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Teaching AQA A Level Politics for the First Time

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This course, new for Autumn 2022, aims to provide teachers who are new to/in the first few of years of teaching AQA A-level Politics with what they need to teach the course well. It will equip delegates with a thorough understanding of the AQA specification and its assessment objectives, and will help develop the classroom ideas and the planning and marking skills necessary to become a confident, successful A-level Politics teacher. The course focuses on the core areas of UK Government and Politics, US Government and Politics and Comparative Politics, as well as Political Ideas, and brings a wealth of experience from the classroom and exam marking to provide attendees with tips vital to starting out as a teacher of Politics.


  • Gain a thorough understanding of the requirements of AQA A-level Politics
  • Take away strategies on how to plan and manage the content of a two-year course
  • Learn what level of depth is appropriate
  • Develop a confident understanding of the assessment objectives and mark schemes, from an experienced examiner, to develop the skills students need
  • Analyse a range of sample answers
  • Take away ideas on examination and essay technique in AQA A-level Politics
  • Gain teaching ideas and approaches for A-level Politics across the three papers
  • Learn how to ensure students to keep up with contemporary political developments and how to apply them to their existing understanding


The ‘Big Picture’ in AQA Politics

10.00 – 11.00am
  • An examiner’s eye view of the assessment objectives and the mark scheme
  • Ensuring students hit the ground running in September with little or no prior learning
  • Suggested models of delivering UK Politics, US and Comparative Politics and Political Ideas across the two years
  • When and how to set home study tasks and activities in Politics to ensure that students are honing their skills and keeping up with an ever-changing subject
  • Ensuring higher achieving students are stretched whilst lower achieving ones are supported


Break and informal discussion

11.00 – 11.15am

Key Ideas for Teaching UK Government and Politics

11.15 – 12.15pm
  • Analysis of the different structures and ways of teaching UK Government and Politics
  • Easy wins and pitfalls when teaching an area of Politics that students are likely to be most familiar with
  • Ways to tackle the tougher/drier topics, such as the UK Constitution, Elections and Referendums, the Judiciary and Devolution
  • Exam questions and exemplar answers – approaches to the 9-mark and 25-mark questions



12.15 – 1.15pm

Key Ideas for Teaching US and Comparative Government and Politics

1.15 – 2.15pm
  • How best to introduce students to the USA’s often unfamiliar political system and culture
  • The vastness of the USA’s Government and Politics and how to make it manageable for students
  • Ways to teach the comparative element of the paper confidently and successfully
  • Exam questions and exemplar answers – approaches to the 9-mark and 25-mark questions, including the mastery of comparative theories and comparative essays


Afternoon tea and informal discussion

2.15 – 2.30pm

Key Ideas for Teaching Core Political Ideas

2.30 – 3.30pm
  • The unique challenges in making political theory and political thinkers accessible
  • Practical ideas, methods and approaches to teaching the core ideologies
  • Discussing the optional ideologies
  • Exam questions and exemplar answers – approaches to the 9-mark and 25-mark questions, including the particular challenge of dealing with extract questions when it comes to Political Ideas


London | Tuesday 27 February 2024

Please select your preferred date

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Dr Matthew Kavanagh is a senior teacher who has taught A-level Politics for over 15 years, and whose students consistently achieve excellent exam results. In addition, he is an experienced examiner in AQA Politics, and his writing is regularly published in Politics Review. Matthew currently teaches Politics and History at Cardinal Newman College, one of the country’s top performing sixth form colleges, where he is also responsible for teacher training in the Department of History and Politics.


  • NQTs in Politics
  • Politics teachers in their first few years of teaching AQA A-level Politics
  • Teachers changing to AQA A-level Politics from other exam boards


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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