CHILDREN at Norristhorpe Junior and Infant School experienced democracy first-hand with a mock election.
As voters in North Kirklees went to the polls last week, pupils formed their own political parties, created their manifestos and election broadcasts and canvassed other children during playtime and lunchbreaks to seek their votes.
Pupils also gained an insight into the organisation of an election, staffing the polling station, counting the votes and declaring the results.
After learning about the democratic process in assemblies, children participated enthusiastically in their chance to have their say, with a school-wide turnout of more than 70 per cent.
The children were so keen to choose their candidate that they were happy to join long queues – even braving showers of rain.
The winning candidate was Ellie, whose campaign focused on national issues such as hospital staffing, voting reform and local issues such as school libraries and safer road crossings.
She said: “I was nervous during the count because I was unsure who was going to win.
“It was fantastic to win as it felt like all the hard work of my team and I had paid off.
“I would like to run as an MP for real one day, because going out and encouraging others to vote was really rewarding.’’
Gareth Luby, the teacher who organised the election said: “I was really pleased with the way the children participated.
“I hope they will continue to understand how democracy affects them as they grow up to be young voters.’’
The election at Norristhorpe was part of the nationwide Mock Elections 2019 schools campaign, supported by the Hansard Society.
Mock Elections in Schools has been running for 50 years and is the longest civic education project of its kind, involving students all over the world.