Primary pupils take the law to task in fun initiative with Lancaster University students

Could you ‘draw the law’, represent a client in court or present a child’s human rights in modelling clay? That’s exactly what children from four primary schools are being asked to do as part of a fun initiative, run locally by students from Lancaster University Law School.
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The initiative, called ‘School Tasking’ is styled on Channel 4 TV’s Taskmaster British comedy panel game show created by comedian and musician Alex Horne, presented by both Alex and Greg Davies and which sees celebrities attempting to complete a series of challenges.

Alex Horne supported the development and launch of School Tasking at Warwick Law School, with the project encouraging youngsters to learn all about the law through undertaking a selection of fascinating and fun tasks. The project is now being rolled out nationally.

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In this area 15 students from Lancaster University Law School are working with Year 5 children from Ryelands Primary School, Willow Lane Community Primary School, Castle View Primary School and Skerton St Luke’s Church of England Primary School.

Lancaster University Law School students prepare for the School Tasking project with four local primLancaster University Law School students prepare for the School Tasking project with four local prim
Lancaster University Law School students prepare for the School Tasking project with four local prim

In the sessions, the children learn about the law, engage in legal skills activities and then, working in small teams, complete a Taskmaster-style task based around their learning.

The idea behind ‘School Tasking’ is that children learn not only about the law, but also about Higher Education and what it is like to be a law student – from those in the know.

Initiatives, for example, might see the youngsters working in teams to prepare and present a mock case for court based on a collection of facts presented at the start of the challenge or being asked to use modelling clay to represent a child’s human rights.

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At the start and end of the project they will be asked to draw their understanding of the law for a comparative analysis undertaken by Warwick University.

This month sees the start of the project with Law School students working in teams of three with five classes across the four schools. They will deliver four legally-themed lessons to each class over the next couple of months when winning teams will be picked at each school.

Pupils and their teachers from the winning teams will be invited to take part in an area final at Lancaster University in April when they will undertake an all-new School Tasking challenge which will be judged by a panel of Law School lecturers to determine a winner.

The successful team will then represent the area at regional level in May – hosted by Manchester-based law firm Addleshaw Goddard - with a national final being held at Warwick University later in the year.

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The Lancaster project is led by Tina McKee (Senior Lecturer and Director of Skills and Widening Participation in the Law School) and supported by Kathryn Saban (Lecturer, Law School) and Anna Cooper (Teaching Co-Ordinator, Law School).

Tina McKee said: "School Tasking is an amazing opportunity for our law students to teach a little bit of the law that they are studying to year 5 children in a fun, interactive and engaging way.

“We are so lucky to be working with our local primary schools who have been so welcoming. We have a fabulous team of Lancaster University law students, bringing enthusiasm and energy into the classrooms.”

Second year law student Jessica Otu added: “It’s a joy and privilege to share and encourage others in all that I’m learning.”