Government & Politics A'Level at Newstead Wood School
Exam Board - Edexcel
Government and Politics is a very popular choice at A-Level and combines well with other humanities subjects including History, RS and Economics. It introduces students to the ‘building blocks’ of UK and European political institutions and systems and gives them an introduction to a wide variety of political thought.
The new specification for Government and Politics for 2017 is awaiting final approval by the exam boards however the content is like to be broadly similar to the current specification which includes:
- Unit 1: People and Politics Democracy, Political Parties, Elections and Pressure Groups
- Unit 2: Governing the UK Parliament, Core Executive, Constitution and Judiciary
- Unit 3: Introducing Political Ideologies Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and Anarchism
- Unit 4: Other Ideological Traditions Nationalism, Feminism, Multiculturalism and Ecologism
The new specification is be a 2 year linear course but there will be an option to take the AS exam at the end of Year 12. This will only offer a metric measurement of performance and students are encouraged to follow the course as linear, sitting all exams at the end of Y13.
Specific skills and concepts
- Develop a critical awareness of the nature of politics and the relationship between political ideas, institutions and processes Acquire knowledge and understanding of the structures of authority and power within the UK and how these differ from those of other political systems
- The ability to select relevant material, recognise bias and evaluate sources of information
- Make considered judgements, form opinions and draw conclusions
- Communicate clearly in oral and written forms
To be accepted onto the Government & Politics course students need at least grade 7 at GCSE in English AND an A (or numerical equivalent) in at least one humanities-based subject, such as History, Religious Studies or Geography.
Students who have studied Government & Politics are well prepared for undergraduate study in any humanities based subject or law and are better informed citizens. They have highly developed analytical skills which will be of use in a wide range of careers.
In recent years the Politics Department has had huge success running a mock election, in line with the General Election in 2015, and a mock ‘Brexit’ referendum on 23rd June. The department runs an annual visit to the Houses of Parliament in April, when we get a guided tour of both the House of Commons and House of Lords and also attend a workshop to help with last minute revision. Each year we attend the Politics Conference at Westminster Hall where last year we were lucky enough to hear both William Hague and Nigel Farage speak. Finally, in 2015 we supplemented our classroom learning with a trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg – a fantastic opportunity to learn about the workings of the European Union and get a taste of France! In February 2016 we ventured even further afield to visit New York and Washington in order to learn about the workings of the UN and US political institutions.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newstead Wood School directly.