Polegate pupils visit parliament

Polegate School pupils visit Houses of Parliament
Polegate School pupils visit Houses of Parliament

Pupils from Polegate School got to interview the Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza last week when they visited the Houses of Parliament.

Baroness Emerton, who is a cross bench independent member of the House of Lords visited the school on Oakleaf Drive in November last year for its Parliament Week.

She highly praised the initiative of pupils in Year 6 and their teachers who organised a House of Lords ‘Question Time’ to interview her.

It was the first time she or any other visiting peer had been interviewed in this way at a school.

She was so impressed by the school’s efforts she invited six pupils to a personal tour of Westminister, where they were treated as her special guests and were allowed to interview the Lord Speaker.

To win a place pupils competed by writing a persuasive letter and creating a presentation judged by Polegate School governors.

The six winning pupils, Sophie King, Freya Smith, Connor Jenkins,Will Holland, Chloe Hanmore and Millie Thorpe along with head teacher Claire Martin O’Donoghue and Deputy head teacher Caroline Garland, started their day with a trip to number 10 Downing Street.

This was followed by a tour of The House of Commons and Lords including an opportunity to see the Foreign Secretary William Hague debating current issues.

Lunch was served in the Peers Refectory rubbing shoulders with Members of Parliament.

Pupils then went on to a private interview with The Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza.

The pupils then watched her process in full regalia in to the House of Lords where they viewed Question Time and the approval of high profile legislation.

Ms Martin O’Donoghue said the trip had been a once in a lifetime opportunity and hoped the trip had raised the pupils aspirations.

She said: “This was a fantastic once in a life time opportunity as well as a privilege and honour for our pupils to go behind the scenes in Parliament with such a respected Peer.

“We hope it will have raised their aspirations and who knows, maybe initiated one or two of them to explore a career in government.”

The school said that in response to such a successful project, Polegate School have redesigned the curriculum for Year 6 pupils .

The curriculum will now include a two term topic on Government to develop pupils real life learning.

For more information about Polegate School you can visit the school’s website at http://polegateschool.co.uk/