YOUNG political minds proved collective brainpower really works when they held a House of Commons-style debate in front of a MP.
Pupils from Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Penshaw put on the special show when Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson came calling.
The topic of debate – the rights and wrongs of climbing mountains and the impact this may have on the environment – was inspired by a recent trip the children had taken to Derwent Hill Outward Bound Centre.
Ms Phillipson said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity of visiting to meet staff and pupils and to see for myself the excellent work they are doing.
“I greatly enjoyed chairing the debate and seeing how informed and animated the children were when putting forward their point of view.
“I hope this type of event will give the pupils a greater awareness of the democratic process and an insight into how Parliament works.”
Ms Barbara Reilly-O’Donnell, Head Teacher at Our Lady Queen of Peace said: “In school, we encourage all our pupils to think critically and analytically and to listen to and understand other people’s points of view, so that they can develop their own understanding and opinions.
“We recognise each of them as being unique and we wish to promote a sense of individuality and independence whilst at the same time support them to be great citizens with a sense of community.
“The debate they have held is one way in which we can do this and to have Bridget share her debating experiences is wonderful and makes the activity authentic.”