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Psychology gives students an insight into human behaviour and interaction on a personal and / or group level, which is pertinent to society’s functioning. Psychology explores the fundamentals of human behaviour, giving reasons for this and supporting industries and individuals alike to cope with the norms of society.

Key Stage 4

Students begin the course in Year 9 with an introduction to the key principles in Psychology. As this is a new subject for our students, it is vital that we start them off with the critical thinking skills required to succeed on the course, which includes elements of Research Methods. This leads on to the first examination topic, Criminal Psychology, focusing on what crime is and how it is measured, understanding reasons for committing crime, and also how to prevent crimes, for instance through rehabilitation. We then move on to Developmental Psychology, a topic that our students can relate to. This topic looks at brain development and IQ, as well as major figures in Psychology, such as Piaget.

In Year 10, students move on to Social Influence, an exploration into how society and the people around you influence behaviour of the individual. Following this, we move on to Memory. This topic looks at how and why people remember certain information, but also forget other things. At the end of this year, there is more focus on Research Methods, an overarching topic that flows within all topics on the course and as a separate topic in itself. Students are also introduced to the writing frames for 13 mark answers. With this, students are able to revisit the topics in Year 9, making links across all the topics so far.

In Year 11, students complete the remaining two topics, Psychological Problems and Sleep and Dreaming. These are synoptic topics, taking prior learning and embedding it into their understanding of these, enabling swifter and more effective learning. These topics are very current and relatable. There also is a heavier focus on the 13 mark essay questions, which is used to recap and develop the students understanding of topics from the start of the course. Additionally, Research Methods is revisited.

The delivery of the course is complete by March of Year 11. From this point, students are able to recap all the topics, complete ample past papers and take part in rigorous revision to best prepare them for their summer exams.

For those continuing on with Psychology at A-Level, the topics are covered at GCSE level sets them in good stead for continued success - Social Influence, Memory, Developmental Psychology, Criminal Psychology and Research Methods are featured in their A-Level programme.

Key Stage 5

Studying Psychology at A-Level does not require students to have a GCSE in the subject; those that have will be more familiar with the concepts, however all the content required at A-Level is taught afresh. 

All students begin the course with an introduction to the different psychological perspectives (Paper 2, Approaches in Psychology) to build a baseline of understanding for the different explanations there are for the topics they will learn about. From this, students then complete the study of the topics in Paper 1, Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology. In amongst the delivery of these topics, students will learn about Research Methods (Paper 2) and be introduced to Biopsychology (Paper 2) by the end of the academic year; the science behind Psychology. 

Year 13 starts with the conclusion of Paper 2, before embarking on Paper 3. This involves Issues and Debates, which are overarching through the course and the synoptic topics of Relationships, Schizophrenia and Forensic Psychology. These final topics rely on prior learning to build on, and further develop, higher-order links across the course.

All topics are delivered by March of Year 13. At this point, the focus is on revision and past paper practise. The three papers in Psychology are all examined at the end of Year 13.

During the KS5 delivery, students are privy to many skills, such as written, verbal and presentation skills, as well as independent learning, which are transferable beyond the Sixth Form.

Exams & Assessment

Outlined below is the departmental structure for formal monitoring of our students’ progress.

In addition to this, we conduct regular essay writing assessments and retrieval tests throughout the year.

Half-Term 1
  • Year 9: Benchmark test
  • Year 11: Psychology Problems test
  • Year 12: Benchmark test, Approaches
  • Year 13: Biopsychology, Issues & debates
Half-Term 2
  • Year 9: Criminal Psychology test
  • Year 10: Social Influence test
  • Year 11: Sleep & Dreaming test
  • Year 12: Approaches, Social influence, Memory
  • Year 13: Issues & debates, Relationships
Half-Term 3
  • Year 11: Mock exam (Years 9-11 content)
  • Year 12: Approaches, Social influence, Memory, Attachment
  • Year 13: Mock exams (all Year 12 & 13 content)
Half-Term 4
  • Year 9: Developmental Psychology test
  • Year 10: Memory test
  • Year 12: Social influence, Memory, Attachment, Psycho-pathology
  • Year 13: Issues & debates, Relationships, Schizophrenia, Forensic psychology
Half-Term 5 & 6
  • Year 9: End of year exam (Year 9 content)
  • Year 10: End of year exam (Years 9 & 10 content)
  • Year 11: Public exams
  • Year 12: UCAS exams (all Year 12 content, including research methods)
  • Year 13: Public exams
  • Examination board: OCR
  • Examination board: AQA

Enrichment & Extracurricular

There are a number of opportunities for our students to immerse themselves further into their learning. This includes visits to Freud’s Museum, student revision conferences, trips to the zoo, and more.