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PHSG Bar Mock is heading to the National Finals!

PHSG Bar Mock team have won their regional heats and are heading for the national final on the 25th of March at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. 

By Izzy, Year 13.

''The 24th of January 2023 marked a significant day for PHSG. Seventeen students had the opportunity to compete in this year’s Bar Mock Trial Competition: an opportunity for schools from across the UK to gain experience of the legal system by participating in mock trials in front of practising judges, and a jury of students from other schools. Their hard work and dedication paid off as they won the first-round heat once again and will be representing Plymouth High in the National Final later this year!

This year’s student-led team consisted of both year 12s and year 13s who met at lunch times and after school every week to work on preparing prosecution and defence arguments for the two cases they were given. The team used these meetings to analyse both cases with expansive mind maps and rehearse the roles, which included barristers, witnesses, a court clerk, a court usher, and a jury - all equally crucial to the operation. The existing members worked closely with newer members, who very quickly picked up all the necessary skills to make PHSG a successful team.

The barristers worked on preparing emotive and persuasive opening and closing speeches, in-chief examinations for their witnesses to explain their version of events, and sharp cross-examinations. Our incredible witnesses learned their statements to the letter and their preparation ensured that they were able to withstand the cross-examinations from other schools trying to pick apart their stories. Because our heat was virtual, the Court Clerk and Usher were integral in keeping the competition (and technology!) running smoothly. Finally, the team were incredibly grateful to be assisted on the day by Ms Findlay and Mrs Brownbridge.

The day of the heat had three rounds: the first had PHSG defending against Truro and Penrith College, who always prove to be tough competition. The second and third rounds (defending and prosecuting, respectively) and a last-minute cover for an ill member in round three also greatly challenged the team, but in the end, they emerged victorious and are now preparing for the National Final on the 25th of March at the Royal Courts of Justice in London (provisionally).

We could not be prouder of the team who have worked so hard to get this far, and we will all be cheering them on in the Final!''