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Government and Politics

Government and Politics is taught at Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced (A2) Level, following the Edexel syllabus. The course contributes to an understanding of the nature of politics by giving students the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in the context of the politics of the United Kingdom, including its local, national and European Union dimensions and some aspects of comparative study of other political systems. There is also the opportunity to focus on political ideologies and the relationship to UK politics in the second half of the course.

Entry Requirements

No prior knowledge or expertise is required.
There are no specific academic entry requirements beyond five higher grades in GCSE but a higher grade in English, usually B or above, is needed to demonstrate proficiency in written expression.

Why Study Politics?

Because:

  • you want to, not because you have to
  • you are interested in change and the distribution of power in society
  • you are interested in contemporary political events in the media or community
  • you are interested in political ideologies
  • you are an idealist or a cynic
  • you might want to be active in politics or make informed political decisions as a citizen
  • enjoy debating, researching and expressing your opinions
  • you want to further develop your communication and IT skills
  • political science would be relevant to your university studies or career
  • you want a contrast to your other three subjects
  • it would be complementary to other subjects (e.g. economics, history and sociology)

There are three Advanced Subsidiary (AS) units addressing the following sorts of question:

  1. People & Politics

    Why are political participation and democracy important?
    Do elections guarantee democracy?
    What is the role of political parties?
    How important are pressure groups?

  2. Governing the UK

    What is the nature of the UK constitution?
    What is the role and significance of Parliament?
    Who has power within the Government?
    Do judges deliver justice and defend freedom?

  3. The Changing UK System

    Do elections change anything?
    Is there a need for constitutional reform?
    How united is the UK?
    How has EU membership affected the political system?

Similarly there are three Advanced (A2) units in Year 13:

  1. Introducing Political Ideologies

    Introduces students to the subject of political ideology and examines the major ideas of liberalism, conservatism and socialism.

  2. Ideological Traditions

    Examines ideological traditions of nationalism, anarchism, fascism and feminism.

  3. Ideological Development In the UK

    Highlights the relationship between ideological belief and practical politics in the UK.

Summary of the Scheme of Assessment

The Advanced Subsidiary GCE is examined by one three hour written paper.

Activities and Learning Methods

Students will be required to read widely, both in the up-to-date textbooks issued by the school and across a much greater range of resources, including articles about politics in journals and newspapers. The School can offer reduced rate subscriptions to some journals. Students will need to listen to speeches and news and documentary programmes on radio and television. Note-making will need to accompany much of this work and the preparation and writing of short answer essays, with titles both seen and unseen in advance, will be required.

Students' own ideas and political opinions are encouraged in extensive classroom discussion and in examination answers. A wide-ranging interest in current political debate is therefore essential.

There are day conferences held for students in London at which combinations of leading politicians, political commentators, academics and examiners give their views and opinions and answer questions on political topics. Students will also have a guided tour of Parliament.

Contact the Department

De Freitas, Ms N

History and Politics Teacher

ndefreitas@fortismere.org.uk

Johnson, Mr A

History and Politics Teacher

ajohnson@fortismere.org.uk