The Student Council plays a big part in school life here at Belmayne. Elections are held annually and for the 2021/2022 school year they were held on the 14th of October. Due to COVID restrictions, the process was quite different this year. Despite this, it was very exciting election this year with exceptionally enthusiastic candidates.
This year’s elections had two pathways to determine the final Student Council, Route 1 and Route 2. Route 1 was the traditional pathway to the Student Council. To begin with all children from fifth and sixth were invited to put themselves forward as candidates. All four classes had mini elections to determine who would proceed to the whole school election. Four pupils from each class (five from Diarmuid’s due to a tie), fifth and sixth were successful in their attempt to get to the main election. This year, Viv is the co-ordinator of the elections. She asked all candidates to record a video of themselves for the election. Before recording the videos the candidates learned about the qualities and traits a good candidate should have. They were then taught how to present a persuasive speech for their election campaign.
Route 2 was designed to give pupils who have a lot to offer but may not be confident enough to apply through Route 1. Route 2 applicants were asked to write a letter of application. 25 pupils in total applied through Route 2. Based on a set criteria, a total six applicants were invited to interview. The interviews were carried out by Sinead, Viv and Gearoid.
In Belmayne, there are 10 pupils on the Student Council. This year over 50 brave children ran for these 10 seats! As mentioned above, the election process this year had two rounds. In round one, only Fifth and Sixth class voted. Each of these classes choose four candidates (five for Diarmuid’s class) to represent their class. This meant that 17 children went through to the final round of elections.
The candidates in the final round of elections this year had to do all their canvasing through videos and election posters. In these videos and posters the candidates outlined their ideas. Each teacher showed the 17 videos to their classes throughout the week. The standard was very high and all classes had lively debates and discussions about their favourite candidates. Many children in the junior classes were very proud to have siblings, friends and neighbours running as candidates. This year however, (due to COVID restrictions) the candidates could not directly answer questions from the voters.
On voting day there was huge excitement in the school. Class teachers took votes from junior infants to 4th class and Sinead and Gearoid collected votes from 5th and 6th classes. Children were called out of class individually and voted in privacy for their preferred candidate. In the junior classes, the children were shown pictures of the candidates and they pointed to the one they wished to vote for.
Congratulations to Isabella, who is our new Student Council President and to the other nine successful candidates. We look forward to a great year.