Psychology is a diverse and dynamic subject which is becoming increasingly more relevant in daily life.  The impact of mental health, and the after effects of Covid-19, make the study of psychology more necessary than ever.  Eating disorders are up by a third in teenagers as a consequence of isolation, in addition to a range of other problems stemming from the increasing cost of living.  Historic gender stereotypes are now being questioned with students identifying outside these labels.  Psychology acts as a platform for discussing and allowing people to get a better understanding of some of the topics that ordinarily may not be addressed.

The subject demands independent learning, extensive discussions and critical evaluation, which leads to the development of new and innovative ways of thinking.  The course helps to contribute to the public understanding of psychology and its applications in education and beyond.  It also promotes human development, learning, health, and well-being through high quality education.  It strives to nurture students to become intellectually competent through scientific studies of human behaviour, emotion, and thought.

It aims to cultivate in student’s professional ethics, a sense of social responsibility, cultural sensitivity, and good citizenship in a globalised world.  Access to a wide range of resources enables students to have a holistic experience of the subject which they can apply to situations outside the context of the classroom.  It also gives them a better understanding of themselves, others and the world around them.

AQA Psychology – Course Description

Psychology is the science of the mind and behaviour.  It is suited to students who want an additional science or for those who want to explore the impact of a range of factors of behaviours, opinions and though processes.

In Year One students will explore:

  • Memory, including types of memory, forgetting and eyewitness testimony.
  • Attachments, including explanations of attachment, types of attachment and privation with an emphasis on animal research.
  • Social Influence, including types of conformity, conforming to social roles and explanations for obedience.
  • Psychopathology, including definitions of abnormality, approaches to abnormal behaviour and the treatment of abnormal behaviour.
  • Research methods, in context of the topic areas.
  • Approaches, including the origins of psychology, and five specific approaches.

In Year Two student will explore:

  • Biopsychology including divisions of the nervous system, the fight or flight response and biological rhythms.
  • Issues and debates in Psychology, including gender, culture, reductionism and determinism.
  • Cognition, including theories of cognitive development, the development of social cognition and explanations of early infant abilities.
  • Schizophrenia, including classification, explanations and treatments.
  • Aggression, including neural and hormonal mechanisms, social explanations and media influences.

The Enriched Curriculum

Our students take responsibility for extending their learning via a range of opportunities, such as; researching and conducting psychological experiments.  These are then analysed and written up as reports.  This helps to prepare them for conducting research at University as the report writing mirrors the reports they will write at degree level.  They also develop their knowledge of specific areas and present their findings to the rest of the class.  There are several debates the students need to prepare for and then put forward their points on the basis of research and evidence.

Support sessions are available for students to further develop their understanding of the course.  These range from catch up sessions to revision workshops.  There is also the opportunity to discuss higher level answers for those students aspiring for A/A* grades.

There is a clear overlap between psychology and a range of other subjects taught in school.  These include English language (the case study of Genie – language development), History (the impact of the Holocaust on behaviour), Biology (the nervous system, areas of the brain and biochemical explanations of behaviour) and Maths (students need to use statistical tests to analyse findings).  These are referenced in lessons throughout the course.

2 Year Curriculum Plan(s)

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