Pupils go on scavenger hunt through St Albans with murder mystery game

John Rutherford's daughter Georgia playing the murder mystery game. Picture: John Rutherford

John Rutherford's daughter Georgia playing the murder mystery game. Picture: John Rutherford - Credit: Archant

A St Albans school has launched a murder mystery app to help pupils explore the dark side of the city centre.

John Rutherford's daughter Georgia playing the murder mystery game. Picture: John Rutherford

John Rutherford's daughter Georgia playing the murder mystery game. Picture: John Rutherford - Credit: Archant

Pupils at Marlborough Science Academy in Watling Street were invited to take part in the ‘Dark History of St Albans’ game by downloading the app onto a smartphone.

The game is part murder mystery - the player has to solve the murder of Rupert Pinkerton-Smythe the third, whose body was found next to a bloody candlestick in St Albans library - and part educational tour of the city. Players follow a two-mile trail around the city, and the game should take around two hours to complete.

The game was designed and created by John Rutherford, the school’s associate leader in charge of IT.

John and head of business studies Nikki Gold took sixth form pupils out to complete the game earlier this month.

Dark History of St Albans. Picture: John Rutherford

Dark History of St Albans. Picture: John Rutherford - Credit: Archant


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Nikki said: “We had a sixth form careers week and the students were off timetable for a week, and we took them into St Albans for a day and tried it out. We got about 25 17-year-olds in front of St Albans Museum.

“They load up the map and the questions and they navigate to a certain point of historical interest, and as soon as they get there up pops a question about where they are.

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“They have to do a scavenger hunt and find the answers, this then like Cluedo eliminates an object. There are about 12 or 13 different places of interest, and you end up with the murderer.”

Prizes were handed out to the pupils who guessed the murderer and got all the answers correct, to pupils who came back in the quickest time with the correct answers, and to all pupils who completed the game. The next day pupils were also given prizes for how many facts from the game they could remember.

Nikki said: “It really is very cleverly done through Google Maps. The question doesn’t appear until you get to the point of interest.

“The pupils really enjoyed going around and finding out the historical facts. They were learning all the different things around St Albans - all the gruesome stuff.

“It’s a scavenger hunt, treasure hunt and murder mystery, so three things all combined into one activity. The pupils absolutely loved it!”

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