The importance of democracy around the world and in the UK makes headlines every day, particularly in the recent months of Government upheaval and changes in leadership.
However, children at Newington Community Primary in Ramsgate made the news in their own way with their own smoothly-run democratic process during the recent UK Parliament Week leading to the election of new senior pupils.
During their campaigning the Year 6 candidates outlined their manifestos to pupils and parents in the main hall with passionate and thought-provoking speeches.
Children then visited their own polling stations to cast their votes and elect who they thought would best represent the school in the role.
The votes were counted with more than 560 individual ballot papers checked and recorded. The results were announced at the end of UK Parliament Week by teacher Alex Ford, Pupil Voice Lead who organised the election, and Deputy Head Teacher Becca Heaton.
Mr Ford (pictured with senior pupil team) said: “UK Parliament Week is a nationwide festival to engage schools in how our parliament works. Newington uses it as an opportunity to elect our head pupils and promote the value of children using their voices and how important their opinions are to both fellow pupils and staff.
“Our Year 6 pupils put themselves forward as candidates to be elected and wrote their own reasons why they would be the best candidate. These were then shortlisted to 12 who then prepared their own campaign speech to win over the votes.”
Thomas and Rosie were elected as head pupils, with Ronnie and Lily as their deputies.
Head Teacher Hannah Tudor was impressed by the way the children were so involved with the election. She said: “The standard of speeches was very strong and all of the candidates gave a very positive account of themselves, coming across with good reasons to be elected.
“It is important for our school to show our democracy in action particularly as many of our pupils would be aware of the recent political upheaval in the UK which generated so much confusing and multi-faceted information surrounding the governance of our country.
“Our new head pupils and senior team will be terrific ambassadors for our Newington community and will help and support their fellow pupils and staff in a variety of aspects of school life.”
Isn’t this what we used to call Prefects in the Days Of Yore?
We had a Head Boy *and* prefect in my day.