United Nations: Wow, what a fantastic trip!

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Today started off with breakfast and basketball at the John Knox Centre, then it was time to quickly get in to our kilts and head over to the UN building, Palais des Nations.

We got a tour of the UN from a great guide named Muhammed. He told us all about the history of the UN and all the important meetings that take place there. We got to see some of the huge council rooms – one had some amazing murals on the walls and ceiling and it’s where they hold talks when two countries are fighting.

Then we had a quick lunch before our event at the UNCRC Day of General Discussion. The event was hosted by Amal Aldoseri, who we met at the BBQ last night. The event started with the Under the Same Sky film. It was so interesting to learn about children’s lives in other countries.

After the film, we got to give tours of our mural to lots of important people. They said it was the best part of the day!

We finished the day with a yummy dinner of pizza and pasta at La Romana. But now it’s definitely time for bed. See you tomorrow Scotland!

School Bell Radio Show

Click the Soundcloud link below to hear from Alan and Lewis as they (expertly) thread their experience of Children’s Parliament StreetsAhead Tranent stakeholder’s event through their East Coast FM School Bell radio show (first aired 7pm, 28th June 2016).

Thanks again to Alan, Mirren and Isla for joining the event on Friday! We’ll keep you up to date with the children’s UN trip – perhaps you’d like to catch-up after to hear about their experience…could the Members of Children’s Parliament (MCPs) be guests on your show? Have a great summer holiday 😎

The School Bell visit to StreetsAhead Tranent

During the StreetsAhead Tranent Stakeholder event we were pleased to welcome three young reporters from the East Coast FM radio show The School Bell. You can hear their show this evening between 7-8pm by tuning in to 107.6FM or online at http://eastcoastfm.co.uk/listen-live/.

On Friday 24 June, the Ross High School Bell presenters visited the StreetsAhead Tranent Stakeholders Event in the Ross High School library. The event was held by the Children’s Parliament and the presentation was given entirely by children from the Ross High feeder primary schools of Windygoul, St Martin’s, Sanderson’s Wynd, Ormiston and Elphinstone. Some of the presenters were as young as Primary 5 and held the floor with such confidence and even told a few jokes whilst they dealt with technical problems with their microphones in a way that many adults could only dream.

The children began the presentation by explaining that the project was started by attending workshops that were going around their schools. The pupils were then selected and asked to join the Children’s Parliament. We were shown a video of the selection process and the enthusiasm was outstanding and loud. The children proudly presented to us their mural which shows Tranent in the past, present and what they hope it will look like in the future. The mural was created in the Loch Centre in Tranent, a community hub that doubles as the town’s swimming and sports centre, making it a very apt place for the discussions to take place as it was the seat of many of the children’s personal community experiences already.

In their presentation, it was explained that it took a week to make. A week the children had hoped for as an “escape” from the classroom and their learning and teaching. Whilst they had immense fun, that week was far from an escape from learning. There was a session on how to split the boards up into grids which involved maths which had such relevance that the children had not even noticed the maths lesson happen. Before creating the artwork on the individual grids, they had to imagine the future of Tranent. They had to ask themselves “What are my hopes for the future?” and “What are my dreams for the future?” This creative planning was enhancing their English and Literacy skills­ and gave us a great image of older people in Tranent using super fast mobility scooters as they zoom off for lunch at the monster­shaped hotel. All these ideas and so many more are there to view in the mural.

Many of the stakeholders were there including the local police, local councillors and the park rangers from the neighbourhood. Many were boasting of being added into the mural itself. PC Jacqueline Penman, one of the three community police officers for Tranent was rightly pleased she made the final draft, “Look, they drew me in the mural!” and she was even happy to pose of a photo with her cartoon self. Even this process had the primary children interested in learning and one shouted out with delight, “Look, when Mr White took that photo, the iPad ‘squared in on’ both the real face and the drawn face…the computer didn’t realise it was just a drawing.” Drawing skills get an A+ then.

Many other adults in the community jested about which of their friends and colleagues did, or didn’t get drawn in. Councillor Kenny McLeod, who spoke at length with the School Bell Team, gave a tour of the board indicating which stakeholders and community members had already bragged to him about being added in.

We had the pleasure of joining the pupils in their practise sessions before the stakeholders arrived and we had lots of time to listen to the rehearsals, to talk with them about their learning, and hear their confidence and reflective attitude as their coaches from the Children’s Parliament offered feedback at every stage. There was something so mature and exciting coming from their discussions as they told us of their sessions on Urban Planning which was also added into their week of, as they had originally thought, “no learning” which they explained with the utmost enthusiasm. How can so many pupils take the same requirements (a fixed high street, a set number of homes and shops) and all create completely different designs?

Some of the excitement was answered later in the rehearsals when we found out the whole group are getting a trip to Geneva to present their findings to the United Nations in September, where they will present on the topic of children’s rights.

If you wish to find out more about the StreetsAhead project you can find it on their blog: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/streetsaheadtranent/ or you can follow the children’s parliament Twitter @creative_voices .

– Alan (S4, Ross High School)

StreetsAhead Tranent Celebration event

So proud of their achievement! & Elphinstone PS

The children will be announcing a very big surprise at Friday’s (24th June 2016) Stakeholder event. Are you excited??? We are and so are the children! 😀

Tranent Gala Day

Our morning guides ready to tour visitors at Tranent Gala.

Gemma excited to find Bug Hotel she drew at her class w’shop included on mural.

Ben recognised the drawing he did in class represented on the mural. 1 of 260 images

. find out about local children leading at Tranent