Seren Network London Visit
On the 12th of November, we (Ben Ward and Izzy Thomas, 2 pupils from year 12) took a trip to London with the Seren Network. We learnt a lot on this trip and were both very fortunate to have been chosen. We had to be in Carmarthen early in the morning and were greeted by our group leader, Julian. He was a lovely man and was a great leader for our trip. We set off at 8 o’clock in the morning from Morrisons in Carmarthen. Both of us were extremely excited and looked forward to what the Seren Network had planned for us. 29 pupils from Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire had been chosen for the trip and the purpose of it was to teach us about politics and the way our country is ran. We also got the chance to go and look round 2 universities in London; London School of Economics and King’s College. The journey down to London took a lot longer than anticipated due to traffic – 8 hours! However, once we’d reached London we got to admire a lot of the city. We both spoke about how different London was compared to our small town of Newcastle Emlyn, both the buildings and the people. Eventually, at 4 o’clock, we finally stepped off the coach.
Immediately the group were very overwhelmed with how busy the place was. This definitely wasn’t Carmarthenshire anymore. After a short ten minute walk to LSE, we were greeted by students of the university. We were shown around the place and asked many questions about being a student. We learnt that there were many buildings to this university which featured many different subjects. The library was extremely impressive and we were all so surprised at how many people attended this university. We then all sat down and spoke with a lecturer who told us many facts about the university and how to apply for the place. After this, we walked to King’s College. Here, we met another tour guide. We learnt that she was a former pupil at Preseli who was now studying religious rocks. The two buildings that the university was split between were huge. None of us could quite believe it. We saw many parts of the university including the chapel, the students union and many of the class rooms.
We then walked to South bank where we went for dinner. We also had the chance to walk around the Christmas stalls. Despite everyone being cold and tired, we were all in good spirits. Eventually, we made the 45 minute walk to the hostel. Here we all had the chance to speak to one and other before going to bed, ready for the next day.
On the second day, we left the hostel at 9 o’ clock and walked to Westminster Abbey. We walked past many famous monuments such as Trafalgar Square. We had a short wander around the Abbey and saw multiple displays of poppies and monuments for Remembrance Day. We then went to the Houses of Parliament. The security checks we went through were similar to that of an airport. We were all scanned and mobile phones were taken off us. We witnessed a debate on ‘Justice’ in the House of Commons which was very interesting and intense. We were given a tour of the Houses of Parliament and were all so shocked at how big the place was. We also got the chance to see the original scarf used in the suffragette’s campaign that Emmeline Pankhurst threw on to the King’s horse when she was killed.
After the tour, we attended a workshop on law and debating where we were taught how a law is passed. We got to take part in debating and making a law of our own. We were shown each step that a law would go through and how it’s edited before it’s finally agreed by the government. Eventually, it was time to leave. After a lovely time with the Seren Network, we made our way home. We learnt a lot on this trip and everyone enjoyed.