Government & Politics

Politics  affects everything  we do! The age at which we vote, our membership of the EU, the prices and taxes we pay, how our education is organised, the  efficiency of our tube, train and  bus services in London, how we  combat  terrorism and protect our individual freedom, our ‘special’  relationship with the USA, our role in  peacekeeping  around the globe… and the list could go on!!

The A level Government and Politics  course at St James’ is the subject for you if you are interested in  news and current affairs, want to know   how our country is run and like to express an informed view on the issues of the day . There is a lot to learn  but your  enthusiasm to develop a deeper understanding  of   political institutions and processes as well as debating  political beliefs  will  enable you to succeed on this course. 

Exam Board: Edexcel.

The Government and Politics  specification comprises  4 units. In the first year ( AS Level) Units 1 and 2  provide  an understanding  of how the UK political system works and it is linked to  contemporary concerns and events. In the second year we go on to  specialise in US politics.

The government aspect of the course  focuses  specifically on how  countries are run and the ways various  institutions  such as legislatures, executives  and the  judiciary work together within a constitutional framework. Elections, political parties, pressure groups, democracy and  participation    complete the knowledge and understanding  of the concepts and  processes involved.


How will you be examined & assessed?

Edexcel  exams  cover each unit . At the end of the first year there are two  exams ( Units 1& 2). Each paper is  one hour and 20 minutes. Units 3 and 4 are  examined at  the end of the second year with 1 hour and  30 minutes for each exam. 

Regular class assessments  are undertaken  by way of presentations, debates, written work and tests. Homework  can be  expected  at the end of each lesson.

Trips and events

Politics students are encouraged to  get involved in  Barnet’s Youth Parliament and  benefit from other  opportunities such as  the borough’s Democratic  Youth Engagement  Programme  offering  an insight  into   local  politics through  meetings, talks and workshops led  by local politicians and senior officials. Visits to the Houses of Parliament and talks by local MPs are also valuable learning  experiences as part of the course.

 Entry requirements: 5 A*-C including English and Maths across 5 different subject areas.