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Politics

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.

Requirements

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.

Year One

  • 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.

Year Two

  • 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.

 

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