The Politics department is a lively and vibrant place that is academically successful. We are a large department in terms of VIth Form teaching and currently roughly a quarter of all VIth Formers take the subject. Politics is well regarded by universities We are proud that many of our pupils go on to read Politics after their time at Cranleigh and have a successful track record in Oxbridge applications. You will enjoy studying Politics if you are curious to understand more about the issues you hear in the news and like discussion. The department welcomes anyone who has a genuine interest in studying Politics and at the beginning of AS Level, we do not assume any political knowledge. Lessons revolve around the actual events unfolding on the British political scene and we aim for our pupils to finish the course equipped to form their own opinions grounded in a sound grasp of British Politics and the ideologies that underpin political decision making.
The AS Politics course gives pupils an insight into the way in which politics works in the UK today – looking at democracy, pressure groups, elections, parliament, the constitution, the Prime Minister and the role of judges. Politics is a subject that is best taught through discussion to develop the pupils’ understanding of unfamiliar concepts and therefore discussion and debate are integral to lessons. The subject is examined through questions of different length, including longer essays so students can make developed arguments, using their knowledge.
We teach a course introducing political ideologies at A2. This is very popular with the pupils as the course is accessible but also very stimulating. The course begins by examining the principles of liberalism, which underpin the assumptions behind modern democracy and many of society’s values. We also look at Marx and the development of socialism. Pupils go on to study conservatism, anarchism, nationalism, multiculturalism, ecologism and feminism. This course requires pupils to get to grips with complex but exciting concepts and ideas. Very much like AS, the emphasis is on discussion and debate. Exam essays are the main way of assessment and pupils need to develop the techniques of analysis and evaluation of arguments to do well.
There are exciting trips organised at sixth form level, the department has been regularly to Russia and to Washington DC.