A-Level Government and politics
This is a fascinating and constantly developing subject that challenges students’ ideas about how democracy works. This course allows you to study contemporary politics and the mechanics of government, developing a deep understanding of the factors shaping both the British and American systems.
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”Franklin D. Roosevelt
Automatic entry onto Level 3 courses includes students achieving 5 x A*-C or equivalent at GCSE alongside a grade 5 or above in both English and Mathematics. Students with either English and/or Mathematics at grade 4 or below will have individual meetings to determine the most suitable pathway within sixth form.
The AS covers contemporary government and politics in the UK whilst the A2 course is based around systems of government in the USA. You will sit two papers at the end of the AS year, each of these papers make up 25% of the total A-Level grade. At A-Level, you will sit two examination papers in June, these two papers are equally weighted and each make up the final 25% of your A-Level. At AS, the course is divided into two papers; the government paper covers the UK constitution, legislature, executive and judiciary and the politics paper will examine the role and importance of political parties, voting behaviour and psephology, parliamentary elections and the role of pressure groups in UK politics. On both sides of the course you will be asked to engage with the big political questions of the day, things like; ‘does our political system still work? ‘do our members of parliament really represent us?’ and ‘how does the British political system need to change?’
You will have acquired a good understanding of politics on a local, national and international level as well as touched on related topics such as Economics, History and Law. You will have gained a number of transferable skills, including being able to debate and examine issues from all standpoints, an ability to identify, analyse and find solutions to problems and to make reasoned arguments as well as excellent communication skills. You should also have acquired good research, teamwork and writing skills that will prove a bonus in a wide variety of professions and further education settings. Students who study government and politics may go on to:
- the civil service fast track
- a career in law
Based on guidance from the OCR Chief Examiner, the majority of your assessments will take place in timed conditions during the lesson. At the end of each topic (approximately each half term) you will sit a full timed mock exam to assess your understanding of that topic area. All essays will be planned in advance in lesson time.
Ways to help my child succeed
In government and politics nothing is more important than engaging with the subject area. A great way to help your child to succeed is to encourage them in watching, reading or listening to a range of news sources each week and engage them in discussion about their views on current events. Homework will be set each week and you can also help your child succeed by helping them manage their time effectively and meet subject deadlines.