Sycamore Class are officially informed citizens - it says so on their badges. Badges that they were given on their trip to The Palace of Westminster. It was a long (5 hours on a coach!) but rewarding day: full of new experiences for all. They were able to see democracy in action as they observed debates in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and had a snapshot of how laws are made. Unfortunately, they didn't see the prime minister, but they did meet our local MP James Gray. They fired questions at him like they were on Question Time - What is your opinion on climate change? What are the government doing to prevent climate change? Why don't the government ban smoking? Do you always agree with your party? Do you sometimes agree with the opposition? Are the government going to change speed limits to make village roads safer?
Views of Big Ben caused much excitement and they even heard some bongs!
Earlier in the day, they also had a tour of Westminster Abbey. It was amazing to be in the building and walk in the footsteps of so many kings and queens and see exactly where King Charles will be crowned. (One of Sycamore Class was crowned, though not officially, thank goodness.)
Sycamore Class were incredibly lucky to see the coronation chair, sit in the quire and were even taken into the restricted area of the shrine of Edward the Confessor. The number of famous memorials was almost overwhelming and everyone was excited to see different ones: Charles Dickens, the Tudor queens, William Shakespeare, Charles Darwin, to name just a few. Though it was perhaps the least famous memorial that had the biggest impact: hearing the story of the grave of the Unknown Warrior was a poignant moment for all.
It truly was a once in a lifetime trip and has supported learning on British Values - learning about democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty.