Year 6 Visit to the Houses of Parliament.
Year 6 visited the Houses of Parliament in Westminster last week!
After an early start on a brisk Tuesday morning, we emerged at Westminster right under the watchful eye of Big Ben. There were lots of policemen to ensure our safety, and we all had our bags checked on the way in. It wasn’t unlike going to the airport…
Once inside, we had a few minutes to look around Westminster Hall, which we discovered had been built 900 years ago! It wasn’t exactly warm, so as soon as our guides arrived, we set off.
We wound through a maze of exquisitely decorated corridors before arriving at the Queen’s Robing Room. There, we learned that the colour of the carpet in the Houses of Parliament denotes who has control of that area; if it is blue, it is run by the monarch; if it is red is run by the House of Lords; if the carpet is green it is run by the House of Commons.
After looking around HRH’s Robing Room, we entered the House of Lords. The carpet was crimson, as were the leather-bound seats, while everything else in the room seemed to be made of glittering gold! There was an enormous throne which stretched right to the mezzanine level, where we learned the Queen sits for the state opening of Parliament. She doesn’t sit there for too long, however, as the crown is too heavy for her!
After watching the Passing of the Speaker (currently the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, we finished our tour back at Westminster Hall.
To our surprise, we were warmly greeted by the MP for Hornchurch & Upminster, Dame Angela Watkinson DBE MP.
Dame Watkinson was thrilled to discover what Suttons students had learned, and she posed for a few photographs with us before she had to dash off!
After we left the Houses of Parliament, we headed to St James’ Park to have our lunch. On the way there we stopped outside Downing Street, although we weren’t able to spot any members of the government!
We also walked past Buckingham Palace, and although we knew the Queen was in (because the Union Flag was flying), we didn’t manage to see any members of the royal family!
We headed back tired but full of new knowledge, with a much greater understanding of the history behind Parliament, as well as how democracy functions in Britain.