Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British statesman

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.John F Kennedy (1917–1963) American politician and 35th President of the USA

We can never solve our significant problems from the same level of thinking we were at when we created the problems.Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born theoretical physicist

Man is by nature a political animal.Aristotle (384–322BC) Greek philosopher and scientist

Politics is the study of power: how power is used and abused by our leaders, how power is distributed, and how decisions by those in power affect our lives.

As the 21st century continues to unfold, political knowledge is fast becoming one of the most recognized subject areas that could be instrumental in addressing some of the major challenges facing the country. At Oakham our teaching encourages dialogue and debate, nurturing students’ capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims, to help them achieve maximum enjoyment and success from the subject.

Politics is a popular subject, which is offered to students in the Upper School. The A-level Politics course has been written to provide a well-balanced grounding in Politics for students. This ranges from issues such as the purpose of elections, international terrorism, to the pressures on the Prime Minister. If you like debates and have a strong interest in UK and international current affairs, this is the course for you!!

The International Baccalaureate course allows students to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity, as well as allowing them the opportunity to explore political issues affecting their own lives.

Many Politics students leave Oakham to study a diverse range of university subjects such as Politics, Law, Journalism, History, English, Economics and, of course, International Relations. 

Q & A with current pupils


In order to gain invaluable experience of Politics in action, we encourage students to take up the Model United Nations activity (MUN), which is a simulation of the real UN. Here students can practise the art of diplomacy, cooperation, and debate, therefore gaining valuable social skills. During a conference, students will have to assume the policies of their allocated nations, therefore promoting the ideals of political understanding and tolerance.

Laurence Ward

Laurence Ward

Head of Politics and International Relations

I have been Head of Politics and International Relations at Oakham since September 2005. I am Senior Tutor in Sargants House and was previously Resident Tutor for 8 years in Wharflands Boarding House. I lead the MUN (Model United Nations) activity, which fits well with the IB and A-level Politics courses we offer. I have been the principal examiner for IB Global Politics Paper 1 and have contributed towards a variety of publications. I have a young daughter, Madeline, with my wife who also works at the School as a teacher of French.