Politics visit to the Palace of Westminster

The Politics department organised a trip to London on Monday this week, the main feature being a tour of The Houses of Parliament, our knowledgeable guide made this a particularly rewarding visit. We started in Westminster Hall which has survived since the 11th Century, where both The Queen Mother and Churchill lay in state, and Charles the First was tried. The tour continued through Lobby Halls to the green-seated House of Commons and the red-seated House of Lords, illustrated by some very entertaining stories and references to current politicians. We also visited the old St Stephen’s Chapel; the place of Parliament in the 17th century where Charles had overstepped his prerogative by bursting in and demanding the arrest of five Members in 1642. It is also where the Suffragettes chained themselves to statues after the current Palace of Westminster had been rebuilt in the Nineteenth Century (following a fire). After lunch we visited the Supreme Court opposite Parliament which had only come into being in 2009, superseding the House of Lords as the highest court of appeal. Although there was not a lot to see, our guide kept the students’ attention with some fascinating debate on ethical and legal issues in which everyone joined in. The exhibition, though small, also entertained us with stories including the legal landmarks which followed the discovery of a decomposing snail in a bottle of ginger beer! All the students really enjoyed the day, some commenting that it was the best school trip they had been on. They were a delight to be with.

By Jonathan Selby, Teacher of Government & Politics, and History


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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