top of page

Healthy, Happy, Me! - Primary Parliament

In June, we held our final Primary Parliament of the 2023-24 academic year, and we had such a fantastic time working together on the theme of Healthy, Happy, Me!, thinking about the people, places, and past-times that make us all feel safe, empowered, and connected to our city.  

For this term, 112 Primary Parliamentarians from 26 schools were set the brief of creating the Top 5 Ways We Can Stay Healthy and Happy in Nottingham.  Working with Nottingham City Council, Ignite!, The Environment Agency, and Child Friendly Nottingham, everyone attended workshops which focused on the external and internal factors which can affect our health and happiness.  At the end of each day, through performances and posters, movements and models, pupils representing their school presented their Top 5 and all their learning from the Primary Parliament to their peers and our invited special guests.   

As always, we started off each day at the Council House with a welcome from Jon Rea from Nottingham City Council and we heard three words to describe each school from their pupils.  There were a few new faces at this Primary Parliament as well as lots of familiar ones, and children attended from all across Nottingham.  After our introductions, we all took five minutes together to do some stretching and shout words of affirmation which got us energised before splitting up and heading into the workshops: Workshop 1 on the importance of healthy rivers led by The Environment Agency; and Workshop 2 on creating Worry Warriors to help clear our minds with Ignite!.  

In Workshop 1,The Environment Agency led an incredible interactive session using games, maps, imagination and storytelling to discuss what makes a healthy river and what we humans can do to help.  The team brought a fantastic collection of interesting images highlighting habitats and who lives there, as well as taxidermy creatures.  Through learning lots about the River Lee and the impact of the outdoors, the Primary Parliamentarians spent time getting to know about, and appreciating, the importance of keeping our environment healthy and happy, and the benefits that this has for the local plants and wildlife, and also for us!! 

For Workshop 2, Primary Parliamentarians worked with Ignite! and students from University of Nottingham to focus on individual health and happiness by discussing good mental health and positive wellbeing.  The Primary Parliamentarians spent time sharing what makes them happy, from their family, friends and favourite foods, to the past-times and the places that make them feel peaceful.  Together we talked about how these things can help our mental health and that we can use them to make us feel more positive.  Everyone then spent time getting super creative with wooden spoons, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes to create their very own Worry Warrior to bring home.  We discussed how the Worry Warrior can be kept at home, in school, or in bags, and we can whisper our small worries to it to practise sharing our feelings. There was so much creativity and imagination in the room and we had a wonderful collection of Worry Warriors which included Spongebob, superheroes, space-themes, and a shark. 

We rounded off the day at the Council House with the Primary Parliamentarians presenting their Top 5 Ways We Can Stay Healthy and Happy in Nottingham to everyone, including our special guests, Bulwell Forest Councillor Cheryl Barnard and Child Friendly Nottingham Lead Ekua Ghansah.  We had some amazing presentations with lots of powerful language and messages to demonstrate the significance of outdoor activities, clean local spaces, healthy rivers, good mental health, and positive people!  The presentations were so thoughtful and included dramas, news reports, a rap, posters, and creative use of The Environment Agency’s props.  We even had the most divisive question of the year in Primary Parliament: “is bird watching a sport?”. 

Our final day of Primary Parliament was a shorter and focused session online led by The Environment Agency, learning about healthy rivers and how this can make humans and the environment happy.  The Primary Parliamentarians used their observational skills to review images and identify important signs about the health of rivers before being set a brief to design the perfect healthy river.  The Environment Agency asked for the students to think about shape, size, animals, houses, and plants for this task.  After only an hour of working on their brief, we were all so impressed to see the creation of two large river models made by the students: The Chestnut Waterways from the students at Woodlands and The Wiggler from the students at Oak Field.  It was amazing to visually see all the learning from the day come together in the models that had been created.  

We have had such a great time running Primary Parliament this year and our last session was just incredible. We have had 376 brilliant children take part over the year who have shared their voices about topics from AI and Urban Design, to the environment, cybersecurity, and mental health. We are very proud of every single Primary Parliamentarian and have learnt so much from them about what is important to children in Nottingham.

A huge thank you goes out to the following schools for all their hard work, creativity and insight this term: Bluecoat, Cantrell, Carrington, Crabtree Farm, Djanogly Northgate, Djanogly Sherwood, Dovecote, Edna G Olds, Forest Fields, Glade Hill, Haydn, Heathfield, Jubilee LEAD Academy, Melbury, Mellers, Middleton, Oak Field, Radford Academy, Rise Park, Robin Hood, Rosslyn Park, Snape Wood, Southwold, St. Mary’s, Wellbeck, and Woodlands

The Summer 2024 Primary Parliament was generously supported by ChalleNGe


Recent Posts


bottom of page