Bar Mock regional competition - November 2023
On a chilly Saturday our Bar Mock team headed off to Reading Crown Court and got cracking on heating up the courtroom! We had one original student from last year’s team and many eager new Year 10 and 11 team members, alongside lots of enthusiasm to repeat the success of last year – and they didn’t let us down!
The competition, organised by Young Citizens, has been running now for over 30 years and is a tremendous way for students to experience the judicial system. It allows them to gain insight into the way a courtroom works, and to understand the various aspects of a criminal trial. It all takes place in a real court with real judges. Members of the team play the range of trial-based roles such as barristers for both Prosecution and Defence, Court Clerk, Usher, witnesses, defendants, and jury members. It is a lot of extra work to take on when students are already so busy, but we were again delighted and impressed by their focus and determination to know their roles and ensure they were fully prepared. In rehearsals, the team always practises against each other but for the day itself they compete against opposing counsel from a different school or college.
Just as last year, we were one of the few 11-16 schools, and our team went up against several sixth form colleges – and completely held their own! Due to a school having to drop out, our team also stepped in and played an unmarked substitute team for each round which meant that both our Defence and Prosecution were ‘in battle’ for all three rounds – this made for an intense day for them all and certainly highlighted how strong they were.
We watched as they supported each other throughout the day by helping each other practise and offered words of encouragement to one another. With the Regional Heat being in November this year, rehearsal time had been limited so it was super to see their bond.
We are now through to the National Final for the second year running! This takes place at the High Court of Justice, London in the Spring. We were one of 22 schools out of 300 last year, so this highlights just what a stupendous job the team has done in getting through to the final in two consecutive years.
Members of the winning team are:
From Year 11 – Anna W, Joseph L and Charlotte B
From Year 10 – Seb Slater, Lily Jewell, Isabelle W, Scarlett S, Sophie H, Charlotte L, Robert H, Jack B, Joseph M and Rebeca W-E
Well done to all, and we look forward to starting rehearsals for the next battle in the new term.