Build your Legal Studies writing skills with Natasha Isbel

Build your Legal Studies writing skills with Natasha Isbel

Georgina Mogiannis - Digital Content Manager

Our resident legal eagle and expert knitter Natasha Isbel believes that the key to success in HSC Legal Studies is the ability to write. We recently sat down with Natasha and got the low down on who he really is and what she gets up to when she's not at school or in front of the Edrolo camera.

You can access Natasha's masterclasses on extended responses in your Edrolo account. Here is an example of a Year 12 masterclass, and here is an example of a Year 11 masterclass.

From day one in Year 11, I focus on the skill of applying knowledge learnt and provide regular feedback to students, targeting how to improve their academic tone and cohesive structuring of their responses.

Fun facts about Natasha

🥩 Her favourite food is steak with mashed potato and green beans

✈️ She loves the Top Gun movies

🎤 Natasha is a Swiftie! She loves Taylor's music.

🧶 She is a champion knitter - and even visited the Shetland Islands for their Wool Week

Tell us a bit about your background.

I have been teaching almost 13 years now, having retrained after a lengthy career as a corporate lawyer. I love the law and sharing my passion for all things legal. Working as in-house counsel in a variety of settings has given me real-life experience of how legal concepts present themselves everyday. This deeper understanding and experience has undoubtedly enriched my teaching.

My current role focuses on school-wide curriculum projects and initiatives to improve the impact of instructional strategies used by teachers in the classroom to improve student learning outcomes. I have been involved in the Legal Studies Association of NSW, which works to support teachers, both beginning and experienced, in my favourite subject – Legal Studies.

Why Legal Studies? What makes you excited about this subject?

My previous experience as a corporate lawyer made it a natural choice. Even though the syllabus is very different to my professional legal career, I enjoy creating case studies through which I teach the syllabus content, linking in contemporary issues relevant to society. This is important for everyone to know so that they can fully participate in life beyond school.

Legal Studies is so relevant in everyday life. Each day, the front page of the paper includes a story which draws on knowledge and understanding of the key legal principles that underpin the successful functioning of our society and the protection of vulnerable people.

Where do students use the skills they gain from studying Legal Studies in life beyond school?

All areas. Legal Studies is a subject which teaches you how to think, write, and condense a large quantity of information into a concise and clear message. What job does not require those important skills?

In your experience, what do students find most challenging about Legal Studies, and how do you support them?

Writing. Students tend to be highly verbal, capably expressing their understanding of the content taught, but find the clear written communication of that knowledge very challenging.

Focus on building writing skills. Practise deconstructing past exam questions and think about how you can synthesise relevant content to respond fully.

What do you see as a key benefit for students in using Edrolo?

I think Edrolo is an amazing resource to support both teachers and students. It models how to understand and apply the syllabus through consideration of relevant case studies. Topic tests and explanations of writing activities are crucial for students to understand to apply what they have learnt. It is not sufficient to only know the content – you need to be able to demonstrate that knowledge and understanding in writing, responding to different types of exam questions.

What's the funniest thing that's ever happened in your classroom?

Having a student rush to tell me on Monday morning that she had breached the criminal law on the weekend for riding the train without a ticket. She was fined!

How would your students describe you?

Caring, hardworking, accessible.

If you weren't a teacher, what would you be?

Always something connected to the law – I just love the logical and interesting nature of it.

What are the best and worst things about teaching?

The best thing is the joy in helping a student succeed by teaching them how to write effectively. The worst thing is the lack of time. It takes a significant investment of time to be good at teaching.

See Natasha in action, and get exam-ready for Legal Studies. Log in to your Edrolo account now.

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