High school pupils in courtroom drama

PUPILS at Thurleston High School in Ipswich found themselves starring in a courtroom drama as they took part in a conference on youth crime.Experts from the Howard League for Penal Reform spent two days at the school working with pupils at the Citizenship and Crime Project conference.

By Judy Rimmer

PUPILS at Thurleston High School in Ipswich found themselves starring in a courtroom drama as they took part in a conference on youth crime.

Experts from the Howard League for Penal Reform spent two days at the school working with pupils at the Citizenship and Crime Project conference.

Nearly 200 year nine pupils took part in the event, which was the first time a conference like this had been held outside London.


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The sessions included role-play, with small groups of pupils putting together short presentations on stage to illustrate issues of crime and justice for the rest of their year group.

The youngsters also took on adult roles in mock sittings of a magistrates court and youth offender panel, and discussed suitable and appropriate punishments for a variety of offences.

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"We learned about crime and how to prevent it," said Owen Nunn, 14. "As a young person it was really helpful to discuss these things and how crime affects society. I've learned a lot about the court system."

Heather Shallow, also 14, added: "The conference was very interesting. My favourite session was on moral dilemmas – it's given me a much better understanding of the legal system."

Teacher Terry Duffell, pastoral manager for pupils aged 11 to 16, said: "The conference expanded on some work already being done in our school and was a new initiative for us.

"There were workshops on a variety of subjects including rights and responsibilities in society and who ultimately pays the price when a crime is committed.

"Many pupils were surprised to find that young people are frequently the victims in youth crime, even though their own experiences confirmed it."

AWG, the group of companies including Anglian Water, sponsored the event, and volunteers from various departments within the organisation came into school to work with pupils on the project.

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