Government & Politics

Why study Government and Politics at Isaac Newton Academy?

We are currently experiencing the most tumultuous political climate that we have faced in decades. With the UK going through the process of fulfilling Brexit, the United States facing the leadership of a President preoccupied with twitter, and the conflicts in the Middle East showing no sign of ending, having an understanding of politics is increasingly becoming necessary in order to make sense of the world.

At Isaac Newton Academy, our Government and Politics department will provide a contemporary and demanding curriculum, which, through the use of case-studies and illustrative examples will create a clear and constant link between what you are learning in the classroom and what is taking place at Westminster. You will also develop your critical thinking skills and cultivate your ability to write effectively.

We believe that politics is not just a topic you study, it is an area that you should participate in. This means we will provide a broad and varied super-curricular programme, including the opportunity to engage in debate tournaments, Model United Nations conferences, trips to Parliament and the Supreme Court and also to various universities’ public lectures.

Students who study Government and Politics A-level find that it acts as an excellent accompanying subject to a variety of degree courses and can led to a wide range of possible career paths, including areas of law, the civil service or international development. 

Exam Board: Edexcel

Topics Studied Include:

  • Democracy & Participation
  • Parliament
  • Voting Behaviour and the Media
  • Liberalism
  • Feminism
  • Global Governance

Preparation for the course:

Due to the fact that Government and Politics is a subject area many students are unlikely to have studied prior to sixth form, it is essential you are prepared for the amount of new content you will be expected to learn. In order to make this transition easier please complete both of the exercises below over the summer.

Download Summer Learning Exercise: Key Terms Glossary

Download Summer Learning Exercise: News and Current Affairs Journal

 

Useful Resources- Newspapers/TV/ Radio and Podcasts

It is crucial for any potential Government and Politics student to have an acute awareness of current affairs. Below are a list of suggested news outlets and other resources that you use to complete the news and current affairs journal.

 

Newspapers

  • The Guardian
  • The Telegraph
  • The Independent

TV

  • The Daily Politics (Monday-Friday 11am, BBC Two)
  • Channel 4 News (Monday-Friday 7pm, Channel 4)
  • This Week (Thursday 11.45pm, BBC One)
  • Newsnight (Monday-Friday 10.30pm, BBC Two)
  • BBC Parliament

Radio/Podcasts

  • Week in Westminster (Saturday 11am, BBC Radio 5/Podcast)
  • Pienaar’s Politics (Sunday 10am, BBC Radio 5 Live/ Podcast)
  • Westminster Hour (Sunday 10pm, BBC Radio 4/Podcast)
  • The Times Red Box (Podcast)
  • The Guardian UK: Politics Weekly (Podcast)

The Spectator- Coffee House Shots (Podcast)

Government and Politics

The most significant change to the Government and Politics A-Level this year is the move from modular to linear. Whilst this will present some challenges, it is also a fantastic opportunity. Students will be required to recall information over a two year period, however, there will be more time available for super-curricula activities and for students to strengthen their understanding over a longer period and at their pace.

The new specification provides students with a comprehensive insight into British and global politics. Incorporating the majority of content from the previous specification with new components focusing on voting behaviour, the media and the relationship between the different branches of government. The new specification provides students with the opportunity to build synoptic links between the topics and develop a deep understanding of the subject area.

The students’ exams will be in June 2019, consisting of three separate papers, each weighted at a third of the students’ final grade. Unlike the previous specification, there are far fewer low mark questions and more essay questions. Students will be awarded marks for demonstrating knowledge and understanding, focused analysis and constructing clear and coherent arguments. Throughout the course the will be an emphasis on the importance of good essay writing skills and the ability to utilise political terminology effectively. 

Government & Politics A-Level Topic Plan

Year 12

Topic

Sub-Topics

Topic

Sub-Topics

Time Frame

 

Democracy & Participation

  • Current systems of representative and direct democracy
  • A wider franchise and debates over suffrage
  • Pressure Groups and other influences
  • Rights in Context

 

The Constitution

  • The development, nature and sources of the UK constitution
  • How the constitution has changed since 1997
  • The role and powers of  devolved bodies in the UK
  • Debates on further reform

 

 

Autumn 1

 

 

 

Political Parties

 

  • Functions and funding of political parties
  • Established political parties
  • Emerging and minor political parties
  • Political parties in context

 

 

 

Parliament

  • The structure and role of the House of Commons and House of Lords
  • The comparative powers of the House of Commons and House of Lords
  • The legislative process
  • The way in which Parliament interacts with the executive

 

 

 

Autumn 2

Electoral Systems

  • Different electoral systems
  • Referendums
  • Electoral system analysis

Prime Minister & Executive

 

  • The structure, role and powers of the executive
  • The concept of ministerial responsibility
  • The prime minister and cabinet

 

Spring 1

 

Voting Behaviour and the Media

 

  • Case studies of three general elections: 1997,2010,2017
  • Class, gender and ethnicity based voting
  • The influence of the media

 

 

Relationships between Branches

  • The Supreme Court and the legislative and policy-making processes
  • The relationship between the executive and parliament
  • The aims, role and impact of the EU on UK government
  • The location of sovereignty in the UK political system

 

 

 

Spring 2

 

Component 1 Revision and Assessment

 

Component 2 Revision and Assessment

 

Summer 1

 

 

Liberalism

  • Core ideas and principles
  • Differing views and tensions within liberalism
  • Liberal thinkers and ideas

 

Conservatism

  • Core ideas and principles
  • Differing views and tensions within conservatism
  • Conservative thinkers and ideas

 

 

Summer 2

Year 13

Topic

Sub-Topics

Topic

Sub-Topics

Time Frame

 

Socialism

 

  • Core ideas and principles
  • Differing views and tensions within socialism
  • Socialist thinkers and ideas

 

Feminism

  • Core ideas and principles
  • Differing views and tensions within feminism
  • Feminist thinkers and ideas

 

 

Autumn 1

  

Sovereignty & Globalisation

 

  • The state: nation states and sovereignty
  • Globalisation
  • Debates about the impact of globalisation including advantages and disadvantage
  • Globalisation and contemporary issues

 

Regionalism and the European Union

 

  • Regionalism
  • Developments of regional organisations
  • Factors that have fostered European integration
  • The significance of the EU
  • The ways and extents to which regionalism addresses and resolves contemporary global issues

 

 

 

Autumn 2

 

Theories of Global Politics

 

  • Main ideas of realism
  • Divisions between realism and liberalism
  • Main ideas of the anarchical society and society of states theory
  

Theories of Global Politics

  • Main ideas of liberalism
  • Divisions between realism and liberalism
  • The extent to which realism and liberalism explain recent developments

 

Spring 1

 

Global Governance: Political & Economic

 

  
  • Political
  • Economic
  • Addressing and resolving contemporary global issues

 

 

Global Governance: Human Rights & Environmental

  
  • Human rights
  • Environmental
  • Addressing and resolving contemporary global issues

 

 

 

Spring 2

 

Component 1,2 and 3  Revision

 

 

Summer 1

 

Qualification Colour
Component 1: UK Politics  
Component 2: UK Government  
Component 3: Comparative Politics