Psychology

Mission statement

The Psychology department aims to build an understanding of the human mind and behaviour. We aim to create a learning environment that stimulates passion and fosters a curiosity of understanding why we behave and think in the way that we do. Students of psychology will reflect on their behaviours and build skills and knowledge to become more resilient and robust. Students who can become more empathetic and analyse their own feelings and thoughts, will flourish in this subject area.

The four pillars

Skill

  • Students in Psychology will develop an understanding of how social processes work, they will start to build a resilience to pressures of others; as their understanding of this knowledge strengthens it will be invaluable in later life.
  • Students will cultivate an empathy for others through learning about a range of difficult topics from dementia cases, mental illness and brain injury. This emotional intelligence will be critical for students to foster a compassionate viewpoint to truly understand other people.
  • Students will improve on their mathematical and scientific skills through research methods, knowing how to practically conduct research and analyse the data.

Criticality

  • Psychology students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills through advanced problem solving. Students are asked to apply theoretical constructs to realistic situations that require them to process the information at the deepest level and force them to think in both divergent and lateral ways.
  • Students will acquire the ability to critically assess therapies & treatments, in terms of their effectiveness as well as appropriateness.
  • Students will expand on their understanding of the interrelationships between the core areas of psychology and learn how to critically synthesise knowledge from one paradigm to another.

Character

  • Students will develop an insight of how psychology contributes towards understanding the individual, social and cultural diversity.
  • Students will mature practical wisdom in the form of open minded discussion that requires emotional intelligence and tolerance of the cognition of others.
  • Students will develop their ability to critically evaluate research & theory and its impact on wider society using a ‘healthy amount of scepticism’ to cultivate their scientific mind.

Experiences

  • Psychology nurtures students’ interests, passions, and sense of engagement with the world around them.
  • Innovate an academic work ethic that combines their understanding of learning and memory processes.
  • Students will have opportunities to hear from specialists in the field of Psychology and begin to comprehend the wide applications of psychology in career pathways.

An Overview of Year 9

This is a foundation year in psychology which will:

  • Explore early theoretical concepts: cognition and behaviour, social context and behaviour and research methods.
  • Introduce students to to a range of research method techniques that they will have an opportunity to try out themselves.
  • Explore questions that require knowledge, analysis, application and evaluative skills.

Year 9 topics

Introduction to research methods

Learners will develop their understanding of how to design their own research, conduct, analyse and interpret their own findings. This is a key skill that is built in the foundation year.

Introduction to cognition & behaviour: Memory

Learners will develop their understanding of memory processes, theories and structures. This will enable learners to more expertly revise, rehearse and master knowledge.

Introduction to social context & behaviour: Social influence

Learners will develop their understanding of social processes such as conformity, obedience and crowd behaviour. Understanding the influence of others allows learners to become more robust to the pressures of others.

Perception

Learners will develop their understanding of how we interpret the world around us. Developing their understanding of our senses through visual illusions & experiments.

An Overview of Years 10 and 11

Year 10 topics include:

Development

Learners will develop their understanding of the fundamental brain structures needed for life, key theories formed by Piaget as well as contemporary theories of education and how we best learn.

Language, thought & communication

Learners will develop their understanding of the relationship between thought & language, the differences between animal & human communication and human non-verbal communication. These skills will help students understand non-verbal cues in a variety of situations such as job interviews and presentations.

Psychological problems:

Learners will develop their understanding of wider effects of mental health illnesses and the stigma surrounding them. Learners will delve into the explanations and therapies of two mental health problems in depth; depression and addiction.

Year 11 Topics include

Brain & neuropsychology

Learners will develop their understanding of the human nervous system, neurons and the structure & function of the brain. Alongside this students will build on their knowledge of brain injury and comprehend key theories and experiments surrounding neuropsychology.

How is it assessed?

Paper 1: Cognition and behaviour

  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Development
  • Research methods

Students will be expected to draw on knowledge and understanding of the entire course of study to show a deeper understanding of these topics.

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 100 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Section A: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (25 marks)

Section B: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (25 marks)

Section C: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (25 marks)

Section D: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (25 marks)

Paper 2: Social context and behaviour

  • Social influence
  • Language, thought and communication
  • Brain and neuropsychology
  • Psychological problems

Students will be expected to draw on knowledge and understanding of the entire course of study to show a deeper understanding of these topics.

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 100 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Section A: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (25 marks)

Section B: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (25 marks)

Section C: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (25 marks)

Section D: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (25 marks)

*Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews that are stuck into students’ books at the start of each half term.

Qualification website- Further information on this specification is also available from the qualification website: https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/psychology/specifications/AQA-8182-SP-2017.PDF

If you have further questions about this course, please see Mr Balloo

Subject specific websites to support revision and independent learning:

  1. https://learndojo.org/gcse/aqa-psychology/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqqIPOTshm8EM8CCWkCy9Pg
  3. https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/psychology/gcse/psychology-8182/assessment-resources
  4. http://www.gojimo.com/free-revision-app-exam-revision-help/student-home/

Recommended subject guides:

A range of guides are available for AQA GCSE Psychology.

Students will have access to the following textbook online and in classrooms, but many prefer a hard copy at home to revise from:

Students can also purchase revision guides from School:

Extra-curricular

  • Study supports – contact us if you are interested in these.
  • External speakers. Prison officer/ restorative justice/RAF /neuro & child psychologists.
  • Proactivity projects. Students are encouraged to read/watch/listen to a wide range of material based on subject areas both in and outside of the curriculum.
  • Bookshelf. Many students opt to borrow books from the department to widen their knowledge and interest.
  • Research projects. Students are given time to plan, conduct and analyse their research. Many students use friends & family to conduct their experiments, so sorry in advance!
  • Peer mentoring. Year 12 students are buddied up with some students to provide guidance and support.
  • Career links are embedded into the course curriculum. Including, but not limited to:
    • Psychologist (clinical/occupational/health)
    • Neurosurgery/Neuroscience
    • Medicine/Psychiatry
    • Advertising/Marketing
    • Business/Management
    • Infant health/Nursing
    • Education/Social work
    • Sport psychology/Rehabilitation
    • Law/Forensic psychology/
    • Criminology/Police
    • Brain & injury