MP joins Mayville High School in Portsmouth in promoting the importance of student voice
CHILDREN have been learning about the importance of values and beliefs and having the conviction to speak out for what you believe in.
As part of Mayville High School’s Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education Day (PSHE), students learnt about importance of ‘having a voice’ and looked at topics such as gender stereotyping, racism and homophobic bullying.
Year 9 student, Tia Woolmer, 14, said: ‘Even though we can’t vote, it’s important that children have a platform to put forward their ideas about the world’s big issues. At Mayville we have our own School Council and our views have brought about change with the introduction of unisex uniforms.’
Classmate, Brooke Edyvane, 14, added: ‘Climate change and online safety are two of the biggest issues facing young people today and it is important our opinions are heard.’
As part of the event, Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, spoke to students about the importance of campaigning for values which you are passionate about. He also took questions about his career and his views on Brexit.
Mr Morgan said: ‘It is vital that young people have a voice and it is encouraging to see young people increasingly involved in issues that matter. One of the reasons I am here today is to hear from young people about the issues affecting them so I can then raise these concerns in Parliament. Since becoming an MP I have taken 500 young people to Parliament and I hope to help inspire the next generation of politicians.’
For event organiser and English teacher, Sam Hardcastle, it is paramount that children’s views are heard.
‘It is not about our generation or my parent’s generation – it is about today’s children,’ she said. ‘It is important they have a voice as it is their future which is at stake. I do think children are becoming more politically aware but we still have a long way to go.’
The importance of ‘student voice’ was recently highlighted by The News in the recent Youth Strike 4 Climate protest which took place at Portsmouth Guildhall.
Year 8 Mayville pupil, Lucas Stfanati, was one of those who took part.
‘I think it is important that more young people take part in this protest to change attitudes towards climate change,’ he said. ‘It was really interesting to hear Mr Morgan talk about what is going on in Parliament. Going into politics in the future is something which interests me.’
The PSHE day also involved workshops on fake news, self defence and drug and alcohol awareness as well as a school litter clean.