Politics AS and A Level * Fees Payable* at Benenden School *Fees Payable*
Why study Government and Politics?
Although you might not know much to start with, what matters is that you would like to know more about something that will affect many aspects of your life. There are some very marketable skills which are developed in the studying of Politics. You will learn to summarise pithily. Your technical grasp of English will increase greatly. The ability to structure an extended argument, to present a logical case with clear conclusions is key to the full A Level. Precision is always valued by universities and employers. Lastly, you will gain experience in analysing that most adult of skills – choosing the least worst option when there are no cost-free alternatives.
Students of Politics learn about the process of actually running the country and the rules of the political game. Alongside understanding the structure, students will also learn about the living processes of elections, beliefs and political parties.
At A Level students broaden this perspective to take into account a deeper evaluation of political ideas and then shift their focus to the United States of America before embarking on the comparative politics of the UK and the US.
UK Politics and Government
Politics classes study the history of democracy in the UK, elections, electoral systems and voting behaviour, political party history and ideology as well as contemporary policies. Students also study pressure groups and the place of the media in UK politics. Government lessons examine the historical development of the constitution, the executive and the work of Parliament. The final topic explores the growing power of the judiciary and the European Union.
A Level - Component 1 as above, plus the following:
US Politics and Government & Comparative politics
Students will examine the US Constitution and federalism, US congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court, democracy and participation and civil rights before comparing these to the situation in the UK.
The political ideas of conservatism, socialism, liberalism and nationalism will be explored.
The examination is based on one 3hr paper at the end of the AS year or three papers of 2hrs each at the end of the A Level; there is no coursework.
Politics has been considered a ‘hard’ A Level for many years now and was mentioned in the 2011 guidance issued by the Russell Group universities on AS choices. It is much more of a social science than History. For this reason, although many current students do combine the subject with History and/or English, those girls with a scientific or linguistic bent can and do find the subject a very satisfying option. An exceptionally large number of girls who take the course will go on to read it at university. Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol, Durham, LSE, SOAS, Georgetown (USA), Warwick, York, Edinburgh, King’s, Sheffield, Exeter and Nottingham are typical destinations.
Aside from the core of classroom teaching and reading, the department hosts speakers from outside – politicians, academics and commentators. There is an annual visit to Parliament, and bi-annual visit to Washington and New York in the October Half Term.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Benenden School *Fees Payable* directly.