Government and Politics

Houses of ParliamentOne of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.

Following the Edexcel specification, AS Level Government and Politics examines the British system of government (including the effects of Britain’s membership of the European Union), the importance of Parliament, the role of the Prime Minister, the political parties, pressure groups, as well as the key concepts of accountability and representation. In lessons we use a variety of activities, including debating and analysing newspaper articles, to help the girls understand the nature of politics and develop their ability to evaluate events and processes critically. The subject is fast changing, with new developments in the political landscape every day, and challenges preconceptions about society and governing the UK. The most recent general election is an excellent resource for our studies in Politics.

Eu Referendum
The school's EU Referendum

For those girls who take Government and Politics at A2 Level, the focus shifts to the United States.  Here, amongst other issues, we examine the nature of the American Constitution, the power of the presidency, the importance of Congress and the role of the Supreme Court. With A2 our focus is on both historic, landmark developments and very recent changes to the political arena. With the 2016 Presidential Election already underway, this is an exciting time to be studying Government and Politics.

The courses are supported by trips to the Palace of Westminster and workshops that relate to the course, as well as revision lectures.

From September 2017 we will be offering the revised A Level course in Politics which will be linear, with three exams at the end of two years of study. Whilst the specifications are still in draft format, it is likely that our current topics of UK and USA will be included and therefore taught at St Mary’s, alongside the additional topics of Political Theory; Liberalism, Socialism and Conservatism.

Whether you are conscious of it or not, politics shapes your life, from the food you eat to the school you attend and far, far beyond. 

Mrs Samantha Handy (Head of History, Government and Politics)