The vision of teaching Law is to widen the horizons of our students and to equip them with the knowledge to see how the legal system affects us all in our everyday lives. We aim to develop independent learners who acquire a passion for the subject that goes beyond the classroom. Students are encouraged to form opinions on different legal matters and will be supported to be able to fully express and debate those opinions with those who have opposing views. Ultimately, we aim to teach students the importance and relevance of law, career paths that studying law can lead to and an ability to explain and apply legal rules to their exams, but also to common and personal circumstances.
At Rivers Academy we aim for all students to develop their core and wider reading, their writing skills and their competence in orating their understanding and opinion on the legal system and the many specific rules, and exceptions to those rules, that the law holds. Students will be able to look at many situations that are relevant to everyday society and be able to discuss and explain the details and reasons for the law being applied as it has been in that situation.
We also aim to provide knowledge about the many different roles within or supporting the legal system. Students will learn about various career routes for the many different careers available, whilst also looking closer at the specific role played by a number of legal personnel.
Law is taught as an A Level subject, Year 12 have 4 hours of lesson time per week, Year 13 have 5 hours lesson time per week. As students would not have studied law at GCSE the early part of the course aims to engage and show the relevance of law to us all. This is often done through using very recent news articles and parliamentary business so students can link these to their studies. Many lessons begin with asking students what they have seen in the news in the past week that is relevant for the class to discuss.
The order of teaching the curriculum is designed to support the students in their understanding of the law and their ability to apply it within exams. Much of the purely knowledge based teaching is done early in Year 12, this then leads to the topics where students need to be able to create an opinion, analyse and apply the situation to the relevant law. The final part of teaching is the theoretical and historical legal arguments, students will not only form opinions but be able to link these topics to the substantive law they have been taught earlier in the course.
Students will be regularly assessed in a number of ways, these will include, in class short or long answer tests, presentations of legal topics, debates and mock exams. All students will be provided with topic checklists to ensure that they have all of the required materials for each topic that has been covered.
The use of Google classroom has now been successfully implemented. This allows us to ensure that all students have all of the required materials and messages throughout their studies, any homework, additional reading or external opportunities can all be set in one place. We have also invested in another online legal resource to support studying Law that all students have access to.
We deliver an engaging curriculum that gives students the knowledge to do well in their exams, but further to this they leave with an awareness of the importance that the law has to us all. They will leave with the ability to make a judgement about a legal situation and apply the relevant law, but also form and orate an opinion that may go against the law or common view. Students will gain a passion for the law and take this home with them and discuss news stories and new laws with their family and friends.
This subject also opens the door to help students make an informed choice about studying law or other related subjects at university, or for pursuing a career in the legal system.