Educational Comment from the Senior Leadership Team - Mrs C Pheiffer
As I write this, the general election is just a few days away. However, here at Blackheath High School, our focus is on the end of year and public examinations.
So, it was in the week before the holiday, that we held two events to mark the election. The first was a debate hosted by the Debating Society: “This House believes the over 70’s shouldn’t be able to vote”. This was followed by an election assembly, where students presented the different party manifestos before voting in a mock election.
Our role as teachers is to encourage our students to think for themselves. We have to be careful to avoid any possible expression of our own political thinking. Our job is to nurture thought, the pursuit of knowledge and creativity, ensuring that we present our students with a wide range of viewpoints and opinions and equip them with the tools to evaluate effectively. This is a challenge and one of the profession’s greater social responsibilities.
It was therefore exciting to hear the students’ speeches. Some were funny and entertaining. They all demonstrated reassuring levels of engagement and keen interest in a world where too many young people are afflicted by political apathy. They listened and shared ideas freely and respectfully. There was no bickering and no one took offence.
And the results? The debate motion was passed and the Labour party won by a landslide.