By Teresa Gomez, Communications and Marketing

25 October 2018 - 10:43

October is one of the most important months in Secondary. Our pupils have to vote for Head Students in Year 9 and Year 13. This is a very important election because those chosen will represent everyone else. They will act as intermediaries between all the other students, the teaching staff and the rest of the School. At the beginning of each academic year, the Head Students are democratically elected by their peers, based on election manifestos which they each put forward. Convincing, persuading, explaining their proposals... another example of our students´ expertise in oratory and Public Speaking.

During the Head Student Election campaign, candidates in Year 9 had two time-slot opportunities to present their ideas to other students, first with Year 7 and Year 8 and then with Year 9. These are manifestos for future changes and improvements, if they are voted in and elected as representatives. Amongst the ideas suggested were changes to the lunch menu so that at least one day a week, there might be dishes such as hamburger and chips, etc; the idea of having an hour on Fridays to do homework at School, thus having a little more free time at the weekend; or creating a web page for students to collectively post questions and queries about homework or exams and for teachers to also have access to be able to answer these and help students.

On their part, the Junior Head Students (Year 13) who are in their last year at School, wanted to change some of the products sold in the vending machines which only they have access to, greater involvement in the organisation of the end of year School trip, or the idea of having special lunch menus, amongst others.

As well as providing the important right of being able to elect representatives and intermediaries, these processes allow students to gain first-hand knowledge of basic principles of democracy and participation. Students are able to get direct experience of how to plan and run electoral campaigns. They learn about the importance of participation through voting rights, the need for fair play and the rigourous scrutiny involved in counting votes. And, of course, the sportsmanship required in accepting results, even when these go against you. All in all, a most valuable experience which our students can take with them into later life.