Politics is everywhere, and it assumes many forms. We can neither ignore its importance nor escape its influence.
A Level Politics gives students the chance to learn about fascinating events that impact lives of all of us. It is a genuinely contemporary course, we pull events out of the news and discuss, debate and analyse them in class.
In the lower sixth students study UK politics and government. This gives them an overview of how the political system operates in the UK, for example how laws are passed, the powers of the Prime Minister and the relationship between Parliament and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We also look in depth at contemporary issues and case studies, considering debates about extending the vote to 16 years olds and prisoners, evaluating the methods of groups like Extinction and Insulate Britain and asking whether the media has a positive or negative impact on democracy in the UK.
Students also examine the core political ideas of liberalism, conservatism and socialism. Through looking at the work of key political thinkers, they have the chance to really reflect on how society and the political system operates and whether alternative models could lead to a better world. We also embark upon an in depth study of feminism, looking at the origins of the campaign for suffrage through the modern day me too movement and beyond.
In the upper sixth, our focus switches to America. Students analyse the American constitution and look in depth at how the US political system operates, comparing it directly to our own. Again the is a focus on contemporary issues and debates including racial rights, debates about women’s rights and gun control, the power of the president and the relationship between Washington and the states.
The department gives all students the chance to contribute to Preview, the student led politics and current affairs magazine. We also run MUN, one of the fastest co curricula activities at Caterham. If you are interested in the world around and want to understand more about the systems that govern our lives then Politics is the subject for you.
Tom Phillips (MA) Head of Politics, Teacher of History
Tom studied Contemporary History and Politics at Sussex University. He went on to take an MA in Intelligence and International Security at King’s College London. He returned to Sussex to undertake a PGCE in 2010 and joined Caterham in April 2019. He has been head of both History and Politics in previous roles and has worked as an A Level examiner.
Dr Ashley Garber
Dr Garber teaches the UK Government aspect of the course. She earned her DPhil in history from the University of Oxford in 2019. Her first book, Renegotiating First World War Memory, was recently published by RoutledgeBack to Academic Departments