Ellie Smith (History and Politics)

I study History and Politics at Godalming, and I believe that these are two subjects that should be studied together as they complement each other extremely well.  

History was the one subject I was certain about taking as an A-Level and going to the open evening at Godalming, where I met some of the staff and students in the department cemented this. I chose the Democracy and Dictatorships course because I had previously studied Nazi Germany at GCSE and wanted to take it further for A-Level and look at the division of Germany after the Second World War. Studying the drama of the Wars of the Roses was also hugely appealing to me, and this turned out to be my favourite part of the course! History has been one of the best choices I have made for my A-Levels- the lessons are always engaging and exciting, the teachers could not be more passionate and helpful, and there are always lunchtime workshops to attend if you need help in any area of the course. 

I chose Politics on a whim- this was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. I had never studied Politics before A-Level, but I was always interested in the news and had lots of opinions about what was going on! Politics has been a subject that I have fallen in love with - it is dynamic so there is always something new to talk about in our lessons (and the teachers integrate the ever-changing political sphere really effectively into the course). I have found learning about the differing ideologies fascinating, especially understanding how they have evolved and changed over time. This is a good example of where Politics and History overlap - in Politics I studied Socialism as an ideology, exploring the ideas of Karl Marx, and in History I was able to study the Russian Revolution, which was a direct application of Marxist theory. Choosing to study American Politics in my second year has introduced me to the comparative theories of politics and allowed me to explore issues within the American political system, such as the impact of their written constitution on politics in the USA, and why Trump was able to rise to power so quickly. 

I am planning to read History and Politics at university next year (with a view to becoming a teacher or civil servant), and I would never have chosen to do this if it hadn’t been for the inspirational teachers who gave me so much support with my application, and who encouraged and fostered my love for these subjects. 

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