The Year 8 Scholars have recently visited Westminster, not only for a  visit to Westminster Abbey and the Supreme Court, but also an exploration of the areas surrounding Parliament with a particular focus on the many statues found there. 

Starting in Parliament Square the students looked at a range of statues from Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela with various Prime Ministers and other significant figures such as Millicent Garrett Fawcett in between. They were asked to think about the design of the statues and the possible messages conveyed as well as the collection of statues as a whole; were there any surprising inclusions or exclusions?  

Next we visited the Supreme Court just across from Parliament Square. The group were able to sit in one of the court rooms, not in session at that time, and Mrs Massey spoke about the origins and significance of the Court. There was then a visit to the interactive Museum which illustrated the Court’s work. 

In preparation for the visit to the Supreme Court, the group spent some time considering the role of the Court in more detail. Following a short video and explanation by Politics teacher Mrs Powis-Holt, the students engaged in a practical exercise. They reviewed an actual case which had come before the Court involving the circumstances under which it was legitimate for the state to keep a record of an individual’s DNA. The task was not only enjoyed by the students but gave them an insight into how the Court attempts to interpret the law. Indeed in this particular case, the judgement of the Court, led to a reform of the relevant legislation by Parliament. 

Finally the group visited Westminster Abbey, where amongst the many fascinating memorials, particular time was spent studying the art and architecture of the building. The students, accompanied by some excellent guides, examined some icons, the vaulted roofs and the most recent addition, a window by David Hockney. The Abbey allowed of course, a continuation of the exploration begun in Parliament Square of what we choose to commemorate and how. 

Read Aaron, Gaurav and Nathan's recount of the visit

Last Friday, we went on a scholars’ trip to Westminster. Not only did our visit involve seeing the statues of parliament square but also a tour of Westminster abbey and an enlightening trip inside the supreme court. For me, this was the highlight of our trip, as I had known little about the court. In particular, the layout of the courtroom was modern and contrasted vividly to the old-fashioned image I had in my head. This evoked a sense of learning rather than punishment and made me reflect on how human everyone is no matter their job.

Parliament square was filled with many mesmerising statues including famous figures like Mandela and Gandhi. We had a booklet to fill in with many intriguing thoughts about each of the statues: my favourite was Sir Winston Churchill’s statue on the edge of the square with a towering look. I absolutely loved Westminster Abbey with its fantastic and artistic architecture! Even inside, the stain glasses were so intricate and detailed: we all were lucky to have such fantastic tour guides who explained the best bits of the abbey concluding a fantastic tour.

We enjoyed learning about the history of the abbey as well as deciding which statues we thought were out of place in parliament square and which famous people we would add if we could. It was a highlight that we not only looked at the statues and buildings, but we also learnt about their purpose and history. Overall we thought it was a fantastic trip to Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square and the supreme court, an experience that will stay with us for the rest of our school years.