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Mock trial students from Bradford on Avon secure court victory
10:00am Saturday 23rd March 2013 in Latest News
Legal eagles, from left, Izzie Jacobs, Rebecca Hawke, Owen McGiveron, Ben Brendish, Sianel Burt, Victor Spence, Dominic Hewson, Loren Harris, Angus Watts and Cameron Osborn, who played the accused
Pupils from St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon have won the North Avon area heat of this year’s Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition.
Ten pupils from Year Nine spent the day in court in Yate, South Gloucestershire, on Saturday, taking on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and a defendant as they battled for the title against seven other schools.
They were given a scenario and had practised their roles since January, learning the witness statements and studying the evidence.
The same scenario was used for their prosecution and defence case.
Trudi Chatfield, the co-ordinator for sixth form at the school, has been leading the group and sat in the public gallery during the contest.
She said: “We are absolutely delighted.
“They surpassed all expectations and saw the practical application of law, rather than looking at text books.
“There are a lot that want to go on to law-related careers and one pupil was offered work experience by the chair of the magistrates’ bench.”
The competition, now in its 19th year, gives pupils the chance to learn about all aspects of the criminal justice system, including the law, procedures, consequences and the staff who carry out the court duties.
It is designed to help their confidence in personal skills such as public speaking, analysis techniques and working as a team.
Pupils from John of Gaunt School, in Trowbridge, were also involved in the competition and won both their cases as defence and prosecution teams, but the Bradford on Avon school won overall.
Katie Poole, a religious education teacher who has attended the competition with John of Gaunt for the past two years, said: “There was lots of preparation and hard work, but the skills they get from it will be beneficial and it is really good to challenge their leaning.”
St Laurence School will now go on to the regional finals in May.
In that, they will hope to win through to the national final, being held at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court in June. The eventual winners will walk away with a shield and book tokens.
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