We aim to:
- Engage students in the world of Politics, and help them to see the relevance of Politics to their lives.
- Develop their understanding of Political systems in the UK and the United States in particular.
In their studies of Politics, 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.
We follow the AQA Politics course: unit 1 focuses on the British political system. In the Autumn and Spring terms of Y12, 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. An examination of the British Constitution and Judiciary allows students to examine the extent to which the British Parliament is still sovereign. We then look at different electoral systems, and patterns of political behaviour through our studies of elections, political parties, pressure groups and voting behaviour.
In the Summer term of Y12 our focus moves towards the studying of Political Ideas, which underpin the curricula of Politics. This comprises unit 3. Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism are explored in depth through both a core of human nature, the economy, society and the state as well as being exemplified with reference to the chosen key thinkers. This is a much more challenging and intellectually stimulating part of the syllabus but certainly engages students to reflect how these ideas are a bedrock of the UK political system.
America is our focus of study in the second year of study in Y13. We follow similar units to the British course, which allows students to build on their understanding from Y12. 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. We conclude with a comparative focus on not only UK and US systems but also through a model of theoretical analysis.
Many students go on to study Politics, History and Politics or International Relations degrees at University.
Students support their learning of Politics through an active student Debating community, visits and talks by Political speakers including MPs and visits to Parliament and other institutions. We also organise participation in a Student conference on Political Ideas in London