Sunday, 27 September 2015

Democracy Week [3 of 4 events] Visit to Heddon on the Wall First School

Heddon First School is going from strength to strength - with numbers up, including many of the children from the new regiment 3RHA at Albemarle Barracks, and a really positive atmosphere around the school. On Wednesday I got the chance to be grilled by the children for nearly an hour, after having caught up with the headteacher, Mr Wheatley, and 1 of the Governors. Later I was also able to be part of the presentation of the school defibrillator, of which I will blog more in due course.

The children asked great questions including some really tough ones like:
- Does the Queen always agree with the government? This was a tough one both to explain and demonstrate to a First School. I hope I did her Majesty proud in my explanation of how she rubber stamps legislation, but cannot block it.
- Do you have your own seat in parliament? No - but the whip always sits between the Speaker and the Prime or other Minister on the front bench
- Do you get on with other MPs in parliament? Yes - some Labour ones are open and normal and I am close to, and I have genuine mates on the Conservative side. We are all taking a while to get to know the new SNP team, and there are not many Liberals left.

One final point to add about Heddon First School: it is one of the schools that is leading the way, amongst the many schools in my patch, in the ways in which they use the internet and social media to interact with parents, pupils, and the wider public. They have an active Twitter site, and very good website that is a mine of information: http://www.heddon-school.co.uk/ 
This is, in my view, the way ahead for any school in the 21st Century. Parents and pupils like it and it is a great way to reach out to and be integrated into the community.

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