Curriculum Vision and Intent
- To develop a passion for, and engagement with, contemporary politics and to encourage students to be active citizens in the future
- To develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues, both in the UK and globally and use appropriate vocabulary
- To construct and communicate arguments and explanations with relevance, clarity and coherence and draw reasoned conclusions
- To critically analyse, interpret and evaluate
- To make synoptic connections and parallels, explaining similarities and differences between content studied, including a comparison between the UK and USA and to understand the UK’s position globally
Politics concentrates on a diverse study of behaviour, theory and relationships. By its very nature, politics throws up new issues and problems that challenge existing ideas. The subject is concerned with contemporary issues and students will consider how key current events link with the theoretical framework.
KS5 curriculum and assessment
Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel
The three components are equally weighted.
Component 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas – 2-hour examination
This section explores the nature of politics and how people engage in the political process in the UK.
- Democracy and participation
- Political parties
- Electoral systems
- Voting behaviour and the media
Students will learn about the core ideas and principles, the effects of these ideas, the divisions within each idea and key thinkers.
Component 2: UK Government and Non-core Political Ideas– 2-hour examination
This section is about branches of government whose roles and powers are determined by a set of rules: a constitution.
- The constitution
- Prime Minister and executive
- Relationships between the branches
Students will learn about the ideas and principles of the non-core political idea chosen – nationalism, the effects of this idea, the divisions within nationalism and related key thinkers.
Component 3: Government and Politics of the USA– 2-hour examination
- The US Constitution and federalism
- US Congress
- US presidency
- US Supreme Court and US civil rights
- US democracy and participation
- Comparative theories – synoptic connections between US and UK Politics are made here
Extra and super-curricular opportunities
There are frequent opportunities to attend relevant lectures and master-classes at LSE, UCL and SOAS, as well as cinema visits to see relevant films. The Politics department runs visits to the Houses of Parliament and to the UK Supreme Court in the autumn term of Year 12.
In Year 13, students attend a conference run by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library with leading academics and former members of the U.S. Congress, as well as a revision conference in the spring term. The department has run a trip to the USA to see some key institutions first-hand, as well as attended an event at the U.S. Embassy in London.
The Politics department has a strong record of students progressing onto degree courses in Politics, International Relations, PPE and American Studies. University preparation seminars are held to support these applicants.
More information, such as reading lists, podcasts, topical updates and extension material, can be found on the departmental Google Classroom, accessed through students’ school email accounts.
The Politics Academic Prefects run a Current Affairs Club across all key stages and a Geopolitics Club for KS4 and KS5 students.
Politics students can assist with the running of, and participate in, the Borough Youth Council and UK Youth Parliament elections. Some of our Year 12 students have undertaken work experience with a London MP.
Future opportunities (careers, university courses)
Politics requires critical reflection, balanced analysis and informed debate. Politics also enables students to write fluently, present confidently and argue effectively: all highly useful skills for university and the world of work, which is why Politics graduates are in strong demand in today’s competitive job market.
Politics prepares students for a wide range of careers. Although many jobs do not require a specific subject at A level or as a university degree, Politics is very useful for many fields, including:
- Public Affairs
- Government and the Civil Service
- Market Research
- Events Organisation