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This article was written by Yasleen & Harleen, two pupils from Godolphin Junior Academy who were inspired to make their voices heard about their VotesforSchools lessons. Fariah, also from Godolphin Junior Academy, was also inspired to write about the World Cup in Qatar.

If you're an individual under 18 years of age and are interested in getting involved, head over to our Young Writers page to learn more.

"VotesforSchools gives kids knowledge"

Godolphin Junior Academy's views on VotesforSchools

A blog submission from Yasleen & Harleen

"Hello everyone," writes Harleen. "Today, I am going to be talking about the lessons at school that happen every Friday - VotesforSchools! This lesson is the best lesson of the whole day."

Yasleen agrees with Harleen, writing "VotesforSchools is something I look forward to all week."

What does a VotesforSchools lesson look like?

Children take part in a VotesforSchools assembly

But what does a VotesforSchools lesson look like? Here’s how Harleen sums it up:

So basically in class you…

  • Learn about new topics

  • You discuss with your partner

  • Then as a class you vote!

What do you like about VotesforSchools lessons?

"One thing I love about VotesforSchools is that they have short activities that are really fun to do," Yasleen says. "It's not only a fun, active (in some votes, you have to move) and educational lesson but also a safe and comfortable time to express your feelings, opinions, thoughts, and feelings about a certain topic," Yasleen comments. "You don't only get to learn new facts and information but you get to hear about other opinions from different people which then you may agree or disagree with. The topics are very interesting and some require deep thought. In these lessons, you can be yourself and vote about your opinions, not someone else's."

Harleen adds that they enjoy all of the new information they learn from VotesforSchools lessons, writing: "This is what makes the lesson fun; you're learning more facts. For example, we had a lesson about smoking and vaping and that's not very good for your health. If you smoke too many times, then you'll get addicted and your lungs will turn black. Also, if you're smoking in a car, then everyone's smoking because the smoke spreads around and that's how your whole family is affected."

Harleen continues to talk about how the lesson on smoking helped them to help others: "So, when we had the lesson about smoking, that lesson actually helped someone. I helped them because they were smoking, and then I said smoking is not good for you because it's not good for your health...and your lungs will get darker and darker, and you'll be addicted, because I've seen you smoking lots of times. So, that means you're addicted, so please stop, because if you're talking to your husband, then they'll start smoking as well because of the [particles in the] air, and they could get in [to medical] trouble."

Yasleen also talks about a recent topic that they learned about for Anti-Bullying Week, writing: "I love VotesForSchools because it talks about bullying, which is an act that takes place in schools at the same age of children as our school, so I find it very important to create awareness which has helped me inside and outside of school."

What skills do you think VotesforSchools teaches you?

Knowledge

Democracy

Voting

Oracy

"VotesforSchools gives kids knowledge," writes Harleen. Yasleen agrees with this and adds that voting is a skill they enjoy revisiting each week. They write, "This lesson also teaches us an important life skill of voting, which we'll need in the future, as well as the lesson and right of equality, and having your own voice heard by people. Overall, this is an amazing lesson. The topics discussed sometimes leave you wondering, and some are very mature. The topics are fun and interesting to discuss and question. I personally think that I make the fairest and best option at the end of the lesson."

What other topics would you like to discuss in your VotesforSchools lessons?

Here at VotesforSchools, we love hearing from our pupils and knowing what they’d like to find out more about, so we were glad to hear from the pupils at Godolphin!

Yasleen suggests a topic that many young people are passionate about, writing, "I would like to discuss more about climate change, as I think it's a topic where children can have good ideas and points to make, and it's something we should have a say in."

Harleen agrees, and also wants to dig deeper into how they can get involved and help change the world. They write, "I really want to learn about what's happening in the world, learn about wildlife, and how you can help all around the world. I really like nature, and we haven't done a lesson like that yet, so I really want to learn about this topic in VotesforSchools... [to learn] what's happening in the world and how we can help." Harleen gives examples of the types of changes that they would like to be a part of, such as "recycling things because we're not making the UK clean. We can make the UK a better place."

They continue, "or we could learn about not cutting trees because if we cut more trees, we get more paper, but if we need more paper that means we're wasting the old paper. But for example, if you didn't waste any of your books, that means you need it, because you finished the paper. That means you're doing a good thing, so you're not wasting paper."

Harleen would also like to know more about animals: "We could learn how to help animals and people that don't have a home and live on the streets. They could die because they don't get the right food to eat during the day. That means they're sad because they don't have a home, clothes, food, or even a soft bed, so we're very lucky that we have a home and all the stuff we need." They also add that Godolphin Junior School "is asking for lots of donations to help the homeless people" right now.

Well done Godolphin!