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Monday, 02 February 2015
Magistrates who run the Education Programme visited Hesketh House to help the Year 6 girls conduct a mock trial. The two Year 6 classrooms were transformed into a mock Magistrates’ Court for the afternoon so that the case against Johnny and Sally could be heard.
After finding out about the significance of the Coat of Arms in the courtroom, pupils assumed a variety of roles to simulate the courtroom experience. Two girls were selected to stand in for the accused; several portrayed defendants and witnesses; others pretended to be the press representatives, court artists, or members of the gallery; and a number of girls took on the roles of court officials, including magistrates, security guards, the defence solicitor, the usher, and even the Crown Prosecutor!
Through playing these roles, the girls got a sense of what it would be like in a Magistrates’ Court. They were also able to learn about the different roles each individual plays: who can affect the outcome, and under what circumstances they might be needed.
The case was heard, and following this decisions had to be made. Pupils had a stimulating discussion with the visiting magistrates about the various punishments they could consider: a prison sentence, a fine, probation, community punishment or a conditional discharge. Once they had heard all of the options, sentencing could begin.
The girls wholeheartedly threw themselves into the courtroom drama, and as well as having a lot of fun, they also learned many valuable lessons about the law along the way.
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