LONGER playtime was the first rule made by the new headteacher at St Paul’s Primary School in Royton.
But much to the disappointment of the pupils it only lasted for one day because it was put in place by Year 3 student Mason as he took on the top role temporarily.
He was supported by deputy headteachers Joshua (Year 5) and Imogen (Year 2) after they were elected by the other pupils to be in charge on Monday, July 8.
Headteacher Mrs Hilary Henderson explained the reasons behind sharing her power for the day.
“During polling week in May we wanted to encourage our pupils to understand the system of democracy and what their parents would be doing when they went to a polling station to vote,” she explained.
“We gave the pupils an opportunity to try to be elected as ‘headteacher for the day’ by preparing a speech and delivering it at a whole school assembly. All the school voted for the person they felt would be best suited to be headteacher.
“We had 23 candidates, who all thought about things they would do for the school. The winning candidate, Mason, decided to give longer playtimes to the children.
“There were two other candidates – Joshua and Imogen – whose scores were so close to that of Mason that we decided they could be deputy headteachers for the day too.”
The three pupils swapped their usual uniform for smart suits and dresses as they launched enthusiastically into their roles.
They began the day by meeting the school’s governors and welcoming the teachers, parents and other pupils in the morning.
Later on, they led an assembly on perseverance and reminded children about being safe at school and they gave certificates out to children who could have a longer playtime.
The trio then toured the school, went into lessons to look at learning, signed invoices (especially prepared by the Office Manager) and replied to a letter from the governors.
Mason said signing the paperwork was a highlight of his day while Joshua enjoyed looking at pupils’ work and seeing how they have improved.
He added: “All the children and staff at school look after each other like it is a family.”
Imogen said: “I was excited about the assembly and giving the out the certificates for extra playtime to other pupils.
“The day helped us learn how hard the teachers work for us. St Paul’s is the best school ever!”
Mrs Henderson said: “This is the second year we have done this activity and it will continue to be an annual event.
“It is a great way for children to understand British values, responsibility and education and to feel valued and respected by their peers.”
Mrs Wright, chair of governors, added: “The day is great as the pupils can go around and see the school as a happy and safe place where they can develop and learn.
“It also gives us a chance to see school from the children’s point of view and what matters most to them.”