The Politics Department offers a popular A Level course in the Sixth Form, for which we teach the Edexcel Specification. The Head of Department is Mr Stephen Edwards, who has taught Politics since 1998. Politics lessons are taught in a round table setting in a dedicated set of classrooms situated above the Sixth Form Centre. The department is well resourced and utilises a range of audio-visual resources. Two teachers currently contribute to the teaching of the subject, aiming to deliver engaging, accessible, yet challenging lessons across the ability spectrum.
Politics is a dynamic, popular and successful subject at Yarm School. The subject attracts a broad range of students, which creates a vibrant environment for debate. Examination results are typically very good and well above the national average. Pupils enjoy A level Politics so much they frequently choose to continue with Politics, International Relations, Law or related courses at university. Equally, Politics is a common choice for Medicine and Dentistry applicants for its ability to develop social and political awareness, as well as the way in which it encourages 'soft skills'.
Study visits are an integral part of the Politics department and central to its ethos. Locations are diverse, ranging from London-based lectures, to recent visits to New York and Washington DC, Vietnam, Belfast, Israel-Palestine, Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm. In addition, the department supports an active Politics Society, attracting key speakers and experts to the school, delivering talks on a range of significant and controversial topics. The Politics Department has also organised a number of lunchtime discussion groups, including a feminist group, a Middle Eastern culture group, an International Relations group and Amnesty International group. Excellent contacts allow students regularly to intern with local and regional charities, pressure groups, MPs and MEPs.
At A level, students study the British political system, which explores the mechanics of politics in the UK; parties, elections, pressure groups, prime minster and cabinet and the constitution. In Upper Sixth, students study the Ideologies modules. This includes an exploration of the fascinating ideas and clashes behind the following ideologies: liberalism, conservatism, anarchism, socialism, ecologism, nationalism, multiculturalism and feminism.