On Saturday 18th March I 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. As well as being coached by myself, they also received some extremely valuable help from our best student lawyer of the last two years, Miss Johnson, who gave up several lunchtimes of her own time to assist with preparations.
There were seven teams involved in the competition and a couple of those schools are Grammar schools and experienced competitors, 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 although we did not get the verdict in both cases, this is not important as far as winning the competition is concerned. This year, our entire team performed strongly but a special mention must go to Miss D’Silva who played the defendant for our team and was really convincing. This led to her being awarded a special award for best witness of the competition and she duly received a lovely glass trophy which she gets to keep as a memento of her time working with the team.
Once again 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. When the local organiser announced that the competition had boiled down to two teams I felt certain that we were one of those teams. Sure enough, our school was one of the strongest teams but unfortunately we missed out on top position by a couple of marks. However, as I mentioned above, it was announced that one of our team had been awarded an individual prize for being the best witness on the day. I was extremely proud of that and of the entire team who clearly had enjoyed the experience and to come second in a competition such as this is no mean achievement. Once again it was notable how strong the amazing team spirit that the students had fostered amongst themselves was and I am confident that they are all proud of their efforts (as they should be).
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 have shown resilience 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 Miss Johnson and Mr Atkins, who helped out every week. These guys really helped prepare the team and kept us on track and in particular, Mr Atkins showed a high degree of organisational skills and maturity. I am sure that he will go on to greater things in the future as will all the team. My thanks to them for a great experience and for representing the school so well.
Thanks to all from Mr McCormack