Politics

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Politics Department

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Subject Leader Politics Mrs J Stevens

Politics affects everything that we do in life. The Government and Politics course at A-Level takes a look at the major functions of Government and Politics in Britain and beyond.

Students follow the Edexcel GCE Politics specification (9PLO). The course consists of three components; Component one: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas, Component two: UK Government and Non-core Political Ideas and Component three: American Comparative Politics.

The course encourages students to deepen their knowledge of UK and US Politics and in doing so students develop their evaluative and analytical skills essential for success in higher education. Lessons provide regular opportunities for students discuss and debate their view points as well as learning to respect and value the points if views of others.

Component one: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas

UK Politics

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.

There are four content areas in UK Politics:

1. Democracy and participation

2. Political parties

3. Electoral systems

4. Voting behaviour and the media.

Core Political Ideas

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.

There are three content areas in Core Political Ideas:

1. Liberalism

2. Conservatism

3. Socialism.

 

Component two: UK Government and Non-core Political Ideas

UK 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.

There are four content areas in UK Government:

1. The constitution

2. Parliament

3. Prime Minister and executive

4. Relationships between the branches.

Non-core Political Ideas

This section allows students to explore one of five additional political ideas. Students will learn about the core ideas and principles, the effects of these ideas, the divisions within each idea and their key thinkers.

The five non-core political ideas to choose from are:

1. Anarchism

2. Ecologism

3. Feminism

4. Multiculturalism

5. Nationalism.

Component three: American Comparative Politics

Politics of the USA

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.

There are six content areas:

1. The US Constitution and federalism

2. US Congress

3. US presidency

4. US Supreme Court and US

5. US democracy and participation

6. Comparative theories.

KS5 Course Details

Assessment

At the end of Y12 AS Level there are two 1 hour and 45 minute exams, with a mixture of shorter questions and longer essay style questions, giving an academically rigorous AS level that Universities values in its own right.

At A Level there are three separate 2 hour exams each with three long essay style answers.

Lesson Structure

Five, 60-minute periods per week. In addition to this, students will have independent study periods to complete their own research.

Enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities

In Year 12 we offer two visits; the Houses of Parliament and to the Supreme Court in London.

In Year 13 there may potentially be an opportunity (depending on student numbers) to visit Washington DC.
 

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