Cambridge International Law Syllabus now offered
Farhanah Jeewa had a somewhat atypical journey to becoming a teacher. Her first degree was in law, followed by a legal practice course, but she didn’t have a clear career path after leaving university. She decided to give teaching a go, earned a Diploma in Education, and taught for four years before moving to New Zealand three years ago and joining the Avondale College faculty.
She said: “I teach Cambridge International Mathematics and Law. Avondale College is the first school in New Zealand to be offering Cambridge International AS & A Level Law this year. It’s one of the new specialised syllabuses from Cambridge which is ideal for students who have an interest in reading Law at university. We study the English legal system, which is similar to the New Zealand system. The students are enjoying it, and they've learned a lot.
“The inspiration for law came from my personal legal background. I felt I could give the students more than just maths, a love for law as well, so that’s why we’ve introduced it. Students were initially curious to see what the Law subject provided and soon realised that they would be learning about the fundamental aspects of our legal system – how laws are made, how they are interpreted and how they are adapted.
“I think the most enjoyable part of the syllabus is learning about barristers and solicitors and the qualifications and training needed to go into the legal profession. Students absolutely love the mock trial in class. This is where everyone takes part in a mock trial. There is a judge, witnesses, lawyers for both the defence and prosecution, clerk, usher, jury, and a defendant. We complete two different trials and students get to see the role of each person within the legal system. It is an enjoyable experience to see them become much more confident in the second trial.
“After I did my law degree, I found a teaching job and did a subject enhancement course in maths for a year and then my teaching degree. Maths is very method-based and requires logical thinking, which is similar to law. Contract law, for example, is methodical, with processes you have to follow, much like maths.
“One of my students, Julie, received a Cambridge Top in World award for mathematics, which is a lovely achievement. She was only 16, so to get 100 in both papers was amazing. She is a very talented girl, and with students like that, who are very driven - I just direct them, but it’s different styles for different students -you just know what they need and cater for that.”