Ashton Keynes Primary School pupils learn a valuable lesson as they take over the school for a day

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Jack, Year 3 and Rose, Year 4 taking on the role of Headteacher for the day Jack, Year 3 and Rose, Year 4 taking on the role of Headteacher for the day

STAFF at Ashton Keynes Primary School took a step back last Friday, as pupils took over school duties for the day.

Children in Year 3 and 4 came to school in professional working clothes and took over the key school duties, including teaching, answering the phone, sorting out payments and meeting and greeting visitors.

The initiative was based on teaching the children about the government. Teacher and organiser of the day Lisa Bailey said it would have been hard to relate the government to seven and eight-year-olds.

“Doing this instead shows them how and why the government tells teachers to teach children certain things,” she said.

One keen Year 3 pupil surprised the school’s caretaker by turning up at 7.50am to help him unlock the school and check the site was safe.

Gabriel, seven, said he was a bit too excited for the day’s activities: “I came in early so I could do every job,” he said. “I’m being a caretaker this morning and teaching in the afternoon. Feeding the birds has been the best bit so far.”

Students took turns to play a variety of roles from secretary, teacher, head teacher, governor and playground assistant.

The pupils had been told about the day’s activities nearly three weeks ago and had spent a lot of time preparing.

“It’s been really hard as a teacher to completely step back and let them do it but they have been doing so well so far,” continued Lisa.

Headteacher Kathryn Nicholas said she was so proud of how all the children managed the school during the day.

“It really gave them an idea of what work is all about. They took the responsibility really seriously,” she said.

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