Politics Curriculum Overview, 2019-2020

Why do we teach Politics at Ark BDA?

Studying Politics empowers students to understand the distribution of power in society, and to critically analyse the impact this has on individuals, as well as a whole nation, or region. The subject equips students with the skills and knowledge required to understand electoral systems and processes in the UK, which helps students to become responsible citizens who understand the crucial role they must play in a democratic society, and the shared responsibility of holding politicians and governments to account. An understanding of how leaders are elected, impactful decisions and made and the rights and responsibilities of citizens is vital for learners to become politically engaged citizens, who exercise their right to vote and to be and stay informed. Students also develop an understanding of global politics, and the impact globalisation has had on a range of political issues, as well as the increasing interconnectedness of geo-politics in the globalised world/. This also enables them to understand and analyse current global affairs, such as issues relating to the European Union and global conflicts.


How do we deliver our Christian values in Politics?

Politics teaches students to the core values of love and compassion– to be respectful and tolerant of different perspectives, building the core value of respect which is foundational to behaviour both at BDA and beyond. It also teaches the importance of being aware of less privileged groups, and the impact policies created by a political elite can have on these groups, encouraging students to have the courage to help those who are less fortunate than themselves. It also embodies the values of resilience and commitment by challenging students to consider complex ideas, encouraging them to respond to feedback, and encouraging them to read widely outside of lessons.


How do we build core skills and knowledge over time?

Through studying political ideologies, such as socialialism, conservatism, liberalism and feminism, students gain a fundamental grounding in classic and current political thought, routed in the enlightenment, which still impacts our understanding of politics today. Through the study of British politics in Year 12, they develop a good understanding of the politics system in our own country, as well as engaging in topical debates such as whether there is a participation crisis in Politics, where sovereignty lies in the UK and whether the country is run by elective dictatorships. Students study British politics first to gain a grounding in key political ideas, before applying these to international issues. In studying global politics, students gain a much broader understanding of international relations and how politics is changing in a globalised world, for example, in analysing the diminishing power of the state and national sovereignty. Students also develop an understanding of fundamental Human Rights, and debates around development and the role of institutions like the United Nations and the World Bank. These topics build on ideas students are first exposed to in Year 12, allowing them to build a deeper knowledge of key concepts and issues. The inclusion of case studies and contemporary examples throughout the course helps students to understand the real-world impact of abstract concepts. Through studying these issues, students are well-equipped to be politically active and engaged, critical consumers of information and, importantly, responsible citizens.


How does the study of Politics prepare students for life beyond Ark BDA?

Most importantly, students become politically active and engaged citizens, who are critical consumers of the media and who exercise their right to vote. Students develop crucial skills in analysing and evaluating complex information, which helps prepare students for succeeding in other humanities and social sciences subjects, as well as English, both at A-level and beyond, at university. The ability to plan and write well-structured essays is also a transferrable skill which is crucial, also in preparing students for university level study. There are some clear links with subjects such as Sociology and History, in that students learn about overarching concepts such as nationalism and globalisation.



Our lessons are split equally between the different topics we study in each year group, with content sequenced from foundational to more abstract and advanced. Our topics are grounded in key questions about the nature of the politics and political thought (such as the true meaning of democracy and how much individual liberty should be granted), which are explicitly linked to current and relevant issues affecting our students. The structuring of topics reflects the demands of the specification, which is rooted in classic political thinkers but this is complemented by the use of contemporary examples in lessons, which are readily available and key to succeeding in this politically turbulent age. Core knowledge is explicitly planned and clear, and homework focuses on learning key concepts and ideas and practising examination technique. Regular retrieval is built into lessons to revisit and consolidate prior learning.




Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


Year 12


2.1The Constitution




1.5 Liberalism


    1. Democracy cont.


2.2 Parliament


1.6 Conservatism


2.3 PM and executive


2.4 Relations between the branches


1.7 Socialism



2.4 Relations between the branches cont.


1.3 Electoral systems


1.7 Socialism


2.5 Feminism


1.4 Voting behaviour and the media


2.5 Feminism 


    1. Political parties


Revision and assessment

Key question

What is the UK constitution and how has it changed?


What is liberalism and how has it impacted political thought?


How democratic is the UK?


How is parliament structured? How are laws made?


What is conservatism and how has it impacted political thought?


What are the powers of the Executive branch?


What are the powers of the Supreme Court?


What is socialism and how has it impacted political thought?

What impact does the EU have on the UK political system?


What are the relative merits of different electoral systems?


Are referendums democratic?

How does the media influence general elections?


What can we learn from previous case studies of general elections?


What different types of feminism exist and how have they influenced political thought?


What different political parties exist? What influence do they have?



-The nature and sources of the UK constitution

-How the constitution has changed since 1997

-The role and powers of devolved bodies

-Debates on further reform


- Systems of democracy

- Debates over suffrage


- Core ideas and principals

- Differing views and tensions within liberalism

- Liberal thinkers and their ideas


- Pressure groups and other influences

- Rights in context



-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


- Core ideas and principals

- Differing views and tensions within conservatism

- Conservative thinkers and their ideas



-The structure, role and powers of the Executive

-The concept of ministerial responsibility

-The Prime Minister and the Cabinet


-The Supreme Court and its interactions with, and influence over, the legislative

- The relationship between the Executive and Parliament


Core ideas and principals

- Differing views and tensions within socialism


-The aims, roles and impacts pf the EU

- The location of sovereignty in the UK political system


- Different electoral systems and analysis of these

- Referendums and how they are used


Socialism thinkers and their ideas


- Ideas and principles




- Case studies of three general elections

- influence of the media


-Different types of feminism

- key feminist thinkers and their ideas

  • Established political parties
  • Minor political parties
  • Political parties in context



Assessment: knowledge quizzes and exam practice questions

Assessment: equivalent of a full 84 mark paper (but units from different papers)– 30 mark source - constitution, 30 mark essay - democracy, 24 mark essay – liberalism

Assessment: knowledge quizzes and exam practice questions

Assessment: knowledge quizzes and exam practice questions

Assessment: knowledge quizzes and exam practice questions

Assessment: Full paper 1 and Paper 2


Year 13


The state and globalisation


Comparative theories



Global governance: Political and Economic


Global governance: HR and Environmental



EU and Regionalism



Power and Development





Key question

What impact has globalisation had on the concept of a nation state?


What are the differences between liberal and realist views of conflict

What role do institutions such as the UN, NATO and the World Bank play in tackling contemporary issues and poverty?


What different forms of regionalism exist and what impact has regionalism had on contemporary issues?


Does multipolarity bring peace and security?






-Nation state and sovereignty

-Globalisation and its impact on the state system

-The impact of globalisation

-Debates over whether globalisation addresses and resolves contemporary issues




-Divisions between Realism and Liberalism

-Anarchical society and society of states

-Realism and liberalism explaining recent changes in Politics


-The UN


-IMF and World Bank

-World Trade Organisation

-Significance of how global economic governance deals with poverty

-The ways in and extent to which these institutions resolve contemporary issues


-Human Rights


-The ways and extent to which these institutions resolve contemporary issues


-Different forms of regionalism and debates over the significance of regionalism

-Development of regional organisations

-Factors that have fostered European integration

-Significance of EU as an international body/ global actor

-The ways and extent to which regionalism resolves contemporary issues


-Different types of power

-Differing significance of states in global affairs


-Different systems of government

-Development and spread of: liberal economies, rule of law, democracy

-The ways in which the changing relationships and actions of states in relation to power and developments address and resolve global contemporary issues





Assessment: knowledge quizzes and exam practice questions

Assessment: Paper 1 and Paper 2

Assessment: knowledge quizzes and exam practice questions

Full paper 1, 2 and 3

Assessment: knowledge quizzes and exam practice questions