Making sense of the world around us
WHAT DO WE STUDY
Government and politics is offered at A level and gives girls the opportunity to make sense of modern politics both in the United Kingdom and further afield. The first year focuses on the political processes of the United Kingdom and comprises two units: ‘Governing the UK’ and ‘People and Politics’. The purpose of the course is to build political awareness and to develop girls’ understanding of how the modern world functions, of the complex issues that confront politicians and of the difficult decisions they frequently have to make. An important feature of the government and politics course is that it is constantly being updated to stay in touch with live issues and live debates.
In the second year of the course, we combine a topic focusing on the government of the USA with a parallel topic introducing political ideologies. These two units enable the girls to deepen their understanding of the wider world, both in terms of abstract ideas and of the importance of the very distinctive political practices of the USA. This blend of topics naturally brings an important and intellectually stimulating comparative approach to the girls’ study of politics which will equip them well for a wide range of degree courses.
BEYOND THE CURRICULUM
Government and politics has a lot in common with history and makes an important contribution to the History and Politics Society. We have regular visitors from the world of politics as well as academics who speak on a range of topics that go beyond the confines of the curriculum. As a department we organise many events that coincide with national political occasions. In 2015, for example, we held a school mock election where students of politics organised and participated in a school-wide vote.
Each year girls participate in wide variety of university essay competitions such as the R.A. Butler Prize for essays in Politics and International Studies.
Every year we also run a trip to Parliament where girls get the opportunity to tour the building and meet their local MP.
WHERE MIGHT IT LEAD
Studying politics is perfectly suited to girls looking to study PPE or HSPS at Oxbridge and Cambridge respectively. There are also a diverse range of courses on offer at other universities, such as international relations, where politics is an ideal option. Every year many girls opt for politics to add diversity and breadth to their A level choices.
‘That we have the vote means nothing. That we use it in the right way means everything’
Lou Henry Hoover
Qualification: A level
Mode of Assessment: 100% examinations