Year Six pupils at Danetree School in West Ewell were encouraged to channel their inner Sherlock Holmes recently when they took part in a forensic challenge.
The youngsters were presented with a crime scene and told that the night before, a dog had been stolen. Evidence such as foot and fingerprints and a pen to write a ransom note were found as part of an exercise focusing on the topic of identity, and factors such as finger prints and DNA which make everyone unique.
"It was a wonderfully immersive experience which showed we had some future detectives in the making here at Danetree,” said teacher Caroline Chadwick, who oversaw the whole project.
“Once they had looked at the initial clues, they narrowed the list down to six suspects, and the crime-solving began. They did chemical analysis of the ink on the ransom note, and measured the footprint, which narrowed it down to three candidates. After more research, finally they ended up doing fingerprint testing and catching the guilty party.”
Although the detective work may have come to an end at Danetree – a member of the GLF Schools group, a Surrey-based multi-academy trust running more than a dozen schools across the south east – the knowledge acquired still has a role to play in the classroom.
"We’ll take it further by learning about our own fingerprints in science, mapping out where we live in geography, researching famous scientists in history, and writing instructions for solving a crime in literacy,” Ms Chadwick explained.
“It was something that really caught their imagination, so that makes it that much more likely for the knowledge they acquired to be remembered and to make a lasting difference.”
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