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What fun we had last week in the build-up to the Pre-Prep Playtime Election and the subsequent ‘big reveal’ of who had proved triumphant. The children were completely absorbed by the whole idea and many parents commented on how it had been a ‘hot topic’ of conversation at home too. I was fascinated to hear some of the children’s thoughts as they openly shared them with both their friends and their teachers. Their questioning skills were really impressive as they pondered: how many sweets / what type of sweets would the ‘Sweety Treaty’ party provide? What if they didn’t like them? Exactly how much more time would the ‘Longer Playtime’ party offer? Was the ‘Girl Power’ party fair? I was also surprised by the loyalty that came through as I heard children talking about really wanting to vote for one party because they liked the offer but choosing instead to vote for their class teacher because this was the person who looked after them.

We were all massively impressed by one Reception child who simply couldn’t decide who to vote for and so decided to throw his own hat into the election ring and stand as a candidate himself!

Sadly his entry arrived a little too late (the morning of Election Day itself) and so we could not add him to the ballot paper list. However, it has planted a seed of an idea which will hopefully involve the children forming their own parties in a few weeks’ time to campaign for what we should do to celebrate the end of the academic year. This should prove a fantastic learning opportunity for mixed age teamwork, researching the validity of their promises, presenting them to an audience and will also provide another experience of the democratic voting process.

I am so pleased we decided to seize the moment and use a very current ‘real’ event to support the children’s learning and understanding and am so proud of how the children responded. It has allowed them to have a valid voice, albeit for a frivolous reason, and enabled them to experience both victory and disappointment depending on who they voted for. It will be interesting to see how they deal with this next week – Rhino Respect and Tolerant Turtle will definitely be out and about helping the children remember these important values. I must also thank the respective parties for their hard work in giving the children plenty to think about. However, congratulations must be given to ‘The ‘Party’ Party’ for their triumphant victory and we all look forward to a week’s worth of playtimes with a party atmosphere!

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