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SEND Enterprise Challenge Week – Middlesbrough Town Hall Visit Priory Woods School

As part of the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s SEND Enterprise Challenge Week (ECW) a group of 15 students from our school, Priory Woods in Middlesbrough, attended Middlesbrough Town Hall for a visit.

The day started with our students participating in an employer engagement session with PC Coggins from Hartlepool Neighbourhood Policing Team. We took part in this with 8 other SEND schools across Tees Valley live on Teams. All the students were able to hear about PC Coggins life as a police officer and learn about what skills he needs and the types of tasks he deals with day to day. They also had the opportunity to ask questions of PC Coggins, using their communication skills. PC Coggins was more than happy to answer them all and was very impressed with the types of questions he was asked.

We followed this in school with a drama session where the students took turns hot seating as police officers and criminals. They were asked questions on what skills they thought were needed to be a police officer. This followed on well from the talk from PC Coggins as the students could use the knowledge, they had learnt from listening to PC Coggins talking about his job.

In the afternoon, the students were taken to Middlesbrough Town Hall to visit the prison cells.  The guide discussed how the Town Hall used to be a working court and prison cell block.  The students went to the basement to look at the old cells and they even got to go inside and experience a little of what it was like to be a prisoner.  The students used describing words, for example, cold/hard/scary to describe what they saw and how they felt when they were in the cells.

As you can see from the photographs they dressed up as police offices and criminals. Staff from school developed role play scenarios where the students arrested one another and put the criminals in the cells.

Following on from this the students were taken into the courtroom where they took part in their very own trial.  The students took on roles as a judge, jury, solicitor, and arresting officers.  This gave the students the opportunity to put into practise some of their own skills and learn some new ones along the way. The crime they had to deal with was a television theft, and the defendant was found guilty by the jury and was sentenced to five years hard labour by the judge.

The students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the visit and were extremely engaged.  A great deal of speaking and listening took place and excellent teamwork was evident throughout the day. The students demonstrated imagination thus encouraging creativity.  Some of the comments from the students were:

“It was fun”

“The courtroom is like a thinking room.”

“I liked the black and white photographs’ at the prison”.

The students have had the opportunity to build on their skills, especially, communication, listening, creative and teamwork skills.  Meet employers and have a great workplace visit. Well done to the students for really getting involved in the day.