Back to School: Metro Mayor visit boosts Bristol pupils’ democracy learning

Metro Mayor Dan Norris went back to the classroom to talk with the budding politicians of Barrs Court Primary School in Longwell Green as part of a drive to learn about democracy this Wednesday at 1.15pm.

Mr Norris saw how pupils have been learning about the importance of democracy and how it works when he addressed an assembly of Year 5 and Year 6 students, speaking about what a metro mayor does and the role of the West of England Combined Authority, and his previous roles as an MP and government minister.

Mr Norris passed on top tips to any of the youngsters hoping to follow in his footsteps and become West of England politicians themselves.

The pupils have been learning this term about how democracy developed in Ancient Greece all the way to local parish councils of today. They have also held class debates on subjects including the civil rights movement.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “I’m delighted to meet the well-informed students at Barrs Court Primary. It is great to talk to pupils about my role as a Metro Mayor, their enthusiasm for learning about democracy, and how it can drive change on the environment and other important issues they are passionate about. The level of knowledge and engagement displayed is really impressive and I think they could definitely teach all politicians a thing or two!! I’m sure there are some politicians of the future here. It looks like the future of politics is in very good hands”.

One Year 6 pupil, 11-year-old Luke, said: “Democracy is important to learn about as it is about equality and equal power for the people. This idea came from the Ancient Greek city state of Athens. In the UK, we use a democratic system for our parliament. It is important to learn about democracy so, when I grow up, I will know how my country is run and how to take part!”.

Speaking about the visit, Barrs Court Primary Headteacher Daniel Webster added: “Democracy empowers people by giving them a voice in how they are governed. It gives people the right to think about what they want and express their opinions freely. At Barrs Court Primary, we want the children to understand democracy, how our country is governed and the importance of voting when they get older. Two of our school values support our teaching of democracy – curiosity and respect. First, we encourage our children to show curiosity and ask questions but to always show respect for other people’s opinions, even if they are different to our own”.

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