Politics

Knowledge, debate and influence

We teach our students about how the Government is organised, why ministers are appointed and how politicians get elected. We compare how it’s done here with how they do it in the USA and a few other European countries. Not only this - we also argue and debate about the best methods of governance.

Should we have a different way of running elections? Do political parties give their members much power? Should they have more say – or less?

We examine how political parties and pressure groups are organised, because these are the ways we can all influence the Government’s decisions and change them. We’ll look at different systems of election; the system that actually determines who gets chosen to represent us nationally.

Lots of what happens in this country is decided outside – some of it’s in Europe in the EU. Did you notice how the big economic crisis we’ve all been suffering from since 2007 started with reckless American bankers? What happens in the USA matters a lot to us.

In the Lower Sixth Politics course, pupils study Government in the UK. In the Upper Sixth, pupils study the US political system.

A lot of the course involves reading and note-making: you need to get the basic knowledge. We use information from the media on current politics, as well as textbooks. Students develop arguments on paper and learn the techniques of academic essay writing, arguing logically and using evidence - not just stating opinion. The Politics Department aims to engage students and get them thinking: the arguments have to be systematic and factual; we always aim for academic rigour. Needless to say, students who take Politics are expected to work hard.