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Middlewich High School

Achievement for all

Middlewich High School Students Impress at the Magistrates' Court

Middlewich High School Students Impress at the Magistrates' Court

NATIONAL MAGISTRATES’ MOCK TRIAL – SOUTH AND EAST CHESHIRE HEAT

On Saturday 7th March 2015, a team of 13 Year 9 pupils took part in the South and East Cheshire heat of the National Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition 2014/15.

This competition, which has been running annually since 1994, introduces the legal system to young people in an innovative and exciting way.

In the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff, students prosecute and defend specially written criminal cases.  Teams compete against each other in real Magistrates' courts in front of real magistrates.

Middlewich High School had been invited to take part only a few weeks prior to the first round heat, as another school had dropped out.  All the other schools taking part had started their preparation in October/November 2014, so although this was a great opportunity for us, we knew that time was not on our side.  The other schools taking part were St. Thomas More Catholic High School, Hartford High School, St. Nicholas Catholic High School and Wilmslow High School.

The pupils spent time with Ms Grant learning about the law, practising writing opening and closing speeches, as well as compiling questions for the prosecution and defence lawyers.  In the final week, the students worked with Mrs Barker in the library, which had been set out to represent a magistrates’ court, acting out their parts and rehearsing the case. 

We met at Crewe Magistrates Court at 8.30am, and firstly had to be checked through security.  We were prosecuting against St. Thomas More (defence) at 9.00am.  On this occasion, we didn’t win the case for the prosecution, but as the whole competition is about how the pupils work as a team and not who wins the case, we weren’t too upset, as we had performed well.

Everyone in the team is awarded points for their performance.  We were up next, defending against Hartford High School (prosecuting).  To everyone’s delight, this time we won the case.  We had again performed well against some very challenging questioning from Hartford.

There was a tense wait, while the scores from each round were assessed, before all the teams were invited into Court Room 4 for the results.  We were joined by the High Sheriff of Cheshire, the Mayor of Cheshire East, and the Mayor of Crewe as well as a High Court Judge.   The High Sheriff is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to represent her in the County of Cheshire in matters relating to law and order.

What a wonderful moment, when the lead magistrate announced the runners-up were Middlewich High School.  What an achievement for our team, who had only come together in the last week for just two rehearsals.  Everyone in the team played their part brilliantly, and who knows, some may even have been inspired to become lawyers of the future.

The team consisted of the following pupils:

Magistrates                            Chloe Dewhurst, Georgia Holmes and Grace Richardson

Legal Adviser                        Grace Noden-Edwards

Prosecution Lawyers          Mollie Huxley and Lauren Hulse

Defence Lawyers                 Katie Campbell and Lucy Westray

Prosecution Witnesses       Caitlin Stephens and Millie Reilly

Defendant                             Filipa Lamb-Viera

Defence Witness                 Mollie Huxley

Usher                                     Alistair Westmacott

Court Artist                            Kyra Skinner

Many congratulations to all those who took part.  You were a credit to the school.

Mrs J Barker, School Librarian

11/03/2015

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Telephone: 01606 288170, or email: eleanor.shakeshaft@middlewichhigh.cheshire.sch.uk.

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