Teacher notes

The following introductory teacher notes will assist understandings:

​Connecting the curriculum

This package is designed for students in the middle to upper primary years of schooling. It uses an integrated curriculum approach covering learning areas that include:

Society and Environment
Strand: Place, space and environment; Social Systems; Time, continuity and change

Strand: Texts and contexts; Language strategies

Strand: Communication; Understanding language; Understanding culture

Health and Physical Education
Strand: Personal and social development

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Essential Learnings

Learning approaches throughout this package have a strong focus on the following Essential Learnings taken from the South Australian curriculum frameworks document:

  • Identity
  • Thinking
  • Interdependence
  • Communication
  • Futures.

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Using the materials

The materials are best used in conjunction with a visit to the Law Courts. Many of the activities provide scope for group discussion and collaboration. They also provide scope for learners to explore values from a range of social and cultural perspectives.

To maximise learning outcomes, students will benefit from:

  • contributing to discussions
  • actively listening to others
  • reflecting and sharing their responses with others.

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Suggestions for presenting learning

The materials are designed so that all or some of the activities can be completed. As an assessment item, teachers may like learners to demonstrate their learning by presenting their understanding of an aspect of courts in a:

  • written piece
  • collage
  • web page
  • play
  • poster or graphic or
  • interpretive art work.

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Organisation of the Challenge

The Challenge is divided into a number of core activities. Fact sheets, Templates and additional PDFs support these activities. Each student activity sheet begins with an aim and a brief context statement to frame the learning. Teachers may choose to distribute the activity sheets to students in their current form or use them as a basis for shaping their own activities round the central aims and suggestions for student explorations and discussion.
A glossary of terms shown in bold in the PDFs is provided at the end of the activities.
The list below suggests a sequence for the range of activities in the package. Alternatively teachers can choose a sequence that suits them in their own classrooms.
The Challenge is framed around four key questions:
  1. What makes an effective decision?
  2. What makes an effective judge?
  3. What makes an effective court?
  4. What makes an effective sentence?

    and leads on to a further exercise:
  5. How would you decide?

The activity sheets, the supporting PDFs and the Fact sheets are all addressed to the learner, so teachers may print them out for learner use, or simply use them to provide background information themselves. The templates may be printed onto coloured card for groups to use. The activities ‘What makes and effective court?’ and ‘ How would you decide?’ have additional teacher notes with suggestions on how to carry out that activity.

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South Australian Law Courts Education Program