"Murder" Investigation at the School

On Thursday, 3rd September, Chemistry pupils walked into the lab to find a murder scene, sectioned off by yellow tape, and a Crime Scene Investigator on hand to catch "Gary Green" through fingerprint analysis and footprint testing.

No, this was not a real police investigation, but an event set up as part the Wordplay Festival. It was designed to teach both crime writing and forensic science to Third and Fourth Chemistry classes.

Helen Pepper (CSI) and Anne Cleeves (novelist) led the event.

First, before break, the Chemistry classes received a PowerPoint presentation on forensic science and becoming a CSI. This had the pupils hooked. Many pupils so enjoyed Helen's presentation that they now aspire to be Crime Scene Investigators.

After morning break, the pupils were split into two groups. One group learned more about forensics, finger-printing and footprint analysis with Helen Pepper. Rachel of S4 said, "We learned lots about dead people."

The other half went to the PSHE room with Anne Cleeves. She helped them brainstorm ideas for writing a crime novel about the murder of "Robert Wilson". Pupils came up with all kinds of great ideas.

The two groups then switched sides, so everyone learned loads. Chemistry teacher, Mr Finlayson supervised but there were occasional visits from the Librarian Marghie West, English teacher Mrs Malcolmson, and even Headteacher Mr Clubb.

The whole was a great success. "It really brough Chemistry to life - or death!" said Mr Finlayson.

However, Mrs Malcolmson said: "The whole day gave me a real buzz, but it's a pity everyone couldn't get involved."

S3 pupil Max said: "I loved it so much I want to be a CSI now and poke dead bodies!"

We think this summed up the mood of the day nicely.

Reporters: Ceidiog, Saibh (S4)