29 Mar Marvellous Magistrate Court Mock Trial
The annual Mock Trial Competition is managed and run by the Citizenship Foundation. It offers our students the opportunity to access the criminal justice system through an active learning experience. It takes students out of the classroom and into court, where they will be presented with written cases based on real trials. Students work on various roles involved in a criminal trial, from being a legal adviser and advocates, to ushers and magistrates and compete against other schools.
The following is written by Lola and Eve – Year 7 student reporters
On Saturday 17th March, 13 privileged students from Whitley Academy were part of the Coventry Magistrate Court Mock Trial event. We were accompanied by our teachers Mrs Nguyen and Mrs Griffin.
At 9:00 am, we gathered in the reception area of the court awaiting the first round. Before we could get too excited, we had to get checked by security! After discussing our surroundings, we signed in and went to one of the rooms which was clearly labelled ‘Interview Room’. We used the room as a relaxing place to spend some time with our friends before we entered the court where the competition was being held.
At 9:30 am, it was time for our prosecution team to go up against the very articulate defence team of ‘King Edwards VI’ school. The case, was that ‘Sam Fenton’ had been found with a bladed article in a public place without a reasonable excuse. At the end of the round, the defendant was found ‘not guilty’, and the verdict was announced to us by the Lead Magistrate.
Later on in the day we mingled in with our new friends from King Edward VI. It was interesting to know that each year group has 4 houses (groups) in the school. We also shared the school life of Whitley Academy with our new friends.
At 10:30 am, we competed with ‘Madani Boys school’, but this time our defending team was in action. John was in the role of Defence Witness and fought his corner to make sure his son ‘Sam Fenton’ was not guilty. It was a heated conversation between John and the prosecution team. When the verdict was announced by the Lead Magistrate, ‘Sam Fenton’ was found ‘not guilty’. We left the court room with lots of joy.
Later, teachers from other schools congratulated John for his confident performance and how he navigated around the challenging questions from both of the prosecution lawyers. It was actually a proud moment for all of us as our preparation paid off.
Eve, our team member, won an extremely expensive trophy for being the best Legal Adviser!
All of us felt nervous at first about talking in front of the public, but everyone conquered their fears, it had taken weeks and months of hard work. We did not win, but we had such a fun time together and we are all winners in each other’s eyes! We achieved so much; from making new friends, to getting to know more clearly about how real court proceedings work.
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