Twelve students from the S4S team were selected to represent OPA for a visit to the Mayor’s Parlour and Chambers. All students were a credit to the Academy and really enjoyed the visit. Mayor Sue Gray was a great host, providing refreshments and a very relaxed feel to the visit. Students started the visit in the Mayor’s Parlour where they were offered refreshments, asked many questions about her role and were shown the Mayor’s official ceremonial robes. Students were given the great honour of passing around the Mayor’s tricom (hat) which was a deep velvety black, trimmed with gold. The students (and the Mayor) commented on how heavy it was.

Following the time spent in the Chambers, students were allowed the very honoured privilege of entering the Chambers. OPA is the first school in the borough to visit the Mayor’s office and the students were extremely proud. Mayor Gray showed the students all the key features of the Chambers including the honours board that listed all previous Mayors of Thurrock. Following the tour, students were allowed to sit in the Mayor’s and Deputy Mayor’s chairs. Students also sat in the councillor’s chairs and participated in a mock councillor’s meeting. Students used the microphones to speak and continued to ask some fantastic questions that challenged Mayor Gray.

The S4S students have offered to complete a project with the Mayor’s office and are already planning some great ideas.

It was a great honour to visit Mayor Gray and the students are really proud of their achievements.