14 March 2018

Order, order! ATLP students put speaker of the House of Commons in the hot seat

Confident children from across the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP) and partners schools have been quizzing the Speaker of the House of Commons as part of an inter-school politics event.

The Politics, Democracy and Parliament Day took place at ATLP’s Mere Green Primary School on Monday (12 March). About 50 children from the multi-academy trust’s primary, secondary and partner schools, participated in the event, which was designed to engage young people in current affairs and the world around them.

Representatives from School Council and Pupil Voice groups at Erdington’s Brookvale, Sutton Coldfield’s Mere Green, Lichfield’s Scotch Orchard and Tamworth’s William MacGregor primary schools, joined A-Level politics students from Arthur Terry School.

Skype the Speaker

The day included a Skype session with John Bercow MP, speaker of the House of Commons, while Labour councillor, Rob Pocock, Vesey Ward, Sutton Coldfield, talked about grass roots politics, followed by a Q& A session. The event concluded with interactive lessons on the Suffragettes given by year 12 A-Level politics students from the Arthur Terry School.

Mere Green teacher, Richard Anderton (pictured with some Pupil Voice children from Mere Green Primary School), who organised the event, said politics had brought students together in one ‘house.’


He said:

It was fantastic to bring together children aged 7-17 from different and diverse communities to share learning and viewpoints on politics, parliament and democracy. They had a great time exploring the themes of the day, interacting with one of the most influential people in Parliament and  a committed local councillor- learning more about politics at both a national and local level.

The year 12s had an opportunity to teach and inspire younger children. They expertly delivered engaging  activities for our primary school children and showed their passion and maturity in doing so. While the primary pupils had a chance to mix and find out more about social history, in this landmark year for women’s rights. The ATLP is invested in genuine collaboration and teaching children about the world around them. Our children are already realising the power of working together to improve the lives of others.

Part of my role as a Parliament teacher ambassador is about engaging young people in politics. Both Mr Speaker and Mr Pocock are also committed to raising awareness of the subject among children, so I thank them for supporting this event and firing up the next generation of leaders. Hopefully this event will be the start of many to come as our partnerships continues to grow and our collaborative nature continues to flourish.”

Councillor Pocock (pictured) said:

It’s been an absolutely stunning experience to see these young people interrogating an MP and councillor! We’ve gone round the tables to take different political questions and it’s been incredibly exciting to see all ages mixing together. Democracy is about having active citizens and it’s good to see them pushing their voices forward. The children did a great job – congratulations to them all.”

Arthur Terry School teacher, Alex Zarifeh (pictured), said:

Arthur Terry sixth formers were delighted to participate in and contribute to, the fantastically engaging and informative ATLP Democracy Day, championed by Richard Anderton at Mere Green Primary School. We can’t wait for next year already!”


Commenting on the success of the day, Raman Pawlson (pictured centre), a year 5 pupil at Mere Green Primary School, said:

It was amazing to talk to the MP and local councillor and we took part in an incredible workshop by Arthur Terry sixth formers.”

Marcus Harrington (pictured centre), a year 12 politics student from Arthur Terry School, said:

The pupils have been very enthusiastic. They’ve put together some great work and shown a keen interest in politics and democracy.”

Budding scientist and medic, Malachi Dennis (pictured), a year 6 pupil at William MacGregor Primary School, added:

It’s been a great learning experience. I’ve always wanted to meet somebody important, who makes an impact, so it’s been interesting to learn more about politics today.”