School residential trips focused on politics in London should definitely include a visit to Parliament’s Education Centre. This innovative learning space, opened by the very popular Professor Brian Cox, aims to inspire youngsters to learn about politics while bringing them closer to the world of the politician. Hugely stimulating and creative, the environment in the centre invites children to totally immerse themselves in a unique experience that many may never otherwise consider.
Facilities at The Centre
Every learning space has a theme, which makes the visit more exciting and more amenable: The Commons, Lords, Monarchy and My Parliament. The first three rooms have augmented reality experiences within them. For example, in The Commons Sir Winston Churchill presents the Chamber, and in the Lords your group has the chance to look at a 3D model of the Chamber and learn about how the Yeoman Usher puts the mace in place for sessions. Children are introduced to Queen Victoria and King Charles I in the Monarchy rooms where they have the opportunity to listen to these influential figures talking about their relationship with the government.
The unique and completely absorbing sensory room in the Immersive Discovery Space brings the history of both democracy to life.
Crown and Parliament
So many young people today have no idea that the rights they have and the representation they enjoy have only been secured relatively recently. This workshop aims to teach youngsters about the signing of the Magna Carta, the English Civil War and the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster. Children will get a real idea of how the Monarchy and the UK Parliament interacted throughout time and how their relationship has altered.
Campaigning and Parliament
After visiting the Palace of Westminster, this is a follow-up workshop that uses the medium of an interactive quiz to explain the different levels at which the UK is governed. Children are encouraged to think about how they can influence decisions and to consider different ways of campaigning. Here, they will learn how to make their voice heard.
Laws and Debating
With an emphasis on how the governing officials make laws, the idea behind this workshop is to get students to consider different ideas for bills to present to Parliament. During the session children will recreate the process of passing a bill and making it law. Through role play and debates your group will learn how the Commons, the Lords, and the Monarchy influence the laws that eventually come to fruition.
With politics suffering from ever-increasing indifference, children need to be presented with more and more opportunities to become aware of their political environment. School residential trips offer a different, dynamic and stimulating way to bring politics to your students outside the confines of a classroom. Organising school residential trips can be a daunting prospect, but with the help of a specialist educational tour operator you can get a trip sorted with very little hassle. Hand over the logistics to the specialist so that you can concentrate instead on making the trip as memorable as possible.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational travel for school and youth groups. Whether you’re planning UK study tours, school residential trips to the USA, Iceland geography trips or trekking expeditions to India, you can trust both the educational and economic value of their itineraries, whether ready-made or specifically designed to suit the needs of your group.