On Saturday 19th March Mr McCormack once again took a team of some very talented Year 8 and 9 students to the Magistrates Mock Trial competition at Coventry Magistrates Courts. The students have prepared for months for this competition and spent many hours honing their speeches and arguments, ably assisted by a dedicated group of sixth form volunteers so I was quietly confident that we would do well.
There were ten teams involved in the competition and many of those schools are Grammar schools so our work was cut out if we wanted to go through to the Regional finals. Once again though, our students rose to the occasion and performed very strongly. We faced two different schools in two court cases; in one we were the defence team and in the other we were the prosecution. In both cases we outperformed the other schools and won our cases. We were fortunate this year in that one of our team had won the lawyer of the competition last year and she was with us again. Once again, I ended up feeling very sorry for the poor witness from another school who had to face her relentless and aggressive questioning. I think the phrase that they might use in American law programmes is that our lawyer had her witness “on toast”. She was ably supported by her colleague in the prosecution and our entire team performed extremely well overall including our defence lawyers and legal advisor. One of the highlights was watching one of our witnesses respond to a question by an opposing lawyer by calmly pointing out that she could hardly answer a question about someone else’s actions and she then suggested that the lawyer should have asked the relevant witness instead. I saw one or two of the judge’s smile at the calm assurance that these lines were delivered with.
Very much like last year I was quietly confident that we had won both of our cases and when the results were being announced I felt that we were in a strong position. Unfortunately the standard was extremely high and three other schools had also won both their cases but had gained the approval of all of their judges where we had not gained unanimous approval. This meant that although we had performed extremely well, we would not progress through to the next round. However, it was announced that our lead defence lawyer had been awarded an individual prize for being the best defence lawyer on the day. I was extremely proud of that and of the entire team who clearly had enjoyed the experience. Once again it was notable how strong the amazing team spirit that they had fostered amongst themselves was and many of them talked about wanting to be involved in further competitions.
Although we did not go through, the students can be extremely pleased with their performance and their achievements this year. All of the students worked tirelessly for this competition and as far as I am concerned, they have shown courage and ability in spades. Skills they have developed during this competition will stand them in good stead in later years and hopefully along the way they enjoyed themselves and made a few new friends as well. I would particularly like to thank them all for their dedication and commitment to the competition and would also like to thank my sixth form volunteers, who helped out every week. These guys really helped prepare the team and kept us on track.
Thanks to all from Mr McCormack