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AS/A2 Level 2012 Entry

Government & Politics • •

1987-2012

25 Years ofininspiring An exciting subject which relates to current issues the media individuals Builds your political knowledge and develops your critical evaluation skills

Annual trips to London and the USA plus visits from guest speakers

Caters for all learning styles with up-to-date teaching methods and resources

Excellent support including regular tutorials

The study of politics is very useful for a number of careers and is a well established subject at the UK’s most prestigious universities

1987-2012 25 Years of inspiring individuals

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Russell’s Perspective While some people might think politics is boring, I’d say don’t be put off by what you hear! Politics is a subject that’s constantly moving and adapting, so everything you learn about is relevant! Outside of the classroom there are also plenty of politics activities available, which give you an opportunity to see things from a different perspective and meet new people! I recently went to London, which was fantastic! Other trips that have been on offer include the USA and Europe trips too. If you’re interested in politics from an international perspective, I’d recommend you look into the Model UN General Assembly and the Global Politics Enrichment. After Carmel, I intend to do either a History degree or a Politics degree. Whatever I choose, Carmel will have helped me prepare for university!

AS/A2 Government and Politics Exam Board AQA What will I study? You will study the following modules at AS Level: Unit 1 - People, Politics and Participation (Sept - Dec) This includes the following four areas of study: Political Participation and Voting Behaviour; Electoral Systems; Political Parties; Pressure Groups and Protest Movements. Unit 2 - Governing Modern Britain (Jan - May) This Unit includes the following four areas of study: The British Constitution; Parliament; The Core Executive (Government); Multi-level Governance (including Devolution and the European Union). In year 1 (Lower 6th) the focus is very much on the UK and our political system, but we will also do some work on political philosophy and the origins of Western liberal democracy too. Students are also introduced to politics in the wider political and social context, within which we explore the effect of social class, gender, ethnicity etc on the political system. The building of basic political knowledge is the main objective of this year, and we will also make a start on acquiring important critical evaluation skills too. Europe and the development of the European Union is also given some attention too as the UK is an

important member of this political institution. At A2 Level (Upper 6th), you will progress to the following units: Unit 3a – The Politics of the USA The four areas of study include: The US Electoral Process and Direct Democracy; Political Parties; Voting Behaviour; Pressure Groups. Unit 4a – The Government of the USA In this unit the four areas are: The Constitutional Framework of US Government; The Legislative Branch of Government - US Congress; The Executive Branch of Government - The Office of President; The Judicial Branch of Government - The Supreme Court. In year 2 (Upper 6th) the emphasis is still on acquiring political knowledge, but equal emphasis is now devoted to the development of more sophisticated critical evaluation skills. Our studies will have a more international flavour, with obvious emphasis on the USA and our “special relationship” with them. We also explore the synoptic relationship between the US and UK forms of government.

Outside the US Embassy in London

How will I be assessed? Russell Jones Wade Deacon High School Studying: Government and Politics, English Literature, History, Law

Meet the Tutors Mike McLoughlin MA Head of Department and AQA Examiner for Government and Politics

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You will sit two exams per year – one in January and one in the summer. In both years the exams are one and a half hours duration each and have equal weighting. You will be marked regularly on mostly written assignments and given a progress grade with which you will be able to monitor yourself. This will be reviewed on a regular basis between you and your tutor. As an individual student you are only judged against your individual minimum expected grade (MEG) and this determines your rate of progress on the course. What will this course prepare me for? The AS course will prepare you for continued study to A2 Level and from this level to university degree study and various possible career pathways thereafter. The study of politics is very useful for a number of careers and is a well established subject at our most prestigious universities in the UK.

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Jamie’s Perspective How will I be taught? The teaching and learning that occurs in the classroom (and full attendance is an absolute necessity to gain maximum advantage) is very wide-ranging and consists of PowerPoint presentations, handouts, exam question practice, group quizzes, watching relevant DVDs, student presentations, the analysis of quality newspaper stories, internet site usage and research activities, discussion and debates, and textbook based activities. Students will also be issued with a textbook for home study and homework purposes. In addition you will have all of the facilities available to you in our Library, which includes additional textbooks, use of computers for politics websites, political journals, DVDs, and quality newspapers.

selected TV programmes about politics is an absolute necessity to keep abreast of contemporary political issues, for example the ‘Politics Show’ on BBC1 usually on Sunday at 1.00pm. There will also be plenty of opportunity to research your own particular political interests and issues, and to present your findings to the class initiating discussion and debate too! Friday lunchtimes are devoted to the department’s weekly debates, as chosen by the students. The annual trip to London in the first year is a great opportunity for you to visit Parliament and the US Embassy. As we also study US Politics, in the second year there is the possibility of a trip to Washington DC and other East Coast cities.

Government and Politics is such an interesting course that gives you a real insight into the political system that we live in. I also really enjoy the ability to have a heated, yet balanced, debate with the others in my class about issues that are having a real impact on the world today and the variety of political films we watch that allows us to understand more about the course we are studying. Government and Politics arranged a fantastic trip down to London that I really enjoyed. We visited the US Embassy and Parliament which were both incredibly interesting as we gained an even greater understanding into the political system of our country and met well-known politicians like William Hague.

Indeed the nature of this topic is such that ‘compulsory’ viewing of

Jamie Sinnott-Davies, Fairfield High School

The 2010 USA visit took in Boston, New York, Washington and Philadelphia

Studying: Government and Politics, Combined English, Law, History, Critical Thinking

What is the department like? Government & Politics works very closely with all Social Sciences departments. We have access to computers and all rooms are equipped with multi-media projectors and interactive white boards. Course textbooks are complemented by our own college library and their numerous politics texts too. The department has an innovative and dynamic approach, which will promote the pursuit of excellence in all of the teaching and learning elements of the course. The department also actively attempts to cater for all learning styles with up-to-date teaching methods and resources. Finally, the department will encourage a healthy sense of humour in its work too, with the odd touch of satire!

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Students had a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament during their trip to London

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What support will I receive?

Lauren’s Perspective Carmel gives you the independence which school sixth forms fail to provide. It also provides a place for you to widen your friendships with people who are interested in the same subject you are. I chose Government and Politics and found similarly politically minded people who wanted to discuss and debate the present situation of our country. Government and Politics also offers trips to London and a trip to New York and Washington to compare the differences in the way countries are governed. Trips to Strasbourg and the Youth Parliament in the Liverpool Town Hall are also offered for students to participate in a mock situation which Parliament faces everyday. After leaving Carmel I hope to go into Media Journalism and Government and Politics has helped me do this by keeping me aware of current affairs and topics in the news.

There will be the opportunity to book regular support/extension tutorials, with email back up and regular communication with your tutor. You will also be encouraged to actively develop and contribute to the development of course materials and resources. There will also be relevant DVDs for you to watch on your own or with fellow students as part of your wider study and research commitments.

You will be guided to relevant websites and encouraged to discover additional ones too! The information and materials on politics continues to grow at an amazing rate. What are the entry requirements for AS Government and Politics? You will need GCSE grade B in English Language (grade C will be considered if there are sufficient places) plus a GCSE grade B in one other essay based subject.

Outside the White House, Washington DC

How successful are Carmel’s Government and Politics students? A* - B A* - C

Overall Pass Rate

2009

AS A2

40% 47%

63% 71%

94% 100%

2010

AS A2

35% 63%

55% 83%

98% 100%

2011

AS A2

32% 52%

46% 76%

100% 100%

What other opportunities will the study of Government and Politics offer me? Lauren Major St Julie’s High School Studying: Government and Politics, History, English Language, English Literature

More Information You can find further information on the AQA Exam Board website: www.aqa.org.uk Another useful resource: www.bbc.co.uk/politics

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We invite visiting speakers into the classroom to talk with students. These visitors include Local MP Dave Watts, European MPs, Officers from the local council, and even ex-Government Minister, Andy Burnham who visited us recently. In addition, there is an annual trip to London including a guided tour of Parliament. There is also a trip to the USA to visit Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York City, which fits in really well with the second year and the study of US politics. The 2010 trip was extended to include Boston. In addition, there are local trips to the Slavery Museum in Liverpool, and to relevant lectures at the Philharmonic Hall and Edge Hill University. As part of the Enrichment Programme, students can get involved in the Mock United Nations General Assembly (MUNGA) which takes place at Liverpool Town Hall every November. Finally, students are also encouraged to take an interest in Carmel’s Student Council body, which is elected on an annual basis and works on behalf of all the students at Carmel.

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Government & Politics