We have offered A’ level politics for a number of years. It has always had a steady uptake but is growing in popularity as more students begin to see the value in studying a subject that is key to understanding the decisions that have a great effect on them and their lives. We follow the AQA politics specification.
In Year 12 students look at contemporary government and politics of the UK. This gives them a good grounding for the rest of the course and focuses on topics such as the role of Parliament, the power of the prime minister, voter behaviour and political parties. There is much emphasis placed on the contemporary and students are encouraged to take a keen interest in current affairs and events.
In Year 13 students study contemporary US government and politics. As well as examining the political scene and institutions of the USA, students are also required to draw comparisons between the US and UK systems.
In addition, students are given an introduction to modern political ideologies and study conservatism, socialism, liberalism and anarchism in detail familiarising themselves with the key thinkers behind each of those contrasting ideologies.
Each year the department runs a trip to the Houses of Parliament and gives students opportunities to attend conferences where speakers representing the UK’s main political parties share their views. In recent years we have been lucky enough to visit Brussels to see the institutions of the EU and also Prague as part of a joint politics/economics visit.