At Broughton Hall, the Politics department is shared with Cardinal Heenan. The Politics curriculum equips students to form reasoned judgments that they can justify, think deeply, evaluate a range of information critically and to appreciate and tolerate the existence of different perspectives.
Politics allows you to gain a deep understanding of the world in which we live today, at micro, local, national and global level. Never has our inter-connected relationship with the rest of the world been demonstrated so starkly as by events of the last few years, including the implications of the withdrawal from the European Union and the geo-political issues generated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
By studying A-Level Politics, students will be encouraged to become active citizens and members of society, to be informed and educated voters and to question and challenge, e.g. the accuracy and objectivity of newspaper reports, and not be mere passive by-standers as decisions are made that affect our daily lives. Politics affects EVERYONE. Politicians make laws that affect every aspect of our lives. As our elected representatives, politicians are a major link between us and real power and influence. Without participation, we lose knowledge, accountability, and an ability to influence events. The curriculum develops the analytical skills needed by students to make judgements in all walks of life and develops cross-curricular links with other subjects such as History, Economics, Geography, philosophy and ethics.
Politics is the most relevant and current A level - whilst lessons follow the specification, they are constantly evolving to fit in with current political trends and issues, from controversies involving Trump and the US election to the tensions between local and national governments over the handling of the COVID crisis.
It is different to any GCSE students will have studied - there is a big focus on critical debate and evaluation. They will look at big questions in the world of politics, and consider the impact they have on society as a whole. For example, is it fair that all regions in the UK left the European Union when only 51.89% of British voters opted for this? Should 16 and 17 year olds have the right to vote? How can Karl Marx and Tony Blair both call themselves socialists? Students learn how our system of government and politics works, and compare this with other countries. Is our political system fairer than that of the USA? Do minority groups have greater rights in the UK? Is the US really the land of the free?
Politics inspires a love of current affairs and examiners reward students for contemporary and up to date knowledge. Students are encouraged to use a wide range of media to enhance their political knowledge and awareness. Above all, it is an 'alive', interesting subject which deals with topics and issues that receive daily coverage in all sections of the media.
The Politics teachers are experienced and dedicated practitioners with a real passion for the subject. Students are introduced to the requirements of the examination questions with the use of writing frames, model answers and supported essay structures initially. Teachers prepare classes for examinations through the use of external 6th form lectures and exemplar materials from experts at the exam board, past-paper analysis, regular assessment, and bespoke feedback and revision sessions.
How is the course structured & assessed?Paper 1 is the study of UK Politics to include topics like Democracy and Participation, Political Parties, Electoral Systems, Voting Behaviour and the Media. Section B of the paper looks at the origins of the Core Political Ideas of Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism and how they have changed over time.
Paper 2 is the study of UK Government and the relationships between all its branches. It includes topics such as the Constitution and Devolution, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, Parliament, the Supreme Court and the EU. Section B of the paper involves the study of a further political idea from a choice of Feminism or Nationalism.
Paper 3 is the study of Politics in the USA, making comparisons with UK Politics and Government and covering many important topics such as the power of the President and Civil Rights.
There is NO coursework component in the Politics A-level.
The three externally examined units will be taken at the end of Year 13. All three papers are equally weighted and are worth 33% each of the qualification. All papers are a written examination of 2 hours in length. All questions assess AO1, AO2 and AO3.
AO1-knowledge and understanding of institutions, processes and theories.
A02-comparartive analysis drawing on areas of similarity and difference, quality of argument AO3-evaluation, arguments, conclusions and judgement.
Paper 1 and Paper 2 are divided into two sections.
- One 30-mark question from a choice of two (each question uses a source) - students must complete one of these.
- One 30-mark essay question from a choice of two - students must complete one of these.
Section B: Political Ideas
One 24-mark essay question from a choice of two
- Questions assess AO1, AO2 and AO3.
One 12 mark comparative question USA/UK from a choice of two.
One 12 mark comparative theory question.
Two 30-mark essay question from a choice of three - students must complete two of these.
CareersApart from studying a wide range of fascinating topics, students gain vital knowledge and develop transferable skills that will help them with their future academic and professional aspirations.
- excellent oral communication and writing skills
- learning how to construct arguments and reach substantiated judgments
- analysis of the changing dynamics of modern politics
- the ability to interpret, evaluate and comment
- critical analysis and interpretation of source material
- comparative analysis of different political systems
- debate and discussion
- independent learning and note-making
Politics is an enabling subject which provides students with an excellent foundation, whatever their long-term plans. It opens doors to careers in Law, Journalism and Television, Management, Social Work, Civil Service, Public relations, Human rights and charities, Teaching, and of course, a career in politics, be that as an advisor, researcher or even an MP themselves.
Many go on to careers in business, finance and human resources. Many work for supranational organisations like the United Nations, European Union, World Trade Organisation, World Bank and World Health Organization. Others work in think tanks, pressure groups and charities.
The transferrable skills gained as part of a Politics A-Level make students who take the subject especially attractive to prospective employers. The world of politics does not stand still and so sets students up for a career in an ever-changing contemporary world.