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Year 9 &10 trip to the Houses of Parliament

On Thursday the 16th of May a group of year 9 and 10 students went to see The Houses of Parliament in London. We took the train from Hampton Court to Waterloo station. When we arrived we still had some time left before our tour began so we decided to go for a walk on the South Bank near the London Eye. We did a short quiz to see how much we knew about The Houses of Parliament and how the United Kingdom is being governed. After that we had a snack as we could not eat or drink inside the building.

We started the short walk to The Houses of Parliament. We made our way to Portcullis House that is an office building for the MPs. There is also a canteen where MPs can have lunch. We were met by our tour guide outside the building where he told us that around two hundred MPs work. There is a tunnel connecting Portcullis House to the Parliament building. We were taken to the House of Commons viewing gallery to hear MPs debating about mental health issues in England. After that we went to the Central lobby where our tour guide clarified the role of Parliament and how it affects everyone in the UK. We also talked about how only MPs work in the House of Commons. We then went to the House of Lords where we listened to a debate about how outdoor activities help the budget and provide a boost to the economy. The House of Lords was grander than the House of Commons. Our tour guide explained that the House of Lords could only be attended by Lords and not MPs. He then told us that before a Bill is passed it has to go through the House of Commons which then sends it to the House of Lords to be processed and if the House of Lords agrees with the House of Commons it is then sent off to the Monarch to be signed and turned into a law. We then followed our guide to the oldest part of the building, which was Westminster Hall. This was the room in which Guy Fawkes and Charles 1 were sentenced to death.

After the tour we headed to the education centre where we discussed the electoral system in England and other countries. We learned that England has a “first past the post” system, which means that the candidate wins by receiving votes than others. In the workshop we were divided into three political groups and we did some activities like voting and answering politics-related questions for which we got points for our team. This trip was very interesting because we got to find out how the government works and how MPs are elected. This also gave us an insight into what it is like to work in the Parliament and how difficult it is.

Ivan Gorbachev (Y10)