Juniors Project - Primary 6 & 7
The Juniors Project was the birth of the charity and was started back in during 2008-2009 academic year with just some forty children and two schools taking part. Pre-pandemic, saw nearly 80 schools registered with circa 3,000 students. Yet, despite the effects of COVID-19, we continued, running the programme virtually and opening to schools from across the World
Numerous Programmes over the School Year
Over the years the project has grown. Over the coming academic year, we will be running seven programmes. While Scottish schools will ordinarily be restricted to their geographical area, international schools may join any programme that best suits their own calendar.
This is a cross-curricular project which uses a court case to encompass a range of class room subjects - from art to journalism, debating and writing skills, to name just a few. In years gone by the project centered around poor Mrs Telfer, a pensioner, who asked her grandson to get a new battery for her aged mobile telephone. For whatever reason Mrs Telfer ended up with a new phone - and a new contract. Who was at fault? Mrs Telfer, her grandson or the phone provider, All Talk Communications t/a Talk 'n Txt?
A programme refresh saw the introduction of a new case, The Sims, the Byte family and SMC Insurance. With parents away, what was meant to be a small gathering, turned into a party that left a great deal of damage in its wake, food bought on account and claims and counter-claims by the insurers as the Sims try to recover their loss against their insurance policy. Internet safety features, the use of social media and well as a generous helping of science, all to argue your case.
Each year core elements remain; producing art work and newspapers at various intervals that reflect their progress and the making of gowns before presenting their case to a real Sheriff by way of making submissions and using witnesses and productions
The project uses the law as a conduit, not only to raise the value of citizenship, but help students to extrapolate the facts from fiction, being able to tell a story without distraction or waffle. Being articulate and concise and using all available resources to convince the Sheriff that their client, whether they be the Pursuer or the Defender is right and Judgement should be granted in their favour.
P7 Transition Programme
This is currently reserved for Scottish schools and devised to help us reach more of the local community, while at the same time adding not only an additional dimension to the P7 Transition programme, but an opportunity for both primary schools and secondary schools within a cluster to showcase their learning to their local community. While running the same programme as above, our tutors will visit the secondary school and they in turn will send their S4 & S5 students into their feeder primaries to tutor; adding additional skills (such as art) that we are unable to provide. The primary students will not only get to meet and know the senior pupils in their secondary school, in readiness for moving up, but also get an insight into the expected standard of learning.
Tutorials by solicitors, paralegals and advocates
To help the children, teachers will attend a training session prior to the start of their project in order that they can prepare. The project will then send in tutors (sometimes by video link), one for the Defenders and one for the Pursuers, three times over the length of the project. For the first visit, tutors will introduce the project and the wealth of material contained on this website and thereafter split the group to show them how to prepare and serve their claim for money (initial writ by Pursuers) and for Defenders, how to deny monies are due (draft and intimate defences). The second visit will teach the children how to adjust their side of the story and to look carefully at their witnesses and productions. Each side will have to look at the arguments and answers from the other side and if appropriate, address these before the 'story book' closes. The final visit - to prepare for court. Throughout the visits, the tutors will also encourage the children with their other roles.
Parents will be able to gain an understanding of what their child is doing by completing a parental quiz (which adds bonus points to their child's team) and by logging in, see the work done online. They will also be able to attend the intermediary trials and the finals*
A specialty day will be arranged in each region (subject to COVID restrictions) where guest speakers will be invited to address the children.
Students will receive support from their teaching staff, their tutors, the website and the team of professionals behind the project via the website forum. Students can often be found helping others and sharing ideas through the forum.