At Presdales, all Year 12 students are given the opportunity to take part in Bar Mock Trial, a competition in which schools compete head to head to enact a mock criminal case. There are several performance roles on offer, including barristers, witnesses, court clerks and ushers, which accurately portray the legal procedures of a Crown Court.
Beginning in September, those Year 12s who were interested in taking part in Bar Mock Trial, auditioned and our team was assembled. These consisted of 3 groups:
– Maja Pickering and Esmé Sabin (barristers), Emily Shaw and Olivia Whyley (witnesses), and Ava Leret (usher/court clerk) – Lilian Simmonds and Yasmin Lum (barristers), Poppy Friedner and Chloe Milson (witnesses) and Hannah Gaudio (usher) – Anna-Lilja Tholozan and Jess Grizenkova (barristers), Sophie Gibbons and Tara Ogunsola (witnesses) and Tinaye Dzapasi (court clerk)
After rehearsing weekly for several months, including two trips to the law court in the University of Hertfordshire at Hatfield, the day finally came and on the second of December we made our way to Snaresbrook Crown Court in London.
There were 18 participating schools in our regional heat, one of the biggest in the country. Despite the pressure, our hard work paid off. In each of the three rounds, our three groups competed against opposing schools, showcasing their legal proficiency and performance abilities. The results were even better than we could’ve hoped for – every group within our overall team emerged victorious against their respective rival school.
As the competition progressed, it became evident that our collective effort was making a significant impact. The tension reached its peak when the final scores were tallied, and we discovered that we had amassed the highest number of points our school has ever achieved in the regional heats. It was a testament to the dedication and resilience of each participant. Three members of our team even managed to attain full marks in elements of their respective roles: an achievement which, according to Mr Spurgeon, is, ‘unheard of’.
However, the journey had one more twist. Despite the remarkable tally, we secured a close runners-up spot, narrowly losing to London-based Brampton Manor Academy by a mere three points! While the disappointment of falling short of the top spot lingered, we were still incredibly proud of our achievement.
In the end, the Bar Mock Trial competition proved to be a day of triumph, showcasing our school’s commitment to excellence in extracurricular activities. The experience not only enhanced our understanding of courtroom procedures but also instilled a sense of camaraderie and achievement among our participants, with some students forming friendships with other competitors. As we reflect on this memorable journey, we celebrate the hard work, determination, and success that define our Bar Mock Trial teams. We would also like to take the time to thank the dedication of Mr Spurgeon, who runs Bar Mock Trial at Presdales, and who willingly gave up his free time in order to support us and ensure we were confident and secure in our roles.
Esme Sabin & Maja Pickering