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Political Literacy Course at CamVC

20th March 2019

This term, eight Year 10 students have taken part in a Political Literacy Course run by Shout Out UK. This is an AQA-accredited course that aims to give students an increased understanding of politics and political systems.

Over eight weeks, the students have learnt about the history of politics up until the present day, gaining an understanding of how the British Parliament works. They found out about the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as the role of an MP, particularly our own, Heidi Allen. Having learnt about the process of formal debating in Parliament, the students practised this themselves, debating a range of issues including whether or not the voting age should be lowered.

They then moved on to consider the international community, exploring how the EU works – of course, a very hot topic! – and the UN. Finally, students were taught about how to campaign for a cause and speak in front of a crowd. As inspiration, they watched the inaugural speech of Mhairi Black MP, who was 20 when she was elected as a SNP Member of Parliament. Black’s passionate call to arms for young people to shape the world around them encouraged the students to write their own speeches about a political issue they cared about. 

Students shared these at a Speeches Evening, performing in front of teachers and local councillors, who visited to encourage the students to aspire with their political ideas. The speeches were a huge success: topics chosen ranged from how democracy is an outdated system, to the independence of Catalonia, to the tragic increase of knife crime. All of the students demonstrated how the course has taught them to think critically about the world, find something they care about and then argue their case. It was an inspirational evening, and I am so proud of all of the students for taking part.  Well done!

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