Palgrave Primary School pupils take part in mock trial competition at Ipswich Crown Court
A judge, solicitors, police officers, witnesses, press officers, court staff, members of the jury and a criminal.
These were just some of the roles pupils from Palgrave Primary School played last week as they took part in a mock trial competition at Ipswich Crown Court.
The Year 5 and 6 pupils won through to the final of the competition – devised by Judge Rupert Overbury and the Ministry of Justice and designed to inspire the next generation of judges, legal teams and magistrates.
Around 30 Suffolk schools took part in the competition, which involved acting out a play written by Judge Overbury, with Palgrave being selected to take part in the final, against St Mark’s Catholic Primary School, Ipswich, based on their earlier performance at the end of last year.
“The pupils were brilliant and we are very proud of them,” said Will Munday, teacher at Palgrave Primary School.
“The trial centred around a criminal, called Johnny Rotten, who was caught after stealing a blue bike, with Tractor Boys scratched on it, while wearing a Norwich City football club shirt, which was obviously very suspicious.
“The whole trial took around 40 minutes, with the pupils playing everything from the prosecution and defence solicitors, to the police who investigated the crime, the judge and jury.
“Johnny Rotten was eventually found guilty. He was immediately grounded and had his pocket money stopped.”
The finalists acted out the court room drama in front of Judge Rupert Overbury, along with Ipswich mayor Jane Riley, High Sheriff of Suffolk George Vestey and the Bishop of Ipswich, the Rt Rev Martin Seeley. Scores were awarded for each performance, with marks awarded for presentation and imagination,
“Our pupils were worthy runners up,” added Mr Munday. “We won a certificate with £100 of book vouchers for the school, with three pupils winning a special prize for their acting. Everyone won a notepad and a pen.
“One of our roles at the school is to teach British values and the rule of law.
“Quite a few pupils have said since they would like to pursue law as a career, or perhaps become police officers.”