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Students in Cafe6 within the Sixth Form Study area


Curriculum Intent:

We live in an increasingly interconnected and globalised world. The study of Politics allows our students to make sense of this world and the connections therein. It also enables them to investigate different interpretations of the nature of power, development, conflict and human rights. They do this through the application of political theory and concepts to up to date case studies that reflect the ever-changing political situation from around the globe.

Politics is offered as:

  • IB Global Politics Year 12 & 13

Key Stage 5 Politics

Curriculum Overview

Students study the IB Global Politics course as part of the IB Diploma. All Politics students study the standard topics, those opting for higher level also study the higher topics.

Year Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
12S International relations theory Power and the state International organisations Human rights

Explanation of the IA

Human rights and the international HR system Development
12H Borders Presentation tutorials Security Security Environment Environment
13S Development Peace and Conflict Revision Revision
13H Identity


Poverty Presentations Presentations

Year 12

At standard level, students study the theoretical basis for international relations and three of the four core topics. Students begin with an examination of the different theoretical theories that are applied to the study of international relations, such as realism, liberalism, Marxism and feminism. Students then study the nature of power within the structures of global politics, most obviously the state and international organisations. They then address the issue of human rights and begin to look at differing theories of development. In year 12, students also choose their engagement for their Internal Assessment. This is a personal study where students participate in some form of political activity and then write an essay that reflects upon the issue concerned, both from their personal experience and in the context of their wider studies of global politics.

In addition to their standard level studies, those students who choose the higher level extension study additional topics. In Year 12, they first examine the idea of borders, with an in-depth look at Britain’s exit from the EU as a case study. This is then followed by teacher led planning of a presentation on the topic- this serves as a mock for the assessed element of higher level Global Politics which is through two filmed presentations. This is followed by the study of two more topics in year 12- security and the environment. For each topic, students research a case study and deliver a presentation on this.

Year 13

Students complete their standard level studies by completing the remaining two topics. Firstly they complete their study of development by evaluating different approaches to developing a country. They then examine the issue of peace and conflict- looking at different theories of why conflicts break out, different types of conflict and, finally, different models of conflict resolution. As with year 12, each topic is linked to specific case studies to illustrate the concepts being studied.

In addition to their standard level studies, higher level students complete their study of Global Politics with the study of two more topics- the role of identity, such as cultural identity or gender, in Global Politics and, finally, poverty, which overlaps significantly with the development topic. Finally, students deliver presentations on each topic, submitting the best two for the final assessment.


Paper Description Standard Level Higher Level
Standard IA An active engagement in politics. Students then write a reflection on this engagement as an essay. 25% 20%
Paper 1

75 mins


A data response paper with four sources and four questions. Based on one of the four key topics in the standard course- human rights, power, development and peace and conflict. 30% 20%
Paper 2 (standard version)

105 mins

An essay-based paper based on the four key topics in the standard course. Students answer two essays, each from a different topic. 45% N/A
Paper 2 (higher version)

165 mins

An essay-based paper based on the four key topics in the standard course. Students answer three essays, each from a different topic. N/A 40%
Higher IA


Two presentations. Each investigates a case study that illustrates the key themes of one of the higher level topics (borders, environment, poverty, identity and security) N/A 20%

Further reading/resources

– ‘International Relations- A Very Short Introduction’ by Paul Wilkinson

– ‘Human Rights- A Very Short Introduction‘ by Andrew Clapham

– ‘The United Nations- A Very Short Introduction’ by Jussi M Hanhimaki

– ‘Orientalism’ by Edward Said

– ‘Factfulness by Hans Rosling

– Vox Borders and Vox Atlas – shows short introductions to political issues

– Human Rights Watch Reports

– ‘Shadowplay’ by Tim Marshall


British Values:

British Values in History and Politics

Democracy: The basis for the evolution of UK democracy is taught in KS3 with issues such as suffragettes and the extension of the franchise. Abuses of democracy are examined at GCSE and sixth form- examining single party states and their impact. Politics AL unit 1 explicitly examines the nature of democracy. The nature of democracy and liberal values is used as a perspective in Global Politics at IB.

Rule of law: The developing idea of rule of law is looked at in History through Magna Carta- both in KS3 and GCSE. International law and human rights law is explored in Global Politics. The role of the Supreme Court in the USA and UK is explored in AL Politics.

Individual Liberty: Growth of individual liberty is explored in the KS3 History curriculum- such as increasing rights for women and the ending of the slave trade. Liberty as a concept is explored in ideologies and perspectives in Politics and Global Politics. The idea of individual rights is fundamental to the study of Global Politics.

Mutual respect: Respect for other cultures is encouraged through the study of these from Y8 onwards- examining Germany, Mughal India, China, Russia and the USA amongst others. Immigration through time unit looks at the development of the UK’s diverse cultures (which links to the 5th strand too).

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs: Different ideological perspectives are explored in Politics and Global Politics- including concepts such as relativism that explicitly deal with equality of belief systems. The catastrophic consequences of intolerance are looked at in units on genocide and Nazi Germany.