> Trinity Catholic Academy, Middlesbrough

Trinity Catholic Academy, Middlesbrough

About the activity

Enterprise Advisers Julie Harrison and Ann Stonehouse put together an ‘Enterprise & Democracy day’ for Y9 students at Trinity Catholic Academy. The aim of the event was to give students an understanding of how their future financial earnings from the real world of work are used by government to pay for healthcare, business support and the environment, as well as demonstrating how decisions are made in Parliament by voting.

Students were allocated a virtual amount of funding and students had to allocate this funding using decision-making and problem solving skills to improve lives and the services in Tees Valley.

The day was split, with the morning session focusing on ‘campaign time’. Through their connections, Julie and Ann invited guest speakers from the Health, Environmental and Business sectors to campaign about why they require and need government funding. Guest speakers then pitched for a share of the funding. All Y9 students then had to consider three priorities for the funding.

The afternoon session involved students working in groups in which they debated each campaign that had been presented on the morning and they then went to vote for which campaigns the funding should go to. Within each group students had selected ‘counters’ and the votes were counted and collated. Each group then nominated a spokesperson or three as they returned to the main room with the full year group to present their three priorities that would receive funding.

The day event came to a close with the full year group (260 students) being seated in a ‘House of Commons’ setting with the benches facing each other and a podium for the speakers.

Next steps

The aim of the day was to not only cover democracy but also Careers and Enterprise. Each speaker gave a little about themselves and their career along with the campaign pitch. The students gained experience of campaign pitches, debating, the voting process, including counting, and the opportunity to speak to ‘the House’ to share their decisions and debated points.

“The Y9 pupils had a fabulous day learning about democracy and campaigning as part of their British Values Focus Day. The enthusiasm and energy shown proves that young adults can be interested in social and entrepreneurial aspects that directly affect them which will hopefully stress the importance of using their democratic right to vote in the future. Well done to all our speakers in the Trinity Parliament!”

Simon Carey, Assistant Head