Governor blog from Tim Griggs - SMSC

Date: 27th Mar 2015 @ 2:45pm

This Friday morning I spent some time with Y4 (my link class) and Y6 to tell them about a recent experience that I thought might generate some interesting debate, which it certainly did!

To explain, this week I was a witness at a Magistrate Court in London for an assault that I was unfortunately involved in last October. I won’t go into the details because they aren’t very pleasant, but I was a witness for the prosecution seeking a conviction against a young man who stood accused of committing assault. But I thought it would be an opportunity for debate as part of our SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) responsibility to our children.

Mrs Bailey (Y4) and Mrs Whittingham (Y6) agreed to let me speak to their classes about my experience of being a witness, and the moral-maze that the British Justice System has to navigate to ensure a fair outcome. What should have been a 15-min discussion with each class turned into a fascinating debate that caused Y4 to miss their break and Y6 to miss their English class, but which elicited such insightful, honest, difficult and intelligent questions that we didn’t want it to end. I was really amazed by how the children in both classes got right to the heart of the issues and asked me questions that I found difficult to answer – it felt like being in the witness box all over again! They picked apart the case and reached many of the same conclusions that the legal counsels did at court the day before, which I think is amazing given their age. A few of them showed such a grasp of the morale and legal issues that I have no doubt we have a few budding legal eagles on our hands and was left with the impression of a school of such bright and inquisitive minds that are testament to the environment which Hermitage provides.

I would encourage anyone who has an experience that you think might generate debate to consider sharing it with the school because you may be surprised by the results…

 Tim Griggs  27th March 2015

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