Politics

KS5 Intent:

Year 12 in Politics starts with a focus on developing students understanding of both the how the UK political system works as well as understanding the key political institutions in the UK.  This is done by co-teaching the units of UK Politics and UK Government at the same time.  By following this approach, students are able to see where the different topics over-lap which helps them in the comparative aspect of the course.  Both of these units work their way through the theoretical foundations in a logical order so that students fully understand the workings of democracy and what influences democracy in the UK, but also how the UK government functions within the relationships between the constitution, the government and the Prime Minister.  Once the UK element of the course has been studied, students will then have the understanding to be able to tackle the political ideologies element of the course.  These political ideologies cover conservatism, socialism, liberalism and feminism and with each section studied the same format is utilised – theoretical backgrounds and influences on the ideologies, including a range of key thinkers.  This enable students to compare how the different ideologies function and exist, and how they impact upon voting behaviour and election outcomes – linking back into previous sections of the two units studied.  Cultural Capital is enhanced further in this by visiting the Houses of Parliament where so much of the politics studied is brought to life to enhance interest and understanding – bringing to life the often mysterious workings of the political systems within the UK.

 

In Year 13 focus shifts to the study of the political system of the USA.  Again, the co-teaching angle allows the students to learn how the US political system works at the same time as looking at how the US compares with the UK system.  This again links into the comparative demands of the qualification.  The USA is studied after the UK because its political system is both more complex and is different to the UK.  This means the students get to grips with the politics of their own country first before tackling a different country.  The aspects covered when studying the USA reflect the functioning and ideological background of politics in the USA so that comparisons with the UK are more adeptly made.  The study of international politics does also result in students building their cultural capital further – they gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of places away from their own doorstep, creating an ambition in students for them to maximise their learning experiences in influencing their future choices in terms of studies and career opportunities.

Implementation:

Year

Term

Topic

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Window for Assessment

12

1-3

UK Politics

Students will:

Study this unit of work in parallel to the UK Government unit in order to provide students with an in-depth coverage of knowledge and understanding about how the political systems in the UK function. 

Study four key areas to understand the workings of UK politics from its roots in Greek democracy through to contemporary case studies of general election analysis.  These areas are:

  1. Democracy and participation
  2. Political parties
  3. Electoral systems
  4. Voting behaviour and the media

Gain and embed a range of skills related to the unit of work including: interpreting and analysing political information from UK politics; constructing and communicating arguments and explanations with relevance, clarity and coherence with reasoned conclusions about UK politics; using sources of information in an analytical way which allows for judgements, evaluations and conclusions to be made..

Approximately monthly throughout the unit

 

1-3

UK Government

Students will:

Study this unit of work in parallel to the UK Politics unit in order to provide students with an in-depth coverage of knowledge and understanding about how the UK government functions and operates within the political systems in the UK.

Study four key areas gain full knowledge and understanding about UK government:

  1. The constitution
  2. Parliament
  3. Prime Minister and Executive
  4. Relations between the branches

Gain and embed a range of skills related to the unit of work including: interpreting and analysing political information from UK government; critically analyse and evaluate areas of UK government; constructing and communicating arguments and explanations with relevance, clarity and coherence with reasoned conclusions about UK government.

Approximately monthly throughout the unit

12

3

Core political ideas, and the ideology of feminism

Students will:

Study in depth four political ideologies in order to gain knowledge and understanding to enhance their understanding of the ideological and historical backdrop to the UK’s political systems and governance.  These four ideologies are:

  1. Conservatism:
    1. Core ideas and principles
    2. Differing views and tensions within conservatism
    3. Conservative thinkers and their ideas
    4. Liberalism:
      1. Core ideas and principles
      2. Differing views and tensions within liberalism
      3. Liberal thinkers and their ideas
      4. Socialism:
        1. Core ideas and principles
        2. Differing views and tensions within socialism
        3. Socialist thinkers and their ideas
        4. Feminism:
          1. Ideas and principles
          2. Different types of feminism
          3. Feminist thinkers and their ideas

Gain and embed a range of skills related to the unit of work including: interpreting and analysing political information from political ideas; constructing and communicating arguments and explanations with relevance, clarity and coherence with reasoned conclusions about political ideas; using sources of information in an analytical way which allows for judgements, evaluations and conclusions to be made.

Approximately monthly throughout the unit

13

1-2

 

1-3

Comparative Politics: Government and Politics of the USA

Students will:

Study in depth the US political systems to examine whether it is really a ‘beacon of democracy’ in its lived-out form.  Students will study six areas of US politics in order to be able to identify and analyse the ways in which it functions successfully and the impacts their politics can have globally, with particular focus on the UK.  The six area of study are:

  1. The US Constitution and federalism
  2. US Congress
  3. US presidency
  4. US Supreme Court and US civil rights
  5. US democracy and participation
  6. Comparative theories

Gain and embed a range of skills related to the unit of work including: interpreting and analysing political information from US politics; critically analysing and evaluating US politics; constructing and communicating arguments and explanations with relevance, clarity and coherence with reasoned conclusions about USA politics; identify parallels, connections, similarities and differences between the UK and USA political systems and governance.

Approximately monthly throughout the unit