Greater Manchester Police Museum & The National Centre for Citizenship and the Law


September 2016

Primary school pupils in Manchester put Goldilocks on Trial

Abbott Community Primary School, Manchester recently took part in a courtroom workshop delivered by the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law (NCCL) when they visited the Greater Manchester Police Museum.

The aim of the visit was to broaden horizons for pupils and to support personal, social, health, citizenship and economic (PSHCE) education, which Abbott Primary believe to be important as it promotes the social development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

The NCCL deliver legal education workshops in courtrooms across the UK including Manchester and the North West. Workshops enable young people to gain a practical understanding of the law and justice system and its related history, so that they can be inspired by their rights and responsibilities, to play an active role in society.

The Year 3 group from Abbott Community Primary School took part in one of NCCL’s popular courtroom activities- The Trial of Goldilocks. This activity helps primary school pupils to learn more about the courts and the different roles that work within the legal system, as they explore law and order through a familiar fairy tale. They are also encouraged to think about consequences and the importance of honesty.

Goldilocks is charged with breaking and entering, breaking a chair (criminal damage) and eating Baby Bear’s porridge (theft). It is up to the pupils to decide if Goldilocks is guilty or not guilty as they are allocated roles in the trial and get into character with masks, wigs and robes. Goldilocks takes her position in the dock and pleads ‘Not guilty.’

The group were also joined by two local PCSOs from the City Centre- Gag Hare and Adam Harvey who were also involved in the role play, giving a character reference for Goldilocks in the witness box. PCSO Gag Hare told us “I wish I had this opportunity when I was at school, it’s good to be here and to help break down barriers as sometimes children can be scared of the Police.”

After hearing evidence from both the prosecution and defence, and some very imaginative cross examinations, the jury reach a unanimous decision that Goldilocks is guilty and is consequently sentenced to buy a new chair for Baby Bear.

Vishakh, Year 3 commented “I liked being the judge sitting in the high chair where I could see everything”.

The trial took place in the 1895 Magistrates Courtroom at the Greater Manchester Police Museum, Newton Street, Manchester.  The decorative courtroom was rescued from Denton Police Station and installed in the museum in 2004. Visiting this court and the museum provides an important way for children in Manchester to engage in the history and heritage of Policing in the city. The group also took a guided tour of the Greater Manchester Police Museum which includes an introduction to the arrest procedure and a visit to the cells.

At the end of the session, the group told the education team that they had learnt “never to do something bad”.

Nicola Henderson, teacher at Abbott Community Primary School said: “We’ve really enjoyed the practical engagement, all the children were involved in the courtroom activity, it didn’t matter what their ability was.  They have learnt more about the consequences of actions and being in the courtroom and visualising the space is a really good experience. We will be doing some follow-up work after the visit in PSHCE. The reaction from the children has been very positive with many saying they want to come back with their family and also talking about joining the Police when they’re older”

Contact the School

Abbott Community Primary School

Livesey St,
M40 7PR

Main Contact: Colin Price - School Business Manager

Tel: 0161 834 9529

SEN Contact: Amanda Pugh

SEN Email:

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