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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Year 12 Politics

Guidance for parents

What students will cover this year in Government & Politics:
The foundational ‘building’ blocks of politics that include a detailed understanding of the workings of the British political system alongside comparable, but less detailed, knowledge of the European and American context.  Students study 2 modules of 4 units each – topics include Democracy and Participation, Pressure Groups, Elections, Political Parties, Constitution, Parliament, Executive and Prime Minister and Judiciary.

What skills are being developed this year in Politics?
The skills include acquiring knowledge of current, relevant political events and also their historical context and development; analysing these events in order to gain a deeper understanding of their significance; creating articulate arguments and then evaluating them to make substantiated and well-reasoned judgements; communicating in both written and verbal form in a coherent and fluent style.

Our expectations of students in Politics:
Attend all lessons

Arrive punctually

Any planned absence must be agreed with your teacher in advance and work caught up.

Meet all deadlines

Take an active interest in the subject and be willing to discuss and share your views in class – don’t be afraid of getting it wrong, we all do sometimes!

Work independently to support classroom learning

What Politics students should be doing at home:
Watching/listening
to the news – particularly a programme that provides political commentary/analysis and debate like Channel 4 News every evening at 7pm; Newsnight on BBC 2; the Today Programme or PM on Radio 4.  Watching satirical shows such as ‘Have I Got News for You’, ‘Mock the Week’ or ‘The News Quiz on Radio 4’ are also brilliant ways to check how much your child understands – if they can grasp the comedy then they are understanding the issues!

Reading a quality broadsheet newspaper, such as The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian or The Independent.  Also a weekly political magazine such as The Economist, New Statesman or The Week.  All are available online and many offer discounts for student subscription.  Most major newspapers and journals now have their own apps and these can be configured to send notifications of particularly relevant breaking political news.

Newstead Wood offers discounted subscriptions to Philip Allen’s Politics Review, a student politics magazine that covers both content and exam technique for the course, and also The Economist.  Both of these are offered to students at the beginning of Y12.

What parents can do to help students make progress:
Students can expect 1.5 hours of homework from each teacher (3 hours in total for G&P) each week.  If no specific homework is set then students should use the time to read ahead in the textbook and make notes, read around the topic or consolidate work done in class.  Students should be doing 8 hours of study outside of lessons each week (including their homework).  Parents should ask their children about this and ensure that they are devoting the requisite amount of time to independent study and learning.  Good habits formed in Y12 are hugely beneficial in Y13 and beyond.

Incorporate discussions about current affairs and politics into every day life, such as round the dinner table/in the car - cues can be taken from the programmes detailed above.

Encourage students to form an opinion on current affairs and political issues.

Encourage students to find out who their local MP is and take an interest in local political issues.

Who to contact if there is a problem:
Miss J Young, Head of History and Government & Politics
jyoung@newsteadwood.bromley.sch.uk

Mr M Bournat, Teacher of Government & Politics
mbournat@newsteadwood.bromley.sch.uk

Resources for parents:
Exam board website that includes specification and access to past papers and mark schemes:
http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/government-and-politics-2008.html

Questions parents should ask their children about the subject:
What has been happening in politics this week?
What do you think about ________?
Have you heard anything this week that relates to what you’ve studied?
What did you achieve on your last piece of assessed work?
How can you improve?