Government and Politics
Head of Department - Mr Paul Murphy
Recently set up, this department has rapidly become a vibrant, successful and well-supported element of the Sixth Form. We study OCR Politics at AS (F851/2) and then offer two routes through A2: US Politics (F853/5) and Ideologies (F854/6). The AS course offers an excellent grounding to UK Politics whilst allowing the pupils to investigate the political world they inhabit. Every effort is made by the staff of the department to focus on contemporary developments in the political scene. To this extent, one lesson a week is devoted to the exploration of such issues. At A2, one paper in the US route solely focuses on developments in American politics. The other encourages comparison between political systems across the world, giving both breadth and depth to their studies. The Political Ideologies course analyses our political world from both a doctrinal and practical standpoint. It provides a biopsy of the most influential political thinkers and movements since Socrates, a study well complemented by the examination of these theories in practice. The course culminates in a critical evaluation of the role of theory in the modern politics, questioning the accepted meaning behind the concepts so readily employed by commentators across the world today.
The Government and Politics course encourages participation in the political process and in order for the boys to immerse themselves in the British political system it is important for them to see it in action, both inside school and through external trips. Recently, we have been happy to host Tony Benn, William Hague MP, Graham Brady MP and Malcolm Wicks MP. This academic year, we will be fortunate enough to be joined by Tracey Crouch MP, Tom Brake MP and Victoria King from the BBC
We also run annual trips to Parliament, the Supreme Court and People’s Question Time with the London Mayor. A successful Mock Election took place in 2010 and we ran a similar exercise for the London Mayoral and GLA Assembly Election in May 2012. Politics students visited Washington in the autumn of 2012 in the run up to the presidential elections.