bringing out the best in boys

Wellacre Students Talk Politics

Posted at 10:45 am on 22nd May, 2019

Digital Surgeries with politicians John Bercow and Lord Tyler

Wellacre students, in partnership with The Politics Project, have had the opportunity to talk politics during Digital Surgeries with prominent parliamentary figures.

During May, Year 8, 9 and 10 students participated in an ‘Ask the Speaker’ event with John Bercow, current speaker of the House of Commons, as well as a Digital Surgery with Lord Tyler, a Liberal Democrat politician.

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Digital Surgeries, via video conference, are a great opportunity for student voice and enable young people to communicate with politicians on the issues important to them.

Mr Gillan, Teacher of Humanities, said:

“Digital surgeries are a hugely beneficial experience for our students.  They are an opportunity to ‘speak out’ and debate current affairs with high profile British politicians.  Wellacre students enjoyed focusing on some of the big issues that our country is facing and asked impressive questions and voiced valid opinions on topics such as Brexit, climate change and education reform.”

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In lessons, students had prepared questions about the issues important to them and to the country.  In discussion with both John Bercow and Lord Tyler, students posed these questions and voiced their own opinion as well.

Following the Digital Surgery, Lord Tyler was impressed by Wellacre students and said:

“I very much enjoyed the discussion with Wellacre’s well-briefed students; I thought that they must be older to be so well informed!”

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As well as reflecting on current affairs, Digital Surgeries also provide an opportunity for students to gain an insight into the parliamentary system as well as the roles undertaken by various politicians, and also the chance to build students’ confidence in public speaking and debating.  

Students positively engaged in the opportunities provided by the Digital Surgeries.  Following the events, Billy, Year 8 student, said:

“I enjoyed talking to someone who knows a lot about politics and also speaking about hot topics such as Brexit, trade and the environment.”

Monty, Year 10, added:

“Speaking to Lord Tyler was an extremely interesting and fun experience. I enjoyed asking him questions and hearing his opinion, but also giving him my own.  It has given me more knowledge on current politics and I’m thankful for Lord Tyler’s time.”

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Wellacre’s partnership with The Politics Project began in November 2017 and during this time, there have been numerous opportunities for students to meet and converse with politicians in varying positions such as Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, Kate Green MP for Stretford and Urmston, Councillor Sean Anstee, leader of Trafford Council, and Lord Goddard of Stockport.

As well as embedding Politics in the curriculum, Wellacre has ensured it also features in their Co-Curricular programme.  After school clubs, the Justice League and the Debating Society, provide opportunities for students to be active citizens and to use communications with local politicians to raise awareness and campaign for change on both local and worldwide issues.  

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The Politics Project provides democratic education opportunities which directly addresses Ofsted requirements on British Values, SMSC & Prevent, contributes to student voice and allows students to have an impact on the wider community, develops oracy, critical thinking and other soft skills that contribute to employability and also builds strong relationships between schools and politicians.