They say that policemen and women are getting younger every day, and nowhere is that more true than at Cuddington Croft Primary School in Cheam, where Year Four children turned detective recently – in the name of a literacy project.
Pupils took part in the investigation of the fictional theft of four cups from the school, with a string of clues left for them to try and identify the culprit, and to solve the mystery.
The organisers of the ‘crime scene’ were English teachers Craig Miller and Jenny Hopkins, and they said the project really caught the imagination of the youngsters.
“The way we set it up was to tell them that four silver cups had been stolen, and to get them to start investigating and to report back to (head teacher) Mr Maclean with their preliminary findings,” said Mrs Hopkins. “They had to go round the school looking for clues, interview teachers and also look at CCTV pictures, which enabled them to narrow it down to a search for a woman with size six feet and extremely neat handwriting.’
Solving the mystery of the missing trophies was part of this half term’s ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ learning project at Cuddington, which is part of the GLF group, a rapidly-expanding Surrey-based multi-school trust which currently runs over a dozen schools across Surrey, Middlesex, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, based on a system of collaborative learning.
Having narrowed down the list of prime suspects, eventually the culprit was unmasked as deputy head Mrs Cunningham - trapped by her shoe size and her handwriting on a note left at the crime scene.
“It’s proved a real hit with the children,” added Mrs Hopkins. “They really engaged with the project, and produced some superb writing along the way. Fortunately, they got to the bottom of the mystery, the cups are back where they belong – and they wrote some great stories as a result.”
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