St Peter's School
Government and Politics is a highly popular A-level subject at St Peter’s School, usually with two classes of students studying it in each year of the Sixth Form.
Every two years there is an exchange trip to Washington giving opportunities to see and visit the key institutions of American politics studied, as well as enjoy culture, museums and sport and experience an American High School. Each summer we visit London for an ‘access all areas’ tour of the Houses of Parliament.
Pupils study the institutions, personalities and controversies that constitute the political systems of the UK and the USA, as well as an introduction to political ideas. The emphasis is on how political intuitions and relationships work in the current political climate, with contextual references to the Thatcher, Blair, Cameron, Bush and Obama administrations. The changing fortunes of the government & the political challenges of Brexit now provide a unique area for scrutiny and debate. We also consider what makes someone a liberal, conservative, socialist or feminist – and what those ideas mean.
Recent years have been particularly exciting. In the UK, referenda on Scottish Independence and Brexit and two general elections within two years have enlivened lessons and – through mock elections and a mock referendum – given pupils across the school a chance to speak, debate & vote. In the US, after one of the most exciting election years in history, Donald Trump is redefining the American Presidency, tweet by tweet.
No previous knowledge of Politics is required. Any pupil with an interest in current affairs will enjoy the experience and pupils are encouraged to read a quality newspaper regularly. The internet provides a remarkable source of information on world politics with articles and comments linked to through twitter.
We follow the Edexcel Specification, with the US politics option.