Government & Politics
Government and Politics A-level has been taught at WGGS for many years and is a very popular and successful subject, attracting large numbers of students (two teaching groups in Years 12 and two teaching groups in Year13). We promote the study and enjoyment of the subject through stimulating teaching and extended curriculum opportunities. We aim to create a life-long interest in politics while teaching the traditional academic skills of critical thought, analysis, evaluation and essay writing prized by universities.
This department offers the Edexcel AS/A2 specification, focusing on “government” in Year 12, including in Unit 1 the study of democracy and participation, political parties, elections and pressure groups. In Unit 2 we study the Constitution, Parliament, the Executive (Prime Minister, Cabinet and Civil Service) and the Judiciary. In Year 13 we focus more on “politics” through the study of Contemporary British Political Issues and European Union Political Issues. At present there are four politics teachers, who are also members of the History Department. We have two sixth form teaching rooms, equipped with ICT and AV resources. The School Library is well stocked with politics books and journals, as well as all daily broadsheet newspapers which students are expected to read regularly. They also use the school's ICT facilities to conduct research and create presentations.
At Watford Grammar School for Girls we believe that all our pupils should develop an understanding of the political environment they live in order to influence policy through participation. While Government and Politics is only taught as a separate subject at A-level, and then only to those girls that specifically opt to follow this as an academic discipline, we also have the Government and Politics Society (GAPS) which is open to membership from across the upper school from Year 10 upwards. It is run by an elected committee of sixth formers which organizes talks by visiting speakers - including politicians, journalists and representatives from pressure groups and the legal profession - as well as publishing its own magazine. In addition, this year we are setting up a Current Affairs Club open to lower school pupils, which will select an issue each week, explain it in an accessible, user-friendly way, and encourage pupils to discuss and develop their awareness of what is going on around them. We also hold 'mock general elections', which enable students to experience political campaigning and debate issues. The turnout for our “mock” election is always considerably higher than the real thing! Students have the opportunity to attend external lectures and conferences in connection with their A-level studies and may also visit the UK and EU Parliaments to watch them in action.