Politics students are living through one of the most interesting periods in recent history. The speed at which events change, Prime Ministers fall, elections are called and models of ‘correctness’ change poses a challenge for all of us. How do we incorporate contemporary political examples into our teaching? More importantly, how do we ensure students move beyond textbook examples and enrich essays with recent political events and analysis to reach the higher marks? This two-part session will take a deep dive into essay writing, focusing on the different elements of a high-mark paragraph, essay structure for a UK 30-mark question, practical techniques to handling sources and handling the political ideas 24-mark question. Part one will focus on the UK 30-mark standard and source question. Part two will take a look at the political ideas questions and how students should approach the question.


  • Gain the latest understanding of the demands of the new linear assessment – with a reflection on the last two exams.
  • Understand how to integrate stronger essay writing technique into lessons.
  • A focus on the 30-mark question and how to reach the higher levels in AO1 knowledge, A02 Analysis and A03 Evaluation
  • A demonstration of what a ‘sustained judgment’ mean?
  • Fine tune techniques to overcome the dreaded ‘source based question’.
  • To address how to reach a higher analysis in the political ideas question.
  • Those teaching the Edexcel curriculum
  • New and established politics teachers.
  • Department leads and teachers.
  • 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
  • Opportunities to network
  • Two online twilight sessions


Date TBC | 5-6pm

Session 1 – How to embed success in essay writing and the source question

  • Embedding reflective essay practice as part of our teaching.
  • The 30 mark question: Approaches and exemplar paragraphing. How to bring in contemporary examples and what does Level 5 analysis look like.
  • The source question: how to demystify the source question, with a step by step guide.
  • Embedding contemporary examples into lessons. Techniques to link contemporary news to the specification.
  • How to develop independence and resilience in students – techniques to avoid the ‘marking trap’.
  • Use of exemplar responses to illustrate A*/A and C grade level responses

Date TBC | 5-6pm

Session 2 – Political ideas, thinkers and avoiding the common pitfalls

  • The Political Ideas 24 mark question: Approached and exemplar paragraphing.
  • How to teach political ideas in a way to emphasise the debates between the differing internal ideological strands. Including resources and successful strategies.
  • How to use thinkers, and what does it mean to use them in a meaningful way.
  • Avoiding a narrative style answer to the ideas question, how to scaffold the question – planning and structure

All sessions are fully interactive involving discussion and Q and A. Resources will be shared digitally

Jal Patel

Jal Patel is the Head of Politics at a London Sixth Form with one of the largest politics departments in the country, an examiner for Edexcel, he host a politics podcast and web resource, has written for Politics Review Magazine, is an editor and content producer for several courses and author of a soon to be published revision guide. He has been teaching politics for over 10 years.