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What is democracy?

To read a tweet that talked about one of our five year olds spending Friday tea time explaining democracy was the icing on the cake this week! That happened because of the success of our School Council election and our assembly theme of ‘democracy’. It also happened because our children are thinkers and love to join in with a discussion, particularly one about big ideas!

At the start of the week, I introduced the theme in our whole school assembly. I asked the children to explain democracy. Some talked about voting and putting a cross on a ballot paper – they knew they had done this themselves when we held our vote last term to select a quote for our hall wall. As the discussion deepened, some children talked about different groups of people thinking different things and how democracy is about compromise and fairness and accepting that you might not always get what you want. It was lovely to hear one child say, ‘It has to be fair and you might not win but you have to be proud of that’. Amazing!

Following the assembly, the children were asked to nominate themselves to be a school councillor. A boy and a girl from each class is elected by their peers to represent the class. If you would like to know more about the things the council does and how it operates, take a look at our School Council page under the ‘children’ tab. In order to put themselves forward, the children complete a nomination form and stand up in class and say why they would make a good councillor. It is a lovely experience to read these forms and see the ways the children are able to recognise the qualities they have.

On Friday, the whole school came together to hear the results of the election. We were so proud to hear that 89 children had put themselves forward as candidates. That is 47% of the electorate! We started by talking about how it was not possible for all 89 to be elected and that it was natural to feel disappointed if you were not successful this time. We asked all the candidates to stand up and receive a clap and they were all given a well done sticker. When the winning candidates were announced there was great excitement in the hall and everyone was pleased for the new school councillors. They received a special certificate and a badge to wear on their school jumper!

Very soon, the councillors will have their first meeting. They will be supported in these by Mrs Channon who will be helping the children to organise their meetings, hold discussions, take minutes,survey opinions and make decisions. They will also be asked to report back to their classmates and to the whole school. What a lot of responsibility. Hopefully, at some point in the year they will also visit Bury Town Hall and have the opportunity to sit in the council chamber!

It has been a really positive week and the children have truly had the opportunity to experience ‘democracy in action’!

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