Recently we spent a day talking politics and The National Assembly for Wales with a fantastic group of Life Skills students at Llandrillo College.
We began by looking at the subjects the Assembly is responsible for and had some great discussions on a variety of issues that have been debated in the Senedd. The students had plenty to say about healthy eating and they also debated smoking outside schools, hospitals and playgrounds, which were discussed by Assembly Members as they debated the Public Health (Wales) Act.
The students also had an opportunity to take part in the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee’s consultation on Active Travel. In groups, the students discussed what prevents them from walking or cycling to the shops, college or work. The issues they raised included safety concerns, especially if walking or cycling alone, traffic, distance, litter, and dog mess. The students also came up with lots of ideas regarding what could encourage them to walk or cycle, such as setting up walking or cycling ‘buddies’ or groups that would meet up to travel to college together. Other ideas included cycling proficiency lessons in secondary schools and more litter bins.
In the afternoon, the students created their own manifestos as they took part in a mock election. Working in groups, they focused on four themes: developing education, the environment, healthy living, and communities. Once they had agreed on their manifesto pledges, they worked as a team to prepare a speech and a poster and to create rosettes for their party. Each group gave a confident presentation to the class. Some of their manifesto pledges included increasing the number of electric cars, ensuring that there are plenty of recycling bins, especially along our coastline, free two-week trial membership at leisure centres, compulsory sports lessons for students over 16 years old and the need to make better use of empty buildings on our high street by using them as youth centres. Having listened to each of the presentations, everyone had the opportunity to vote.
One of the students who took part in the day was Reece, “I thought the workshop was good because it was fun to find out what goes on in the National Assembly and it was interesting to learn about politics.” Fellow student Bethan also enjoyed taking part, “The workshop was a fascinating day. I never knew that politics could be so interesting. Thank you for teaching us about the National Assembly.”
It was an excellent day spent discussing politics with inspiring young people.
To find out more about the services available to schools and youth organisations across Wales, please contact us on 0300 200 6565 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.