Crime time is a cracking idea

YOUNGSTERS have been swapping homework for Sherlock Holmes-like work and having a good time cracking make-believe crimes.

Staff at Bedlington Station First School transformed its classrooms into supposed crime scenes to give pupils the chance to look for clues and sharpen their deductive skills.

And even though the answers weren’t always elementary, the youngsters enjoyed the challenge of investigating mysteries such as the loss of the Queen of Hearts’ jam tarts.

Parents also got in on the act by attending a murder mystery night.

Deputy headteacher Andrew Layton introduced the idea of teaching by role-playing two years ago, an idea which has since seen the school transformed into a pretend TV studio and government agency.

It has also earned the praise of the Office for Standards in Education, with an inspector reporting: “Pupils thoroughly enjoy carefully planned, novel and exciting activities which successfully link learning in different subjects.”

Mr Layton said: “Ofsted recognised the ways in which we encourage our children to use their imagination and their enquiring minds to solve problems, work in teams, think logically, explore issues which at first may not appear on the surface to have any real depth.

“We try to do this in a fun way, but the messages behind all the activities are serious.”