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Politics

 

Key Stage 5 Overview  

Politics is a fascinating subject and one which is incredibly relevant to all of our lives. In Politics, students are encouraged to keep up with current affairs, debate key issues and analyse the role of different political institutions such as Parliament.

Students are encouraged to keep up with what is happening today through reading the news, listening to podcasts and watching videos about current affairs. The world we live in is polarised and politics plays a key role in how we live our lives.

A Level Politics is a two year course where students receive a final grade after sitting three papers at the end of year 12. It is really important that students have an interest in the world around them and a desire to keep up with current affairs so that this can be communicated effectively both in the classroom to the teacher and their peers, but also in their exams.

Course Aims:

Students are encouraged to:

Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the UK and globally

Develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes 

Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the influences and interests which have an impact on decisions in government and politics

Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups

Develop the ability to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate political information to form arguments and make judgements

Develop an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.


Why choose Politics?

Lively, relevant, controversial… there are many ways to describe A-level Politics. There’s no denying that it’s one of the most interesting and engaging qualifications you can choose. A-level Politics is designed to encourage students to develop their critical thinking skills and enhance their ability to interpret, evaluate and comment on the nature of politics. Students acquire knowledge of the structures of authority and power within the political system of the United Kingdom and are encouraged to think and debate more widely about how other political systems may differ. What a time to study Politics! Boris Johnson and Donald Trump , once seen as comic figures, now head governments and lead their nations through one of the biggest crises in the last 70 years. One of the most prestigious degrees at university is PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics). Politics is a stepping stone to doing a very prestigious and academic degree.

 

year 12 

Paper 1:  The Government and Politics of the UK.

This content that will come up on this paper is divided into ten sections. Each has a particular focus but their interrelationships must be understood to appreciate the complexities of the system. The areas studied are:

  • The UK Constitution
  • Parliament
  • Prime minister and their cabinet
  • The Supreme Court
  • Democracy and Participation
  • Elections and Referendums
  • Devolution
  • The EU
  • Political Parties
  • Pressure Groups

 

Paper 2: Government and Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics.

Government and politics of the USA is divided into eight sections. Each has a particular focus but their interrelationships must be understood to appreciate the complexities of the system. The areas studied are:

  • The US Constitution
  • Congress
  • President and their cabinet
  • The Supreme Court

Within all these areas, students must be able to compare the UK and America.

 

How will I be assessed?

AS EXAMINATION:

Paper 1 – Government and Politics of the UK: 3 hours (98 marks)

year 13 

Paper 2: Government and Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics. (Continued)

Government and politics of the USA is divided into eight sections. Each has a particular focus but their interrelationships must be understood to appreciate the complexities of the system. The areas studied are:

  • Civil Rights
  • Political Parties
  • Elections
  • Pressure Groups

Within all these areas, students must be able to compare the UK and America.

 

Paper 3: Political Ideas

Students study four ideologies and within those ideologies, they look at how each views different aspects of life: society, the economy, the role of the state and how they view human nature. The four ideologies are:

  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Socialism
  • Nationalism

 

How will I be assessed?

A LEVEL EXAMINATION:

Paper 1: Government and Politics of the UK: 2 hours (77 marks)

Paper 2: Government and Politics of the US and comparative politics: 2 hours ( 77 marks)

Paper 3: Political Ideas: 2 hours (77 marks)

 

For A2 students answer 5 questions in each paper. Students will answer three 9 mark questions that will ask them to ‘explain and analyse’ three aspects of a political institution or ideology. They will also have a 25 mark source question that will ask them to “analyse, evaluate and compare” the arguments in the source. They will also answer a purely knowledge based 25 marker that asks them to “analyse and evaluate” a statement.