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PSA Teachers' e-News: December 2015

FAO:   , 16th December

Dear ,

It always amazes me how quickly the academic year passes and this has been a particularly busy one so far!

As we enter the final weeks of the calendar year, on behalf of everyone at the PSA may I offer you and your students at  our season’s greetings.

Thank you for your continued support during 2015. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a relaxing break when it comes!

PSA responds to DfE's Politics A level subject content consultation

The Political Studies Association has made a formal submission to the DfE’s consultation on the draft Politics AS and A-level Politics subject content.

The PSA has welcomed the revision and rejuvenation of A level Politics.

On balance, the Association believes the proposals for the DfE’s draft AS and A level Politics subject content are generally positive. However, the PSA remains very concerned about the lack of diversity across the entire draft curriculum. The Association has drawn the Department’s attention to the Political Studies Association’s Women and Politics Specialist (Research) Group’s comprehensive separate submission on the lack of diversity and the exclusion of ‘feminism’ more specifically.

Within the response to the consultation, the Association questions the appropriateness of some of the required historical background. Whilst historical context is important, the Association believes that the main emphasis should be on contemporary and current subject knowledge. 

Linked to this, the Association has also urged the Department to consider the limitations on how much new content can be put into the redrafted AS and A-level core curriculum before this has a negative impact upon timetabling and students’ depth of knowledge.

You can forward this e-mail to colleagues here.

Parliament Week 2015

The People’s History Museum in Manchester played host to this year’s Political Studies Association’s Parliament Week workshop which took place on Monday 16th November.

The workshop, once again kindly facilitated by the PSA’s Parliaments and Legislatures Specialist Group team, was aimed at sixth form students looking to better understand Parliament. This special event consisted of small group discussions looking at how people can affect change and campaign on issues that are important to them.

With the help of PSA Chair, Professor Matt Flinders, the workshop challenged students to think about what Parliament does and how it could improve in the future.

As well as the PSA’s main event in Manchester, a series of smaller ‘regional’ workshops took place around the UK before and during Parliament Week. Using bespoke resources, PSA members from Cardiff to Glasgow and from Liverpool to Kent, ran their own mini Parliament Week workshops introducing students to the themes.

The PSA's Student Short Video Competition - The Winners!

Two students from the Graveney School in Tooting, South London have beaten over 20 other schools from around the UK to win this year’s PSA Student Short Video Competition which was judged by The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP.

Kara Jenkin and Tharanya Thiruchelvam impressed the judges with their video “The Tooting Experiment” which outlined how a new democratic system would work if Tooting was to declare itself independent from the UK. Their video highly impressed the PSA’s judging panel, which included Michael Crick of Channel 4 News, and they were duly declared the winners.

As well as accepting a trophy at the PSA Annual Awards Ceremony the students have been offered a one-week internship with political polling company YouGov, who kindly sponsored the competition.

  • The winning video – “The Tooting Experiment" can be watched online here.

A huge thank you to everyone who entered this year’s competition. All video entries will be posted to the PSA website in the New Year.

Hansard Society's Young People’s Question Time 2016

The Hansard Society are planning to bring schools from around the country to Westminster next spring for the biggest and best Young People’s Question Time yet.

The annual event gives young people from all over the UK the opportunity to hold their representatives in Westminster to account.

Find out more about their plans to develop and expand the event via their website here.

Keeping up-to-date with the PSA schools' initiatives

Follow the PSA on Twitter or search for the #PSAschools hashtag for real time updates for all our schools' activities, news and campaigns.

As a PSA Teacher Member you have full access to the Schools’ Area of the PSA website.  Here you can find all the latest information about the following initiatives we offer to schools:

•         Free Speakers Programmes for Schools sessions
•         Free professional development resources
•         Free subscriptions to leading publications, including Political Insight
•         Priority registration to PSA schools' events
•         Priority registration for student career workshops

Keeping In Touch...

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.