Year 13 Trip to Stormont
On Tuesday 14th November, Year 13 Government and Politics Students, along with our teacher, Mrs Johnson, visited the Parliament Buildings at Stormont to learn more about Northern Irish Politics -one of our AS courses- from the people themselves!
Upon arrival, we were greeted by our host for the day, a bright and bubbly lady named Anne-Marie Fleming. Ms Fleming, a civil servant, gave us an introductory talk during which she explained to us her role and some background information about Stormont and what’s been going on there both before and after the collapse of the NI Executive in January. She was also very helpful and encouraging throughout the day, quizzing us on both what she was telling us and what we learn in the classroom with Mrs Johnson.
Afterwards, Peter Hall, a Committee Clerk, came to visit us and speak to us about Committees in Stormont. This section of the day was especially informative for us students as we are currently studying Committees in Government and Politics. It was very interesting and informative to hear about them from a first-hard perspective. We also had the opportunity to speak to 5 MLAs representing 4 Political Parties: Mr Steve Aiken and Mr Robin Swann of the UUP, Ms Claire Hanna of the SDLP, Mr Philip McGuigan of Sinn Fein and Mr Johnny Buckley of the DUP. We asked a range of questions about their own politics, their party policies and the work that they all continue to do despite the lack of an Assembly.
As it was Anti-Bullying Week when we visited, myself and four of my classmates delivered messages about bullying for the Assembly Education Service, while Ms Fleming took the rest of the class on a small tour through the Great Hall to the Assembly chamber. There we learned a lot about the chamber itself and the role of the Assembly when it is functioning. We joined our class in the Chamber and I even got to sit in the Health Minister’s seat for the duration of the workshop. Overall, the trip was a very worthwhile, interesting and informative one for us students, and hopefully for Mrs Johnson too!
We would like to thank the NI Assembly Education Service and Ms Anne Marie Fleming for hosting us, Peter Hall and the 5 MLAs for coming to speak to us, and especially thank you to Mrs Johnson for organising the wonderful day.