Pupils at a Suffolk secondary school took to the polls last week to take part in their very own leadership election. 

Thurston Community College held a vote for its student leadership election on Thursday, July 4, falling perfectly in line with the general election. 

Before the poll, all students received lessons on democracy and during Life Skills lessons students learned about the voting process. 

For two weeks the four candidates vying for the top job campaigned to win votes from their peers, presenting assemblies, creating posters and holding drop-ins. 

The Student News Team outside the polling stationThe Student News Team outside the polling station (Image: Thurston Community College)

The student news team, made up of Year 8 to 10 students, also produced three live TV-style broadcasts across the college, including a live debate and a live reveal after voting had taken place, all of which were posted to YouTube. 

On election day, the students visited a polling station set up in the school where they had to present their ID cards and were given ballot papers for the vote. 

They then posted the ballots into a sealed ballot box which was transported to Thurston Sixth for a count.  

The debate broadcast teamThe debate broadcast team (Image: Thurston Community College)

Debates were broadcast live around the schoolDebates were broadcast live around the school (Image: Thurston Community College)

“The atmosphere in the college has been incredible” said one student.

"The live shows were brilliant and voting in a real polling station really brought the experience to life.

"When I get to vote in the future, I will know what to do and it won’t feel daunting."

College principal, Maéve Taylor, said: “At the end of a phenomenal few weeks of campaigning, debating and voting, I would like to give my thanks and congratulations to everyone involved.

"Remember that in the future your vote will always have the potential to change the world."

On July 4 the general election saw big changes in Suffolk - with the Conservatives losing to Labour in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, Suffolk Coastal, Ipswich and Lowestoft.

The new Waveney Valley seat was taken by the Green Party, while the Conservatives held South Suffolk and West Suffolk.