“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal” Emma Goldman
Brexit. Donald Trump the 45th President of the USA. Fake news
From the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter campaigns to social media. Young people, more than any other generation, are being bombarded by political messages every single day. What to make of it all? Sometimes unplugging and leaving it all behind seems the safest option. But politics can’t be switched off. It’s a living thing that has grown to include everything about everyone’s life. Do you want to go to university? Then the issue of university fees needs to be discussed. Do you think people should vote at 16? Issues that are more important than ever. We need young people to not only vote, but to be engaged in these political discussions. We believe that nowadays, more than ever before, is the time when the study of Politics will help students to navigate through the noise and the half truths. We want your vote to count and for the parties to have to earn that vote, not to expect it automatically.
What we expect from our students
Engagement and being inquisitive are the most important attributes we want to see in our students. We want you to be active learners who wish to contribute throughout your lessons and to disagree (politely!) with one another. It is only through open debate do ideas become exposed for what they really are, good or bad. We require students to be interested in world affairs. Knowing who Theresa May, or Jeremy Corbyn is will greatly help you to access the material. A lot of what we study is genuinely new for students. We do not study it at GCSE. This makes the content of the course both rigorous due to its novelty, but also incredibly interesting. Think of Politics as recent history, events that have only just happened, from Brexit to Trump. These are the events which we look at and debate. We don’t have all of the answers, but we certainly look at the reasons behind these world-changing events.
Key Stage 5: A Level Politics
Description of Course
“Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable” – John Kenneth Galbraith
Studying Politics at A-Level is your opportunity to learn about and fully understand the world around you. With huge shifts happening in UK Politics, the exit from the EU and America there has never been a better time to study the fascinating decisions and structures that impact our day to day life.
New A-Level specifications will be taught in Government and Politics from September and these specifications have not yet been finalised so what follows is provisional. It is currently likely that we will choose the AQA specification, but we are awaiting confirmation of the specifications before making any final decisions.
All specifications currently contain three distinctive topic elements:
- UK Politics
- US Politics (with a comparative element)
- Political ideas and ideologies
UK Politics The draft specifications include:
- The British Constitution
- The role and structure of Parliament
- The Prime Minister and Cabinet
- The Judiciary
- Democracy and Participation
- Elections and Referendums
- Political Parties
- Pressure Groups
- The European Union
US Politics and comparative politics
The draft specifications include:
- The US Constitution
- The Presidency
- The Judiciary
- The Electoral Process and Direct Democracy
- Political Parties
- Pressure Groups
- Civil Rights
- A comparison of UK and US constitutional arrangements, legislatures, executives, judiciaries, electoral and party systems, pressure groups and civil rights
Political ideas and ideologies
The draft specifications include three compulsory ideologies:
In addition students will study ONE of the following ideologies:
An enquiring mind which likes to argue and debate opinions in an informed manner and the need to take an interest in and keep up to date with current affairs is essential.
Government and Politics is not a subject which can be learned through the use of a single textbook. Indeed one of the exciting challenges posed by the subject is the requirement to use as many contemporary examples in your written answers as possible. As such you must be willing to spend time reading quality newspapers and up to date books around the topics studied as well as researching using the Internet or watching political news programmes as and when necessary. In order to contextualise up to date events you must be prepared to fill in any gaps in your own knowledge. In order to help with these demands there are a range of options available for extending your knowledge outside of normal lesson time.
General GCSE requirements for A-Level courses. We would expect students to have gained grade 6 in English and to have studied a Humanities subject at GCSE also to a grade 6 (especially History).
Method of Assessment
As with the content this still has to be confirmed, however, Politics is assessed entirely through examination. There is no coursework element. Both exam boards are proposing three examinations, which are worth equal weighting. These will include a range of mid-length and essay questions, some of which may be based on a source.
Contact Name Mr J Fowle (Head of Politics)
Educational Progression and Career Opportunities
Government and Politics is highly regarded as an academic subject by university admissions tutors. Using similar skills of evaluation and analysis to the other Humanities subjects, it fits well into the A-Level profile. Success in Government and Politics reflects the ability to debate and conclude arguments interpret information and write fluently and articulately, all of which are skills important to universities regardless of the degree course you may apply for. It is pleasing to note several recent students have been excited enough by the subject to go on to study Government and Politics related courses at university.