At AS, students are made aware of the political world they live in and are enlightened of the views they hold. Students find Politics a fascinating and dynamic course, and it can readily be accessed through a range of media: the internet, newspapers, magazines and television. Understanding is developed through a wide range of political literature and online resources, and, throughout the course, students are expected to show excellent independent research skills. Politics suits students from an Arts or, contrastingly Sciences background.
At AS, we follow the AQA Government and Politics course: units 1 and 2 and focus on the British political system. In the Autumn term, emphasis is placed on the relationship between the British Parliament and the Executive. This centralised approach to governance is later contrasted with aspects of the diffusion of power through devolution and the expansion of the European Union. Finally, an examination of the British Constitution and Judiciary allows students to examine the extent to which the British Parliament is still sovereign. We then follow Unit 1 of the AQA course and look at different electoral systems, and patterns of political behaviour through our studies of elections, political parties, pressure groups and voting behaviour. These are examined in the Summer term.
America is our focus of study in the second year of study at A2. We follow similar units to the British course, which allows students to build on their understanding from AS. They start the year with a study of the American legislative system, the Congress, and the Executive. The American Supreme Court and Constitution then follow. In the Spring term, much like our studies of the UK system, we examine the different ways that people can engage in the political system in the US, from membership of political parties to voting. Both exams at A2 are taken in the Summer term.
We were pleased with the examination results this year. At AS, students achieved 72 % A – B, well, beyond national averages. At A2 88% of students achieved A*-B. Many students go on to study Politics, History and Politics or International Relations degrees at University.
We plan to run a Westminster trip this year, and a trip to the USA next summer, to Washington and New York. We also run trips to Politics conferences and arrange for Politicians to come into school to speak. Students may also benefit from those trips run by other departments, for example by the Modern Foreign Languages and History Departments to France and Germany where they can explore different political systems.