Future leaders from a Sutton Coldfield primary school learnt more about the world of politics on Friday 7 July when the town’s MP and a councillor joined pupils for some lessons with a difference.
Pupils and staff at Mere Green Primary School welcomed Andrew Mitchell MP and councillor, Meirion Jenkins, to discuss their work and the wider role of politics and society.
Mr Mitchell led a riveting assembly, followed by a dedicated Q&A session with Pupil Voice– a group of dedicated student leaders who represent Mere Green’s 352 pupils.
Mr Mitchell said:
It is always a pleasure to visit Mere Green. I have visited this great school on many occasions in the last 16 years and I would like to congratulate everybody once again on the outstanding Ofsted report the school has received. Visiting schools provides a valuable opportunity to hear what my youngest constituents are most concerned about.”
During the visit, pupils asked a number of wide-ranging questions on topical issues of the day, including Brexit, Syria and the General Election.
Mr Mitchell and Councillor Jenkins were both impressed with the pupils’ articulate questions and their keen interest in politics. Year 6 students Helen, Maya and Erin posed several pertinent questions, while year 2’s Jack and Elliot (pictured) also raised some thought-provoking points.
Mr Mitchell discussed his role, both locally and nationally and his commitment to serving Sutton Coldfield. Pupils listened carefully and gained a greater insight into the wider political landscape.
However, it was when the popular subject of pets arose and Mr Mitchell divulged that he is the proud owner of a beloved Welsh Springer that pupils let out a collective gasp. This sparked a humorous debate into the names and breeds of pupils’ dogs, prompting the MP to joke: “Order, order!”
Richard Anderton, humanities lead at Mere Green Primary School, said the visit was part of the school’s broader commitment to engage more pupils in politics. Over the past months, children have been involved in a variety of activities, including assemblies and a mock election.
The children were really engaged. They asked some challenging questions and did themselves and the school proud. It was wonderful to see all the hands in the air and so many budding politicians in our midst!
We want our pupils to be passionate about politics, to keep asking questions, to take a keen interest in their community and the wider world around them. They know they can make a difference and have a say – even at this young age!
We would like to thank Mr Mitchell and Councillor Jenkins for sharing their time and knowledge with our school.”
Councillor Meirion Jenkins (Cons., Four Oaks) said:
I was very impressed with the questions and level of understanding and maturity that the children displayed.”
Joining the pupils was Toby Winter, a year 12 Government & Politics student from Arthur Terry School. The Mere Green Pupil Voice members who met with Mr Mitchell are:
- Jack Dolgy
- Elliot Graham
- Anraaj Jheeta
- Ruby Pinnock
- Isabella Smith
- Kaiden Godfray
- Giovanni Boyvadaoglu
- Faith Samuel
- Keren White
- Maya Sharma
- Erin Jordan
- Helen Neverovska