The Government & Politics Department
Entry requirements: GCSE grade 5 in English Language or English Literature
You will study how politics works and how to analyse and understand the news. Over the two years you will study how the main political institutions and processes work in Britain and the USA. In addition you will also study key political ideas and thinkers of the ideas of Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism and an optional extra such as Nationalism.
- Component 1 – UK Politics
We ask the questions: what is politics and why is it important? We investigate how elections work and why people vote the way they do. You examine how ordinary people participate in politics and ask:
just how democratic is the UK? We also examine the role of political parties and the core political ideas that they represent – conservatism, socialism and liberalism.
- Component 2 – UK Government
You learn about the British constitution and how it has changed. We examine the importance of Parliament, the Prime Minister and examine how well our system of government works. We also consider political ideologies such as nationalism and see how they influence the political debate and work of government via pressure groups.
- Component 3 –Comparative Politics
In this component we examine the roles of US Congress, the Supreme Court and the President in making democracy work in the USA. We also look at how the constitution shapes society, political practice and debate. We investigate how strong US democracy is and how people participate via elections, political parties & pressure groups and you also learn about the civil rights movement in the USA and the issue of race today. Throughout this component there is a focus on comparison between the USA and the UK.
Year 12 visit the Houses of Parliament. A biennial trip to the USA gives students the opportunity to visit Washington DC. 2017–18 was also enlivened by visiting speakers such as Mark Prisk MP. 2017 saw a mock general election and 2016 a mock referendum on whether Britain should stay in or exit the EU.
You will be examined at the end of two years, in June of Year 13, in all 3 components. There is no coursework.
Government and Politics enhances those skills which are appropriate for careers involving writing, arguing, persuading and debating such as journalism, management, the Civil Service and the law. A range of skills involving processing and presenting information are taught.