Politics at Sir Thomas Rich's

“Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous… in war, you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.” – Winston Churchill

Political decisions shape our lives now and in the future. For that reason alone students should be aware of how their system of government operates and be able, as informed citizens, to participate in the democratic process and make a difference when they have left school. A Level Politics is ideal preparation for those very important privileges that we as citizens of the UK enjoy.

The study of Politics is also an exciting intellectual challenge, with an emphasis on debate, discussion and argument. Politics exists because people disagree, studying Politics looks at how, why and when people disagree. The ability to analyse information in order to make valid judgments is a fundamentally important skill in the study of Politics.

Entry Requirements: A GCSE Grade 6 in English Language is required to study this course.
Teaching Arrangements: Year 12: 9 periods a fortnight.
Year 13: 10 periods a fortnight.
Homework Guidance: Students are expected to do a minimum of 2 hours per week. The Politics Department operates on a flipped classroom approach. Students prepare for all lessons in advance using video and multimedia resources from the Prechewed Politics website which the Department subscribes to.
Assessment Arrangements: Paper 1: 2 hours
Paper 2: 2 hours
Paper 3: 2 hours
Exam Specification: Edexcel A Level Politics, Specification 9PL0 Topics Covered:
Year 12 and 13

Component 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas. This section focuses on democracy, participation and the political parties. It allows students to understand the individual in the political process and their relationship with the state and their fellow citizens. Students will examine how electoral systems in the UK operate, how individuals and groups are influenced in their voting behaviour and political actions, the role of the media in contemporary politics, and the three traditional political ideas of conservatism, liberalism and socialism.

Component 2: UK Government and Political Ideas The component introduces students to the set of rules governing politics in the UK, the UK Constitution, which is different in nature from most of the rest of the world. It further introduces students to the specific roles and powers of the major branches of the Government, the legislative, executive, and judiciary. It explores the relationships and balance of power between them and considers where sovereignty now lies within this system.

Year 13
Component 3: Government and Politics of the USA This component explores six major content areas: The Constitution and Federalism, the roles of Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court. Students also study democracy and participation, and civil rights in the USA.

Politics is a popular choice at A Level, with many students joining the Department from other schools in Year 12. For Year 11 students interested in studying A Level Politics, a suggested reading list is available in the Sixth Form section of the school website.

University courses this subject may be required for or lead onto:
  • Economics
  • History
  • International Studies
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
Careers that Politics may lead onto:
  • Accountancy
  • Business
  • Civil Service
  • Economics
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Publishing
  • Teaching

“I enjoy studying Politics because it is such a current and versatile subject. It particularly interests me because it is so different from any of the other subjects on offer. I also enjoy the A level course because it involves a lot of current affairs and is often in the news. For someone politically minded, the subject is very engaging and thoroughly enjoyable with the course covering many interesting aspects of Politics.
James Mounsor, former student
"Choosing Politics at A Level was a very good decision. All I ever talk about is Politics, and by doing the A Level, not only has my knowledge on the subject been strengthened, but I have also come to enjoy the subject more. The course teachers are fantastic, keeping the entire class engaged, and ensuring that we are all fully prepared for examinations. As the year has progressed it has become more apparent to me that I might want to pursue a career in Politics, and definitely study it at university. Politics A Level was a real eye-opener for me, and has helped me make decisions about my future that I was previously struggling to make. I would highly recommend the subject, advising anyone with a basic interest in the subject to advance their knowledge and interest, and take the subject for A Level. "
Alfie Harrison, former student
"One of my favourite aspects of studying Politics during Year 12 was its relevance to current events. Politics is the subject that relates most to everyday life and allows for great discussions with peers. Politics links especially well with subjects such as History due to their overlapping topics, and has therefore helped me strengthen my understanding greatly. Politics lessons are engaging and enable students to participate in lively discussions, whilst voicing and developing our own opinions. Politics is a great choice of A Level for those interested in how our Government works, but also the sociological side of voting behaviour. I have very much enjoyed my Year 12 study of Politics and look forward to Year 13. "
Taiyse Rich, former student

Year 12: Annual visit to Westminster, and attendance at PMQs.
Year 13: Biannual trip to Washington and New York in February.