Sixth Form Pre-Election Curriculum Day
"Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world's ills, misery, ignorance, and violence. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation." Robert Kennedy: 1968
The sixth form, years 12 and 13 together, played host to local councillors and parliamentary candidates on the 5th March 2010.
The school was also celebrating World Book Day, which meant that the candidates took several opportunities to campaign towards the canine population. Cruella Deville and six of the puppies she has stolen (one of whom is very concerned about the price of bus passes for over 16s who live a few hundred metres outside Warwickshire) can be seen in this charming portrait.
As well as dressing up in aid of literacy charities, students completed a number of political awareness activities. Adlington House won the politics-in-the-news quiz (well done Leyla!) - cake and House Points will be on their way on Tuesday (I'm out at our Birmingham partner school on Monday and so are several students). Next, students answered a mulitple-choice questionairre to find out which party would suit them best at the upcoming election. I don't know about other groups, but Ainslie House argued so much about these issues that the activity took nearly an hour! In keeping coincidentally with our house colour, we came out Liberal Democrat much to James's satisfaction (although Amelia was surprised how much we had in common with UK Independence ... not sure what happened there ...) !
In pairs and threes, students researched the current manifestos of a wide variety of parties, and then created "Party Political Broadcasts". Later they showed their work to the rest of their house - some of these were very entertaining. Two Green broadcasts were accurate, informative and persuasive (well done Team Cherry and Team Hammond) whilst work on the British National Party and The Monster Raving Loony Party added light relief to the day! Teams of dalmations can be seen researching their parties.
Around 12.15, a Question Time event began with members of local government, which was interesting and which led to many important issues being raised. It is unfortunate that nobody from Warwickshire County had been able to attend, but students' issues and evidence will be passed on to County officials to consider.
Our speakers were: Chairman of the Council, Gill Roache, Chris Mills (Kineton), Andrew Patrick (Harbury & Bishops Itchington) and Roger Wright (Wellesbourne).
The District Councillors told me that they were very impressed with students' knowledge and interest. We took a long while to get back to the staff room after the discussion closed, as Clarissa, Mitch, Will and Amelia had even more to say to the councillors. The Wellesbourne inhabitants, led by Robynne and Seb, held the floor for some time about the pros and cons of building new facilities in villages, whilst Katherine and Abby led many students from Oxfordshire who were keen that Warwick and Oxford should work together to reduce or rethink bus fares.
After lunch we were joined by .Jeremy Wright (Cons) and Nigel Rock (Lib Dem), candidates for parliament in Kineton's constituency (and thus that of many of our voting-age students, though not all). As they said themselves, it would have been a better debate had a member for Labour been able to attend, but nonetheless we were able to hear their views on sustainable energy, university funding, the so-called "broken society" and Afghanistan.
My thanks to HS, JRS, FP, JA, SE & PW, to Ben, Amelia and James for hospitality duties and to all of you who either spoke up or listened.
Everybody who wants to be in the BUS REPORT, see me. They also asked for two or three students to speak to the County Council at a meeting if we have some volunteers up for that bit too.
(Thanks also for the lovely card)