PUPILS FROM ST STEPHENS COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL, SALTASH REPRESENTED SOUTH EAST CORNWALL IN NATIONWIDE PARLIAMENTARY PROJECT
St Stephens Community Primary School, Saltash in South East Cornwall was revealed as one of 650 schools selected from across the United Kingdom to take part in a unique project that aimed to connect young people with the democratic process and heritage.
In 2015 the Houses of Parliament celebrated two historic anniversaries that signified the beginnings of a journey to rights and representation in the UK, namely the 800th year of the sealing of the Magna Carta (1215) and the 750th anniversary of the Simon de Montfort parliament (1265).
To mark the Montfort parliament anniversary, where elected representatives of the shires and the boroughs came together for the first time, Parliament selected a primary school in every constituency to create a flag that represents their area or community. This project formed part of Parliament’s 2015 ‘Parliament in the Making’ programme.
Artist Jonathan Parsons commented: ‘The 2015 Flag Project has demonstrated not just the wonderful creativity and imagination of all the participants, but also affords a genuinely unique child’s-eye view of the entire UK and it’s variety of local identities. From highlighting the natural environment of a constituency to drawing on myths, legends and history or showing a local trade or industry, I have been delighted by the creativity and diversity of the submitted flag designs. The project has also offered a creative way to connect young people to the special 2015 de Montfort anniversary year, celebrating 750 years of the House of Commons and the local representation we know today. Flags are a perfect vehicle to encapsulate the project, being one of the key methods of representation for individual and group identities. I am thrilled to have been involved with a project designed to enable children to learn through creative work.’
Sheryll Murray MP very kindly arranged and gave the St Stephens School Council a tour of the Houses of Parliament on the 9th of February, which all the children thoroughly enjoyed. They also attended a 2 hour workshop on “How Laws are made”. After travelling so far and in order to get the most out of their day, a little sightseeing was also included!
The children from St Stephens School Council worked together to create a fantastic design to reflect how they see South East Cornwall, using traditional flag making rules about colours, shapes and emblems. Nine children ranging from Year 6 down to Year 3 were involved in the design and creation of this flag.
In spring 2015 flags from all the selected schools across the UK ‘flew’ online via a digital exhibition and a limited number were stitched into large flags to fly at a special event in Parliament Square. The project then rolled out as a national opportunity for all schools to join in and add their flag to the digital exhibition with support from a free flag-making kit. Schools that took part from that point were able to add their flag to the online gallery until December 2015.
The online exhibition enabled schools to share their flag design with the rest of their community and the wider public and generate a profile for South East Cornwall amongst their peers.