Magistrates’ Court Mock Trials 2019

The Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial is a competition in which teams from multiple schools compete to get the most points to allow them to move on to the next round. A team consists of thirteen members: three magistrates, one legal advisor, two defence lawyers, two prosecution lawyers, one defence witness, two prosecution witnesses, one defendant and one usher.

The team has got to work together to make sure everything is in order. The magistrates have got to listen intently and take notes of everything that’s happening, and also decide if the evidence declares that the suspect is guilty of the crime or not. The witnesses and defendant are cross examined by the lawyers, who will try to make them stumble and fall over their words. The usher is like the glue to the team; they have to make sure that everybody is in the correct place at the correct time.

Each member is scored out of ten on their performance and the team with the most points moves onto the next round.

In the Mock Trial, there are three rounds. First of all, there is the Local Heat. There is one team from each competition that goes through to the the next round, and competes against the other team that won the other Local Heat Competitions. Those teams would then compete in a Regional Competition and the team that wins that competition would then compete in the National Competition that has sometimes been held in London!

Since the team was selected, they have been preparing for the Mock Trials that are going to take place on the 23rd March. Recently, we interviewed our teacher, Mr Warner, who is coaching the team presently, to find out about the Mock Trials from his point of view…

Q1. How did you first find out about the Mock Trials.

  1. one of the other teachers used to do it and they told me about it.

Q2. What is the most enjoyable part of the trials from a teacher’s point of view?

  1. It’ great to see their progress.

Q3. How many years have you taken part in the Mock Trials?

A 8/9 years.

Q4. Do you feel confident this year?

  1. Yes.

Q5. Why / why not?

  1.    Because the students are very good

Q6. Do you feel ready?

  1. We’re on track, so we’ll be should ready on the day.

Q7. Do you think we will win this year?

  1. Of course  

By Naomi, Elspeth and Lexie, Year 8

Toto’s Africa + Morpeth Middle Schools = Rock Choir!

Morpeth Middle schools do their bit for comic relief!

Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools have been practicing Toto’s Africa to raise money for comic relief, a charity whose goal is to raise money for people living in poverty. Many people, such as students of the school, have been raising money in other ways, such as buying red noses. One of these students is Alex, who we interviewed about Comic Relief:

Have you bought a red nose?

Yes, I have.

Which one did you get?

I got the werewolf one.

Do you feel better, donating to a god cause?

Yes, definitely.

Are you looking forward to performing Africa?

Yeah, I am because it’s a fun way to raise awareness and money for a good cause.

Mr Todd, our music teacher, answered a couple of our questions about the Rock Choir…

How much money do you think we will raise on account of doing the rock choir?

£500 at the least, because if every student gets sponsored 50p that would be £250 from each school (approximately).

When choir sang at the rehearsals, did you think it sounded good?

Yes definitely, because Chantry was singing the main tune, and Newminster was dong he harmony. It sounded perfect!

Are you excited to see how it turns out?

Yes, I am really excited and have total confidence in them.

Have you ever done anything like this in the past with previous schools?

No, nothing at all like this.

Last time we did something like this was in 2017, where the two schools worked together to pull off an amazing dance routine to Shut Up and Dance By Walk the Moon and drones from the BBC came in to video the dance. It featured on the BBC’s Comic Relief broadcast!

By Katie and Eva, Year 7

Istanbul apartment block collapses

This February an eight storey building collapsed in Istanbul, killing just one person but injuring and trapping many others and crushing cars. At least 4 people are still missing.

The building had a textile workshop operating without a licence on the lower floors, and was only meant to be 5 stories tall but an extra 3 stories had been added illegally to make 14 flats housing 43 people.

I interviewed some teachers from Chantry Middle School to find out thoughts on this. Mrs S Buckton, who teaches geography, said “It isn’t right and companies should do something about these factories. There needs to better health and safety in third world countries to avoid needless loss of life.”

I then interviewed Mrs Haxell, who teaches English. She said “ There were three extra illegal stories. This shows how important it is to have good emergency services and to obey the law.”

Finally, I interviewed Mr Shaw, associate assistant headteacher. He said “ Not right, they didn’t have a licence to run the factory and people that worked there probably didn’t have the correct work visa/permit. The building operators knew they were in the wrong. How do they know for definite it was empty? The person at fault is the owner.”

By Emily, Y7

British is best!

Peppa Pig is causing American children to speak with a ‘British accent’.

For those of you who don’t know, Peppa Pig is a cartoon based around a family of four pigs. American parents have been tweeting that this pig has been teaching their children to use UK English words like ‘holiday’ instead of ‘vacation’ and speak with British accents! Children are using the British pronunciation of words such as ‘tomatoes’ too.

Some American parents love the idea but some think it’s not right and we should all speak the same – presumably American! One mother tweeted that her son has never been outside Washington but now has a ‘solid British accent’. Another tweet read that her children are more polite as they are using ‘British words’ and using a ‘British accent!

By Gabrielle, Y7

We Want School! The Importance of Education

Many a morning we get up and think, “Ugh, why do I have to go to school?” In many poorer countries people can’t go to school and children long for an education.

I asked Sophie about what she thought about this education crisis.

Sophie, do you like school?

“Most of the time, yes.”

What do you want to do when you are older?

“I want to be an anaesthetist.”

How do you feel about the fact that many children can’t go to school and can’t do what they want to when they grow up?

“It’s sad, I feel upset. People don’t get the same opportunities as us and that’s just not right.”

If you had the chance, would you visit one of these countries and help?

“Yes, because I’d love to help change the state of poor countries and help people achieve their dreams.”

Finally, how would you feel if you didn’t go to school?

“Disheartened and I probably wouldn’t have the same ambitions that I do today.”

By Izzy Y7

A Briefing on Shamima Begum

If you have been watching or listening to the news lately, you will have heard the big news that Shamima Begum, a British teenager who went to Syria become a Jihadi bride, wants to come back to the UK.

In short, Begum who is now 19, has a new baby and a Dutch husband who converted to Islam and became an extremist. A Jihadi Bride is a young woman who supports the views and actions of terrorist groups and offers herself in marriage to an Isis extremist.  At a recent interview Begum told the press that she wanted to return to Britain so her baby can grow up in safety. People have different views on this, however.

Some people think that she should not be allowed back in Britain after joining the IS because she is capable of committing terrorist activities in the UK. Others think that she should be given a second chance. Yet others have the impression that she is being manipulated by the press and what she says isn’t true or wouldn’t have been said if she hadn’t been asked specific questions. Some people are taking a more violent approach and believe that she should be assassinated.

Naomi and Grace, Y8