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PSA Teachers' e-News: March 2015

FAO:  , 11th March.

Dear ,

Your monthly teachers' e-Newsletter comes a littler later than planned for March as we have been working hard to confirm the dates for this year's "applying to study politics at university" workshop series. PSA members have priority registration and all the details are outlined below and also on our website.

We also have an exciting "Save the Date" to announce for a conference we're organising at Amnesty International's HQ in North London. Again, all details are below.

In addition to these events, we will be adding resources and teachers’ materials to our website on a regular basis – including a whole suite of online video resources from our General Election Media Briefings and Annual Conference which we would encourage you to use in your classroom.

FREE student workshops on applying to study Politics at university

For the fourth consecutive year, we are running a series of free one-day workshops in late June and early July for students who are thinking of studying politics as a single or joint honours degree. 

The workshops will cover areas such as: selecting the right course and institution, the application process, and what to expect when you get to university.  New for 2015 - all workshops will include a session called "Working in Politics" delivered by a practitioner to talk to prospective politics students about their experiences of working in political roles and how a degree in politics could relate to this.

This year’s dates are as follows: 16th June, University of Stirling; 24th June, University of Manchester; 25th June, Warwick University; 29th June University College London; and 1st July, University of Bristol. We will also be holding a workshop at Ulster University in September with details to be announced in the summer.

Students who have attended these workshops in the past have always found them to be extremely useful. In particular, the session on the application process, which is led by a politics admissions tutor, outlines the process in much more detail than time permits during an Open Day. Lunch will also be provided for students and their teacher(s).

There are limited places available for the workshops and they are allocated on a first come first served basis. Please book early to avoid disappointment via the PSA's Eventbrite page.

Government and Politics A-level Reform

The issue of reforming the Government and Politics A-level remains high on the PSA's schools' agenda. 

There is now a dedicated page in the schools' area of the PSA website outlining all of the activities undertaken by the Association in this area. You can visit this page by clicking here.

This page includes video footage from the PSA's Government and Politics A-level reform meeting held at the end of January in London.

As we build our teachers’ network, please do forward this e-mail or send the page link to colleagues in neighbouring schools. There has never been a more important time to champion the study of politics in schools but for us to continue to do this we need a strong membership base.

Pressure Groups, Anti-Politics and Representation Conference

On Tuesday 13th October 2015 we are organising a conference for sixth form/ college students on the theme of pressure groups, anti-politics and representation. The event is being held at Amnesty International HQ in North London. We hope to have leading individuals from key groups to present and run break-out sessions with students, alongside our own academic members who specialise in this area.

A detailed programme of the event will be released after Easter. Please "Save the Date" for now.

Gorwel Political Blog Competition 2015

Can your students turn bad policy into good policy?

Can they come up with a new or different policy/ideas blog that will help them/ their community/their country or all three?

Then please encourage them to write between 350-550 words on a short blog telling us their ideas. There is a trophy prize and £100 of book tokens up for grabs for the winning blog. All competitions details can be found online here.

Entries will also be published online and circulated to key decision makers. There are also prizes for the runners-ups. Winning entries will also be published on the News Academy website.  Deadline for submissions is 28 March 2015. Winners will be notified directly by email.

This competition is supported by the Political Studies Association and the National Lottery and sponsored by News Academy.

*Open to college and school students aged 16–19. Those currently not in education can also enter. Those under the age of 16 may enter with the prior permission of competition organisers by emailing: blog2015@gorwel.co Blogs can be written in either English or Welsh.

PSA Teachers' Topic Guide

The PSA is currently commissioning a suite of Teachers’ Topic Guides which aim to pitch resources for A-level and Higher Curriculum teachers looking to keep up with modern developments, and/or provide material to more advanced students who may be able to go beyond the basics and either grasp more difficult concepts or read further on the topic. Teacher Members will be available to download these guides for free from the PSA website.

If there is an area of the curriculum that you feel would be well served by a Teachers' Topic Guide, then please do let me know so that we can ensure this is covered.

Exclusive to PSA teacher members: Speakers Programme for Schools

Academics from across the politics discipline are available to visit your school free of charge to give lectures to your students on any subject of your choice related to the A-level curriculum.  As well as finding the academic best suited to the subject of your lecture, the PSA will pay all travel costs, even where these exceed the costs of teacher membership. 

To take advantage of this programme at your school, please drop me an e-mail with a topic of your choice.

Changing World Competition - Winners' Exhibition

This exciting exhibition is of photographs entered by young people aged 14-18 to the ESRC’s Changing World Photographic Competition which was previously advertised in December's e-Newsletter.

As part of the ESRC's 50th anniversary celebrations, this year's photographic competition examined how the world has changed over the last 50 years, how will it continue to change and what social sciences can tell us. 

The exhibition, which is free to attend, displays the winners, runners up, judge’s favourites and highly commended images.

Keeping in touch...

Follow the PSA on Twitter or search for the #PSAschools hashtag for real time updates for all our schools' activities and news.  Don't forget, members can access the Teachers' e-News archive online here.

I’m always keen to hear from you, so please keep in touch or let me know how we can serve you better. If you feel any colleagues would be interested in this e-Newsletter, please forward them a copy.

With very best wishes,

James Ludley
Programme Development Officer

020 7321 2545
PSA Head Office, 113a Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6HJ.