Parliament Week 2019

Posted on 25.11.2019

Since studying Law at Newcastle University, I have always been interested in politics and current affairs, and more importantly, how it affects my local area. This passion has continued to develop through my journey as teacher, as I believe that teachers have a responsibility to ensure that their pupils have the opportunity to discuss and debate the issues which matter to them - after all, it is our pupils today who will become the active, engaged citizens of tomorrow.

Therefore, in July 2019, I attended Teachers' Institute at the Houses of Parliament, where I met MPs, Peers and other individuals, in order to learn how to develop pupils' and teachers' understanding of Parliament and democracy. Through this learning, I began to plan Dixons Music Primary’s inaugural Parliament Week.

Parliament Week is an annual festival that engages people from across the UK with their UK Parliament, allowing them to explore what it means to them and empowers them to get involved. As part of Parliament Week, the Academy delivered a range of exciting sessions for our pupils, from Parliament-inspired PSHCE lessons, to classroom debates about issues which our pupils could relate to, all will the mission of developing our pupils into active citizens who care about others and their community. All pupils received a copy of First News, a children’s newspaper, so they could discuss the news and current affairs with their families at home. We also organised a mock General Election and exciting School Council hustings, using several Parliamentary props, including a ballot box, mace and despatch box. Additionally, the Academy invited several visitors to speak to our pupils, including Councillor Aneela Ahmed and the Lord Mayor of Bradford (Councillor Doreen Lee). In the coming months, we will also be visited by the local MP, Baron Patel of Bradford, and 'Hope', a life-sized Lego suffragette, built to mark one hundred years of women having the right to vote.

Through our participation in Parliament Week, our pupils had the opportunity to learn more about the four ‘British Values’, which are ‘democracy’, ‘the rule of law’, ‘individual liberty’ and ‘mutual respect’, in order to fully-prepare them for life in modern Britain. We will also be sharing our resources with other schools within Dixons Academies Trust, in order to promote the importance of democracy within our community.

David Clark, Head of Education and Engagement at UK Parliament, has said: 

“We are delighted Dixons Music Primary took the opportunity to participate in this year’s UK Parliament Week and inspire their pupils to get involved in their democracy. Many exciting activities happened across the country as part of this year’s UK Parliament Week, with schools, workplaces and community groups using the week to have their say on the issues they care about most. This year’s UK Parliament Week was the largest ever and we loved seeing all the fantastic activities which took place.”

Most recently, I was delighted to receive a Gold Parliament Ambassador Award from the UK Parliament’s Education and Engagement Service, in recognition of the Academy’s Parliament Week celebrations. In the coming months, pupils, staff and families can look forward to more Parliament and democracy-focussed events – Parliament Week is only the beginning of the Academy’s mission to produce caring pupils who want to make a positive difference in our community.

Mr Seddon, Year 4 Class Teacher and UK Parliament Teacher Ambassador