Politics is an exciting, fast moving and rewarding subject to study. It is a very popular subject at A Level, currently studied by more than 60 students at BMS. The department aims for each Politics student to:
- Develop an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics both inside and outside the classroom
- Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and debate, both within the United Kingdom and globally – and be prepared to debate and argue extensively!
- Develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes
- Be prepared to follow the political rollercoaster of recent years with enthusiasm!
- Politics is part of the highly active PPE Faculty
- The department is noted for excellent results and the extensive trips programme which brings the subject alive for many students. Trips include visits to London, Edinburgh and Washington DC
- The department is made up of three teachers with a wide range of experience in the political world
- The majority of lessons are taught within the Sixth Form centre and each room makes use of ICT. We also have access to laptops to allow students to extend their study
- The department has close links with the exam board Edexcel, with staff working as examiners, and we provide a bespoke student revision session in Year 13 with other Harpur Trust schools
- We run many events at school which allow students to learn campaigning and presentation skills.
A Level Curriculum
In Year 12, students focus on British Politics and in Year 13 we focus on US Politics. This is a subject for students who are interested in current affairs and enjoy debate and discussion. It is also a subject which is seen as academically challenging and can lead to a variety of university courses.
We follow the Edexcel Government and Politics specification. This allows students to study UK Politics in Year 12, looking at topics such as Parliament, PM and Cabinet, Parties and Pressure Groups. To enable students to gain top grades, the department has an extensive extra-curricular activities programme of trips, lectures and meetings. Politics students have had an opportunity to listen to and meet David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Boris Johnson, local MPs, local MEPs and members of the House of Lords.
In Year 13 students study American Politics. They learn about the President, Congress and US political parties. Also, some controversial topics such as Race, Ethnic Policies and Immigration which are so important in America.
Co-curricular, Enrichment, Extension and Support
To extend their learning we provide a range of activities to support the students:
- We take students to Westminster twice in Year 12: once to hear politicians such as the Speaker of the House of Commons and Party leaders, and a visit to Parliament, 10 Downing Street and the new UK Supreme Court
- We have also attended recording of BBC Question Time several times, as well as other political programmes
- The department participates in the UK Youth Parliament and recently, two students had an opportunity to debate in the House of Lords
- The department also attends the European Youth Parliament at the University of Cambridge each year and we have reached the National Finals on numerous occasions
- For those interested in Law and Politics we run the Mock Trial Competition at Bedford Magistrates
- We also help students improve debating and public speaking skills by participating in Model United Nations conferences, as well as local English Speaking Union debates. Our students have even reached the National Finals at the Oxford Union
- Each year we take students to hear US politicians in the UK at the US Embassy/Eccles Centre
- We have also built a strong relationship with many universities and have received many visiting speakers
- We also provide many opportunities for work experience with MPs and Lobbyists.