On Tuesday 4th December nearly 60 students accompanied by staff and teachers travelled into central London for an activity-packed day of judicial and campaigning fun.
Our group split into two groups for a double-venue visit connected by a guided walk between the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand and the Museum of London on the edge of the Barbican.
The groups completed a detailed re-enactment of the trial of Mary Richardson for malicious damage of the Rokeby Venus when campaigning as part of the Suffragette movement on behalf of all women for the vote.
All students had to contribute as jurors, witnesses, counsels for the prosecution or defence and court officials. In both re-enactments the defendant was found guilty and duly sentenced (as in real life) to 6 months imprisonment.
Once the trial was complete, the groups carried out a short guided tour see the site of the Suffragette headquarters in the grounds of the LSE, the site of the old Fleet Prison and the Old Bailey itself.
Both groups also carried out a short tour of the exhibition galleries in the Museum of London following the viewing of a film about the struggle for women’s suffrage in the early 20th century. Prior to this they carried out a supervised group research session of primary sources from the Suffragette campaign itself.
This visit was arranged and paid for by the ‘Changemakers’ partnership initiative between the school and Barbican Arts Centre over the past year.
Ms De Gray and Mr Sullivan wish to express their thanks to the staff who came along to support our students as well as the pupils themselves for their conduct and hard work over a long and involved day. We believe that all of those who took part had the chance to gain an insight into the struggle for women’s suffrage as well as an insight into the workings of the criminal justice system.