Law Key Stage 5
In Law, we want all students to leave the course with the skills and empowerment to be inquisitive critical thinkers. They will develop a wealth of legal knowledge and understanding. Additionally, they will enhance their analytical skills to critically question the foundation of our justice system and the world we live in as a whole. Therefore, creating awareness of how the Law can create injustices and justice, alongside exploring the continuing tension and balance between protecting the public and individual rights.
The A level Law course enables students to cover a wide range of legal theories and rules, alongside a multitude of cases to understanding the legal reasons behind the implementation of the law in our society. We analyse and evaluate theories and cases, to critically assess whether the law needs reform or is fit for purpose. We develop our expertise through legal research and apply this when advising clients in legal scenarios.
Sequencing, Setting and Support
In year 12, students are introduced to the fundamental institutions and bodies of law making, alongside the differences between Civil and Criminal Law. This forms the backbone of the entire course, creating a strong foundation for students to build on. Students then cover most of year 1 AS content with the option of taking an internal and external AS exam before the end of year 12. Additional support (out of class) is given to AS students in terms of AS content, exam practice and mocks. Year 12 then explore a variety of topics legislation, statutory interpretation, judicial precedents, law reforms, EU law, civil courts and ADRs, criminal courts and lay people, legal personnel and access to justice (8 and 12 markers). Towards the end of year 12, students can start critically analysing the law in terms of assessing whether it’s fit for purpose or in need of reform through two broad topics Criminal Law (Fatal and Non-Fatal Offences) and Tort Law (Negligence and Occupiers’ Liability). This will enable them to access more challenging content (20 markers).
In Year 13, students continue to critique the Law in more depth through the two broad topics Criminal Law (Property Offences, Mental Capacity Defences and General defences) and Tort Law (Torts Connected to Land, Vicarious Liability, defences and remedies). Third broad topic, Human Rights Law is also explored in year 13. The synoptic topic, ‘Nature of Law’ encourages students to stretch and challenge themselves further, as it creates an area for live debates on controversial philosophical and legal debates linked to the three broad topics. We have a programme of ‘hour for an hour’ which consists of some assessed tasks in year 13 to revisit and upskill students to answer more difficult A level questions and activities to facilitate revisiting, improving and revision content already covered.
Students are taught in mixed ability classes. All lessons provide scaffolding (writing frames, topic overview sheets) support (e.g. Work experience, references, LNAT, UCAS, extra time in class, some support 1-2-1, legal dictionaries, additional resources for cases) and challenge to cater for a wide range of abilities (additional reading – fictional and non-fictional).
We work closely with SEND and EAL support staff to adapt teaching to meet the needs of individual students and remove barriers to learning. Students can use personal laptops and modified resources as appropriate.
Alive Themes in Law
In Law, we focus on the Alive value of ‘We value justice and respect’, because at the heart of our curriculum we are constantly exploring themes relating to the modernisation of the law, whether the law is just and fair and the struggle between individual rights (autonomy) and protecting the public (social paternalism).
Assessment in Law
Students have regular opportunities for informal assessments through a variety of essays and exam questions. Formal internal assessments are conducted twice each year. Final external exams are at the end of Year 13. There is no coursework.
Homework and how Parents/Carers Support Learning
All homework is set on Edulink which is an app and website available to students and parents/carers. Further information and a video about how to find homework on Edulink is available on our Homework page.
These are the principles which underpin our homework.
All homework tasks in Law align with the whole school homework strategy. Each topic begins with either a facilitation of knowledge and understanding from the subject teacher or flipped learning to develop knowledge, note-taking and research skills. Students then apply their learning to assessed exam questions. Each topic ends with improvements to marked work and guided revision for end of topic tests and/or formal assessments.
All homework assignments are set in class and then put in Edulink. Students are given at least a week to complete the assignment that we usually start in class. There is plenty of time for students to seek help if they are stuck and to work together with others if required. It is expected that students start homework tasks as soon as they are set to allow time to ask for support if needed. All students are expected to bring completed work at the expected standard on deadline day. There is a list of homework tasks in their exercise book. This will assist them in recording their progress and assessing which essays to improve.
Parents can support the completion of homework by being aware of deadline days and using Edulink to see what has been set.
Useful Law Resources
Law Student handbook (students have a paper copy. This is also available on Moodle).
OCR Law book 1 and 2 (students have access to it on Moodle and in the classroom – updated books are in the classroom).
Guidance and Techniques for OCR Law Questions (on Moodle)