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On the spot

Ros Henderson teaches English at Twyford CEHigh School in Ealing, west London

Our cross-curricular citizenshipEnglish day at the magistrates' court is part of a programme to challenge our most able Year 11 students. This particular group have excellent verbal skills and many are interested in law and journalism.

The morning in court brought to life "How the Courts Work", from the GCSE citizenship short course, and provided a springboard for other school activities. It gave the students lots to discuss, including legal, ethical and moral issues. They were absorbed throughout the morning and were still asking questions at the end, even after three hours at the court.

The magistrates gave them a lot of time before and after the visit. They provided the kind of perspective and insider information that would be impossible for the teacher to give.

As follow-up, students will write a piece for the school newspaper and give feedback about their experiences, and the information they have gathered, to citizenship lessons. Some students are now keen to take part in the Mock Trial Competition running later this year.

On the map

Ealing Magistrates' Court

The Court House

Green Man Lane

London W13 0SD

Tel: 020 8579 9311

www.courtservice.gov.uk

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