Love the children … and make a great effort to improve their education
and raise it to as high a degree as possible. Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey

Politics and Society

Subject Summary

Politics and Society aims to develop the learner’s capacity to engage in reflective and active citizenship, informed by the insights as well as the skills of social and political sciences.

In collaboration with students’ learning outside school, Politics and Society can, in home and community contexts, provide an opportunity for students to develop these skills, knowledge, values and attitudes. The distinctive analytical frame of reference of these subjects can also help to develop critical analysis skills that enable people to make an informed, considered and effective contribution to their society. The content of this subject can support the development of an understanding of equality, inequality and diversity in a range of areas of human life, including gender, ethnicity and social class. In this way, Politics and Society contributes to the development of active and participatory citizenship through education. It can play a key role in informing people as to how social and political institutions operate at local, national, European, and global level, and of the importance of political and social institutions in shaping our society.

Through active and participatory learning coupled with the experience of learning in the wider community, Politics and Society can enable young people to develop the skills appropriate for active and thoughtful participation in the life of their communities.

Mount Sackville Politic’s Students visit Her Excellency Claire Cronan at the American Ambassador’s residence


Students will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the social systems within which people live and act, locally, nationally and globally.
  2. Gain a knowledge of the key concepts and working of varied systems of government.
  3. Will understand and have a respect for human rights and responsibilities, for human dignity and for democratic modes of governance.
  4. Develop an understanding of and a respect for sustainable development.
  5. Will have a commitment to and a capacity for active participation in the learner’s social and political worlds.
  6. Will develop a commitment to and a capacity for critical, discursive and independent thinking.
  7. Develop a commitment to and a capacity for engagement in peaceful and democratic means of resolving conflict.
  8. Have a sense of care for others and a respect for and a valuing of diversity in all areas of human life within the parameters of human rights principles.
  9. Be able to analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, and to use such data carefully in forming opinions and coming to conclusions.
  10. Be familiar with the key thinkers in relation to the above aspects of society.

P&S 2.jpg


Politics and Society is organised in four strands, each structured around key concepts.

STRAND 1 Power and Decision-making

STRAND 2 Active Citizenship

STRAND 3 Human Rights and Responsibilities

STRAND 4 Globalisation and Localisation

Strand 1 addresses foundational concepts in the study of Politics and Society and should be studied first.

Strand 2 has a strong focus on some of the key skills relevant to Politics and Society: skills in coming to reflective and informed decisions through debating and discussing ideas with other people and skills in being an effective active citizen. These skills will need to be explicitly taught, and time should be allocated for teaching them. At the same time, they will also be developed through on-going application and so they should continue to be practised through the learning activities selected for teaching in all four strands.

Many of the skills addressed in strand 2 will be developed and applied through the learner’s engagement in a citizenship project. This project is a central opportunity for learning in Politics and Society and also forms part of the assessment of the subject. The skills developed in this project will primarily be those identified in strand 2. However, the project will also provide an opportunity for application of some of the key concepts addressed in strands 1, 3 and 4.

(Please see project titles for 23.24 below)

Strands 3 and 4 provide opportunities to apply the foundational concepts and skills of Politics and Society in increasing depth. A number of features also permeate these strands. They are

  • the discussion of the local, national, European and global dimensions of the issues studied
  • the exploration of the similarities and differences in social and political practices around the world
  • the analysis and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative social and political research data
  • the use of active, participatory, democratic and discursive practices in teaching and learning.
  • Politics and Society is characterised by an exploration of different ideas about the most appropriate means and ends of human participation in civic, social and political life. Learners take certain issues and look at them in their own local context, then also consider them in a broader context: through this they engage in comparative study. Over the course of their studies, learners will engage with a balance of national, European and wider-world contexts and with both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • This means that many of the topics addressed in Politics and Society follow a common structure where learners can begin to engage with a topic through exploring how it applies to their own lives or to a context that is meaningful to them

Politics and Society Curriculum Specification

  • Students can explore this topic in more detail through applying a range of different arguments to their context
  • Students can develop their skills of discussion and debating and of analysing information; using these skills, they can come to conclusions
  • Students can compare their own context to another context at national, European or global level
  • Students can explore how various activists and thinkers have contributed to the development of some of these key ideas.

Citizen Action Project is worth 20% of the overall result and is pre-submitted.

Topics for 2023/34

Students will choose one of the following:

  1. Focussing on a contemporary example, investigate the concept of sports washing as a political and human rights issue. Plan and deliver an event to share your findings.
  2. Survey a group of senior cycle students on their understanding of sustainable consumption and what they believe is their responsibility as young consumers. Use your findings to organise a campaign to inform and support an existing campaign group/organisation that is working on this topic at a local or national or international level.
  3. Undertake a comparative case-study between public service media and privately owned media in a democracy. Plan and deliver a webinar to highlight your findings.
  4. Research the role of one Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in a humanitarian crisis. Based on your conclusions organise an appropriate action that might help support an NGO.

The written exam consists of

  1. Short answered questions
  2. Data Based Questions
  3. Two Discursive Essays

17 Key Thinkers will be studied

  1. Benedict Anderson
  2. Kwame Anthony Appiah
  3. Noam Chomsky
  4. Thomas Hylland Eriksen
  5. Andre Gunder Frank
  6. Paulo Freire
  7. Thomas Hobbes
  8. Samuel Huntington
  9. John Locke
  10. Kathleen Lynch
  11. Karl Marx
  12. Sean McDonagh
  13. Robert Nozick
  14. Martha Nussbaum
  15. Edward W. Said
  16. Vandana Shiva
  17. Sylvia Walby

Students will invite politicians to the school to engage in political debate.

@rodericogorman Was out in Mount Sackville Secondary School today for a charity debate for Breast Cancer Ireland #MountSackville #charity #debate #DublinWest ♬ original sound - Roderic O’Gorman TD

They will speak with a member of a NGO.

They will also visit Dail Eireann.


20 2024
Summer Exams
22 2024
TY Graduation (TBC)
24 2024
TY Camino Trip
25 2024
6th year Maths Clinics
Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061

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