Politics is for everyone because it affects everyone and all the things we do. It helps us understand the decisions made by those in power and, more importantly, how to change them.
Politics encourages students to challenge current assumptions about the society we live in and to ask questions about our existing political arrangements - arrangements that have an enduring effect on all of us. As such, it lends itself well to a variety of careers ranging from working in government and the public sector to marketing, journalism or law.
Our curriculum aims to offer students the opportunity to engage in the structured exploration of political issues where they will acquire knowledge and skills to prepare them for citizenship and further study. In particular, the study of politics encourages the development of critical thinking, communication skills, working with others and reflective learning.
The course supports progression from GCSE and acts as a bridge to further study at college or university. However, it also provides a satisfying and worthwhile course for those who may not wish to progress further in the subject but who seek a greater understanding of the world around them by studying contemporary politics, comparative politics and political debates, focussing on the UK and the USA.
The Core Concepts
Our big ideas or Core Concepts through which all aspects of Politics can be linked to or explained by are:
- Democracy - A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a country who vote for elected representatives to rule on their behalf.
- Participation - The action of taking part in the political system.
- Sovereignty - The location of power or authority within a country.
- Governance - The action or manner of governing a state or country.
- Accountability - The condition of being held accountable or responsible for actions e.g. the government being accountable for the laws introduced.
- Rights - A moral or legal entitlement to have or do something e.g. right to free speech.
- Representation - The action of speaking or acting on behalf of someone or the state of being represented e.g. MPs represent their constituents.
Key Stage 5
Pearson Edexcel A Level in Politics (9PL0)
Year 12 & Year 13
Component 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas
- Strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s democracy and how we can participate
- The mainstream political parties and the development of political ideas,
- UK electoral systems and their importance in shaping our political system
- The role of the media and how far it influences voting behaviour.
- The nature of the following ideologies – conservatism, liberalism and socialism.
Component 2: UK Government and Non-core Political Ideas
- The nature of government in the UK will lead you to an understanding of where, how and who makes political decisions.
- Debates surrounding the nature of the UK’s constitution
- The roles of parliament, government and the judiciary and the relationships between them.
- A non-core political idea; feminism, arguably the most intellectual, relevant and successful of all modern ideologies.
Component 3: Comparative Politics- Government and Politics of the USA.
- US constitution and the arguments surrounding this guiding document of US democracy.
- Key institutions of government in the USA including the US presidency, Congress and Supreme Court.
- Analyse how power in the USA is distributed and exercised
- Consider how citizens participate in US democracy through voting, joining political parties and pressure groups.
- Compare, and contrast the USA political system with the UK’s system.