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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Year 13 Politics

Guidance for parents

What students will cover this year in Government & Politics:
Building on the foundational understanding gained in Y12, students will gain an insight into studying political philosophy with a focus on 8 key ideologies.  Again there are 2 modules, each with 4 topics that include Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Anarchism, Feminism, Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Ecologism.

What skills are being developed this year in Politics?
The skills include acquiring knowledge of the historical context and development of the key values of each ideology; analysing these values in order to gain a deeper understanding of the areas in which there is tension within and between different ideologies; 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:
Reading
is an absolute must!  There are lots of books in the library that focus on ideological issues and these range from the very heavy (Marx’s Communist Manifesto, Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Two Treatises of Government) to the more accessible and light hearted (Owen Jones’ Chavs or Caitlin Moran’s How to Build a Girl).  Students need to supplement the basics that we learn in class with a wide range of reading as this will enable them to articulate their ideas and identify areas of disagreement, however it is not always necessary to read the entire text – students are encouraged to ‘dip’ into relevant books and use the index and contents pages to identify relevant sections.  A reading list will be issued to students as a guide at the start of the course.

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 10 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

Incorporate discussions about their studies into everyday life, such as round the dinner table/in the car - cues can be taken many current political affairs that will reference underlying ideologies.

Encourage students to form an opinion on ideology – which do they currently feel is their ‘best fit’.

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 have you been studying this week?
What do you think about ________?
Have you heard anything on the news this week that relates to what you’ve studied?
What did you achieve on your last piece of assessed work?
How can you improve?