Students enjoy rare opportunity on London trip

Our law students have been getting some top tips directly from a High Court judge.

The students held a question and answer session with Mrs Justice Jefford during a trip to London in June.

Their visit was part of a wider two-day residential trip that saw 61 A level students from Leeds Sixth Form College – studying politics, law and history – head to the capital.

The law students joined a workshop that was funded by the Rolls Building Art and Education Trust and organised by the National Justice Museum. Led by Mrs Justice Jefford, the session included a role-play court case during which the visitors were supported by two Bar students.

An amazing experience for law students

Law students from Leeds Sith Form College got the chance to take part in a top-level legal workshop during their London trip
Law students from Leeds Sith Form College got the chance to take part in a top-level legal workshop during their London trip

Sixth Form lecturer, Frans Schrijver, said: “These free workshops, for students who are aspiring to have a legal career, are an amazing opportunity.

“There aren’t many of them, due to the availability of the judges. And they are only open to schools and colleges that can prove that their student populations face challenges, in terms of deprivation, that are above the national average.

“We are delighted to have secured this experience for our students based here in Leeds, and it’s one they really appreciated.”

The trip was planned to begin with some fun activities. Those included a treasure hunt that took in famous legal, political and historical sights, including the Old Bailey and Tower of London, and a Jack the Ripper tour.

After spending the night in the city, the students then split into different groups to enjoy carefully designed, subject-specific events on day two. These were arranged to help them understand the context of what they had already learnt, and set the scene for the next stage of their studies.

An inspirational visit to the capital’s democratic, historic and legal nerve centres

Frans said: “The history students travelled to Hampton Court Palace for a tour and an A level-focused workshop on the English Reformation.

“Another group, a mix of politics and law students, visited the Supreme Court for a tour and workshop, and as part of that were able to listen in on an ongoing Supreme Court case.

“Then in the afternoon we all visited Parliament and enjoyed a guided tour, a debate in the Houses of Commons and Lords, and a question-and-answer session with Leeds Central MP, Hilary Benn.

“This whole trip was an inspiring experience for our students and one they will never forget. It gave them a firm understanding of the expectations, behaviours and demands of a professional career in a real working environment, both in the past and now.”

Law student, Eesa, said: “The trip was a superb way to visit London and enjoy the opportunity to visit Parliament, the courts and the capital’s atmosphere.

“My favourite moment was during the mock trials when I was acting as a judge, and had to come to a decision in the case.”

History student, Mila, said: “I really enjoyed the trip. I learnt a lot at Hampton Court that has helped me with my Henry VIII work, and at Parliament too, which taught me a lot about how the place functions.”

Leeds Sixth Form College students at Hampton Court Palace
Leeds Sixth Form College students at Hampton Court Palace

The highlight of the academic year

History and politics student, Efe, was really impressed: “This was a really eye-opening experience. It was my first time in London so I was really looking forward to it, and I was not disappointed.

“I got to go to Hampton Court Palace, which was the highlight of the trip. It made me like Tudor history even more, because I got to learn more about Henry VIII.

“The tour of Parliament was awesome as well – I got to witness, in person, everything discussed in a debate and a Lord said hi and bye to me!

“I think it was the best part of the entire academic year, and I’m sure a lot of others who went on the trip would agree.”

Helping our students aim for the top

Leeds Sixth Form College Principal, Rachael Booth, added: “I am so pleased that our politics, law and history students have been able to enjoy this opportunity.

“As a sixth form college committed to helping our students reach their full potential and strive for the very top, we are always looking at experiences that can enrich their studies and boost their confidence.

“This trip, where students met a High Court Judge and an MP while touring some of London’s most important political, legal and historical sites, is a great example of that. It is important to us that our students see more than just the classroom, and are encouraged to aspire to careers and opportunities they would not have thought of otherwise.”