Government and Politics

Examination Board

Edexcel

Specific Course Requirements

Whilst we wouldn’t expect you to have an in-depth knowledge of Politics, we would expect you to be interested in political issues, eager to find out more and willing to work hard to meet the demands of a challenging course. Students will complete a lot of written work which is why, in addition to the School’s general GCSE requirements, anyone wishing to take this course must have a level 5 in both English Language and Literature. If you have studied History at GCSE, we would expect a Grade ‘B’ for that too.

Course Content

‘AS’ Level

The first year ‘AS’ Level course in Politics covers all aspects of the British political system. Why are fewer people voting in elections and what can we do about it? What exactly do the Labour and Conservative parties stand for? How effectively are our civil liberties protected in the UK? Does the Prime Minister dominate the political system and, if so, what exactly is the point of Parliament?

Topics covered include:
•Democracy and Political Participation
•Party Policies and Ideas
•Elections
•The UK Constitution
•Parliament
•The Prime Minister and Cabinet
•The Judiciary and Civil Liberties

‘A2’ Level

The second year ‘A2’ Level course enables students to develop a comparative perspective through an exploration of the American political system. Why do Americans fiercely guard their ‘right to bear arms’? Why can’t Congress get anything done and is the Tea Party to blame? How effective is the Supreme Court at protecting rights and liberties? What is the secret of Barack Obama’s electoral success – and will Hillary Clinton win in 2016? Is affirmative action an effective way of overcoming racial inequality?

Topics covered include:
•The US Constitution
•Race and Ethnic Politics
•Elections and Voting
•Political Parties
•Congress
•Presidency
•The Supreme Court
•Pressure Groups

Who is suitable for this course?

If you enjoy following current affairs, sharing your opinion, and having heated discussions with your friends, then this course could be for you. You must have an open mind, be able to listen to the views of others and be willing to complete a lot of detailed written work.

How will I be assessed on this course?

Please note that, for 2016-17, Politics ‘A’ Level is ‘unreformed’ and retains a modular structure. This means that, at the end of Year 12, students will sit two 80-minute examinations which will ‘count’ towards their final grade. They will then sit two further 90-minute examinations at the end of Year 13.

What could I do with a qualification in this subject?

Politics at JFS has always been very popular and our results are outstanding. The subject is highly regarded by universities and many of our students go on to study Politics, Economics, History, Philosophy, International Relations and Law. The skills you acquire on the course will be valuable to a variety of degrees and an ‘A’ Level in Politics will stand you in good stead in a variety of professions such as Law, the Civil Service, Journalism, Business, Education, Public Relations, Academia, and of course Politics itself.

The three most commonly asked questions about this course are:

Is the course entirely exam-based?

Yes.

Do I need to have studied GCSE History?

No, but it is helpful.

Will we have intellectual and ideological debates?

Yes. Lots of them!