Morecambe schoolchildren quiz Speaker of the House of Commons

John Bercow MP answering questions from Great Wood pupils via a Skype link from the Education Centre in Westminster.
John Bercow MP answering questions from Great Wood pupils via a Skype link from the Education Centre in Westminster.

Year 6 pupils at Great Wood Primary School had the opportunity to quiz John Bercow MP during a live question and answer session this week.

The school signed up to take part in the ‘Skype the Speaker’ initiative which aims to increase pupil understanding of the UK parliamentary system and the role of the Speaker in the House of Commons.

Children taking part in the Skype the Speaker project in their classroom at Great Wood Primary School.

Children taking part in the Skype the Speaker project in their classroom at Great Wood Primary School.

The session lasted for 45 minutes with the children asking more than 30 questions.

These ranged from ‘What inspired you to become an MP and Speaker?” to “What is the role of Black Rod in the House of Commons?”

The ‘Skype the Speaker’ session is just one part of the school’s work in teaching children about democracy and British Values. So far this year, the children have been taking part in debates linked to their work, have held hustings and elections to become House Captains and members of the School Council and contributed to creating their own class rules.

Later in the year, Year 5 will take part in the ‘Be the Change’ project at Lancaster University which introduces the children UK parliamentary system.

John Bercow was very impressed with the quality of the children’s questions and thanked them for taking the time to find out more about parliament. He wished them well in the future and asked them to pursue a career which they will find rewarding and fulfilling.

Deputy head Rob Smith said: “Through our PSHE curriculum we teach children about British values which includes democracy, the rule of law, mutual respect and individual liberty. Learning about democracy and our system of government is one just part of this.”

Kason, Year 6 pupil and House Captain, said: “I really enjoyed speaking to the Speaker. I asked if there had ever been any fights in the Houses of Parliaments and found out that two MPs had been violent in the past and banned!”

Ellie, Year 6 pupil and Vice Captain, said: “It was really exciting listening to the Speaker. I wanted to know if there is anything inside the despatch box which the Prime Minister uses to put her papers on. He told me that there is a bible and sheets of papers which MPs read when saying their oath.”