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PSA Teachers' e-News: October 2015

FAO:  , 19th October.

Dear ,

This month's PSA Teachers' e-Newsletter arrives a little later than usual whilst we uploaded further Teachers' Topic Guides to the PSA website. More details below on this.

Additionally, we continue to be busy behind the scenes ensuring constant dialogue surrounding developments to the new Government and Politics A-level. This morning we received news that the new subject content (which will govern all awarding organisations' politics qualifications) will be released for public consultation by the Department for Education at the end of October. We'll continue to keep members updated on this as things progress.

Finally, for those based near Manchester, there are still places available for this year's PSA Parliament Week event, 'Change your future: understand Parliament', on Monday 16th November at the People's History Museum, Manchester.

PSA Sixth Form Conference on Pressure Groups, Anti-politics and Representation

On Tuesday 13th October 2015, the Political Studies Association organised a Sixth Form Conference on Pressure Groups, Anti-politics and Representation which took place at Amnesty International's fabulous Human Rights Action Centre.

On the PSA website you can find some videos from the conference which may be useful for your own teaching - click here.

Videos include an introduction to the conference's themes from Dr Andy Mycock; an engaging and interactive keynote by Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women’s Equality; and the opening statements from panellists during the Question and Answer Panel Session that rounded off the day (above photo).

Around 150 students from PSA teacher member schools attended the conference. A full programme of the conference can be viewed here and all photos are available online here.

Leadership, Loyalty And The Rise of Jeremy Corbyn

The columnist and broadcaster, Steve Richards, devliered this year's PSA Annual Public Lecture last week at the School of Public Policy, University College London.

Steve's 30 minute lecture explained how Labour moved from Blair to Corbyn and argued that nearly all media orthodoxies in relation to this journey are wrong. In doing so he explored the Shakespearean theme of leadership and loyalty in modern politics.

We have made the lecture available on SoundCloud via the following link:

A video of the lecture will be made available on the PSA's YouTube channel later this week.

NEW: PSA Teachers' Topic Guides

The PSA has commissioned a suite of Teachers’ Topic Guides which aim to pitch resources for A-level and Scottish 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.

We're delighted to add the series with the following guides:

  1. Anarchism and Ideology - Dr Uri Gordon and Professor Ruth Kinna
  2. Conservative Party (UK) and Conservatism - Dr Libby McEnhill

Further guides are currently being finalised and details will be outlined in due course.

Additionally, if there is a particular area of the curriculum that you feel would benefit from a PSA Teachers' Topic Guide, then please get in touch and let me know: james.ludley@psa.ac.uk

Teacher Members can download PSA Teachers' Topic Guides for free from the PSA website here: www.psa.ac.uk/psa-teachers'-topic-guides (login required)

Parliament Week 2015

Parliament Week is a programme of events and activities that connect people with parliamentary democracy and what this means to them and their community.

Organisations, schools and universities across the UK run events and activities throughout Parliament Week which explore this theme. Parliament Week is coordinated by the House of Commons with support from the House of Lords. All events can be found online here.

Partnering with the People's History Museum, Manchester

Monday 16th November, 1pm - 4pm

We are delighted to announce that for this year's initiative we are partnering up with The People's History Museum, Manchester who are kindly hosting the PSA's 'big' workshop for what will be the main PSA Parliament Week event on the afternoon of Monday 16th November.

Registration and full details for the event on 16th November at PHM is open online here.

It will consist mainly of small group discussions facilitated by politics undergraduate students or academics, to support a discussion on what parliament does and how it could improve in the future.

Run a PSA Parliament Week workshop in your classroom...

Cardiff University and Dr Stephen Thornton ran the PSA's first 'regional' Parliament Week 2015 workshop, which had excellent feedback, and more will follow at other universities and voluntary groups over the next few weeks. You can read about this here.

We want to encourage PSA teacher members to lead a workshop about Parliament in your classroom. Each workshop would be divided into two parts: one identifying what Parliament does; the second reflecting on what it should do better in the future.

Workshops could be led by students for a non-politics audience. Target audiences could also include Key Stage 4 pupils thinking about Government and Politics at A-level (although this doesn't apply in Scotland). Last year, we had 15 regional workshops (for details, click here)!

Where possible we will also endeavour to link you up with PSA academic members near your school/ college.

In order to support these workshops, we have produced a a Resource Pack. This contains support, ideas and guidelines to undertake a successful workshop. You can find the Pack by clicking here.

Workshops can be held at any time up to 22 November 2015. If you are interested in running a workshop, please let us know by completing this online form here.

Festival of Social Science

This year's ESRC Festival of Social Science takes place from 7-14 November.

The ESRC's Festival of Social Science offers a fascinating insight into some of the country's leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future.

This celebration of the social sciences takes place across the UK - via public debates, conferences, workshops, interactive seminars, film screenings, virtual exhibitions and much more. 2015 is the thirteenth year that ESRC has held the Festival of Social Science.

Full details can be found on the ERSC's website here.

In the thick of it: what it's really like to work for an MP

What do MPs’ staff really do? Are they bag carriers? The power behind the throne? MPs in waiting? Substitute social workers? Gatekeepers? Descriptions vary, some more flattering than others…

Join Parliament's Outreach Service on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 from 6.30pm - 8pm at Queen Mary University of London discussing the realities of working for an MP. In a demanding, sometimes insecure, environment, find out how staff ensure MPs are well-supported to address constituents’ concerns and party political needs, while dealing with daily pressures and challenges.

To book a place at this event, please complete the registration form at this link: Registration form

Shout Out UK's Key Stage 4 Political Literacy Course

Shout Out UK has launched a Political Literacy Course, which will teach students how the government works, how new laws are introduced, and the differences in neighbouring democratic countries. The course offers young people an inroad into British democracy, its benefits and our responsibility as citizens.

The Political Literacy Course is supported by a qualification from AQA. The course could be an excellent way to encourage Key Stage 4 students to begin thinking about studying Government and Politics at Sixth Form.

Full details can be found on Shout Out UK's 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.