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UK Parliament Week is an annual festival that engages people from across the UK with their UK Parliament by exploring what it means to them and empowering them to get involved. The slogan for this year’s UK Parliament Week was ‘It starts with you’, reminding all residents of the UK that democracy begins with the actions of the individual in society. Pupils at Embley were encouraged to learn as much as they can, to engage and get involved: to tune in, speak up and take part.

Many older pupils took the chance to register to vote, with some now eligible to vote in the upcoming General Election. Year 6 and 7 enjoyed a Model United Nations Day, while GCSE Politics pupils attended the first ever Amnesty Human Rights Conference for schools.

At lunchtimes, pupils were challenged to take part in ‘Change My Mind’ debates. Staff and older students shared their often controversial views on political and social issues, including that the voting age should not be lowered to 16, climate change protests being a waste of time and euthanasia being introduced to the UK.

Meanwhile, a grassroots ‘Speakers’ Corner’ was set up in the school grounds, allowing students the opportunity to present to their peers on an issue they felt passionately about. A range of topics were covered, including animal cruelty, women’s rights, poverty, support for new mothers and the legalisation of drugs.

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