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English - The law in their hands

What's it all about?

The 12 members of the jury are restless for proceedings to begin, writes Steve Eddison.

"Would the Right Honourable Miss Carriage like to call upon the prosecution to outline their case?" I hiss. Miss Carriage adjusts her wig, replaces her glasses and declares that the case of Smith versus Eddison should begin.

We have been studying formal letter-writing, which has taken the form of solicitors' letters representing - and seeking hefty damages for - children who have been ill used by their teacher. In this case, me.

Learning to write formal letters, using polite language, a formal tone and a passive voice, can be boring. Dramatise them, however, in the form of a court of law and the whole process becomes exciting.

Jake Smith instructs his barrister (Ryan) to read out the formal arguments before a judge and jury. The counsel for the defence makes notes. Witnesses for both sides prepare to give evidence.

Ryan opens the case for the prosecution. "Your Worship, it is hereby declared that during a lesson on the Vikings, which took place at Arbourthorne School on 3 February 2012, a class teacher known as Mr Eddison instructed my client, Mr Jake Smith, to bang a drum repeatedly while the rest of the class were forced to sit in lines on the floor pretending to row a longship across the North Sea. Since that time - and as a consequence of Mr Eddison's negligence - my client has developed impaired hearing and a repetitive strain injury ."

What else?

Develop pupils' formal tone with a presentation from rec208.

Inspire a classroom of sleuths with LizzieKitteh's detective scheme of work.

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