Over the last few weeks we have been delivering a series of lessons with year 9 students in Hitchin Boys’ School on the topic of Justice.
As part of their RE course they spend time looking at crime & punishment including prisons and justice. Over the course of the 60 minutes we look at prisons and their effectiveness; judges - the qualities and attributes that they need and then we think about what God says about justice.
The rest of the lesson is spent looking at the story of the lost son (found in Luke 15) and what sort of justice we can see in this. They pick up on the differing responses of the older brother and the father and whether what the younger brother has done has been dealt with.
This leads on to thinking about restorative justice and retributive justice. Linking back to prisons and that prisons are very good at retributive justice but are very often falling short on restorative justice.
It is great to journey through this with the students challenging them on what they think about justice, forgiveness and what has the best lasting impact. One student commented that ‘it was great to have a fresh look at what justice is about from a very interesting perspective that is more about forgiveness than getting revenge’.
One of the teachers gave the following encouragement after the lesson:
“The justice lesson was excellent and allowed pupils to think outside the box about issues such as prison. This extended and confirmed the learning the teachers had facilitated in lessons prior to this workshop. It was also good to see the boys make links between their own views and that of the Christian religion. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul for doing this with the RE department here at Hitchin Boys’ School. We look forward to a repeat next year.”