Politics

Head of Department

Mr D Clapp

Subject Overview

Politics is taught at Key Stage 5 within the History Department. While teaching core political ideology, students are kept a fresh with current events, political debate and world affairs. Students also take part in regional debates, including opportunities, where applicable, to attend and participate in debates with local candidates.


Key Stage 5

Course Title:

Politics

Examining Body:

Edexcel

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/politics-2017.html

Overview of the course:

A Level Politics engages students with the core political ideology behind Western democracy: Conservatism, Socialism and Liberalism. They also have the option to study one non-core ideology such as feminism. Students focus on British politics and the British political landscape, including case studies from recent elections. The Global Politics unit allows students to examine the wider political environment with focuses on regionalism and the EU, international organisations such as the UN and international political issues ranging from the global environment to human rights.

What Will You Study:

Year 12

Unit 1 – UK Politics

This section explores the nature of politics and how people engage in the political process in the UK.

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.

This section allows students to understand the individual in the political process and their relationship with the state and their fellow citizens. Students will examine how electoral systems in the UK operate and how individuals and groups are influenced in their voting behaviour and political actions. This component will further examine the role of the media in contemporary politics. It will also give students an understanding of voting patterns and voting behaviour.

Political Participation, students will study:

  • democracy and participation,
  • political parties,
  • electoral systems,
  • voting behaviour and
  • the media.

This section allows students to explore the three traditional political ideas of conservatism, liberalism and socialism. Students will learn about the core ideas and principles and how they apply in practice to human nature, the state, society and the economy, the divisions within each idea and their key thinkers.

Core Political Ideas, students will study:

  • conservatism,
  • liberalism,
  • socialism

Unit 2 – UK Government

Politics is ultimately about people, but most political decisions are made by a branch of government whose roles and powers are determined by a set of rules: the constitution.

This component is fundamental to understanding the nature of UK government, since it enables students to understand where, how and by whom political decisions are made. The component also gives students a base of comparison to other political systems.

The component introduces students to the set of rules governing politics in the UK, the UK constitution, which is different in nature from most of the rest of the world. It further introduces students to the specific roles and powers of the different major branches of the government – legislative, executive, and judiciary – as well as the relationships and balance of power between them, and considers where sovereignty now lies within this system.

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.

UK Government, students will study:

  • the constitution,
  • parliament,
  • Prime Minister and executive,
  • relationships between the branches.

Assessment

  • Termly in class and home-based assessments and exam questions
  • Debates
  • Academy Pre-Public Exams in Summer Term

Year 13

Unit 2 –  UK Government

This section allows students to explore one of five additional political ideas. Students will learn about the core ideas and principles and how they apply in practice to human nature, the state, society and the economy, the divisions within each idea and their key thinkers.

Non-core political ideas, students will study one idea from the following:

  • anarchism,
  • ecologism,
  • feminism,
  • multiculturalism,
  • nationalism.

Unit 3 – Global Compartative Politics

We live in a complex world with significant challenges, including global terrorism, poverty, economic instability, weapons proliferation, failing states and environmental degradation. These challenges require global co-operation if they are to be resolved.

Global politics gives students an opportunity to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity. It also gives them the opportunity to explore the political issues that affect all of us.

Students will gain understanding of abstract political concepts through grounding them in contemporary real-world examples and case studies that will develop an international awareness and knowledge of multiple perspectives. Global politics encourages discussion and debate and requires students to study and present different global perspectives, as well as interpreting competing and contestable claims.

The key mainstream perspectives on global politics are liberalism and realism, and students will be expected to understand how these perspectives are applied throughout all elements of the global politics content.

For Global (3B) students will study:

  • sovereignty and globalisation,
  • global governance: political and economic,
  • global governance: human rights and environmental, power and developments,
  • regionalism and the European Union,
  • comparative theories.

Assessment

  • Termly in class and home-based assessments and exam questions
  • Debates
  • Academy Pre-Public Exams in Winter Term

Examination:

A Level Politics examinations will take place at the end of Year 13.

  • Unit 1 = 33% of the A Level Course assessed in a 2hr examination
  • Unit 2 = 33% of the A Level Course assessed in a 2hr examination
  • Unit 3 = 33% of the A Level Course assess in a 2hr examination

Possible Career Paths:  

Politics offers many exciting routes for future career paths including: politics, journalism, education, law, public and civil service.  Politics shows an employer or university that you have key literacy skills, can study independently and can debate and analyse arguments and create your own judgements.