Wilson's School

Government and Politics: Curriculum

Key Stage 5

Until September 2017, the department follows the pre reformed syllabus offered by Edexcel.

At AS, the focus is on the workings of the current British political system; how do people engage in the process in order to exercise influence and where does power lie in the British political system? The emphasis at AS is on the current issues in a rapidly changing political climate. Focus is on the relevance of everyday political issues to the topics being studied in class and an awareness of the impact of the technology revolution on the organisation of pressure, protest and on the presentation of issues and personalities. A knowledge of how outside factors such as globalisation and the European Union affect power and the nature of political debate in the UK is also necessary.

There are two examined units:

  • Unit 1: People and Politics (Participation, Political Parties and ideas, Elections and Electoral Systems, Pressure Groups) (50% AS and 25% A2)
  • Unit 2: Governing the UK (The Changing UK Constitution, Parliament, The Executive and the Prime Minister, Judiciary and Civil Rights) (50% AS and 25% A2)

At A2, the focus is on the philosophical and cultural foundations of political ideology which lie at the heart of modern western civilisation. The course explores the development of ideas such as individualism, liberal democracy, tolerance and welfare. It seeks to challenge popular misconceptions of ideas such as anarchism and considers challenges posed by alternative ideologies such as Feminism which offer a stinging critique on accepted orthodoxy on the meaning of equality. It also considers the relevance of western style interpretations of rights, gender and tolerance to non-western cultural norms. An awareness of how there are currently sharp divisions within each ideological tradition is crucial to an understanding of the course.

There are two examined units:

  • Unit 3: Introducing Ideologies (Liberalism, Socialism, Anarchism, Conservatism) ( 25% A2)
  • Unit 4: Other Ideological Traditions (Nationalism, Feminism, Multiculturalism, Ecologism) (25% A2)