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Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls is a highly successful school, judged by Ofsted in January 2023 as ‘Good’ in all categories.

Government & A Level Politics KS5

What will students study in Politics this year?

In Year 12, students study the government and politics of the UK. The units examine both the systems of government and the different ways in which people participate in UK politics. Students are expected to develop knowledge of the government of the UK, focusing on the British constitution, the UK Parliament, the prime minister and cabinet, the judiciary and devolution. Students are also expected to develop knowledge of UK politics, covering democracy and participation, elections and referendums, political parties, pressure groups and the European Union.

In Year 13, students study the government and politics of the USA. The main purpose of this section of the course is twofold: firstly to provide students with an in-depth study of US government and Politics and secondly to enable students to make comparisons between the British and American political systems. Students study the mechanics of the US system of government, starting with the US Constitution and then studying the three branches of government. This is followed by a study of elections, political parties, pressure groups and civil rights.

Over both years, students will study the major political ideologies of: liberalism, socialism and conservatism, in addition to a focus on an optional ideology of feminism. The main purpose of this section of the course is to provide students with a sound, ideological framework for their parallel studies of government and politics in the UK and USA, consistent with the synoptic aims of the specification. Each of the three ‘core’ political ideologies cited in the specification – liberalism, socialism and conservatism should take into account the effect they have upon political developments in other countries.

What are the major assessments this year?

In addition to their end of term exams, students will be set exam-style questions in their three units of work. Students will complete routine knowledge tests to ensure they are able to recall and retrieve knowledge from previous units of work.

What do the assessments test?

Assessments target three Assessment Objectives set out in the exam board specification.  These are as follows: Demonstrating knowledge and understanding of political institutions, processes, concepts, theories and issues (AO1) Analysing aspects of politics and political information, including in relation to parallels, connections, similarities and differences (AO2) Evaluating aspects of politics and political information, including to construct arguments, make substantiated judgements and draw conclusions (AO3)

What are the expectations of my child in Politics?

A strong emphasis will be placed on students including up to date examples in their work. As such, students are expected to follow the US and UK news. Politics is a subject which encourages debate-students need to be willing to engage in class discussions. Students need to meet deadlines and use free periods to engage in further reading material.

What should students do if they feel they are struggling in Politics?

The first course of action is for students to speak with their Politics teacher to determine why they are struggling. Students should make use of revision materials provided, such as knowledge organisers and prechewed politics. 

How can I best support my child in Politics?

Parents can support students in Politics by talking to them about the topics they are studying and what they are learning in class. Politics is continuously evolving and it is important that students enjoy reading the news. It is really useful if parents encourage debate and discussion of topical news stories. 

Whom should I contact for further advice or information?

Please feel free to contact the Curriculum leader for Politics, Miss N Winders at if you have any queries about your child’s progress.