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Mock trial competition aims to teach pupils about justice system

PUBLISHED: 08:30 17 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:46 18 November 2019

The jury from St Marks Primary School, Ipswich, winners of last year's  Suffolk Junior Schools Mock Trial Competition. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The jury from St Marks Primary School, Ipswich, winners of last year's Suffolk Junior Schools Mock Trial Competition. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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More than 20 schools are taking part in this year's Suffolk Junior Schools Mock Trial competition which gets underway this month.

Judge Overbury with Henry from St Marks Primary School, Ipswich, winners of last year's Suffolk Junior Schools Mock Trial Competition  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJudge Overbury with Henry from St Marks Primary School, Ipswich, winners of last year's Suffolk Junior Schools Mock Trial Competition Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The event has been organised by Judge Rupert Overbury, Suffolk's Diversity and Community Relations judge, who has written a script entitled "The trial of Lucy/Luke Lyre".

During the competition pupils will play a number of different roles, including the judge, barristers, victim and defendant in their own courtroom drama.

Judge Overbury will be making a wooden wig stand which will be presented to the winning school and this year's competition is being supported by Birketts LLP who have donated a prize fund which will provide book vouchers for the finalists and a memento for each pupil taking part in the final.

St Marks Primary School were the winners of the Suffolk Junior Schools Mock Trial Competition last year  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSt Marks Primary School were the winners of the Suffolk Junior Schools Mock Trial Competition last year Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Judge Overbury will also donate small prizes for the best school press reporter and court artist.

More than 20 schools from across the county have entered the competition with all but one attending Ipswich Crown Court on seven dates over the next four months.

The first round of the competition takes place this month and the final will be on March 27 next year.

"Last year's competition was an outstanding success and the feedback from teachers and pupils was very positive and encouraging," said Judge Overbury.

"I firmly believe that educating primary school children about the justice system is very important to their understanding of the community and giving them an opportunity to perform in a real courtroom brings reality to that learning and boosts their confidence in public," he added.

Last year's competition was won by St Mark's Catholic Primary School from Ipswich.

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The Year 5 pupils were up against students from Palgrave Primary School, near Diss, in the final round of the competition.

The schools taking part in the competition this year are: Ipswich High School Juniors; Chilton Primary, Stowmarket; St. Mary's Catholic, Ipswich; Handford Hall, Ipswich; Bardwell Primary; Elm Tree, Lowestoft; Walsham Le Willows; Gusford, Ipswich; Holbrook; Palgrave; Bramfield, Horringer; Lavenham; St Mark's Catholic, Ipswich; Great Woods Primary, Brampton; Bures; Wickhambrook; St. Mary's Hadleigh; Cliff Lane, Ipswich and Stanton.

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