Law students and schoolchildren take on Taskmaster style challenge

Hirwaun Primary and USW Legal Advice Clinic - School Tasking regional finals

The Hirwaun Primary School team with USW staff at the School Tasking regional finals

Pupils from Hirwaun Primary School have teamed up with Law students from the University of South Wales (USW)’s Legal Advice Clinic, to take part in School Tasking – an exciting initiative that teaches young people about the law through interactive tasks.

Inspired by Taskmaster, the Channel 4 comedy panel game show created by Alex Horne, the project sees Year 5 pupils introduced to some of the most interesting areas of the law, and are given the chance to practise key skills such as teamwork, communication, and lateral thinking.

Dr Ali Struthers, Associate Professor at Warwick Law School, created School Tasking in 2022 with the idea of making the university’s outreach work with primary schools more engaging and interactive. As a big Taskmaster fan, she thought the format of the show would be a great way to get children enthusiastic and engaged with the idea of not only studying Law, but of going to university more generally.

After enjoying sessions from USW’s Law students, the winning Hirwaun Primary team travelled to the University of Bristol for the School Tasking regional finals, thanks to support from USW Reaching Wider, which aims to increase higher education participation from under-represented groups.

Hannah Menard, Director of USW’s Legal Advice Clinic, said: “Being part of the School Tasking project and seeing our Law students deliver sessions on the law to local primary schools, has been an incredible and fulfilling experience for everyone involved.

“Getting to know the pupils and to see them engage in all of the tasks – including deciding whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit – has been such fun. Seeing this culminate in taking the winning team from Hirwaun Primary School to the regional final, to compete against other winning teams, was the icing on the cake.

“We are looking forward to taking part again next year, and giving many more USW Law students and local schools the opportunity to take part!”

Bethan Hill, Headteacher of Hirwaun Primary School, added: “The children loved being part of the School Tasking project. Having the opportunity to visit the University of Bristol for the regional finals gave them an insight into what they could aspire to in the future. It was an amazing experience, and we really appreciate being part of it.”

Chris Webb, Director of Reaching Wider, said: “These opportunities play a crucial role in addressing disparities in educational opportunities for under-represented groups. Learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower-income households, and other marginalised groups often face additional barriers to progression. Through provision like this we can empower these learners to realise their full potential, reduce social and economic disadvantage, and create a more equitable society.”