Jewish primary school celebrates Democracy Day

Mayor Glanville shows off his invitation alongside Cllr Pallis and two Year 6 pupils. Photograph: Simon Marks

Pupils at Simon Marks Jewish Primary School celebrated a day of democracy last month – with the help of a few special guests from Hackney Council.

Mayor Philip Glanville, Speaker Cllr Clare Potter and local councillor Sam Pallis joined students as they created manifestos and voted to elect their school council representatives on 21 September.

The Stoke Newington primary was turned into a polling station for the day as pupils got a chance to hear from the three local politicians about their experiences of public duty and voting.

Speaker Cllr Potter even explained the meaning behind all the symbols on her ceremonial chain.

Chain reaction: Speaker Clare Potter showed the pupils her ceremonial attire. Photograph: Simon Marks

Having accepted personal invitations written by two Year 6 pupils, the guests spent the day helping the youngsters prepare their manifestos, before watching on as they went to the polls.

Mayor Glanville said he was “honoured” to have been invited: “It’s been wonderful to see all the candidates as well as the entire school community fizzing with ideas.

“What shines through is the warm ethos of diversity and inclusion within the school which plays a large part in Hackney life.”

Each class voted democratically to elect its council representatives and, at the end of the day, Cllr Pallis announced the winners.

The school became a polling station for the day. Photograph: Simon Marks

Headteacher Gulcan Metin Asdoyuran said: “It was an absolute pleasure to have the Mayor and other members of the council in our school.

“They helped to bring democracy to life for our pupils who were really excited at the opportunity to ask questions and find out first-hand what democracy in action, in Hackney, looks and feels like.”

The new student council’s first project will involve a special visit to the Houses of Parliament.

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