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Psychology

Intent

Our mission is to inspire a life-long interest and developing understanding of behaviour and motivation.  Students will learn to apply their understanding in every-day situations and appreciate what influences other people’s behaviour as well as reflecting on their own.  This is learning which will benefit them for life.

Introduction 

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. It is an excellent choice for those who are interested in people and their motivation behind different behaviours. Students with an inquisitive mind enjoy the challenge of this new and unfamiliar subject. Once a student begins to study Psychology, their outlook on almost everything changes, becoming more analytical. Students will start to see psychology in action everywhere they look and learn about theories and that they can relate to own lives, giving them valuable insight.

Once the course starts in September students will be given free access to Year 1 and 2 digital textbooks which will provide the basis to complete the course. Students are expected to undertake wider reading around the course and will be provided with a list of recommended readings.

Good combinations of other subjects to study with Psychology:

Biology, Sociology, English, Religious Studies, Mathematics, Physical Education, Health & Social Care.

Examples of cross-curricular links

English:

 Non-fiction reading - research articles                              

Vocabulary strategy - technical vocabulary is taught explicitly and reinforced routinely

Purpose and audience writing -  analysing, evaluating, justifying and persuading.

Mathematics: Interpreting and using statistical evidence
Science: Biological rhythms and chemical responses in the body 
Humanities: Historical, cultural and sociological influences

 

Examples of Cultural Capital entitlement from NC

  • Understanding of self
  • Knowledge of key works and theories in Psychology
  • Understanding of others’ behaviour and motivation
  • Appreciation of historical and cultural influences on society

Key Stage 5

The A level course is taught over 2 years and covers a range of topic areas. Final assessment consists of three written papers, all of which are taken at the end of the second year of the course.

Paper 1: 33.3% A Level – 2 hour written examination

This unit comprises of four sections: Cognitive Psychology, where we focus on how human memory works and look at how it fails; Developmental Psychology, we look at human attachment, covering the importance of attachment bonds and study a variety of attachment disorders; Social Psychology, where we focus on conformity and obedience in social situations. Finally, Psychopathology looks at the diagnosis, explanations and treatments of a variety of Psychological disorders.

Paper 2: 33.3% A Level – 2 hour written examination

This unit comprises of three sections: Biological Psychology, where we focus on chemical responses within the body, biological rhythms and ways of studying the brain; Psychological Research Methods; and how Psychologists use these to investigate behaviour and Approaches in Psychology, which looks at the origins of Psychology and basic assumptions that underlie the whole subject.

Paper 3: 33.3% A Level – 2 hour written examination

This unit comprises of four sections: Issues and Debates in Psychology (compulsory), then students will take one question each from 3 option blocks. The options taught are indicated with *, but these may change to include other topics in the blocks:

Option 1 - Relationships, Gender*, Cognition and development,

 Option 2 – Schizophrenia*, Eating behaviour, Stress,

Option 3 – Aggression, Forensic Psychology* and Addiction.

  • All these topics can be applied to real life, giving you an insight into a range of different real world issues and transferrable skills.

Year 12

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Social Influence

Memory

Memory

Attachment

Attachment

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Research methods

Approaches in Psychology

Approaches in Psychology

Biopsychology

Psychopathology

 

Year 13

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Gender

Scizophrenia

Schizophrenia

Forensic psychology

Forensic phsycology

Research menthods

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Research methods

Revision

Revision

 

 

Revision

Revision sessions are provided during lesson time before examinations

Revision guides and apps are available to purchase from bookshops (online and high street) and through app stores

Additional materials and past papers with mark schemes are made available to students through Prince William School shared drives.

Example of skill progression

Students will begin by learning the process of scientific investigation of human behaviour. They will learn to apply the investigative process to understanding social behaviour. They will progress on to learning and applying the fundamental aspects of evaluating and analysing psychological research. Eventually, after studying other substantive topics, student will learn about the theoretical approaches to psychology. They will learn to think about both ontological and epistemological aspects of thought; including studying and evaluating methods of investigating human behaviour.

Careers and progression

Qualification pathways 

The A level offered at KS5 prepares students for further study at Higher Education or employment in a related sector.  Studying Psychology in Higher Education can lead to careers in the Forensic Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Occupational Psychology, Sports Psychology, Educational Psychology or Counselling fields. Psychology also provides a useful training for a much wider range of career options. These include Market Research, Human Resources, Social Work, Teaching, Nursing, Advertising, Sales, Media and Broadcasting, Personnel Management and even the Police and the Armed Forces.

Many Prince William School students go on to study Psychology at university. Psychology can be taken as a single honours degree or combined with other subjects. Psychology is also useful in many other careers as it develops transferable skills which are useful in a variety of jobs and professions.

Example of successful progressions

Five students from Y13 progressed to higher education/careers in Psychology related area in 2019.

Examples of links to Gatsby benchmark 4 (Linking curriculum to careers) 

Case studies of Clinical Psychologist

Case studies of professional counsellor

Examples of link to Gatsby benchmark 5 (encounters with employers)

Trip to advertising agency to study the impact of psychology on advertising techniques

Visit from Northamptonshire police re use of psychology in police work

Employability skills

Oral, visual and written communication, problem solving, numeracy and statistical skills, critical and creative thinking, decision making, organisational skills, team working, IT skills, and data analysis skills.

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