Last week, The Totteridge Academy students enjoyed their first ever Democracy Day, as part of a new series of personal development experiences for students.
Open to all year groups, the day provided an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the history of British democracy, the workings of our democratic system and how citizens can express their political opinions through voting and debate.
The Democracy Day was supported by a number of guest speakers and workshops including from the Museum of London, the Parliament Education team, Cllr. Stephanos Ioannou and the Barnet Voice of the Child team. The school were also fortunate enough to welcome the Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, who spoke to Year 11 students about her role as the elected representative for Chipping Barnet and answered their questions about key political issues.
The event was the first Personal Development Day of the academic year, which will be followed by a wide range of opportunities to allow students to engage in politics, society and the local community. This is part of The Totteridge Academy’s commitment to delivering an ‘Education with Character’ – learning that helps build compassion, character and service so that students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to succeed at university and beyond.
There was overwhelmingly positive feedback from the academy’s students, who thoroughly enjoyed the chance to explore the theory and history of democracy and how they can have their voice heard.
One student, Demi-Leigh, said of learning about Parliament and democracy:
“It has been really fun and interesting and I have learnt things I have never learnt before. It’s all about treating others fairly and making sure everyone has a fair vote to influence parliament and our country.”
Daniel, another student, added:
“In an era of lies and fake news it is increasingly important to speak out and voice our opinion, today has empowered me to do that.”
Chris Fairbairn, Principal at The Totteridge Academy, said:
“We want to give students an Education with Character, ensuring that alongside their academic studies they get the chance to gain broader experiences, skills and knowledge that will enable them to be positive, active citizens throughout their lives. Our first Democracy Day was a brilliant example of this and I was delighted to see our young people relishing the chance to engage with political and socio-economic issues."
“We were especially grateful that our local MP, Theresa Villiers, was able to join us to answer students’ questions and give them a first-hand insight into the workings of Parliament and British democracy. I also want to thank all our other guests who brought the day’s topic to life for our students.”