WATCH: Kesgrave’s Heath Primary School transformed into polling station for special vote

Youngsters queuing up to have their vote counted Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Youngsters queuing up to have their vote counted Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

Students at a Suffolk primary school queued up to take part in a poll with a difference.

Youngsters at Heath Primary School in Kesgrave have voted on new names for their school houses.

Currently students at the school belong to either the foxes, frogs, lions or whales, but recently some students decided that they would like to try something new.

“It was a really interesting idea,” said co-headteacher David Whatley, “but we didn’t want to do anything that would go against the wishes of the other children.”

To make sure it was something that the majority of pupils wanted, the school decided to hold a referendum.

Youngsters enjoy casting their vote at Heath Primary School Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Youngsters enjoy casting their vote at Heath Primary School Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant


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“We gave every child in years 1-6 a ballot paper with the two choices on, and 77% of the voters decided that they would like to change the names,”said Mr Whatley.

With a clear majority of pupils interested in new names the school decided to take the opportunity to teach students about voting as part of them learning about British values.

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“We are trying to make it feel as real as we possibly can. It makes it special,” said Mr Whatley.

“This has come from the children and has taught them about democracy.”

Pupils at Heath Primary School taking part in their own referendum and learning about voting by turn

Pupils at Heath Primary School taking part in their own referendum and learning about voting by turning their hall into a polling station. October 2018. Byline: Rachel Edge - Credit: Archant

On the ballot papers the students were given three sets of options for the new names: either mythical beasts, Suffolk rivers, or trees.

To make the day feel even more authentic the school’s Upper Unit hall was transformed into a polling station complete with an authentic ballot box for students to put their votes in.

Class by class students signed onto an “electoral register” before having to choose between the three options on offer.

The school’s digital newspaper team Heath News, then reported on what was happening on the day.

The options that students at Heath School were able to pick Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The options that students at Heath School were able to pick Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

In total 600 students aged between 4-11 cast their vote, including students in the nursery class.

The results of the school vote will be announced in an assembly once all of the votes have been counted.

Pupils at Heath Primary School taking part in their own referendum and learning about voting by turn

Pupils at Heath Primary School taking part in their own referendum and learning about voting by turning their hall into a polling station. October 2018. Byline: Rachel Edge - Credit: Archant

Pupils at Heath Primary School taking part in their own referendum and learning about voting by turn

Pupils at Heath Primary School taking part in their own referendum and learning about voting by turning their hall into a polling station. October 2018. Byline: Rachel Edge - Credit: Archant

A referendum was held earlier this month to see if children wanted a change Picture: RACHEL EDGE

A referendum was held earlier this month to see if children wanted a change Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

Real ballot boxes were used to help children learn about politics Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Real ballot boxes were used to help children learn about politics Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

Staff at the school have been suprised by the students response Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Staff at the school have been suprised by the students response Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

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