and debating. They worked in two groups to consider arguments for and against the abolition of tuition fees, imagining that this was a bill that was being debated in the House of Commons.
The day provided an informative and exciting opportunity for the students to place themselves at the heart of our political system and will have provided much inspiration and encouragement as they look ahead to their next steps beyond SGS.