School welcomes visit from MP

Chidham Primary School pupils with Chichester MP Gillian Keegan
Chidham Primary School pupils with Chichester MP Gillian Keegan

Chichester MP Gillian Keegan has visited Chidham Primary School as part of Citizenship Week.

She spent the morning at the school last Friday and agreed to support its Send My Friend to School campaign.

Head teacher Claire Murphy took Mrs Keegan on a tour of the school and showed her the new classrooms, two of them built by West Sussex County Council and another that was self-funded.

Teacher Jo Mesney said: “On her tour, she spoke to some of the children, who demonstrated how technology is being utilised in their learning using iPads and smart boards to do projects and homework.

“The technology allowed the children’s learning to reach out from the classroom, allowing the children to ask authors questions, about the books they are studying, on Twitter, and parents to view their children’s homework and progress.”

Miss Murphy explained how the school makes good use of the local environment by doing field trips to the coastline and nearby woodland to engage the children’s learning in a tangible way.

Mrs Keegan then joined the school council, an elected body of pupils, and spoke to its members about the similar roles they share as representatives.

Mrs Mesney added: “They asked Gillian if she had any ideas on how to become a better council and she suggested talking to other schools in the local area to see how they do it, and also connecting with school councils in the wider world.”

During assembly, Mrs Keegan spoke briefly about her role as an MP and answered some questions before listening to a presentation by pupils about their activities for Citizenship Week.

Mrs Mesney said: “The school encouraged positive actions at home, at school and in the community, with the focus on being an active citizens.

“The children brought in donations to the Socktember appeal, with clothing being passed on to Stonepillow. One group of pupils visited one of the St Wilfred’s Hospice shops to find out what happens to clothes when we donate them. A second group visited Hambrook Meadow Nursing Home and spent time playing games with the residents.”

The children asked Mrs Keegan to support the Send My Friend to School campaign to help raise awareness of the work that needs to be done to help more children around the world attend school and receive an education.

Mrs Keegan happily agreed and told the children about her work as co-chairman for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for UN Sustainable Goals, explaining that goal number four directly addressed this issue.

The morning came to an end with a lively question and answer session with years five and six, covering topics such as school funding, healthy eating, roads and housing.

Mrs Mesney said: “They all asked thoughtful questions and enjoyed hearing Gillain’s responses to them.”