Court in the act of learning

13th April 2012 at 01:00
There were no objections when pupils took part in a mock trial. Emma Seith gives evidence

Pupils from a Renfrewshire primary school have been getting familiar with the long arm of the law by acting as witnesses to a crime and then taking part in a mock trial.

The event, entitled "Bringing Learning to Life", saw the P6 pupils from Brediland Primary in Paisley work with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Strathclyde Police and the Scottish Court Service to learn all about the justice system.

The first part of the event took place at the school, with a crime being acted out, police being called and pupils having to give witness statements with the help of officers and staff from the Procurator Fiscal Service.

The different roles of the Crown, the defence, the Sheriff and the jury were then explained to pupils, after which they were split into groups and each assigned a role.

Each group then had to analyse the case and the part they would play before a mock trial at Paisley Sheriff Court based on the crime they had witnessed earlier. The trial was presided over by a real sheriff and sheriff clerk, with members of the Procurator Fiscal Service leading both the defence and prosecution and pupils acting as junior counsel.

District Procurator Fiscal at Paisley Kenny Donnelly says: "The role play exercises the pupils undertake really do engage their analytical, observation, team-building and communication skills.

"It is always a pleasure to see how much the children enjoy the day and perhaps some of them may be inspired to work in the criminal justice system themselves in the future."

Marie-Claire Temple, headteacher of Brediland Primary, says: "It is through this kind of excellent partnership work that we are able to provide our pupils with high-quality learning experiences, designed to equip them with essential sustainable skills for life and work."

The project was run as part of Curriculum for Excellence.

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