Ysgol Stanwell School

Archer Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2XL

Government & Politics

Head of Department
Mr G Penny
Mrs M Clements
Mr P Griffiths
Mr R Macpherson
Mrs E Smith

Government and Politics is offered at post-16 only. Students can opt for this course during the Year 11 Options process.

Aims of the Course

The course aims to develop a critical awareness of the nature of politics and government both in the UK and the USA. In addition, students examine several aspects of key political ideologies.

Content (WJEC Examination Board)


At AS Level students will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the political system of the UK. The AS specification has 2 units:

Unit 1: Government in Wales and the UK

  • Sovereignty, power and accountability (e.g. the British Constitution, the judiciary in the UK)
  • The Government of the UK (e.g. parliament, the Prime Minister)
  • How devolution works in the UK

Unit 2: Living and participating in a democracy

  • Citizenship in a democracy
  • Participation through elections and voting
  • Participation through political parties, pressure groups and political movements

A Level

At A2 students will develop a detailed understanding of the political system in the USA and examine several aspects of political ideologies.

Unit 3: Political concepts and theories

  • Fundamental values and ideas
  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Socialism and Communism
  • Nationalism

Unit 4: Government and politics of the USA

  • Democracy in America (e.g. the US constitution)
  • Government of the USA (e.g. the Presidency, Congress)
  • The US Supreme Court
  • Participation and democracy (e.g. elections, parties)

AS and A2 Assessment

AS Politics – the students sit two AS papers, one per module.
Each paper is 1 hour 30 minutes and the papers comprise of a mixture of data response questions and essay style questions. Each paper contributes 50% of the total AS (20% of the total A level marks).
A2 assessment comprises of 2 modules – each paper is 2 hrs 30 minutes, each contributes to 30% of the A Level grade and the papers mostly comprise of essay style questions.

Entry Requirements

You must have achieved a minimum of 5 A* – C grades at GCSE, including a C in History (or a similar Humanities subject) and a C in English Language.

Teaching and Learning Styles

Formal teaching is used at times but you are encouraged to read relevant articles. Relevant TV and radio programmes are regularly used too.

Transition to A Level

Take an interest now in political issues both here and in the USA. Studying AS and A Level Politics requires considerable commitment, enthusiasm and a passion for studying the past. You will be encouraged to read widely, both specialist books linked to the areas of study and more general reading to expand your political vocabulary and understanding.

Compatible Subjects

Politics is often favoured by students of History or Sociology, but also combines well with other Arts and Social Science subjects.


Politics is an excellent subject in preparation for many careers. It provides possibilities for careers in professions such as journalism, management, personnel, politics and the civil service.
Enthusiastic students go on to take a degree in the subject or joint honours with another. Further information is available from Mr G Penny.

Careers Wales Mark Eco Schools Healthy Schools Vale Network Welsh Baccalaureate Arts Council of Wales