Politics is a new subject for pupils at AS and A Level, but builds upon skills from subjects such as History or English. The AS units link well to each other and allow pupils to study a range of issues in the contemporary government and politics of the United Kingdom. They will consider issues such as the role of the Prime Minister, the powers of Parliament, the workings and ideologies of political parties and the role of pressure groups. There are two additional elements for the full A Level. The first is a study of political ideologies, which includes the ideas, history and key thinkers behind ideologies such as Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism. The second is a study of the politics and the institutions of the United States, assessing the powers of the key institutions of Presidency, Congress and Supreme Court, and the nature of American politics, including the functions of political parties, pressure groups and elections.
An AS or A Level in Politics will provide pupils with skills which will support them across a range of subjects, in areas of analysis, evaluation, and writing persuasive arguments, as well as giving them a greater understanding of the way in which the United Kingdom’s political system works.
All pupils are encouraged to consolidate and develop their knowledge by reading broadsheet
newspapers, journals such as The Economist, and evaluating the content of television shows such as Question Time. Knowledge of key current political events is a vital part of assessments. The most successful pupils recognise the importance of conscientiously following current events but also that this involves detailed theoretical knowledge and understanding demonstrated through written assignments.
- Develop a working understanding of the institutions and processes of the government of the UK and be able to apply this knowledge and examples to a range of arguments.
- Develop an insight into a range of political theories and concepts, linking these to specific events, processes or roles within the government of the UK.
- Read a range of articles to enhance understanding of current affairs, analyse and evaluate the points of view provided, and compare and contrast the arguments offered.
- Write developed and persuasive essays, integrating examples, evaluating evidence and reaching supported conclusions.