Exam Board Entry Requirements Subject Leader
Edexcel Grade 6 in GCSE History or English Literature
Mrs K Ladly

The world faces many problems such as the global economy, immigration and terrorism? As citizens about to get the vote, do you want to be fully informed about the issues you will be voting on? Do you want to know about how the decisions which affect your everyday life are made?

The aim of the course is to inform you of how political decisions are made on either side of the Atlantic, how they  affect you and why you should be involved in the political system that shapes them. We will use a variety of study techniques. You will need to read and take notes in order to prepare for class discussion. You will also need to read newspapers on a daily basis, either in paper form or on the internet. You will need to keep cuttings folders for discussions on current issues. You may be asked to do a presentation individually, in pairs or in groups. You will also have plenty of opportunity to debate issues. You will learn to write short answers to questions and extended essays and to evaluate what you read.

 

Paper 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas

In Paper 1, students cover the topics of democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media and three core political Ideas -  conservatism, liberalism and socialism. 

 

Paper 2: UK Government and Non-Core Political Ideas

In Paper 2, students cover the topics of the constitution, Parliament, Prime Minister and the executive, relationships between the branches and one non-core political idea - feminism. 

 

Paper 3: Comparative Politics, USA

The topics covered by Paper 3 are the US Constitution and federalism, US Congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court and civil rights, democracy and participation and comparative theories.

 

Assessment

There are three examinations at the end of the course, each of 2 hours. The answers require the students to write analytical and evaluative essays. 

 

Teaching

Classes are taught by three members of staff, each of whom specialises in a particular component of the course. You are led through a carefully planned programme of skills enabling you to make the transition from GCSE to A level. You will then be expected to do set reading before lessons, so that you are able to come ready to discuss these ideas; these discussions form the basis of most lessons.  It is also essential that students regularly read a broadsheet newspaper and watch news broadcasts, as success in this subject needs students to be able to use current political examples to support and/or challenge political theory and students are advised to undertake this before taking up the course to find out whether this interests them. 

 

Progression into Higher Education/Vocational Destinations

A-Level Government and Politics will help you to develop transferable skills such as analysis of data and the formulation of coherent arguments which can be applied to a range of other subjects and careers.