Nearly 50 students from Year 7 visited the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham as part of this term's Citizenship topic on 'Crime and Punishment.'
Beforehand their preparations including learning a courtroom trial script about whether public hanging should be allowed. It was based on an actual case heard in Nottingham in 1848 after the hanging of a local murderer resulted in a riot in which 14 people, mainly women and children died. The students took on the roles of the judge, the lawyers, the court room staff, the witnesses and the jury. The jury decided, in both trials, that hanging should not be public as it represents a clear and present danger to bystanders.
Afterwards the students were taken on a tour of the old Georgian jail. They were guided by the warden's wife who told them how much they would have to pay for luxuries like blankets and buckets to use as a toilet! They were locked into a solitary confinement cell and got to see the ancient oubliette that had been there since the 1400s. Students were exercised in the yards before looking at punishments such as transportation and prison. The museum is a living museum with some of the court rooms still being used. It was a fantastic opportunity to see how the justice has evolved through the ages and how different punishments have been used for different crimes over time.
Text by Mrs Martin.