Verwood school parliament gets a taste of the real thing

A SCHOOL parliament voted with its feet to visit a political hub.

Young members of Hillside First School’s student leaders’ group met the Mayor of Verwood to learn how local government works.

Clad in her official regalia, Cllr Toni Coombs welcomed the children elected onto the school’s parliament, which meets fortnightly.

The youngsters – from Reception to Year 4 – fired questions at the mayor, who confessed her favourite fish was a ‘clown fish’.

She also offered the school £250 from her fund to buy litter pickers, sports equipment or books. The children voted for books.

Headteacher, Dave Graves, said: “Our parliament has a Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and chair and they learned a great deal by visiting the mayor.

“She explained how things work on a town council and took their questions in good spirit.

“The mayor also spoke about what she and the council had done for the town, including raising money for the skate facilities at Potterne Park.

“It was incredibly generous of her to donate some money to the school and we will be buying books for the library.

“She also allowed Tommy Lawes from Reception to try on her robes.”

The mayor said: “It was great to have the school’s parliament visit us and I think it’s important for children to learn how local democracy works.

“They asked some very good questions and were really interested in how the council operates and what we do.

“Maybe one day some of the children will be elected themselves to the council.”

Hillside First School is part of Initio Learning Trust.

Chief executive officer, Liz West, said: “What a wonderful way to learn.

“At our schools we encourage as much real-life learning outside the classroom as we can, and this helps prepare children far better for their lives.”

Tommy Lawes tries on the mayoral robes for size

Tommy Lawes tries on the mayoral robes for size

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