The Department is headed by Mr M Gallacher (HoD) FT who started teaching at Oxford High School in 1993 as his first full-time teaching post. He teaches British Politics whilst Mr Packard teaches US Politics, having studied American Politics at university. Students study Politics, in the sixth form and it is a popular option with an average of 8-16 students studying it in each year.
Students study British and US Politics in Years 12 and 13 looking at where power lies in government and current affairs topics, since 1997. They also study core ideologies of Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism and research another ideology from a wide choice.
There are plenty of opportunities for enrichment, including speakers in school invited in by staff or members of the school’s Politics Society. The students also write and edit a Politics magazine.
Foreign trips have taken place to New York and Washington, the most recent of which was in October 2014, with one being planned for October 2018 where students have visited the United Nations, the 9/11 Museum, the Pentagon, the White House, the Capitol Building and the US Supreme Court.
There are also visits to Europe including Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Barcelona, Brussels and Strasbourg. The next foreign trip is visiting Brussels, Strasbourg and Frankfurt in October 2017. Visits to Brussels include the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, in Strasbourg to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe and in Frankfurt to the European Central Bank.
Students have said the following about recent trips:
“Thank you for all of your inspirational teaching in Politics. Before coming to study it I hardly knew anything but now even my parents ask me over political matters.” (A former student studying Politics at university)
“I honestly can say I never thought I could enjoy lessons so much,” (A former Politics student studying Politics at university).
“I cannot thank you enough for all the help and support you have given me. You have been an inspiring teacher with lessons we all look forward to.” (A former Politics student studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge)
“I hope to pursue politics in the future in some form or another and I probably would not have considered this without you firing up my interest.” (A former student studying modern languages at Oxford).