'The idea of a stolen golden pen belonging to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired; not only was it easy to recreate the 'crime scene' in the library, but it was also a concept that our students found very believable (many of them thought the theft had actually happened!). We ran it as a 'Tribe' competition for 200 boys in Years 5 & 6 during our Book Week and it worked extremely well even for such a large number. We didn't choose to use it as a literacy tool (although we could have done), but it was wonderful to hear the students working in teams to solve the clues, presenting their findings to the other teams, and then working collaboratively to come up with a joint final solution. Excellent!'
K.Fletcher, Librarian, Dulwich Prep London
'Our Year 6 children quickly got into the role of detective - it was great to see the promotion of collaborative skills and the need to think outside the box. There were high levels of engagement for all pupils as they worked through the clues, everyone in anticipation to see if they had solved the mystery. A hugely enjoyable experience for pupils and teachers alike.'
Liz Whitty, Leader of Literacy, Danetree Primary School
We ran this activity at the end of the term for our year five and six classes. The excitement on their faces as they approached the library, decorated with the supplied crime scene tape, was incredible! The activity engaged the whole class, spanning the variety of ability levels and ages. It was interesting to note that the activity lent itself very well to individual and team work, therefore allowing children with different learning styles to engage fully. We were lucky to have the box set, which included all of the ready printed clues, as well as the magnifying glasses, and the crime scene tape. It really was ready to use straight from the box - particularly useful for an end of term activity when the children are getting tired and need something exciting to stimulate their interest.
In terms of reader development, a significant number of children decided to read some mystery books following this activity, which was fantastic to see! I would recommend using this product as part of an exploration into the mystery fiction genre.'
L.Burton-Tibbitts, Librarian, St Andrew's Prep, Eastbourne
'We delivered the activity for World Book Day 2018 and got all the children and staff to dress up as detectives! The children absolutely loved it and really got into the 'Whodunnit'. They managed all the reading and it opened up lots of discussion. The staff enjoyed it as much as the children and we prepared for it by running it for them the night before! Everyone loved the competitive element of trying the solve the mystery first.'
Bridget Harris, Headteacher, St. Thomas More's CP School
'The children really enjoyed the resource! They were very excited by the classroom being turned into a crime scene.
It encouraged group work really well and helped them to develop their problem-solving skills. The crime scene reports that the children wrote were fantastic, and it led nicely into them writing their own detective stories.'
Mr Proud, Year 5 teacher, The Links Primary School
'I used the Golden Pen challenge (box version) with two mixed-ability groups of Year 6 children during a post-SATs activity week. The resources are clear, imaginative, high quality, humorous and easy to administer. All 12 groups worked out the correct culprit within the 3.5 hours that we worked on it (including two of the useful warm up tasks). Having the pro-formas for explaining your case provided a great opportunity for some detailed collaborative writing and a useful tie breaker for my prize! Overall, the students loved it - they quickly went into full on 'Sherlock-mode'! It was great value for money, and I will definitely be looking at other resources of this type from Box Clever Education.'
A.Howard, Headteacher, Velmead Junior School
'The children have had a fantastic few weeks solving the mystery. They really enjoyed putting together all the clues and were engaged throughout the whole process. There was a great range and variety of clues, and this kept the process exciting. The children then went on to produce an extended piece of writing that outlined their solution, as well as a newspaper report. They were over the moon to receive a certificate and felt a strong sense of pride when solving the mystery.
They loved being detectives that much that we are doing more investigations with them in the next few weeks before we break up for the Summer holidays.'
H.Hughes, Teacher, Hollinswood Primary School