On the final day of their ‘Bridge the Gap’ course, the Upper Fifth took part in an interactive democracy morning in the Emms Centre. The objective of this event was to help the pupils gain a valuable understanding of democracy and citizenship in the UK in advance of them becoming first time voters in their final two years at school.

After being taken through the basics of democracy and participation in the UK, pupils were then asked to vote in a referendum on scrapping the school uniform, which was unanimously rejected. A mock election was then held, with different members of the year standing as candidates for the position of ‘junior senior prefect’, with each candidate having a short manifesto on what they would bring to the role.

The second half of the morning focused on how to make a change in society. After exploring this idea and the basics of active citizenship, the pupils were then split in to 12 teams and presented with a final task to pitch a change in the school conventions to the Deputy Heads in a Dragons’ Den style setting.

There were some intriguing suggestions, put forward eloquently and persuasively to Mr Bird and Dr Saxel on the best ways to make changes in the school; including a ‘VAR’ style review process for house punishments, to the construction of a ski-lift from Loveday House to the Emms Centre in order to reduce the number of ‘late cards’ for Loveday pupils!

This was a wonderful way to finish off the year and huge credit to all members of the Upper Fifth for engaging so well and energetically with this really important topic.