Pupil Prime Minister

In this half term, Year 4 have been learning how the British Political System works.  They have studied what MPs do, how our Parliament makes laws and how debate works in the House of Commons.  We staged a mock debate for our school open day before splitting our class into two political parties, The Tall Party and the Short Party to investigate 3 big issues that face our country today; Power production, Food production and Transportation.
We looked at how transportation was important in our rural community and debated the merits of using public transport versus providing all of our citizens with a bicycle.  We decided, given the hills between Rothbury and Alnwick, that public transport was probably a more sustainable option!
Another issue facing the Northumberland countryside was the thorny subject of electricity production.  We compared nuclear power to renewable energy, contrasting costs and environmental effects of both.
Finally we investigated food production, arguing the growing of genetically modified food versus organically produced food.  The idea of providing food for all our population through the use of GM nearly swayed our arguments but in the end organic won the day in a vote.
The main writing aim of our project was to produce persuasive writing.  We dissected the features of a good persuasive speech, using former President of the USA, Barrack Obama, as a model of a fantastic public speaker.  We discussed how to engage a television audience by talking directly to the camera and looked at how politicians prepare for a big speech.  For this we were lucky enough to have a visit from our local MP, Anne Marie Trevelyan, who spoke about how she coped with the pressure of making her maiden speech in parliament.