64 year 5 and 6 pupils from 16 Nottingham City schools took part in Primary Parliament today at the Council House to discuss their ideas for how cities can be designed in a way that makes them safer and more enjoyable places to live.

The theme of the day was Safe Lives, Positive Communities, Smart City.

Primary Parliament takes place six times per year and has been running in its current format since 2015. It is an initiative of the Children’s Partnership Board which oversees children and young people’s services in the city.

Each session has a different theme, and encourages Nottingham children to feed into discussions on issues that affect their schools, local community and the city as a whole.

At Primary Parliament today children worked in eight groups to design and build one component of a city, such as parks, healthcare or housing. They specifically considered how to create safer cities using digital technology in their design.

Materials were provided for the children to physically build their designs. Members of the groups had different responsibilities such as designing, building or marketing (i.e. presenting their model).

Groups presented their model to Councillor Mellen, council officers and teachers, and took questions. At the end of the day, all the models were placed together to resemble a city and photographs were taken.

The children’s ideas will be taken back to the City Council and schools to be discussed further.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Years and Early Intervention at Nottingham City Council, said: “Primary Parliament enables children to develop their confidence in teamwork and leadership. It is an excellent opportunity for them to gain curriculum-enhancing experiences outside of the school setting and meet children from other schools.

“Having had the privilege of chairing Primary Parliament along with my colleague Cllr Sam Webster on a regular basis, I am constantly impressed at the ability of our primary children to express themselves verbally with high levels of eloquence. It is always an enjoyable experience attending the Primary Parliament.”

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “We want Nottingham to be known as a first class destination for science, technology and innovation, and for Nottingham children to be fully equipped for the knowledge economy job opportunities that are increasingly available in Nottingham.

“Primary Parliament is one of the ways we are inspiring children at a young age to develop their passion for learning and have their voice heard.”