Studying A-level Politics provides pupils with an insight into political issues central to an understanding of the modern world. It also develops analytical and evaluative skills in relation to interesting topics prevalent in the turbulent political climate of today.
Through the study of Politics, students will be able to acquire knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the United Kingdom and globally. Learners will develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes, whilst developing knowledge and an informed understanding of the influences and interests, which have an impact on decisions in government and politics. They will also develop an informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups, promoting their ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate political information to form arguments and make judgements. Pupils will also develop an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics and develop a life-long inquisitive interest in the political world in which they live.
We aim to develop students who can:
- develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the United Kingdom (UK) and the USA
- 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 study Politics?
Some students who choose to study Politics at A Level do so because they wish to study the subject at degree level. Many do so, however simply because they are interested in current affairs or they find that it combines well with other subjects such as History, Sociology or Law. This course continues to be well respected by all universities.
Students will follow the Edexcel syllabus, which is both British and US Politics and includes the Feminism option.
Links with GCSE
The subject will be a new one at A Level but it does link well with History as many of the skills developed for GCSE History, analysis, evaluation and the ability to form an argument, will be of great value in the study of Politics.
Students will also have the opportunity to visit London during the course, where they will have a tour of Parliament, attend a debate in the House of Commons and observe proceedings during a court case at the Old Bailey.
We have also attended various day schools at local universities and participated in the European Youth Parliament debating competition.
There are four content areas:
1. The constitution
3. Prime Minister and executive
4. Relations between the branches.
There are four content areas in UK Politics:
1. Democracy and participation
2. Political parties
3. Electoral systems
4. Voting behaviour and the media.
There are three content areas in Core Political Ideas:
Non-Core Political Ideas
Government and Politics of the USA
- The US Constitution and federalism
- US Congress
- US presidency
- US Supreme Court and US civil rights
- US democracy and participation
- Comparative theories
Skills to be developed:
- Students must comprehend and interpret political information in relation to areas of UK politics and core political ideas.
- Students must fully understand, critically analyse and evaluate areas of UK politics and core political ideas.
- Students must identify parallels, connections, similarities and differences between content studied, providing a basis for comparing the UK with the USA and appreciating the UK’s position in global politics.
- Students must construct and communicate arguments and explanations with relevance, clarity and coherence, and draw reasoned conclusions about UK politics and core political ideas.
- Students must comprehend and interpret political information in relation to areas of US politics
- .Students must fully understand, critically analyse, and evaluate areas of US politics.
- Students must identify parallels, connections, similarities and differences between content studied, providing a basis for comparing the UK with the US.
- Students must construct and communicate arguments and explanations with relevance, clarity and coherence and draw reasoned conclusions about US politics.
- Students must develop knowledge and understanding of key political concepts.
- Students must use appropriate vocabulary.
- Additional skills such as organisation, managing conflict, assertiveness, talking to the public and time management.
We know from all those who internally, and externally, review the work of our school that our students are cheerful, creative, conscientious and confident. Employers regularly tell us that our students are professional and act with honesty and integrity. Our school has been very successful with numerous external accreditations, for the community and the individuals within it, over many decades. Our staff and students very much feel part of our Mercy community.
Our Politics A Level curriculum helps our students to develop the detailed knowledge and skills required to progress to the next stage of education, employment or training. Our teaching and learning programmes support our students to know, understand and remember more knowledge about the British and American Political systems and the core ideologies of Socialism, Liberalism and Conservatism. In addition, they develop their knowledge of the key ideology of Feminism. This allows them to achieve subject fluency, enabling them to grow and develop as Politics students. Politics allows pupils to develop knowledge of different cultures and values, reflecting on the similarities and differences with their own lives. They are able to understand the growth and importance of both human and civil rights. They develop critical analysis and evaluation of a wide range of Political sources and other people’s viewpoints. They learn key communicative skills in both oral debate and written essays. Their essay skills continue to develop throughout the course with regular support and feedback. Exemplar materials from the exam board are used to hone their skills. Politics students are encouraged to develop their own opinions on topics; using evidence to defend their positions whilst being open minded enough to consider other evidence that might change their opinions. These transferable skills enable students to prepare themselves proficiently for their next phase of learning and work.
Staff in the Politics department support subject specific literacy and numeracy for all our students to help them succeed in their studies and they aim to develop holistically the gifts and talents of each individual within a caring, compassionate, charitable and challenging Christian environment.
Our impactful Politics curriculum develops students with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to have a positive impact within family, friendship groups, school, university, the workplace and the wider community. Our wide-ranging and broad-based curriculum offer, and varied extended curricular opportunities, within Politics provide an opportunity for everyone. We provide opportunities to discuss ideas with academic lecturers from Russell Group universities. We also visit London as part of their studies where they are able to tour Parliament, attend debates, have the opportunity to question politicians and visit the Supreme Court. They also observe a court case in the Central Criminal Court. The students also have the opportunity to participate in local and general elections by carrying ballot boxes or counting votes. Many students have been able to have work experience placement with local MPs.
We know that our students are reliable, responsible, resilient and radical individuals who are ready to use their talents positively wherever life may take them. Generations of students have chosen St. Anthony’s over the decades and centuries. We are extremely proud of our alumni, many of whom are regular contributors to our school community as it continues to grow and develop. Many families have fourth or fifth generation connection to our school and many staff have given decades of service, such is the impact of being part of this school community.
Everyone in our community is aware of what it means to be an Antonian: to pursue excellence, to build community, to show concern for those who may be disadvantaged and to particularly support the education of women and girls. We have definitely had an impact within this “city by the sea”, and well beyond it, since we were founded in 1904. We are confident that our distinctive ethos will continue to have a big impact as it is carried forward by future generations of Antonians.