Outcomes for children

Whether involved in our community programme or in a project or consultation children are engaged in active, experiential learning. Children practice sets of skills, behaviours and values while they gain knowledge and understanding of themselves and others.

Members of Children’s Parliament learn and practice these skills:

  • Listening
  • Getting on with people and working together
  • Planning and organising
  • Problem solving
  • Practical arts-based skills in things like mural painting and model making
  • Communication and presentation skills

Members of Children’s Parliament learn and practice these ways of behaving:

  • Being respectful of the needs of others
  • Compassion
  • Being fair
  • Thinking things through
  • Taking care of the people and places around us

Members of the Children’s Parliament learn and practice these values:

  • Honesty: We are truthful and open to the views and experiences of others
  • Respect: Both for the views of others and that no-one should ever feel small or stupid
  • Diversity: We are different and we are equal
  • Empathy: We can understand others by putting ourselves in their shoes
  • Participation: It is everyone’s right to have their say and to take part
  • Social Justice: We must do what we can to make the world a better place for ourselves and for others.
  • Action: If something is wrong we should try to change it.

Members of the Children’s Parliament gain knowledge and understanding of both themselves and others. In particular they know more about:

  • Children’s human rights articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • How these rights are their rights
  • Adults who can help and support them in childhood

Children’s Parliament ethos

If we were to conceptualise the Children’s Parliament as a space:

When children come into this space we want them to bring with them their knowledge of what it is like to be a child, their ideas and their opinions, and to be willing to voice and explore them.

When adults come into this space we want them to bring with them their facilitation skills, their commitment to listen to and welcome children’s opinions and a belief that children have a high degree of talent and ability. We also want adults to bring their memories of what it was like to be a child.

When children work together in this space they have the opportunity to take responsibility and work in self-directed groups. They also develop friendships and gain new insights into the diversity of children’s backgrounds, experiences, hopes and dreams.

When adults and children work together in this space they create something both rich and challenging. There is the opportunity to form relationships of mutual trust, respect and honesty, and there is huge potential for adults to learn and gain insights from children and vice versa.

Finally, in terms of describing our ethos and ways of working Children’s Parliament is not about advocating on children’s behalf, we believe children can advocate effectively for themselves if the right environment is created and support is in place. This is an initiative rich in learning for adults if they listen carefully. Our work is based on children having fun and engaging in projects and investigations in and across our themes which reflect the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Watch the short film below to hear from Children’s Parliament about the role of well-being and how our projects consider the whole child.