Portsmouth College students set to transform classroom into courtroom to boost learning and career opportunities with £5,000 project

STUDENTS are set to transform a classroom into a courtroom as they bid to boost numbers of those studying law and forging a career in the sector.

By Steve Deeks
Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 12:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 12:03 pm

Portsmouth College students have raised £500 of the £5,000 needed for 'The Big Project - The Courtroom'.

The project would see the courtroom accurately reflect the appearance of a real court by featuring a judge’s bench, jury box, dock, witness stand, rows of seating, as well as props such as wigs and gowns and a Coat of Arms.

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Portsmouth College students involved in the project to turn a classroom into a courtroom are (left to right) Harry Webb, Ellie Dunn, Lilly Cownie, Clayton-Lee Wallace and Maks Walter. Pic: Portsmouth College

The replica courtroom will offer an insightful way of learning and offer students the opportunity to test their debating skills and understanding of how a court really works.

A group of now second-year A-level students fulfilling different functions - ranging from finance to design and construction - came up with the idea and are now managing the project, which they hope to see come to fruition before the end of the year.

Student Ellie Dunn, who is part of the group managing the project, said: ‘For law students it will be a great experience to have the feel of what a court is really like rather than just learning about it.

‘There is a lot of passion for debate already so this project will only improve that. It is much better to learn by having hands-on experience.

A plan of the courtoom at Portsmouth College. Pic: Portsmouth College

‘Ultimately it will provide students studying law with not only an understanding of how a courtroom is structured but also to create an environment where what is learnt is applied in the real-world setting.

‘When constructed, our aim is to use this space as both a classroom for normal classes alongside a courtroom to put on mock trials to give students a practical experiment of real-life law scenarios. We will then go over what we have learned in lessons.’

The construction of the courtroom will also help to continue the growth of the Law Department at the college that has seen exponential growth in recent years, including expanding its programme to include a BTEC in applied law.

And with the upcoming potential merger with Highbury College, the college will be ‘well-placed in the city’ to offer a large number of students legal education.

Ellie, 17, added: ‘It will significantly enhance the teaching and learning experience for law and criminology students at the college, providing opportunities for practical experience and career development within the legal profession.

‘The students who are taking part in the project are developing their finance, project-management, design and employability skills too.’

Ellie added: ‘We are all very excited to have been allowed this opportunity and any support throughout the project will be largely appreciated from both us as a group and the college as a whole.

‘We would be extremely grateful for any sponsors to aid our progression in the project. Any sponsors will be provided a recognition plaque within the courtroom, along with an invitation to the open event.’

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