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Who has the power in the UK and the US? How do people try to change politics for different causes? Politics involves anything that affects decisions made on behalf of ordinary people. In lessons students are encouraged to express their opinions and develop views on a wide variety of current issues. There are lots of opportunities for students to develop their public speaking and leadership skills at arrange of Politics events, and through the thriving Politics Society.
AS and A2 Courses
From entry to the new Politics A level in September 2017, a new syllabus from Edexcel will be followed. The full A level will cover these topics, over two years:
|Unit 1 - Political Participation|
|Democracy and Participation
Voting Behviour and the media
Core ideas and values which underlie UK Politics - converatism, liberalism and socialism
|Unit 2 - UK Government|
Prime Minister and Government
Relationship between the branches of government
An additional ideology: feminism
|Unit 3 - Comparative study of US and UK Government and Politics|
The department is proud of its excellent results. In 2016, 90.5% of A2 students achieved A*-B grades. At AS, 62.8% of students achieved A-B grades.
Twitter and onlilne textbook
The department runs two separate Twitter accounts that highlight excellent articles to read. They are @cgsaspolitics for Year 12 and @cgsa2politics for Year 13.
We subscribe to Prechewed Politics as our main textbook, which is constantly updated and an accessible way of learning for all students.
In common with all other departments we have selected some students to help shape the department and to facilitate the exchange of views between students and teachers. They are currently Izzy Hummerstone, Daniel Stier and Freya Coleman.
Each year the department visits the Houses of Parliament and the UK Supreme Court. During the trip, students take part in a mock election and discuss the UK's election systems.
University of the Third Age
For the past three years year 13 students have given lectures on politics topics to members of the History group of the U3A at Chesham Town Hall.
Anne Crabbe, the History Group Convenor, said:
“The Year 13 politics students from Chesham Grammar School gave a sparkling and informative presentation last Monday to Chess Valley U3A History Group. Their presentation stimulated many interesting questions and comments. It is hoped that the History Group and Chesham Grammar School will have further joint ventures.”
Washington and New York
This autumn 50 students will once more be visiting the US to develop their appreciation of US Society and Politics
Public Debates for students
Each year the department, with the help of Year 12 students, organises a political debate that is open to parents, staff and students. In March 2016, six panelists including Baroness Bowles (Lib Dem), Ray Finch (UKIP) and Kalypso Nicolaidis (University of Oxford) took part in a Question Time style debate on the EU Referendum question. This was followed by a Mock Referendum in school. In 2015 a similar debate saw all the Chesham and Amersham constituency candidates take part in a very popular debate at the school, before the 2015 General Election. We work closely with other schools to help coordinate these events for Politics students across Buckinghamshire.
The department is delighted that so many of its students go on to study Politics at leading universities. In recent years these have included
George Nixon – Journalism- University of Kent
Kate Jameson - English - Exeter
Dom Brown – Politics and International Relations - Lancaster
Ben Lane –Politics - Bristol
Dan Levy – History and Politics – Southampton
Harvey James – History – Exeter
Gemma L – Law - Southampton
Zoe Lack – English - Nottingham
Eva Dolton – International Relations at Nottingham
Politics Department Teachers
Dr Southwood - Politics Co-ordinator
Mr Bradbury – History and Politics teacher
Miss Houghton – Sociology and Politics teacher
Mrs Harris – History and Politics teacher
Mr Josephson - Hisotry and Politics teacher
Comments by current A level Politics students
“Politics at CGS is great as it opens up your understanding of your own country’s political sphere, and why decisions we often never understand, are made” – Will Tame, Year 12.
“Politics is fun and interesting to study = and the way it is taught at CGS is very engaging and helpful” – Henry Rutherford, Year 13
“The Politics Department at Chesham organizes amazing trips and events – my highlight was the EU referendum debate with representatives from a variety of political backgrounds” – Sophia Lingley, Year 13
“At Chesham, Politics is really good to study as it broadens your knowledge of both the UK and US Politics. It especially helped us with understanding the 2016 EU referendum and how we would be affected by the outcome” – Izzy Hummerstone, Year 13.
Politics Society runs every Tuesday at 2pm and is organized entirely by students. Leaders for the next year are elected by the members and the society is open to all years. We debate a range of political issues with a different topic each week. Recent issues have ranged from Brexit to Black Lives Matter to feminism. Rafae and Tahera, Year 13. Leaders of Politics Society