Head of Department - Miss R Roberts
Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact in Politics
Introduction to Subject
Politics involves the study of political institutions in the UK and US. Politics is a popular subject offered at A-level which develops students’ understanding of the current political system and also the historical context of the development of politics in the UK and US. In Year 12, students examine the Government and Politics of the UK including the workings of Parliament, the roles and powers of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Constitution, political parties and pressure groups. In Year 13, students examine political ideas including Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism and Feminism. Students also study the Government and Politics of the USA and draw comparisons with the UK political systems. The study of US politics includes the study of Congress, the Supreme Court and the role of the President. Politics is a vibrant and ever-changing subject which encourages students to become active and global citizens. Politics students develop the skills necessary to pursue careers in subjects such as law, policing, teaching and local government.
Why is the study of Politics important?
Politics is a subject which encourages students’ critical awareness of the changing nature of the political systems and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes. Students develop an informed understanding of political structures and issues with historical context. The study of politics encourages students to develop an interest in and active engagement in contemporary politics.
How does the study of Politics develop your skills, knowledge and understanding?
- You will learn to interpret, analyse and evaluate extracts from political sources
- You will be comparing and evaluating key political processes and political ideas
- You will learn to identify key political aims of the main UK and US political parties
- You will learn the structures and processes of key political systems such as parliament and the judiciary
- You will learn to identify and explain the features of democratic political systems
- You will develop a detailed understanding of the right and responsibilities of citizens
- You will develop a clear understanding of the influences and interests which have an impact on decisions in politics
How are students assessed in Politics?
At A-level students are assessed on the following objectives:
AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of political institutions, processes, concepts, theories and issues.
AO2: Analyse aspects of politics and political information, including in relation to parallels, connections, similarities and differences.
AO3: Evaluate aspects of politics and political information, including to construct arguments, make substantiated judgements and draw conclusions.
How does Politics support learning in other areas of the curriculum?
Politics has clear links with subjects such as History as the historical development of democracy and political institutions is key to understanding the foundations of political thought. The skills of analysis and evaluation of political extracts also has close links to the study of History. Politics allows students to develop critical evaluation skills which can be used in a range of subjects. Politics has close academic links to the study of Philosophy, Sociology and English Literature.
How can students extend and deepen their knowledge in Politics?
Year 12 and 13 students can attend debate club each week which examines key political and social affairs. The Politics department subscribes to the Politics Review magazine which gives students access to up to date political analysis and exams skills advice. Students can also keep up to date with political issues in UK and US Politics by watching and reading the news regularly.
How does Politics link to the world of work?
The study of politics encourages a deeper understanding of the impact of political institutions as well as the rights and responsibilities of citizens. As a result, students develop skills and understanding which support careers such as law, policing, teaching and local government.
Learning for the Future
Outstanding Personal Achievement
Students are polite, considerate and respectful of others during lessons including in debates and discussions.
Students are punctual to lessons and all lessons are well attended.
Within Politics, students learn the value of equality and develop empathy by examining the development of political rights for all citizens. Students examine a range of diverse views including the political viewpoints of feminists and a range of pressure groups.
Students develop their cultural capital with British values embedded and highlighted within the curriculum. Students develop an understanding of the role and functions of Parliament within a liberal democratic system.
Students take pride in the presentation and work is well presented.
Students take personal responsibility and demonstrate independence in their learning by completing individualised DIRT tasks and personalised targets from assessment feedback.
Students are engaged with lessons and extracurricular activities including Debate club which runs every week.
Students demonstrate honesty and empathy in classroom debates and discussions.
Students are politically aware and demonstrate versatility by keeping up to date with key political and social events.
Students can communicate effectively using key political vocabulary and political examples in both their written work and classroom debates.
Students demonstrate effective teamwork skills when collaborating on group tasks such as Election case studies.
Students develop resilience through improving their evaluation skills when completing increasingly complex questions.
Students understand the opportunities that an A-level in Politics can present and are keen to study politics related subjects beyond A-level.
Students are constantly striving to improve and achieve the best grade possible. Student attendance at after school revision sessions is high.
Students feel confident in applying key political vocabulary and political arguments to their written work and classroom discussions. Students can apply their political knowledge to related academic subjects and at KS5 to EPQ research.
Students are able to demonstrate self- management and independence by responding effectively to personalised feedback and targets.
Students are able to recall and apply important political vocabulary and examples of political events to class discussion and in their written work.
Cultural capital is developed in Politics through involvement in extra-curricular activities such as debate club and through wider reading of Politics articles.
In Politics we clearly share learning intentions at the start of each lesson to ensure a clear focus from the start of every lesson. We have developed a shared language for learning in a number of ways across our curriculum. Retrieval practice is used with all classes to recall prior learning from across the entire course. Retrieval practice takes place in each lesson through questioning for understanding and also forms an integral section in all class assessments. Retrieval practice often focuses on the key concepts and theorists studied across the A-level Politics course. We use mini plenaries and plenaries each lesson to assess the learning that has taken place. These can be based on assessment and exam questions, questioning and matching political theorists to key concepts and examples. Questioning for understanding involves a number of techniques including ‘cold calling’ and ‘check for understanding’ to ensure misconceptions are addressed.
Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time [DIRT] is a key strength in Politics at A-level. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their progress; reviewing feedback from the teacher following assessments. Students respond to feedback by evaluating strengths and weaknesses of their work and complete the feedback loop by setting themselves a target referring back to feedback given.
Finally, THRIVE skills are referred to in each Politics lesson as Politics encourages the personal development of students in terms of their empathy and honesty skills in particular. Politics is a subject which encourages students to consider a diverse range of views including feminism and a range of different pressure groups. Politics also encourages students to develop an awareness of the importance of equality and how citizens have gained democratic rights over time. Students develop their versatility by keeping up to date with political events. Our team are skilled at facilitating challenging topics and allowing students to feel safe. Students learn about core British values by examining the role and function of Parliament in a Liberal democracy.
A-level Politics is a popular subject at A-level in which students continue to develop transferable skills such as analysing and interpreting political arguments and extracts. Politics encourages students to develop their analysis, application and evaluation skills to a range of political theories. Students can further develop their understanding of a range of contemporary debates in the weekly Year 12 and 13 debate club. A number of students choose to study Politics at degree level. A significant number also go on to have careers in related subjects such as International Relations and Law. In general, our results are above the national average at A-level with over 60% achieving A*-B in their final exams.