PUPILS turned police officers and journalists when a “body” was found on their school field.
Children from Farringdon Primary School were called on to investigate the gruesome find as part of a learning exercise with a difference.
But the mock crime scene set up on the playing field was so convincing that one parent rang the school fearing there had been a murder.
Year Six pupils worked with forensic scientists, police officers and news reporters to find out more about the skeleton, which was discovered in a shallow grave.
They interviewed key witnesses, took “body parts” – a pig’s heart and lungs – away for further investigation and wrote a story about the grisly death.
One witness, Johnny Brown, a retired dog walker from Doxford Park, told the young reporters: “The dog ran across to a certain spot and started digging with its front paws and next appeared to have some sort of bone in its mouth, which looked like a hand or something.
“I immediately got my mobile out and called police.”
Real-life Community Support Officers Glenn Devlin and Ken Mouat were on-hand to help manage the “crime scene” while forensic experts in white boiler suits pored over the evidence.
The day was organised by head of science Michelle Smith and English co-ordinator Lesley Scott, after getting the seal of approval from parents, the governors and headteacher.
Mrs Smith, 36, from Seaburn, said: “We wanted to give them a real-life situation as a stimulus for their writing.
“Our children are very inquisitive and demand the best, and we give them that.”
Mrs Scott, 39, from East Boldon, added: “It’s been very engaging and inspirational and as you have seen, we have very engaged children here today.
“We’ve had a lot of them asking their parents to come and see the body parts.”
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