Children 'get married' at Leeds primary school's mock wedding ceremony

A Leeds school has taught its early years children a life lesson by staging a mock wedding.

Nursery and reception pupils from Drighlington Primary School take part in a mock wedding at St Paul's Church, with Bride Kelissi Lister-Kemp and groom Blake Green taking the staring roles. Picture Tony Johnson.

Nursery and reception pupils at Drighlington Primary School took part in the ceremony at St Paul's Church yesterday - complete with 'bride and groom', best man and bridesmaids.

The event was set up to provide an opportunity for staff and the church's Vicar, Reverend Paul Walker, to talk to the youngsters about marriage and partnerships.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Reverend Paul Walker with nursery and reception pupils at Drighlington Primary School taking part in a mock wedding at St Paul's Church, with pupils taking on the roles of bride, groom, best man, ushers and bridesmaids. Picture Tony Johnson.

Early years leader Helen Christie said that it came about after the children had heard her speak to teaching assistant Raphael Fox about the latter's upcoming wedding.

Mrs Christie said: "The children are interested but not all their parents are married, so we celebrate all sorts of different partnerships, but we thought it would be really nice to go to a church to show them what it's all about."

Blake Green and Kelissi Lister-Kemp, both aged five, took the place of the bride and groom, while Samuel Ford served as best man.

Phoebe Harrison-Dalby, Jessica Turner, Emilie Hall, Ivie Mortimer and Indie Milner stepped up as bridesmaids.

Parents also dressed up and turned out for the ceremony, some donning a classic wedding hat.

Following the service, during which they exchanged rings for show, the youngsters went back to school for a buffet and even cut a cake.

Mrs Christie, who only recently came to Leeds from Lancashire, said: "Next I want to do a christening, so we will do the same thing.

"I think people are getting used to all the interesting things I like to do."

She added: "It deepens their understanding and their learning. We don't just to them because we want to get dressed up and have a buffet, we do it because it makes the experiences significant and real for the children."

Colleague Carol Crangle said: "In class this morning it's been amazing. They're recreating it all over and over.

"We've put the photographs up and they've then all listened to them saying the vows."