PUPILS went to the polls and elected their own representatives as part of their studies tackling the world of democracy.

The youngsters at Horwich Parish Church of England Primary School recently selected representatives for eco, safety and school council.

But instead of choosing them within the classes, the school decided to hold a ballot imitating a real election over a three-week period.

During the first week, the students learned about the elections and learnt about democracy and week two was dedicated to the candidates running campaigns.

They wrote their own manifestos and gave a speech in front of their classmates, bidding to become one of the six representatives.

In the final week, children received a ballot paper to vote for two representatives for eco council, two for safety council and two for school council per class.

The votes were counted by year four teacher Kathryn Hall, who carried out the part of presiding officer, and year six volunteers helped to run the polling station.

The results were announced in an assembly and each of the 72 winners was given a badge to indicate which council they represented, designed by pupils Freya and Indira Buckley.

Mrs Hall said: "I think for some of these children, this will be the first idea that they will ever get of what voting is like until they have the right to vote themselves.

"I hope they realise that their votes do count and that if they take part in elections then they can contribute to society and to politics.

"It was really impressive because some children public speaking is a barrier and there were some pupils who wanted to take part but were quite nervous.

"But they have been very enthusiastic and have embraced the whole project."

The school thanked Bolton Council for loaning the equipment.