History & Politics
Inspiring a passion for life-long learning through a knowledge-based, inclusive and enquiring curriculum
The link below allows you to see when topics may be covered; this is a guide for information only and has the potential to change as the year progresses.
The History and Politics curriculum across Key Stage 5 aims to ensure that all pupils and students:
- Have a secure knowledge and understanding of the history of these islands as a clear, coherent, logical and chronological narrative, of European history and its wider impact from 1789 to 1997: how people’s lives such as Churchill have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- Have a secure knowledge and understanding of the significant aspects of the history of the wider world; the expansion and dissolution of empires; achievements and follies of mankind.
- Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘totalitarianism’, ‘liberal democracy’, ‘appeasement’, ‘revolution’ and ‘cult of the personality’.
- Display a secure understanding of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
- Display a secure understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
- Display a secure historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short, medium and long-term timescales.
The A Level History course is designed to offer students opportunities to learn about the past and present arguments and ideas effectively. You will learn to understand how people think and what motivates them. You will develop skills of interpretation, analysis and the ability to construct clear and logical arguments whilst being given the opportunity to reach original judgements.
A Level Examination - OCR
The two-year course covers the following units:
- Unit 1: British period study and enquiry (25%) Britain 1930–1997 (Enquiry topic: Churchill 1930–1951)
- Unit 2: Non-British period study (15%) The French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon 1774-1815
- Unit 3: Thematic Study (40%) Russia and its Rulers 1855 – 1964
- Unit 4: A single 3,000 – 4,000 essay (20%) Personal Coursework Question to be moderated in school.
Year 12 of the A level Politics course focuses on UK politics and political ideologies.
The topics covered include:
- Democracy and Participation: including current systems of representative democracy and direct democracy, a wider franchise and debates over suffrage, pressure groups and other influences and rights in context.
- UK Elections and Voting including different electoral systems, referendums and how they are used and analysis of electoral systems.
- Political Parties including established political parties, emerging and minor UK political parties and UK political parties in context.
- Voting Behaviour and Media including class voting and other social factors influencing voting patterns, case studies of three key general elections and the influence of the media.
- The Constitution including the nature and sources of the UK constitution, how the constitution has changed since 1997, the role and powers of devolved bodies in the UK, and the impact of this devolution on the UK and debates on further reform.
- UK Prime Minister and Cabinet including the structure, role and powers of the executive, the concept of ministerial responsibility and the prime minister and the cabinet.
- Parliament including the structure and role of the House of Commons and House of Lords, The comparative powers of the House of Commons and House of Lords, The legislative process and the ways in which Parliament interacts with the Executive.
- Relations between Institutions including the Supreme Court and its interactions with, and influence over, the legislative and policy-making process, The relationship between the Executive and Parliament, The aims, role and impact of the European Union (EU) on UK government and the location of sovereignty within the UK political system.
- Liberalism including core ideas and principles, and how they relate to human nature, the state, society and economy, tensions between classical and modern liberalism and Ideas of key thinkers - Locke, Wollstonecraft, Mill, Rawls and Friedan.
- Conservatism including core ideas and principles, and how they relate to human nature, the state, society and economy, tensions between traditional, one nation and new right and Ideas of key thinkers - Hobbes, Burke, Rand, Oakenshott and, Nozick.
- Socialism including core ideas and principles, and how they relate to human nature, the state, society and economy, tensions between revolutionary, social democracy and the Third Way, and ideas of key thinkers - Marx, Engels, Webb, Luxemburg, Crosland and Giddens.
- Feminism including core ideas and principles, and how they relate to human nature, the state, society and economy, tensions between differing types of this ideology and the Ideas of key thinkers.
Year 13 of the A level Politics course focuses on a comparative study of US politics.
The topics covered include:
- US Constitution and federalism including the nature of the US Constitution, the principles of the US Constitution and interpretations and debates around the US Constitution.
- US Presidency including formal sources of presidential power as outlined in the US Constitution and their use, informal sources of presidential power and their use, the presidency and interpretations and debates of the US presidency.
- Electoral systems in the USA including presidential elections and their significance, campaign finance and debates surrounding elections in the USA including the Electoral College and the role of incumbency.
- The key ideas and principles of the Democratic and Republican parties including the distribution of power and changing significance of the parties, The current conflicts and tendencies and changing power and influence that exist within the parties, coalition of supporters for each party and debates surrounding party unity, party policy and voting groups.
- Interest groups in the USA including their significance, resources, tactics and debates about their impact on democracy.
- US Supreme Court and civil rights including nature and role of the Supreme Court, The appointment process for the Supreme Court, The Supreme Court and public policy, the protection of civil liberties and rights in the US today, race and rights in contemporary US politics and interpretations and debates of the US Supreme Court and civil rights.
- US Congress including the structure of Congress, the functions of Congress and interpretations, and debates around Congress.
- Federalism including the main characteristics of US federalism and interpretations and debates around the US Constitution and federalism.
A Level students complete at least two formal assessments each half term which are generally completed under exam conditions in class. These assessments are from past papers and marked using A Level grades, formative comments and recorded on their Assessment Sheets.