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800th anniversary of Magna Carta

800th anniversary of Magna Carta

Schoolchildren in Coventry celebrated the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta by putting citizenship, democracy and the rule of law into action.

Pupils at Radford Primary Academy, took part in an action-packed activity day designed by the Magna Carta Junior Lawyers in Schools programme to commemorate and teach the legacy of the Magna Carta and to inspire schoolchildren to consider future careers in legal and civic professions.

The children began by protesting against a new set of fictional school rules which stated that pupils had to bow to the teachers and allowed only adults to sit on chairs. They also learned about the heroic actions of human rights activists Martin Luther King, Emmeline Pankhurst and Ghandi and about topics including British values of democracy, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.

Hannah Bates, from Coventry-based law firm Band Hatton Button and Richard Dundee, solicitor at Penmans Solicitors , supported the children with the creation of their own Magna Carta of school rules and set up a mock trial to teach the children about the right to a fair trial.

Hannah said: "We attended the school to teach the pupils about the rule of law and its importance within our society. We encouraged the children to enter into a debate about which rules they thought were most important and their own Magna Carta included rules such as no running in corridors, speaking nicely to others, respecting everyone and always smiling.

"The mock trial was a really fun way to demonstrate all of the principles that were founded within the Magna Carta, including the right to a fair trial."

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