Whitechapel’s Muberry School pupils learn importance of Magna Carta

Magna Carta... teaching 21st century students about their constitutional heritage [photo: Tony Husse

Magna Carta... teaching 21st century students about their constitutional heritage [photo: Tony Hussey] - Credit: Bank of America

School pupils in London’s East End have been studying copies of Magna Carta as part of today’s 800th anniversary of its signing by King John.

Magna Carta... teaching 21st century students about their constitutional heritage [photo: Tony Husse

Magna Carta... teaching 21st century students about their constitutional heritage [photo: Tony Hussey] - Credit: Bank of America

The Queen has been marking the historic event at Runnymead where Magna Carta was originally signed on the banks of the Thames, while pupils from Whitechapel’s Mulberry Girls’ Secondary have been on a London schools’ programme learning about its significance in British constitutional history.

The Year 10 pupils visited the Society of Antiquaries in the West End which is running an exhibition bringing together copies of the charter for the first time, containing the 1215 draft and 1225 reissue.

“It’s important for pupils today to feel connected to even quite ancient parts of English history,” Mulberry School’s women’s education officer Holly Green said. “Magna Carta was the first attempt at setting up people’s rights to be protected in law.

“It’s important for students to be aware of that process and have a sense of how our modern legal system has grown up from the past.”


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The pupils visited the society’s headquarters at Burlington House in Piccadilly for their heritage studies and gave their impressions of what this fundamental “pillar of democracy” means to them as youngsters in the 21st century.

Naphysa Awuah, 16, said: “Preserving these copies and being able to come here to appreciate them helps us understand that history is not something just in the past—but is part of our present and our future.”

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Her classmate Naphysa Awuah said: It’s important to feel connected to Britain’s past as much as its present.”

The conservation project for London schools has been set up by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Canary Wharf to teach today’s youngsters the importance of Magna Carta eight centuries ago and its constitutional significance for the emergence of modern Western democracy.

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