How we use Politics Review Magazine to teach A-level Politics effectively

Loughborough grammar school

Head of Sixth Form, Loughborough Grammar School, Leicestershire

“I find that Politics Review gives the students something they can do independently that helps them develop skills beyond classroom-based learning."

"65% of our A-level Politics students received an A*–A in the recent exams, and 82% received a A*–B. I am happy with that because, despite our name, we are an independent school rather than a grammar school, with a wide and diverse range of students and abilities. We are broadly happy with how our students have done this year, with a good number of their results exceeding expectations. We are fortunate to have two specialist Politics teachers at school. Whilst I use Politics Review in my teaching, I suspect that many people who use the magazine are not subject specialists.

I do find it useful for helping me refresh my knowledge of topics which I may not have taught in a few years – I picked up a couple of back issues recently for inspiration on teaching Feminism, and I know that my colleagues have done the same.

In particular, we tend to use the long headline articles or exam skills articles. The long articles are very useful in several ways, including getting the students to plan essays or even write their own questions. The articles by renowned authors like Robert Singh and Anthony Bennett are useful because the students can read them as a piece of writing written as an essay, rather than a chapter in a textbook, and get used to writing like that themselves. Broadly, we are looking for resources that take the students beyond the textbook and keep our students’ knowledge up to date.

I also find some of the extra content on the back cover useful for covering some fairly niche topics, such as constituency boundaries – if I am looking to stretch and challenge, I can just show them these small articles to deepen their knowledge and analysis.

For us, Politics Review forms an important part of our prep calendar. Some of the students’ homework will involve them summarising an article in the magazine within a specific word count.

Politics Review can also help the students with essay skills, giving them a focus – not necessarily source material but a springboard, a starting piece we can then build on. I know that the magazines also come in online formats and I look at the Politics Review Archives within Dynamic Learning. These resources are a valuable addition – even if I don’t use the online versions on a day-to-day basis, it is more about knowing what’s there and having a searchable database that I can draw on at any time."