5 Reasons To Study Politics
Sixth Form, Government and Politics
Sixth Form students Jess Houston, Chris Bowe and Sam Steward offer 5 reasons why they believe every teenager should study A Level Politics.
Government and Politics is a fantastic A-Level that has shown us just how great an influence Politics has on us and has broken the illusion that we are disconnected from it.
Recent months have seen the Scottish Independence referendum, attacks on free speech in Paris and, crucially, the General Election in May is now on the horizon.
Aside from the huge benefits that this course brings with it in terms of an understanding of events that are happening around us, here are our Top 5 Reasons to study Politics:
1. Politics Helps You to Know Your Rights
The course has allowed us to see beyond our initial belief that we have no real say in the running of our country. It has truly educated us on a fundamental part of our society and has helped us to understand that if we engage in political processes, using the pressure points built into the system, then every individual really does have the opportunity to change the world.
2. Politics Clarifies What You Yourself Believe
Studying the things we have studied has given us the opportunity to discover our own political beliefs and to see in much greater detail the benefits and disadvantages of the vast array of political ideologies that are present in the world today. Being able to express what you believe accurately and concisely is extremely useful, and forces you to really look at yourself!
3. Politics is a Living, Breathing Subject
In Politics, textbooks go out of date the day they are published. Why? Because the political landscape changes every day, with new examples appearing constantly in the media. Picking which examples to use in your answers to essay questions is really exciting as something that has happened on the day you are taking your A Level exams can appear in your response!
4. Politics Helps You to Understand Our Nation's Parties
After just one term of the subject we have learnt about democracy and our rights, ideologies and party policies, the Constitution and Parliament. With the knowledge gained from the classroom, we have been able to watch events unfold worldwide, have seen our leaders' reactions to these events and have come to understand these reactions as demonstrations of what we have learned.
5. Politics Prepares You for Adult Life
The world of British politics really opens up to teenagers after our eighteenth birthdays, with the vote giving us the ability to change our nation and allow the principles we hold dear to thrive. With this in mind, it could easily be said that Government and Politics is the most applicable subject on offer at any school, and is a subject that people should be encouraged to take due to nothing less than the way it prepares you for entering the adult world.
Learn more about the Politics department at Bede's >
Learn more about the Sixth Form at Bede's >
Jess Houston, Chris Bowe and Sam Steward, Lower Sixth26 January 2015 in Senior School News
What is the significance of Jess building a bridge across the creek and leading his sister May Belle across?
Jess decides to build a bridge across the creek not only to ensure no one else will ever be hurt or killed trying to cross the creek when the water is dangerously high as Leslie was, but also as a way to ensure Terabithia is accessible for other future generations, his sister May Belle and in the future, his infant sister Joyce Ann. This shows the meaning of Terabithia has changed for Jess, whereas before he saw Terabithia as a sacred, private place unique to only him and Leslie, Jess now wants the magic and refuge of Terabithia to be available to help others, just as Leslie made Jess a king, Jess is now prepared to help make May Belle and Joyce Ann the new queens of Terabithia after Leslie.
How does Jess change throughout the course of the novel?
In the beginning of the novel, Jess is very much in his own world, he is angry and depressed due to his duties on the farm and constantly annoyed with his four sisters and both his parents. He is single minded, only wishing to be the fastest kid in his grade. After being beaten by Leslie, he is initially angry and personally shuns her. Jess is also very eager to confirm, he refuses to talk to Leslie partially because he knows he will be teased for his friendship with a girl, and lies about having football as a hobby along with all of the other boys to hide his artistic nature. He is also keenly aware of Leslie’s tomboyish attire and the social status of others. Jess’ friendship with Leslie and Terabithia are what allow him to gain confidence in himself, empathy for others, and a broader sense of the world. After Leslie’s death, Jess learns through his grief to pass on Leslie’s memory by doing for others what Leslie did for him, starting by introducing his sister May Belle to Terabithia, demonstrating Jess has grown into a much wiser person as he enters adolescence.
How are gender roles expressed in Bridge to Terabithia?
Many of the women in Bridge to Terabithia, such as Jess's sisters and female classmates in particular, are shallow and vain, with exceptions being Jess’ mother, Miss Edmunds, and Mrs. Burke, who are different caring maternal figures towards Jess. Jess’ father, on the other hand, from whom we see the most insistence on Jess's conformity to the masculine gender role, is awkwardly undemonstrative of his care for Jess until the end. Jess is led to believe that he must live up to this masculine ideal, and that his love for painting is a betrayal of the ‘true man’ his father expects him to be. In Jess’ friendship with Leslie, Jess is unbothered by the teasing about his ‘girlfriend’ because he can't imagine Leslie doing any of the actions he associates with the girls he has seen, appearing almost androgynous. Leslie is a clear challenge to stereotypical feminine roles, there's never any imposed gender roles which affect their friendship, Leslie helps Jess learn that he must become his own person, not merely his own man.