Not only was last week the UK Parliamentary Election, but the children of East Preston Junior School got a taste of democracy too!
With the school acting as a polling station for the election on 8 June, it made sense for the children to have as real an experience as possible for their mini election the day before and Arun District Council provided the equipment to do it with.
The children got to see what happens during an election period and how the whole electoral process works. They found out about ballot boxes, manifestos, ballot papers, presiding officers and more.
Although they weren’t voting for which political party would be in power, the children were voting for House Captains, the principles of the democratic process are the same.
Not only did the children have a busy and interesting day for their elections on Wednesday, some of them also visited the polling station during the actual election on Thursday to see how their experiences were reflected in real life.
Acting Returning Officer for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton and Chief Executive of Arun District Council, Nigel Lynn said “This is such a great way of educating children about democracy and the importance of using their vote. They are the electorate of the future and it’s great to see them learning about and enjoying how democracy works.”
Some of the children also commented. Emily in year 6 explained “It made me feel really important and proud, and I enjoyed it.”
Hannah in year 5 remarked, “I felt like a proper adult – so when I’m 18, I’ll already know what it feels like to vote!”
Sophie in year 3 said “We got to pick whoever we liked and nobody could stop us!”
While Emma in year 6 commented, “It gave me a good taste of real life.”
Kathy Lockyear, Head teacher was very impressed with the maturity that the children showed, their inquisitiveness and thirst for knowledge. “Our children enjoyed a real taste of what voting entails. I believe this opportunity has given them an understanding of the importance of democracy and an insight into British politics.”