Loreto’s Bar Mock Trial team enjoyed fantastic success in this year’s competition, which sees students take on the roles of barristers, witnesses, court staff and jurors in “live” Crown Court trials against other schools and colleges. The competition tests students’ public speaking skills, their ability to analyse evidence, and to perform under immense pressure before real judges. Loreto was entered into a regional heat at Sheffield Crown Court, and after many hours of practice and preparation won all three of their heats before emerging victorious from the final round against Aquinas College. This meant the team had qualified for the prestigious national finals, to be held at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. There was a new case to be studied and so much more work for our team to do. In addition to lunchtime practices, trips were made to our friends at Cobden House Chambers for help with advocacy skills, and witnesses took part in drama workshops.

The national final at the RCJ saw twenty-four state schools take part. Loreto was drawn against Runshaw College, Mackie Academy from Aberdeen, and North Halifax Grammar School. The team performed superbly, again winning all three of their fiercely contested heats, and finished fourth overall, out of approximately 250 schools and colleges nationwide. This is a fantastic achievement, particularly given this was our first trip to the finals, and testament to the dedication of all those who took part.

Thanks must go to Miss Kambouris and Ms Woodroffe for their support, to Gwen Henshaw, Philip Simms, Suzanne Hargreaves and Sarah Jameson at Cobden House Chambers for their time and expertise, and to Miss Collier and Mr Cawson for their acting advice. Our fantastic team were: Heba Khalid, Chloe Rixon, Jack Simmonds, and Kira Pattenden (Barristers); Hannah Foxley, Haoda Nasralla, Maria Khan, Victoria Holland and Wiktoria Matuszewska (witnesses), Daniel McGlashan and Bethany Baker (ushers), Lily Clarke (Court Clerk) and Iain Prendergast, Adeena Islam and Ebtehal Eshhubi (jurors).