The Imagineers rounded up the 2016/17 school year with invitations to accept prizes for all the great work they’ve being doing to ensure children’s voices are listened to. First they met with Gayle Gorman, Aberdeen City Council’s Director of Education and Children’s Services, who presented them with certificates. The following week they were awarded a GREC Anne Frank Award for their amazing work and commitment to human rights.
‘I loved getting an Anne Frank Awards for my hard work as an Imagineer. Anne Frank was a girl who lived during WW2. She kept a diary and wrote in it every day because she was hiding from the Nazis and couldn’t go to school or play. She then was taken to a concentration camp and died. Her awards go to children who help show respect and fight discrimination in their communities. It felt good getting it because I was representing my school.’
‘We made a big poster about what has changed for the better in Middlefield and what still needs to improve.’
“On Tuesday 23rd of May we went to London with Catrin, Sarah and Mr Gray (our teacher). We went to the Houses of Parliament to get a tour. Our MP Kirsty Blackman was going to do this but because of the election we met with her before we went and asked her questions about her job and her life between London and Aberdeen.
One our tour we seen where Queen Victoria sat and where she got changed into her robes for the opening of Parliament. The roof in Elizabeth’s dressing room was covered in gold and the carpet red.
We learned a lot of things but here are a few things that stick in our minds:
There are paintings of Henry the 8th and all his wives. We learned a poem to remember what happened to them all. It goes like this ‘divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived.’
At the end of the anteroom there was a statue of Queen Victoria. The purpose of this statue was to make Queen Victoria feel more comfortable while she said her speech. Queen Victoria used to be so nervous she would scratch at the side of her chair and tap her feet on a small stool.
In the past no man or women had the right to vote. Men got it first but woman had to continue to fight for it. They came into parliament and threw flour everywhere last century. After protesting they finally got the right to vote.
The parliament is split into thirds. The parliament is colour coded for different groups. Blue represents the Queen’s part, green for the House of Commons and red for the House of Lords. The Queen is now allowed in House of Commons because it shows the separation of the House of Commons from the monarchy. She can’t interrupt what they are deciding on.
My favourite part of coming to London was the bus tour because it took me to different landmarks and beautiful buildings. It made me feel privileged as we are the first people to do this in our school.
We London because the lights at night looked incredible. The city feels alive. We liked the building designs and how unique they are. It made us feel even smaller!
The London trip made me happy because we got to share rooms. The girls with the girls and the boys with the boys. It was fun!”
‘We made a big poster about what has changed for the better in Tillydrone and what still needs to improve.’
In March the Imagineers visited Hazlehead Park. They made 3D daffodils to celebrate the change in seasons and mark the coming of Spring. The Imagineers reflected on their experiences as Imagineers and wrote what they think has changed for them in the past year on their daffodils. They also considered what they still think needs changed in their home, school and community.
‘Being more confident, speaking to adults more and having a say is what has changed in my life’ said Imagineer Demi-Leigh. ‘We made a daffodil to write what we can still change. I said school can get better by asking pupils for their ideas’ Imagineer Malachy.
The Imagineers have developed important messages for everyone – one of which is ‘be kind to us’. In this poster, some of the Imagineers think about how kindness can change communities.
To download the poster click here: ActsofKindness
The Imagineers travelled to Hazlehead Park to meet with NHS Grampian’s Public Health Board and present their ideas for a healthy, happy and safe Aberdeen.
‘All the adults listened. We rolled the dice and asked questions like ‘do you give children what they need?’ The adults had good answers.’
The girls from the Imagineers group talked about what women in their communities need to be healthy, happy and safe. Why? Well, if children are healthy, happy and safe, the adults need to be too. Then Imagineers met the Community, Housing and Infrastructure Committee. The girls played the fortune-teller game with the councillors, designing their own questions.
Miriam asked the councillors ‘how do you make sure all children have enough to eat?’ Demi-Leigh inquired ‘how do you help to make the parks poo-free?’ and Tijana asked ‘how can you make sure children have a say at home and school?’
The boys form the Imagineers group talked about what men in their communities need to be healthy, happy and safe. Why? Well, if children are healthy, happy and safe, the adults need to be too. Then Imagineers met the Education and Children’s Services Committee – quite an occasion. The Imagineers did a grand job representing their vision for the city.
‘We went to an office in Marischal College. We talked to a grown-up from Education Scotland about what we’ve done for the past year. We showed her the Imagining Aberdeen film and she asked us questions. It was a little bit scary but fun and good. Afterwards I had a smoothie!
I am now a vice captain for Balnagask house in my school, which I don’t think would have happened if I wasn’t part of the Children’s Parliament.’