Who killed the Headmaster? Visiting primary school children turn sleuth

Children from seven Barnet primary schools had the chance to carry out a scientific investigation of a fictional crime committed at Queen Elizabeth’s School – the heinous murder of the Headmaster!

QE’s Lower School Science department hosted a special forensics workshop for 32 visiting Year 5 & 6 boys and girls, who were invited to solve the crime.

The children were given an initial briefing in a CSI-style workbook, which recorded that Headmaster Neil Enright had been found dead in the School car park with an inflamed puncture wound on the hand, signs of an impact to his head and blood on the side of his car, yet with no sign of a struggle.

""In teams of four, the children collected evidence from the crime scene and then carried out a series of tests, including blood spatter analysis and microscopic analysis of hair and fibre, as well as fingerprint and dye analysis. They then put together presentations of their evidence so they could decide who committed the crime.

They concluded that the evidence pointed unerringly to QE’s Head of Lower School Science & Head of Pupil Development, Sarah Westcott, one of four suspects named in the briefing. Her motive? The Headmaster had refused her permission for a Science trip!

""Dr Westcott explained the rationale for the forensics day: “This workshop is designed to reach out to local primary schools; we invite their students in to work in laboratory facilities that they may not have access to in their schools.

“They certainly enjoyed being in the lab environment and using equipment such as the microscopes. They demonstrated a good awareness of the role of the forensic scientist and had lots of ideas about solving crime based on their experiences of TV detectives.

""“They took the analysis of the evidence very seriously and had lots of good ideas about the possible culprit and their motives, including one team who suggested that two of the Science teachers were in cahoots!” said Dr Westcott.

At the conclusion of the event, the visiting primary school children were awarded certificates for: best detective skills; evaluation of evidence, and presentation skills.