Our purpose is to develop the intellectual and emotional character of our students through their study of the diversity of environments, human experience and to inspire students to be curious, questioning and reflective individuals.
At A level our students study the Edexcel Government & Politics syllabus, which offers a comprehensive and thorough study of Politics, with contemporary content, including voter behaviour, constitutional history and role of the media, as well as much more detailed content. Students study the key ideas and thinkers of the political ideas of Conservativism, Liberalism and Socialism in both UK and US Politics.
Lessons will involve group discussions, debates and presentations as well as learning to take notes from books and teachers’ verbal explanations. There will be three written examinations, each at two hours in duration and each worth 84 marks. Students should develop the ability to reach independent judgements based on a thorough consideration of the evidence and learn to argue a case convincingly both orally and on paper.
Students will need a broad and enthusiastic interest and engagement with contemporary politics. Students should be willing to take part in discussions and be ready to read around the subject in order to build upon the understanding they will develop within lessons. They should also be keen to take an interest in politics that extends beyond the classroom, for example, using the media to follow the latest developments and the internet to undertake political research. It is expected that students wishing to take this course will have achieved Grade B in a Humanities subject and/or GCSE English.
- Students will investigate in detail how people and politics interact. They will explore the emergence and development of the UK’s democratic system and the similarities, differences, connections and parallels between direct and indirect democracy. They will focus on the role and scope of political parties that are so central to contemporary politics, including the significance of the manifestos they publish at election time and their relevance to the mandate of the resulting government.
- Students will explore the following key themes: the relative powers of the different branches of UK government; the extent to which the constitution has changed in recent years; the desirability of further change; and the current location of sovereignty within the UK political system.
- Students will explore the US Constitution and the arguments surrounding this guiding document of US democracy. In learning about the key institutions of government in the USA and analysing the manner in which they achieve this power and exercise it over their citizens, students will judge ultimately whether ‘liberty and justice for all’ has been achieved in the USA. Students will be expected to highlight the debates on the nature of democracy in the USA and evaluate the extent to which it remains an issue.
- The impact of the US government on the world beyond its borders is increasingly a feature of international politics. Students will begin to engage with this interaction by comparing and contrasting politics and institutions in the US with those in the UK. This will develop a wider understanding of politics as a discipline, underpinned by the theoretical concepts of comparative politics.