Government and Politics
The Curriculum intent for Government and Politics is closely linked to the Edexcel syllabus which has been chosen due to the comparative nature of this course ie Political issues of the UK and the USA. We feel it is important to understand the issues present in the USA as it is the most influential and powerful nation in the world and gives our students more of an international perspective on matters such as religion, climate change and the economy. Our curriculum intent means a clear understanding of key political concepts and ideologies such as Socialism and Feminism are required to move to a deeper appreciation of the complexities of political life in an ever-changing global world. We accentuate this understanding with Enrichment Days to the House of Commons, the UK Supreme Court and Westminster Abbey and pre-Covid with our USA visit to New York, Washington and Philadelphia.
This deep appreciation of the complexities of key political concepts enables the Politics department to produce outstanding A-Level results and send students to some of the top universities in the country to continue their studies of Politics.
A Level: Years 12 and 13
Exam Board: Edexcel
The aims and objectives of the Edexcel qualification chosen by OPGS are to enable students to:
Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the United Kingdom and the USA
Develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes
Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the influences and interests which have an impact on decisions in government and politics; develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups
Develop the ability to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate political information to form arguments and make judgements
Develop an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics. This engagement in Politics is crucial to OPGS Politics department and is something we focus class debates and discussions on throughout the two-year course and one of the reason why so many of our students continue to study Politics at top universities.
UK Political Parties: The Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem Parties and their policies and how they have developed over the last two election cycles. This is an essential topic for the understanding of UK Politics and how it has changed over the last decade.
Pressure Groups: Students study a range of Pressure Groups in the UK and examine their influence and importance in the UK Political system.
Electoral Systems: Students look at a variety of different Electoral systems and assess the First Past the Post System.
The Media: Social Media, television and the printed media are all looked at and their impact on UK politics discussed.
UK Parliament: We examine the key roles of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and the crucial changes that have taken place since 1997.
Prime Minister: The role and importance of the PM are discussed in detail and provide a key point of debate in the Year 12 course.
Conservatism: Key Conservative thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes are examined and assessed for their relevance in the contemporary world.
Socialism: Key socialist thinkers such as Karl Marx are examined and assessed for their relevance in the contemporary world.
USA Constitution: The key arguments regarding a codified constitution are examined and the US amendments are highlighted and debated.
Congress: The role and importance of this crucial component of US Politics is studied in detail. Issues such as bipartisanship and the role of political parties are linked to the topic.
President: The role and power of the Presidency are discussed in detail with examples being brought from the Bush. Obama, Trump and Biden presidencies.
Feminism: An important ideology for the modern world is studied in detail as it provides a discussion point on issues such as the patriarchy, radical feminism and the role of gender.