A group of Year 11 students from Vandyke Upper School went on a visit to both Tate Modern and the Houses of Parliament; the aim of the trip was to broaden students’ cultural experiences and make connections with their studies.
The tour of the Tate included looking at the cultural and historical context of various paintings and how they reflected the political climate in which they were produced.
This included a Dali painting created in the build up to WW2 and how the US government used Jackson Pollock in combating Soviet ideology during the Cold War.
Those students who don’t study Art were able to see a relevance to paintings which they had not considered and those who did study Art, saw it in a new light.
In the afternoon there was tour of the Houses of Parliament, which explained the role of the two houses and some of the history of the building and of parliament.
Students found that standing in front of those red and green benches, but being unable to sit down on them, was very tantalising.
The visit included walking through the voting lobbies, visiting Westminster Hall and learning why the Queen is the only person not allowed in the House of Commons and why the Speaker no longer needs curtains around his chair.
At the end of the day, students were more interested in the processes of our parliament and some even had ambitions to sit on those benches for themselves.