Every year Oxford Spires Academy takes part in Mock Magistrates, a competition where eager students act out a mock court trial in the Oxford magistrate’s court.
The preparation for the mock trial event spanned several weeks, with students rehearsing their questions and preparing their possible answers. Oxford Spires Academy was the only school that entered two teams into the competition (as we’re so great): this meant even more rehearsing. We entered Ash team and Oak team, Ash being the more experienced of the two. The students in the two teams rehearsed using every possible two team combination, utilising every second of rehearsal time.
When the students arrived at court they were put through the luggage searcher and thankfully did not possess blades, guns or chainsaws. The students, having arrived early, had to sit around, frantically practicing their questions from client to lawyer and worrying about the potentially gruelling questions they may be asked.
The students of Oxford Spires Academy performed very well in court and had an interesting and amusing time: Dufuwaa won best usher and Ash team came fourth however, both teams missed out on making it to the next round of the competition.
The case itself was about a person named Sam Fenton who was accused of possession of a bladed article (knife) in a public place. Sam’s parent Erin as part of the defence with Sam. The opposition was Sam’s neighbour Ty, who claimed to have seen Sam outside, also Alex, who was Sam’s sister’s friend, Alex also claimed that Sam left the flat with the knife.
The case itself was rehearsed and performed by all of the schools in the competition, using gender neutral names allowing different schools to adapt the script for their pupils. All schools used different arguments and claims to try and win the case. Winning the case however was not the priority, the priority was to argue the best and as a result gain points for their schools.
On the trip the students learnt all about the magistrate’s court, having a thoroughly interesting time. The preparation process required real commitment from all the students and we learnt to work well together as a team. We are very grateful to Linnet for her wonderful assistance and Miss Morris and Mr Messure for being so pedantic! The students had a very enjoyable Saturday morning and learnt that although Oxford Spires is great, we are not invincible.