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From Bloxham to Parliament

Last week, Bloxham politics students visited Parliament, bringing them closer to British democracy and seeing at work many of the institutions they had learnt about in the classroom.

Here, Petr K shares his experience:

On Monday the 12th of March we went on our first politics trip, about which the entire class has been excited. It was a rather rainy Monday morning when we bordered the 9:32 train from Banbury to London Marylebone. Once we arrived at Westminster, by tube, we entered Parliament, using the visitors' entrance by the statue of Oliver Cromwell. After a security check we entered Westminster Hall, which is the last remaining part of the Palace of Westminster. There we met our guide, who had worked as a civil servant at Parliament for numerous years, so she knew the place very well. The tour consisted of going through both Houses of Parliament and many other chambers which were used by MPs, Lords and the Queen. After our tour, we said goodbye to our guide and went to meet our local MP Victoria Prentis, who was very excited about meeting us and very happy to hear our questions. The questions ranged from pot holes in Oxfordshire and the Horton Hospital in Banbury to the EU referendum. She told us that she thought very highly of apprenticeships and encouraged us to consider them as a future option. After a very successful meeting, we had one hour for lunch, which everybody welcomed, as most members of our group - including me - hastarted feeling rather hungry. Once we had eaten, we went back to Parliament Square, where we went to the Supreme Court, directly opposite. We had time to walk through a short exhibition about the Supreme Court before our guide found us. The tour was shorter, as the Supreme Court is smaller than Parliament. We went through all three Court chambers in the Supreme Court, unfortunately there wasn’t a hearing taking place, so all the court rooms were empty. After the tour we went back again to Parliament to sit in the House of Commons visitors’ gallery and watch a live debate about hate letters targeting Muslims and promoting ‘Muslim hate Day’ which were recently in the news.In order to get back to school in time, we left Parliament forthe tube to Marylebone and onward back to Banbury.