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Government & Politics A Level

Subject: Government and Politics

In KS5 students will study

Year 12

1. Democracy and Participation

  • Current systems of representative democracy and direct democracy.
  • A wider franchise and debates over suffrage.
  • Pressure groups and other influences.
  • Rights in context.

2. Political Parties

  • Political parties.
  • Established political parties.
  • Emerging and minor UK political parties.
  • UK political parties in context.

3. Electoral Systems

  • Different electoral systems.
  • Referendums and how they are used.
  • Electoral system analysis.

4. Voting Behaviour

  • Case studies of three key general elections.
  • The influence of the media

5. Constitution

  • The nature and sources of the UK Constitution, including:
  • How the constitution has changed since 1997.
  • The role and powers of devolved bodies in the UK, and the impact of this devolution on the UK.
  • Debates on further reform

6. Parliament

  • The structure and role of the House of Commons and House of Lords.
  • The comparative powers of the House of Commons and House of Lords.
  • The legislative process.
  • The ways in which Parliament interacts with the Executive

7. Prime Minister

  • The structure, role, and powers of the Executive.
  • The concept of ministerial responsibility.
  • The power of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
  • The powers of the Prime Minster and the Cabinet to dictate events and determine policy.

8. Relationship Between the Branches

  • The Supreme Court and its interactions with, and influence over, the legislative and policy-making processes.
  • The relationship between the Executive and Parliament.
  • The aims, role and impact of the European Union (EU) on the UK government.
  • The location of sovereignty in the UK political system

9. Political Ideas

  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Socialism
  • Nationalism
Year 13

1. Constitution

  • The nature of the US Constitution. 
  • The key features of the US Constitution (as listed below) and an evaluation of their effectiveness today.
  • The main characteristics of US federalism. 
  • Interpretations and debates around the US Constitution and federalism

2. Congress

  • The structure of Congress.
  • The functions of Congress.
  • Interpretations and debates around Congress.

3. Presidency

  • Formal sources of presidential power as outlined in the US Constitution and their use.
  • Informal sources of presidential power and their use.
  • The presidency.
  • Interpretations and debates of the US presidency.

4. Supreme Court and Civil Rights

  • The nature and role of the Supreme Court.
  • The appointment process for the Supreme Court.
  • The Supreme Court and public policy.
  • The protection of civil liberties and rights in the US today.
  • Race and rights in contemporary US politics.
  • Interpretations and debates of the US Supreme Court and civil rights.

​​5. Democracy and Participation

  • Electoral systems in the USA.
  • The key ideas and principles of the Democratic and Republican parties.
  • Interest groups in the USA – their significance, resources, tactics and debates about their impact on democracy.

How will students receive feedback?

At Paddington, all students will receive regular feedback from formative assessment tasks. Within the curriculum, specific tasks are allocated for feedback. This ensures all students gain regular feedback. Teachers will mark student work and provide targeted feedback that enables students to improve their work and make progress. To support student understanding, teachers plan high-quality re-teach time to prepare students for their feedback. Across each term, students will receive feedback from multiple tasks.

What examinations / assessments do students have at the end of KS5?

Exam board: Edexcel

What resources can be used to support learning?

  • Students in KS5 have a range of textbooks and revision guides printed for them.
  • Students also have essay plans for longer assessment questions.
  • Knowledge organisers are also used to develop students' literacy in the subject and key knowledge.
  • Students can also use ‘Quizlet’, where digital flashcards have been made for the course.


Course Overview


Course Summary


Option Video



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