By sunrise on the morning of Thursday 16th January, the Sixth Form Politics students, along with Mr Gallacher and Mr Packard, were already well on their way to London, to visit the corridors of power: the Houses of Parliament and UK Supreme Court. Despite the early start, all the students stayed engaged, and learnt a great deal from a hugely informative tour of the Houses of Parliament.
The day started with a session on the role of the Houses of Commons and Lords, where the guide was impressed with our knowledge of parliamentary personality Dennis Skinner, and the 1707 Act of Union. We even got the opportunity to see the Leader of the House (Jacob Rees Mogg, a controversial figure among the students) answer questions in the House of Commons. We then had our own debate in the style of the House of Commons, and were visited by Layla Moran’s parliamentary assistant, who answered all our questions about parliament, the Liberal Democrats, and his role as a parliamentary assistant – though he politely declined our request for ‘all the goss’.
We next crossed Parliament Square to the UK Supreme Court, where we were given an immersive experience of this branch of the judiciary as we sought to argue and come to a judgement on past Supreme Court cases (though we had considerably less time than is usually given to come to a decision, with five minutes per case, as opposed to three months…). This was an amazing way to learn about the courts, and made everyone in the group scrutinise their views on freedom of expression, whether Jedi is a religion, and cake.
We all hugely enjoyed the trip, and are hugely grateful to Mr Gallacher and Mr Packard for organising it- who knows, maybe some of us will work in those corridors of power in the future!