|The course offers a foundation in political concepts and systems, closely related to current affairs. Beginning from scratch, we provide a comprehensive grounding in the UK constitution and political system, the US political system and a broad range of political ideas. Students will learn how to analyse and interpret political events, and to evaluate them both in discussions and in written work.
Politics combines well with other A level subjects such as economics, history, geography, English and modern languages. Politics can be studied at degree level in many different combinations, including courses in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE - Oxford), Social and Political Studies (SPS – Cambridge), International Relations (UWA), Political Economy (LSE). As a subject it demands high levels of analytical skill and is therefore potentially attractive to employers. This is a subject that is growing in popularity and is offered in two option groups. There are two specialist teachers delivering the course.
There are 3 examination papers at A level with all exams taken at the end of two years of study. These are UK Politics, UK Government and Comparative Politics, covering topics examining UK government and politics, US government and politics and political ideas. These are studied to give students the ability to analyse, compare and contrast the UK and US political systems, identifying connections throughout their two year study.
In the Lower Sixth students will initially learn about UK politics. The nature of democracy, political participation, political parties, pressure groups, rights, elections and the media, and review how democracy in the UK operates. They will then study UK government, constitution, PM and cabinet, the Supreme Court and Parliament and start their study of Political Ideas that overlaps into the Upper Sixth. These political Ideas are liberalism, conservatism, socialism and anarchism. The government and politics of the USA are the topics covered in the Upper Sixth with a comparative US/UK approach taken throughout.
Key skills of examining evidence and using evidence to draw conclusions are vital for examination success. Students are expected to keep up with current affairs and use their own examples in support of arguments they make. Politics is a text based, essay assessed subject, and these facts cannot be ignored. It is however, a subject rich in debate. The subject matter lends itself to a great variety of teaching and learning styles and activities.
Further subject information can be found in the relevant school curriculum document on the Curriculum page.