Government & Politics
Government & Politics is a popular A Level course at NHEHS and is taught within the History and Government & Politics Department, by teachers who are determined to encourage an active interest in the subject beyond the curriculum. It is a completely separate subject from History, though many students take both at A Level, as the two subjects are complementary but distinct.
The course looks at how people are politically represented in Britain, and how far they participate in politics. We consider how government works – for example, how does parliament work, and how well does it represent people’s interests? What exactly is the British constitution, and does it need to be reformed?
We also look at voter behaviour, constitutional history and the role of the media. We examine the key ideas and thinkers that have shaped the modern world, including conservatism, socialism and liberalism. We currently study American politics alongside British politics, which allows us to compare and contrast the two political systems. With a changing political landscape evident in the USA with the rise of populist leaders such as Donald Trump, the subject has never before been so absorbing.
Government and Politics at A Level develops critical thinking skills, helps equip our students with an understanding of complex ideas that go to the heart of human behaviour, and gives them a sceptical framework with which to view the actions and views of decision-makers. Like History, it allows students the chance to develop the analytical skills and critical awareness which provide useful preparation for degrees in a variety of courses in the humanities and social sciences.
From a dramatic Mock General Election, during which representatives from a range of different parties visited the school, to a Mock Referendum in which sixthformers led the Brexit debate, the Department and its students take a lead in encouraging the discussion of political ideas throughout the school. Our staff and students are also heavily involved in promoting Debating and Public Speaking, with this area of school life expanding year on year. Indeed, it is initiatives such as the school’s participation in Model United Nations, in which students represent different countries and debate global issues, which has contributed to the increased level of political awareness throughout NHEHS, something of which we are proud.