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The Corporation

Posted: 16/03/15

Law and justice brought to life

Students of Vision Studio School donned wigs and gowns to take part in a mock trial at Nottingham’s historic Galleries of Justice.

  • Students donned wigs and gowns for the trial of Dr Crippen
  • Students take part in the mock trial
  • Solicitor Megan Kirby took part in a question and answer session with students

A group of 40 Year 10 students re-enacted the infamous trial of Dr Crippen, who was charged and convicted of the wilful murder of his wife in 1910, adopting the roles of judge, jury, barristers, witnesses…and the accused.

The visit to the popular attraction last Friday (13 March) formed part of their law studies, which is a strand of the GCSE in citizenship.

The exercise was staged by the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law, which delivers interactive law and justice workshops in legal and heritage sites across the UK.

Each trial is inspired by a real-life case and sees students evaluating evidence and learning to construct convincing arguments. They are designed to develop students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as they collaborate to reach a verdict and debate the best sentencing options.

Other activities included a Crime and Punishment Tour of the visitor attraction, and a question and answer session with solicitor Megan Kirby, of Nottingham legal practice Gateley LLP.

Kelly Hopley, learner coach and head of citizenship at the school, said: “The trip provided a great opportunity to explore law and crime through the ages, and look at how defendants were dealt with in times gone by.

“The students asked some fantastic questions and showed they’ve learned a lot in their lessons. Most of all, they loved getting into character!”

Vision Studio School is a new type of school for 14 to 19-year-olds and is the first of its kind in Nottinghamshire.

Sponsored by West Nottinghamshire College, it teaches the same core academic subjects as traditional schools but combines these with vocational qualifications in engineering and health and care, delivered through project-based learning and work placements with employers.


Students (back, from left) Katie Grainger, Ashley Taylor, Kerisha Brocklehurst, Billie-Jo Baynton and (front) Alex Lack get into character for the trial of Dr Crippen.

Students take part in the mock trial.

Solicitor Megan Kirby of legal practice Gateley LLP took part in a question and answer session with students.