Government and Politics at Old Swinford Hospital
Should the voting age be reduced to 16? Is the Prime Minister too powerful? What is a referendum? Should our electoral system be changed? What impact does EU membership have upon our sovereignty? These are just a few of the key questions that will be addressed in the Lower Sixth. Consideration is given to the importance of the concept of democracy and the electoral system more generally. In addition, there is an analysis of the major political parties in the United Kingdom. The major institutions of the British constitution are examined such as the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Cabinet. Once a working knowledge of the British system is achieved students can compare it with other countries to judge whether constitutional change is desirable. Throughout the course students will be encouraged to relate theory to practice and to keep a close eye on current affairs. Assessment is by two written papers both of which last for one hour and twenty minutes. In the Upper Sixth, our focus shifts to the other side of the Atlantic; students study American Politics and then actively compare their findings with the British System.
Why not? This course allows students to gain a greater understanding of the world around them and play a fuller part in the political process. Many transferable skills will be developed and enhanced including critical reading and source analysis, communication, problem solving and group discussion. Students will also be asked to present their ideas to the rest of the group on a regular basis. Government and Politics is recognised as an interesting and academically rigorous choice and will be looked on favourably by employers and universities.
Government and Politics can be studied at university in its own right and it is also a useful stepping stone to subjects like International Relations or Philosophy. Students who want to go into business, public service, journalism, the media or the armed forces would benefit from this course. In recent years a substantial number of Year 13 students have left OSH to study politics at university.
Newspapers and the internet, TV programmes as well as textbooks will provide the source material for the course. As the pace of change in society increases it is important for students to understand how political parties and government institutions lead and respond to change. Educational visits often form an interesting aspect of the course and, in the past, students have visited parliament, attended Radio 5-Live debates, contributed to BBC Question Time and engaged in several other trips and meetings to enhance their understanding.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Old Swinford Hospital directly.