In Politics, we attract a range of students with a variety of backgrounds and understanding of UK and Global Politics. In Year 12, we aim to inspire students to take an active and inclusive interest in the world through political engagement. The course provides a thorough understanding of the impact of political institutions on modern societies. It helps students to evaluate the choices that political systems must regularly make, to explain the processes that maintain or change those systems, and to examine the concepts and values used in political analysis. Students learn the foundations of core political ideologies in order to understand the modern world of politics, including the rationale of voters and policy making. The focus on UK government, parliament, prime minister and executive, constitution, democracy, participation, political parties, electoral systems, voter behaviour and the role of the media in election outcomes ensures a broad base of understanding and analysis. Students explore political ideologies of liberalism, conservatism, socialism and feminism, focusing on how they relate to human nature, the state, society and the economy. In Year 13, the Global Politics course explores politics within and between countries, covering issues from human rights and democracy to financial crises and international conflict. This includes theories of Global Politics, sovereignty and globalisation, global governance: political and economic, global governance: human rights and environmental, power and developments, regionalism and the European Union. The course is based on debate, academic research, presentation and critical thinking skills.
The Politics Department wholeheartedly encourages engagement with the subject outside of the classroom and facilitates this through a range of extra-curricular visits and super-curricular experiences. The department offers a range of additional enrichment and leadership opportunities, from outside guest speakers to whole school politics engagement activities, such as Parliament Week, assemblies, a thriving Politics Sixth Form society and links with student-led groups, such as Pate’s Amnesty International, European Youth Parliament, Member of Youth Parliament Initiative, Model United Nations and the National Council of Women. Sixth Form students run a weekly Politics Society that discusses and debates a wide range of political issues far beyond the curriculum, and a debating club.
Politics brings together some of the most important approaches to understanding the world around us, developing skills useful for a wide range of careers. Politics provides an excellent springboard into many university courses and we have a large cohort of students who go on to study PPE, HSPS, Law, History, International Relations and Politics at university.