Politics trip to New York October 2012
Forty students went on the Politics and Economics trip to New York and Washington DC this October which was adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy. The students did visit the United Nations in New York, as well as Macy’s, before the hurricane hit. They also attended a Broadway Show – Phantom of the Opera - and had a two-hour river cruise. Unfortunately all of the visits in Washington DC, including those to the Supreme Court, the Capitol Building and the White House had to be cancelled as well as the visit to the Holocaust Museum and a variety of Economics visits. Nevertheless, the students did mange to see some additional sights in New York, including Madame Tussauds, before returning home. Many thanks go to Miss Bramall, Mr Packard and Miss Stewart for accompanying the trip.
Politics trip to Brussels and Frankfurt December 2011
Nineteen Year 11 to Year 13 students went on a Politics and Economics trip to Brussels and Frankfurt for a week after the end of the autumn term. Students enjoyed the chance to visit the key EU institutions of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers in Brussels as well as two minor EU institutions in the form of the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee.
In Frankfurt the students also went to the European Central Bank at a pivotal time for the Euro as well as a range of Economics visits. Thanks go to Miss Pallas-Brown and Miss Burton for giving up a week of their holiday.
AS Politics conference to London 28th November 2011
The AS Politics students had an exciting Politics conference in London. They heard from Sir George Young MP, The Speaker Bercow, Simon Hughes MP, Alan Duncan MP, Nigel Farage MEP, Tony Benn and Jonathan Edwards MP. All of them gave interesting and different speeches with particular favourites being Tony Benn (now aged 86) and Simon Hughes with Nigel Farage proving very lively. This was a great opportunity for the AS students, as well as three Year 13 students, to hear from a wide and diverse group of politicians. Thanks go to Mrs Sloan for accompanying the group.
Visit from Andrew Smith MP
Over 50 students and staff were engaged in a lively and interesting discussion with Andrew Smith (Labour MP for Oxford East). He spoke about the role of an MP, the current political situation and the relationship between government and parliament. Many of the students then asked a wide range of questions covering how easy it is to get into politics and issues such as the environment, the current situation in the Labour Party and the economic crisis in Europe. The whole event lasted an hour.
Visit of former MP Brian Sedgemoor
The Year 12 Politics students hosted a lunch with the former MP Brian Sedgemoor on the last Tuesday of the summer term alongside Miss Pallas-Brown and Miss Stewart (Spanish). The discussion was lively and packed full of insight and we are incredibly grateful to him for his visit. This was then followed by Brian Sedgemoor speaking to the whole of Year 12 which was a very interesting talk full of political commentary, which was followed by a fantastic question and answer session. We are enormously grateful to Brian Sedgemoor for giving up his time to speak to the Year 12 students.
Introduction of American Politics:
From the autumn of 2010, the Politics department will be teaching US politics in part of the A2 course. This will be an exciting innovation looking at US political parties, US pressure groups, Elections and voting and also Racial and Ethnic politics. This will be a great opportunity to see the causes and impact of the election of Barack Obama as US President and to see how the US political parties have responded to this momentous event. The study of racial and ethnic politics should be especially exciting.
Lecture from Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
Ten Year 13 students had the opportunity to hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak at the Sheldonian in Oxford on Monday 10th May. He gave a fascinating and uplifting lecture which was a wonderful opportunity for the Year 13 Politics students in particular. Thanks go to Mr Smith, a parent, for thinking of the students and to Miss Lusk for co-ordinating the visit.
Politics trip to Strasbourg and Luxembourg Sunday 13th to Friday 18th December 2009
A group of highly enthusiastic students from Years 11-13, four ex-Year 13 students and four students from Cheney School had a great trip to Strasbourg and Luxembourg. As well as a range of Economics-related visits, they had the chance to visit and hear speakers at a range of European Union and non-European Union institutions.
At the Council of Europe, we were joined by a group of Swedish students and had a lively debate about the role of human rights across the continent of Europe.
The European Court of Human Rights allowed us to hear from a Human Rights Lawyer and discuss the role of this important institution. We were joined by four ex-Year 13 students, Emma Blakey, Beth Cataldo-Francis, Amy Clare-Wood and Alice Fulwood to make up minimum numbers for our visits there and at the European Parliament, to whom we are most grateful.
At the European Parliament the students had the chance to hear about the role of an MEP and hear from James Elles MEP, who very kindly sponsored our visit. The students were then lucky enough to hear a debate in the chamber about the European Unions policy towards Pakistan and Afghanistan before travelling to Luxembourg.
In Luxembourg the group had a lively talk from a lawyer at the European Court of Justice and a very informed debate afterwards as well as seeing around their huge legal library and one of the chambers.
The groups final visit was to the European Court of Auditors where they heard a fascinating talk about the role of this auditing body and the amount of fraud detected, followed by a very high-powered question and answer session.
Here are some quotes from the trip:
“Very useful for next year – a much better way of remembering the different, but similar sounding EU institutions” – a Year 12 Politics student.
“I have recently been questioning my future degree and I have found this trip very useful. It has made me sway towards Politics or European Studies at university” - a Year 12 Politics student.
Many thanks go to Ms Girling and Miss Pallas-Brown for giving up a week of their holiday to accompany the trip.
Year 12 Politics Conference November 2009
The Year 12 Politics students had a fantastic day hearing a wide range of high profile politicians including Eric Pickles, Chairman of the Conservatives, Simon Hughes MP, Chair of the Liberal Democrats, Oliver Letwin MP Chairman of the Conservative Policy Review, Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jack Straw MP, Justice Secretary and Hilary Benn, Environment Secretary. The speakers were lively and controversial and focused on a variety of topical issues. Thanks go to Mrs Sloan for accompanying the trip.
Mock Election October 2009
There was a lively and well-contested Mock Election this year involving four students from Year 12 as candidates and many others as campaign managers, with the result as follows:
|Maya Kaye||Conservative||155 votes|
|Kathleen McCrudden||Liberal Democrat||64 votes|
|Mimi Goodall||Green||63 votes|
|Alice Anderson||Labour||51 votes|
Congratulations to all of the candidates and many thanks to Nicola Farrar and Victoria Morris, both in Year 13, who sat on the polling stations and to those who counted the votes.
Corpus Christi Essay Writing Competition April 2009:
Congratulations to Victoria Morris (12O) for entering a Politics-based essay writing competition organised by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
Year 13 European Union Conference to London March 2009
This exciting trip allowed the Year 13 Politics students to hear a wide range of speakers about the European Union including a debate on the merits of the Lisbon Treaty.
Year 12 and 13 Politics and Economics trip to Brussels and Frankfurt Sunday 14th December to Saturday 20th December 2008:
This fantastic trip was available for the current Years 12 and 13 after the end of term. It included a great visit to the European Parliament sponsored by James Elles MEP to whom we are very grateful. The students gained a lot about the role of an MEP.
We also visited the Council of Ministers which involved a very academic discussion about the role of governments in the European Union.
The European Commission prompted a very lively discussion about the merits of the European Unions as a whole as well as about the role of the Commission.
The visits to the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions were very useful for extending the understanding of the students about the EU institutions. There were also a range of Economics visits.
Student quotes from the trip:
“I really enjoyed this trip; it really opened my eyes to the EU.”
“Seeing the workings of the EU has spurred me into working in Politics and Economics-based jobs in the future.”
Year 12 Politics Conference: December 2008
The Year 12 Politics students had a fantastic day hearing a wide range of high profile politicians including Jack Straw MP, Minister of Justice; William Hague, Shadow Foreign Secretary; Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats; Harriet Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party; David Willetts MP, Shadow Education Secretary, Lembit Opik MP, Rhodri Morgan AM, First Minister in Wales and George Galloway MP, Leader of the Respect Party. The speakers were lively and controversial and focused on a variety of topical issues. Thanks go to Mrs. Sloan for accompanying the trip.
Year 12 Politics Conference to London Thursday 27th November 2008
This great all day conference in London allowed the Year 12 students to hear from a wide range of leading politicians. Speakers have included Tony Benn, Lembit Opik MP, Alan Duncan MP, George Galloway MP, Kenneth Clarke MP, Hazel Blears MP and Nick Clegg MP.
US election result assembly: November 2008
Following on from Mr. Packard’s assembly on the US Presidents, four Year 13 students gave a timely and topical election on the result and workings of the US election. Thanks go to Jessie Anand, Sophie Hollows, Isabella Watney and Rachel Wilkinson for an excellent assembly, especially working to a very tight deadline.
Seminars at Oxford University: October to December 2008
Courtesy of Sir Michael Wheeler-Booth, various Year 12 and Year13 Politics students have attended a serious of seminars on the theme of “Towards a new constitutional settlement”. Speakers have included Professor Sir John Baker, Rt Hon Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Shami Chakrabarti, Baroness Boothroyd, Professor Vernon Bogdanor and Chris Huhne MP. Many thanks go to Sir Michael Wheeler-Booth for inviting students to attend.
Mock Election: October 2008
There was a very lively and well-contested Mock Election this year involving four of the Year 12 Politics students as candidates and many others as campaign managers, with the result as follows after two recounts!
|Karina Morrison||Liberal Democrat||103||votes|
Congratulations to all of the candidates especially in increasing the turnout by over 40% and many thanks to Christina Tucker, Year 13 who sat on the polling station and to those who counted the votes.
Politics and Economics trip to Luxembourg, Strasbourg and Brussels December 2007
This was a very enjoyable and useful trip that 20 Year 12 and 13 Politics and Economics students went on in December after the end of term. Braving freezing temperatures, we visited the European Court of Justice where we had a very informed talk about this important European Union institution. There then followed a very thorough discussion about the role of the European Court of Auditors, also in Luxembourg.
In Strasbourg we visited two non-European Union institutions, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. There we engaged in a fascinating discussion with a human rights lawyer about immigration cases involving the UK government.
“This talk (at the European Court of Human Rights) has really convinced me I want to do something to do with Politics for a career.” – A Year 13 student.
In Brussels we had a very lively talk and debate with a representative of UKIP about the European Parliament. This sparked a heated discussion for many hours afterwards, as well as some of the sharpest questioning of the entire trip.
“The best school trip I’ve ever been on – I had a fantastic time. It’s really helped my understanding of EU institutions and the economics visits were also useful for the related element on our course.” A Year 13 Politics student.
Thanks go to Miss Pallas-Brown for giving up a week of her holiday to come on the trip.
Politics Conference to London – Monday 3rd December 2007
The Year 12 Politics students experienced a great series of politicians speaking at a conference in London. This included George Galloway MP who was very controversial, Lembit Opik MP and Don Foster MP who spoke from a Lib Dem perspective in a humorous way. Also there were Tony Benn and Margaret Beckett MP from the Labour Party speaking about Parliament and Gordon Brown’s government. From the Conservatives, Theresa May and Oliver Letwin discussed the prospects for David Cameron’s Conservatives.
Mock Election Thursday 18th October 2007
In a closely fought contest Lucy Jeczalik of the Conservative Party won the school’s annual mock election by 4 votes from Lucy Arora from the Green Party. Just behind were Sophie Hollows of the Liberal Democrats and Lydia Nicola representing the Labour Party. Thanks go to all of the candidates for a lively campaign.
Politics/Economics trip to Brussels – 17th to 22nd December 2006
Twenty Year 12 and Year 13 Politics and Economics students spent a fascinating five days in Brussels on a joint Politics and Economics trip after the end of term. The students’ first visit was to the European Economic and Social Committee where they had the structure of the European Union effectively outlined. Following this was a lively debate at the Committee of the Regions led by an ex-Sun journalist. The students engaged in a no-holds-barred discussion. The European Commission visit overran because of the high quality of the discussion with our German administrator. The prospects for the revival of the European Constitution under the German six-month Presidency of the European Union were debated – you heard it here first.
Later that day was a first-rate visit to the European Parliament. They were met and lectured to by a senior member of the visitor service who was hugely impressed with their knowledge of European Union enlargement. They were then met by Sharon Bowles MEP to whom we are very grateful for sponsoring our visit to the European Parliament.
Overall, this was a hugely successful trip. Particular thanks go to Mrs Burdett for giving up her holiday and to the Belgians for their endless supply of waffles and chocolate.
Politics Conference – Monday 4th December 2006
The Politics students attended a packed Politics conference in London in December. Speakers included; Jack Straw MP, David Willetts MP, Lembit Opik MP, George Galloway MP, Hazel Blears MP, Vince Cable MP, Alan Duncan MP and Charles Kennedy MP. The Question and Answer sessions were topical and full of interest. Thanks go to Miss Stewart from the Modern Languages department for accompanying the Year 12 and 13 students.
Mock Election – Thursday 19th October 2006
The Mock election on Open Evening was a lively event and had a very high turnout despite only three candidates being represented this year. The result was as follows:
|Emma Robinson||Liberal Democrat||158||votes|
And Emma Robinson was elected.
Many thanks to all of those involved.
Formation of the Oxford High School Politics Society
The Year 12 Politics group at Oxford High School have formed a Politics Society dedicated to inviting a range of Politics speakers into the school. This formalises a system where many local politicians including the four main candidates In Oxford West and Abingdon constituency have been invited into school. The inaugural speaker at Oxford High School’s Politics society is Lembit Opik MP, speaking on “Future prospects for Northern Ireland” on Thursday 22nd June. A range of exciting speakers is planned over the coming months. Lembit Opik MP had to cancel the first meeting of the newly formed Politics Society because of commitments at the House of Commons. Hopefully he will be able to come back soon. In the meantime, high profile local politicians are planed soon.
Politics Society meeting with Dr. Evan Harris MP – September 2006
Oxford High School’s Politics society had a lively meeting with Liberal Democrat MP Dr. Evan Harris on the 14th September. He spoke effectively on the future direction of the National Health Service including his view of rational rationing. There followed an in-depth discussion on issues as diverse as drug trials and how patients should be prioritised. Many thanks to Dr. Evan Harris for his talk that was very well attended by students.
Year 13 Politics Conference Tuesday – 7th March 2006
This was an excellent conference in London which the Year 13 Politics students attended. Led by Eric Magee, Deborah Outhwaite and Richard Kelly, they covered topics on, the UK economy, law and order, European co-operation and integration, race and ethnicity, EU political systems, the welfare state, EU policy areas and Northern Ireland.
Politics Conference to London – 5th December 2005
This was an exciting conference to London attended by the Year 12 and Year 13 students. There were seven high profile speakers consisting of:
Francis Maude MP spoke about the recovery of the Conservative Party the day before the announcement of David Cameron’s victory in the Conservative leadership contest.
Alan Duncan MP gave a lively discussion about the current state of British Politics.
Rhodri Morgan AM First Minister in Wales spoke about the achievements of Welsh Devolution.
Charles Kennedy MP gave one of his last speeches as leader of the Liberal Democrats about the role of the Lib Dems.
George Galloway MP gave a forceful and passionate defence of his views about his Respect Party.
Geoff Hoon MP Leader of the House of Commons and former Defence secretary had a lively interchange about the war in Iraq in his questions and answer session.
Lembit Opik MP rounded the day off with a down-to-earth discussion of the role of Europe in British Politics.
Year 12 Government and Politics conference to London (November 22nd 2004)
The Year 12 Politics students attended a series of talks and question and answer sessions that were lively and extremely topical.
Electoral Prospects for the Lib Dems: Government, opposition or third party? – Charles Kennedy MP
The political scene: exciting prospects – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
The Lib Dems: a force to be reckoned with in the House of Commons? – Lembit Opik MP
The Tories under Michael Howard: ideology and policies – Tim Yeo MP
Labour Government: Achievement and challenges: re-election, new leader? Stephen Twigg MP
Can Parliament really control Government? – Gwyneth Dunwoody MP
Electoral prospects for the Tories: government or opposition for a third term? – Michael Ancram MP
Europe: Still the big headache for the parties? Ken Clarke MP
Joint Politics/Economics trip to Brussels (December 2004)
This was an opportunity to visit the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission and to see how these institutions work. This was of particular benefit to those students doing A2 Politics as well as those doing the AS course.
The students were able to discuss the diverse roles of the European Commission in one of their seminar rooms.
The visits included a tour around the European Parliament, the largest multi-national Parliament in the world representing 450 million citizens and 25 countries.
Finally, the students were able to discuss the functions of the Council of Ministers where Member States of the European legislate.
Mock Election (October 2004)
A school Mock Election took place on the school’s Open Evening:
The result was as follows:
Visit of the Prime Minister of Malaysia 1st October 2004 to Oxford
This was an exciting opportunity to hear the Prime Minister of Malaysia, The Hon Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi on the subject of Malaysia, Islam and the Wider World.
Lectures on Constitutional change at Oxford University (2003/2004)
Lectures on Constitutional change at Oxford University (2004)
The AS and A2 students went to a series of lectures after school on Constitutional changes including:
The Butler Report: (Lord Butler)
What needs to be done to the House of Commons? (Tam Dalyell MP)
The Future of House of Lords Reform: (William Hague MP)
The role of the Opposition: a Conservative view (Eric Forth MP)
Why Executive devolution to Wales is unsatisfactory (Lord Richard)
Why Parliamentary procedure matters (Professor William McKay)
Was the Convention experiment to draw up the European Constitution a success? (Lord Kerr)
Further lectures have taken place this year including:
The role of the Opposition: a Conservative view (Alan Duncan MP)
The role of the Parliamentary sketchwriter: (Simon Carr – The Independent)
The case for and against a Supreme Court: (Lord Cooke of Thorndon/Professor J. A. G. Griffiths/ Dr. R Stevens
What changes in the EU constitution would be an improvement? (Lord Grenfell/ Dr C Kerse)
Can Welsh executive Devolution last? (Sir Michael Wheeler-Booth)
The Constitution and the Party System: (Professor Vernon Bogdanor)
Visit from Andrew Smith MP (November 2003)
Andrew Smith MP (Cabinet Minister responsible for Work and Pensions, at the time) came to speak to all of Years 12 and 13. Enclosed is a copy of the introduction to the visit and the questions that the students in Year 12 and 13 prepared as part of their PSHCE lessons the week before. This was part of the Citizenship programme delivered in PSHCE in conjunction with the Politics department.
Nairne Lecture at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford (October 2003)
13 AS and A2 Government and Politics students went to the fifth annual Nairne Lecture at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford on the topic of Europe given by Peter Mandelson, followed by a Question and Answer session chaired by Lord Plant of Highfield.
Trip to Brussels (April 2003)
This involved a visit to the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers that was a unique opportunity to see how a variety of European institutions operate.
Visit to the Houses of Parliament (February 2003)
Year 12 and Year 13 Politics students went to the Houses of Parliament. They had a guided tour of the House of Lords, watched Prime Minister’s Question Time and then attended a debate in the House of Commons. Thanks go to Evan Harris MP for arranging the visit.
The Good Schools Guide A Level Awards
Oxford High School recently received an award presented by “The Good Schools Guide” as the Best Independent School for Girls for Government and Politics at AS Level.
Warmest congratulations to Head of Politics Department Mr M Gallacher and his students.
One member of staff is involved in the teaching of Economics who teaches seven lessons in Year 12 and seven lessons in Year 13. Economics is only taught in the sixth form. The Head of Economics also is Head of Politics.
Mr. M. W. Gallacher
MA Oxon in Politics and Economics
Mr R. Packard
BA Hons Lancaster, MA Leicester
Miss M. Stewart
Facilities and Resources
Government and Politics is available in the sixth form at AS and A2 level. Everyone at Oxford High School is studying the subject for the first time. It offers girls the opportunity to explore topical issues in UK and EU Politics. Girls are encouraged to use Politics Review articles, a magazine written for A level students to develop and consolidate their understanding. The girls are encouraged to read quality newspapers regularly and to watch political television programmes such as Newsnight, Breakfast with Frost, The Politics Show and Jonathan Dimbleby as well as Panorama and Channel Four News… Websites are available and catalogued by topic.
Textbooks and other Government and Politics material are stored either in the Politics stock cupboard or in Room S5 depending on the nature of the material. The Government and Politics department has access to a TV/ video recorder in the sixth form block which is stored in the Government and Politics/Maths stock cupboard. Videos are stored in the stock cupboard. Politics Review articles are stored by date with an easy filing system by topic in the library along with a copy of all Politics Review lists and essay titles on each topic and a well-stocked selection of library books. Past Papers are stored in the Politics stock cupboard.
Numbers fluctuate in Government and Politics, although approximately ten to twelve study the Edexcel Examination Board on average each year after the introduction of a full A level introduced from September 2004. Previously a 2 year AS course had been in operation for 5 years. All girls are taught by year though they are encouraged to integrate through such means as regular lectures at Oxford University on an occasional basis.
Year 12 Syllabus:
Introduction to UK politics
Prime Minister and Cabinet
Year 13 Syllabus:
Development of European Integration
EU policy areas
The EU and the UK
US political parties
US pressure groups
US elections and voting
Racial and Ethnic politics in the USA