What a week!
On a purely selfish and personal level I'm going to start with reporting back on the Law group's performance in the local heat of the Smart Law Mock Magistrate Trial competition on Saturday. To be honest, I've run out of superlatives for this group, they were simply superb. Our eleven team members have worked for 4 months on a case and travelled to Great Yarmouth Magistrates to compete against Bungay High School in two tense rounds of prosecuting and defending. The first round went well but Alice and Jess didn't quite do enough to convince the magistrates of a conviction and the defence saw their man walk free. The competition, however, is not simply marked on winning the case - the judges were marking on public speaking skills and the ability to react to answers they didn't expect. Jess and Alice did this brilliantly - cornering the witnesses during cross-examination and tenaciously pushing their points home, something the judges remarked upon later. In the second round it was Daisy and Hattie defending and they employed the same tactics, tying their witnesses up in knots and making them doubt their own statements. It was fantastic to watch and at times it was easy to forget it wasn't a real trial. In the second round, Daisy and Hattie's team were clear winners and at that point I quietly considered the real possibility of winning. Following the two rounds, it was the down to to judges to deliberate and after an agonising wait we were called back into the courtroom. The feedback was given by practising solicitors and there were some brilliant remarks for the lawyers of both teams. Then the result... And what a result! Being sat in a courtroom it seemed a little wrong to cheer so the fist pumps and high fives were muted but inside we were all jumping up and down. It was a great day for the students and for LECA and the students now progress to the Eastern Regional Final with a new case which we will prepare over the coming months. A massive well done to the whole team who's commitment, every week after school on Friday since November, was unwavering. Tony (Usher) , Reuben (Legal Advisor), Matilda (Defence Witness / Magistrate), Grace (Magistrate), David (Prosecution Witness / Magistrate), Libby (2nd Prosecution Witness / Magistrate, Scott (Defendant). You were all brilliant. We must also mention Chloe who was part of the team right until the last rehearsal but had to pull out. Thank you for all your efforts too and thank you to Mr Jones for coming along and for helping me prepare the team in the final few sessions.
Back at LECA it was also the final of the Race for Line challenge on Tuesday with our team of Year 7 engineers competing against HLA to see which rocket powered car could go the fastest on a short sprint. The cars were safely secured to a wire track for the race and each one powered to line recording speeds of over 60mph! In a close call and not without some controversy following a disqualification for over modification, HLA came through with a first place with LECA taking 2nd and 3rd. Thank you to Lee Skillern for facilitating this great challenge and we look forward to working with him again in the coming months.
On Wednesday, in what is becoming an annual event, Year 7 boarded two coaches and set off for the Big Bang at the NEC in Birmingham. The Big Bang is the largest STEM event in the UK and the exhibitors come from far an wide including the RAF, MI5, Caterpillar, The Guinness Book of Records and many more. There are lots of pictures on social media so please do visit our Facebook page and Twitter feed to see more. For Year 8, it was another first for LECA as they visited the National Space Centre in Leicester. By all accounts the highlight of this trip was the 4D cinematic experience and this sounds like a trip we will definitely do again. Thank you to all the staff who were involved in organising and supervising the trips - it is a mammoth effort but to hear about what the students experienced, it is worth it.
Finally, on Thursday it was the turn of the Arts to take centre stage as we welcomed the Brass Funkeys to LECA to work with Year 7 in workshops and then perform a concert to the whole school to finish the day. They were fantastic - skilfully blending backing tracks with live performance and getting the whole audience involved with sing a New Orleans version of 'Oh When the Saints'. Now it falls to Year 8 to review the concert as part of their Arts Award and I'm sure they will do a great job of it.Thank you to Lucy Davis for the organisation and to all the staff who released Year 7 from lessons.
Head of School, LECA