'The headteacher and deputy headteacher are committed and relentless in their work for continuous improvement.'Ofsted 2018
'Senior leaders have established high expectations of staff and pupils and lead by example.'Ofsted 2018

On Saturday 25th November ten year 12 pupils headed to Newcastle Crown Court to compete in the prestigious bar mock trial. An early start was needed and we met at 8.15am at Newcastle Central before walking down to the quayside in the bitterly cold weather. The pupils were surprised at the security measures in place and after going through the body scanner and having bags checked, they headed to the waiting area. They sat rehearsing and preparing for their cases.

The day consisted of competing in three rounds against different from schools across the northern region. St. Aidan’s were drawn to defend in both round one and two, and after lunch prosecute in round three.

After all the schools we were welcomed and listened to an introductory talk, we headed of to court 3 to defend our first case. The pupils were nervous as were our competitors St. Joseph’s from Hebburn. The judge put everyone at ease and the hearing began. St. Joseph’s put persuasive arguments forward for the prosecution, however, R Ellis and A Thompson our defence barristers were equally persuasive. The jury (pupils from other schools) had the difficult to decision to make, it was a nerve-wrecking wait. The foreman of the jury delivered a ‘not guilty’ verdict and we won round one. The judge was exceptionally complimentary of all the pupils, witnesses, usher, court clerk and especially the barristers. He did state that A Thompson’s performance was excellent, and he nearly gave him full marks. A great start… the prosecution team discussed and rehearsed during round two, whilst the defence team faced Egglescliffe. This was a more difficult case and we knew from the start it would be difficult to get a not guilty verdict, so we weren’t surprised when the jury returned a guilty verdict.

The afternoon saw the prosecution team compete against the King Edward school. This was case one, so we expected a not guilty verdict it was a difficult case to actually prosecute. The pupils worked well making a good case for the prosecution, but it wasn’t to be our day and the jury delivered a not guilty verdict. Again, the judge was extremely complimentary of all the pupils.

We sat in eager anticipation before all the schools were called back to court to hear the results. Sadly, St. Aidan’s had not made it through to the final two. It was a fantastic day for the us all and we gained a great deal from the experience.

This is the first time we have competed and the pupils were exemplary. Here’s hoping next year… we can win more cases.

Well done!