Would the honourable member for Brunswick East please stand?

Since returning to school in term 4, SNC’s inquiry has explored the idea that ‘our systems of democracy are connected to the concept of fairness in multiple ways’.

This has enabled SNC students to investigate how democracies function. what with the recent elections in America and local council elections an excellent and timely springboard. With a clear emphasis on the civics and citizenship and critical and creative capability from the Victorian curriculum, SNC’s inquiry had a clear reading, writing, speaking and philosophical focus.

Along the term, students worked independently and collaboratively, making mind-maps and thinking routines to build upon their ideas about government and democracy; created fictional governments (their own version of a utopia), and discussed,debated and wrote philosophical pieces trying to ascertain a criteria for fairness. Students also looked into other forms of government, created quiz questions for the ‘SNC Parliament Quiz’ via kahootz and took notes and created summaries of related topics from the Annabel Crabbe’s series ‘The House’ and the ‘Behind The News’ website. These topics included how parliament works, how the prime minister is elected and the inner workings of the House of Representatives and The Senate.

After some preparation last Friday, the enthusiasm for the idea of one last role play drama task for the year was high. Students today were therefore excited to return to school ready to be part of the The Sui Nei Cieli House of Representatives – now in session. (You may never again see a cardboard mace put together in such a swift fashion!)

After the controversy over who would be speaker abated (names out of the SNC dispatch box was deemed fair), and the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader has taken their seats, it was time for the clerk to ring the bell and the Serjeant-At-Arms bring in the Mace. Each student had a role, with a few students acting as independents, the Clerk and the ‘whips’. The hall was set out in a similar fashion to the House of Representatives.

Today’s Bill was the ‘No Homework Bill’. Reasons for and against were dramatically argued by both sides, with students voicing a particularly enthusiastic “Hear Hear!” each time someone from their side had made their point. Luckily this time the speaker didn’t have to send out any politicians for poor behaviour (!)

In the end the bill was rejected and sent back for any possible amendments.

See below for some photos from the day:

Everyone stands for the speaker
The Prime Minister speaks
The Deputy Opposition Leader rebutts
A comment from the Opposition Leader
The Education Minister speaks
The whips count the votes

A great way to finish this term’s civics and citizenship inquiry!

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