The Royal High School in Bath recently held week-long Festival of Ideas on the theme of Democracy, with girls in Years 7-9 working together to create their own political parties.
The girls developed their own manifestos, campaigns, policies and party political broadcasts and took part in a Question Time-style debate, before a general election took place.
As part of the initiative, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse came to speak to the pupils. She also stayed to hear the final political presentations, providing support and advice to the girls on public speaking, politics and policies.
Throughout the week, the pupils also received a number of lunchtime visitors, all speaking on the subject of democracy. The speakers were –
Annabel Tall, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Bath – ‘How to Become Prime-Minister’, a talk about what it’s like to get involved in politics.
Dr Richard Penny, Research and Teaching Fellow, University of Southampton – ‘House of Cards: is Democratic Collapse Inevitable?’
Professor Patrick Finglass, Classics, University of Bristol – ‘Greek Tragedy and the Birth of Democracy’.
Nadine Smith, Director of Centre for Public Impact, a BCG Foundation. Bath High School Alumna, class of 1993 – ‘Democracy is not the aim, legitimacy must be’
The project was organised by Hadrian Briggs, Deputy Head Academic, who explained, “These activities not only provide the girls with a real insight into the political world they live in, but they help to develop valuable research, presentation and critical thinking skills that will serve them well as they become undergraduates and on in their careers.”