Sheffield Park Students Are ‘In The House!’
Sheffield Park Academy students were given an insight into the world of politics when they paid a New Year visit to the Houses of Parliament. Kindly organised by Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, the visit, which took place on Monday 7th January, meant an early start for the year 10 students, who travelled to London by train before heading across the city to Westminster.
Once through security, the visitors were given a tour of the parliamentary buildings, Including the Committee Rooms and Westminster Hall by a representative from Westminster’s education section.
Sixth Form student Rhys Haythorne who was providing support on the day commented: “Westminster Hall was absolutely amazing. There were plaques in the floor showing where famous people like Nelson Mandela had stood and where Charles I had been sentenced to death.”
The students were also given the opportunity to watch the Speaker’s Procession into the House of Commons, as well as visiting both the House of Lords and the House of Commons to see first-hand where key decisions and debates take place.
Rhys also said: “We were all surprised by how small the chambers were and were told that they were kept that way to hold on to the exciting atmosphere big debates bring. One thing we couldn’t do in the chambers was sit down - something we needed after a long tour. You have to be a peer or an MP to do that!”
After the tour, Mr Blomfield took time out from his busy schedule to give the students an insight into the life of an MP, also holding a special question and answer session, with the visitors putting their parliamentary representative through his paces.
The day then ended with some sightseeing around the capital taking in such landmarks as Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, before the weary travellers headed back to Sheffield.
Commenting on the visit, Paul Blomfield said: “I was absolutely delighted to welcome the student ambassadors from Sheffield Park Academy to Parliament this week and it was a pleasure to be able to spend time with them and show them around Westminster.”
Sheffield Park Academy’s Deputy Principal Craig Dillon added: “We’re incredibly grateful to Paul Blomfield for giving our students the opportunity to visit the Houses of Parliament and see first-hand what goes on inside Westminster. I’m sure it’s an experience that will stay with them for a lifetime and will also prove invaluable across their studies here at the academy.”